Ask an expert

23 Nov 2005

Trapped in A Relationship
Some 12 years ago I met a man 25 years older than me. At the time no one knew I was gay, I tried to leave the relationship but was to scared of the consequences if I did, I was afraid my partner would out me and cause endless problems. 12 years later I am still in the same relationship, He cares for me and has never abused me. He is however a very difficult man to live with and I fear him. We now work together and live together, My fear is If i leave it will ruin our business and so many of our employees will be unemployed. I cry many times at night about my situation, I just wish I could love him like he loves me, but my love for him is through fear and an emotional hold that he has on me, somedays I feel I wont make the next 5 years because I am so unhappy. I have loved another guy for more than three years, this other guy does not even know it, this other guy is the only guy that I have really have ever loved. I feel I cannot move on with my life, I feel so trapped, I am not even allowed to go to the gym alone, I am constantly monitored day and night, I feel uncomfortable going to my parents because he is always in a bad mood, he is dramatic mood swings. I am trapped because I Live in constant fear for more than 12 years, what can I do.
Answer 423 views
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Trapped and welcome to our forum.

Your post raises many questions: You don't give any indication of why you were afraid to leave your relationship previously - you say you feared him outing you but you don't explain why you thought he could want to do that. You also don't inform us why you continue to fear your partner - are you still afraid that he may out you? You mention that he cares for you, and even loves you and that he has never abused you yet you intimate that he has threatened to out you - which would constitute emotional abuse. It sounds as if you are out now, as your partner accompanies you to visit your parents. You don't explain the "emotional hold" he has over you. You also don't explain why your partner "monitors" you so closely - does he feel insecure in your relationship?

Since your partner has never harmed or abused you in any way in the twelve years you've been together it is difficult to relate to your last sentence, saying that you've lived in "constant fear" for all this time.

Your scenario is only complicated by the other guy - forget about him for now, he merely diverts your attention from dealing with the confusing realities of your current relationship.

It sounds as if the writing's on the wall - you don't want to be in this relationship. I assume that you were relatively young when you met your partner and it is likely that you will have evolved and developed to the point that you may no longer be so emotionally dependent on him. You could have grown more materially dependent on the relationship, but your description of staying in the relationship because of employees losing their jobs sounds like an excuse not to act. You cannot be held hostage in a relationship because of this, and businesses are closing every day. This is a reality of life and there are legal processes that would come into play.

I know I've asked many questions but I won't be able to respond to your answers. The bottom line is that for many reasons you feel compelled to leave the relationship, but for some (vague, unexplained) reasons you feel unable to do so. I'm suggesting that it isn't your partner that's keeping you in the relationship - possibly it has more to do with yourself than with him. A counsellor could help you work through this.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
32% - 9472 votes
68% - 20283 votes