promising new relationship has taken a disturbing turn
January 15, 2013 5:13 PM   Subscribe

As an update to this thread, I'm crazy about my new boyfriend (mid twenties) but he is riddled with issues and may not even be straight. I am entirely torn about whether to keep seeing him, and I'm hoping that input from the hivemind may nudge me in one direction or the other.

I know him a bit better now than I did when I wrote the last thread and some of the things he's told me in the last few days have been downright scary.

For background we've only been together for a few weeks but we've already kind of fallen for each other; he told me recently that he is in love with me and feels incredibly lucky. He is brilliant, talented, refreshingly affectionate compared to past boyfriends, and just generally adorable -- he cooks for me and surprises me all the time with new books to read. We feel right together.

He is only 23 but had a five year long, serious relationship with a girl before me that sounds like it was pretty stable. She broke up with him and he was crushed but they remain friends. I can tell he is a very giving person -- he's a bit of an over-extending people pleaser, and his friends all speak highly of him but acknowledge that he has problems.

He had a horrific childhood and is now struggling with the remnants of it -- depression and drinking (he's in AA). He finally opened up to me about it the other night. Here are some things he's told me about his past. Once as a little boy he got sick in the car on the way home from an amusement park and his father pulled to the side of the road and beat him. His older brother repeatedly raped him when he was between the ages of 8 and 9.

He is very close to his mother and says he'd take a bullet for her.

So the first part of my question: Is it unrealistic for me to hope that he might be capable of a healthy relationship right now? I have no problem being with somebody who is depressed -- as long they treat me well -- and will gladly do it again, but are these wounds too deep to heal? He is not currently in therapy because he doesn't have healthcare but he's signing up for a plan at the moment.

This is the second part of my question. I've had concerns since we started dating that he might be closeted. It's a combination of things -- most people who meet him assume he's gay, he mentions having "guy crushes" on different celebrities occasionally, and the fact that he seems uncomfortable with sex. When he attributed his sexual discomfort to the abuse, I still had some lingering doubts and I'm not sure why. I felt selfish for feeling this way. I knew that after he told me about his abuse it would be difficult to broach my doubts about his orientation without hurting him, but I felt I had to because this fear was threatening to erode my trust.

So finally last night an opportunity arose when he was mentioning that a friend of his had assumed he was gay at first. I asked him if he ever had any doubts about his orientation. He insisted that he doesn't but also told me that a year ago he dated a guy briefly and it didn't work out. Here's what he told me: the reason it didn't work was because he couldn't bring himself to have sex with this guy due to what happened with his brother, the farthest he went was going down on the guy and it was the most revolting thing he's ever done, he has no desire after that experience to date a guy ever again but he does sometimes feel attracted to guys, he only looks at straight porn.

Also, he's had sex and relationships with a number of women since he was a teenager and does talk about his past crushes on women frequently. He gets visibly aroused when we make out and loves going down on me. For the record we also live in a very liberal town and he has some gay friends so it's not as if he would lose his community if he came out. I raised the possibility that he might be bisexual and he said that he's not because he doesn't have any desire to date a guy again. After he told me all this I felt sick to my stomach and numb. I would have actually felt better had he told me that he was bisexual but the fact that he insists he's not yet he dated a guy makes his sexuality seem like a wild card.

I told him that I once dated a guy who turned out to be gay and it really crushed me and he said, "I'm not gay!" and "believe me if anyone is going to be left hurt by this it will be me."

I just don't know what to do with this. After this conversation we were lying in bed and it was like I could see all our potential disintegrating before my eyes. I feel so sad and I'm just praying that I'm wrong and it can still work out between us.

What are people's thoughts on this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (35 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: poster's request-- LobsterMitten

Two AskMes and tons of angst after only a few weeks. I don't care if he's gay or straight or likes to eat his Cheerios with orange juice instead of milk--this is causing you too much personal drama in too short a time.

Break up with him and move on.
posted by phunniemee at 5:16 PM on January 15, 2013 [41 favorites]

I think that you and he aren't working out in a way that's great for either of you. I'd break it off...gently.
posted by xingcat at 5:23 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

I just don't know what to do with this. After this conversation we were lying in bed and it was like I could see all our potential disintegrating before my eyes. I feel so sad and I'm just praying that I'm wrong and it can still work out between us.

You have been dating him for a few weeks. That you have already created this idea of a long-term relationship or future while at the same time working around some serious drama does not bespeak a happy spell before you. It sounds like you might want to spend some time apart to see what it is you both need before building something sustainable can even happen.
posted by jetlagaddict at 5:25 PM on January 15, 2013

I propose this question to you very seriously: why are you asking for advice again on the same topic? The overwhelming consensus last time was that your continuing insistence that he might be gay was harmful to him and the relationship, and you appear to have ignored all that but now you want a second opinion on the same topic? I don't understand what you're hoping to achieve with this question.

You don't sound like you are currently capable of having a relationship with somebody with baggage. That's ok - just get out before things get even more complicated.
posted by zug at 5:27 PM on January 15, 2013 [24 favorites]

For background we've only been together for a few weeks but we've already kind of fallen for each other; he told me recently that he is in love with me

THIS is what should be freaking you the fuck out. You all need to slow down and be realistic about the fact that you can't know each other in a few weeks.

After this conversation we were lying in bed and it was like I could see all our potential disintegrating before my eyes. I feel so sad and I'm just praying that I'm wrong and it can still work out between us.

Okay, yeah, you really need to take a strong step backwards and really think about how much you're investing in this very short relationship.

In terms of the gay thing, it is not even on the radar of the issues here. The alcoholism, the depression, the fast-forwarding...there are a ton of red flags and you don't seem to have much perspective. At the very least, stop seeing him as often and see if you can get some therapy of your own.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:27 PM on January 15, 2013 [7 favorites]

Live in the now.

If you're happy, and he's happy, just enjoy that for as long as you have it.

It also sounds like you are way too hung up on this guy's sexuality and whether he's "really" straight. Life is complicated. Sexuality is complicated. Don't sweat it. I mean, if it really disturbs you to date a guy who has queerness in his past, or who has been with men, or who has considered identifying as gay, or whatever, then yeah, break up with this guy before you hurt him. He deserves someone who wants him for who he is. But, no, the fact that your dude has a complicated sexuality doesn't mean anything in and of itself.
posted by Sara C. at 5:30 PM on January 15, 2013 [14 favorites]

It doesn't matter if he's gay or straight or depressed or whatever. What matters is that you're already uncomfortable dating him. You've only been together a few weeks and you're already having doubt after doubt after doubt. It doesn't matter if he's capable of a relationship right now or not because you're already uneasy about dating him due to his issues.

It's totally OK to just not be okay with dating someone for whatever reason. If you're not into it, you're not into it. You're only a few weeks in and already you're worried he's going to leave you for a man and that his problems make him unsuitable for a relationship right now. Really, you can find someone who's just as awesome as this guy who doesn't also have things that make you unsure about him from day 1.
posted by Autumn at 5:30 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

His sexuality is a non-issue. Either believe him when he says he's straight or understand that he could be bisexual but not comfortable with the label or generally feel that his dating a guy was a one time thing. Would you believe a lesbian who told you that while she once dated a guy briefly, going down on him was the most disgusting thing she'd ever done? Because that wouldn't even raise an eyebrow for me. Or you could just keep on thinking he's closeted, but please dump him rather than make your issues his issues.

The abuse is different, in that how he deals with it will impact your relationship. He seems to be getting help (AA, looking for a plan so he can find a therapist, etc), but that doesn't mean you're ready to be in a potentially "high difficulty" relationship.

I, personally, would wait until his history of abuse actually becomes an issue for you before freaking out about it. On second thoughts, though, if you have this much drama brewing in your relationship two weeks in (in love? Hmm) break it off before it explodes all over your face.
posted by lydhre at 5:30 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think you should break up with him because of your desire for some sort of 100% straight authenticity certificate, which is something most complex people, regardless of actual orientation, either can't or won't want to furnish.
posted by threeants at 5:31 PM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]

I think you are fixating on his sexuality to avoid the real issues. I think you should consider therapy because you deserve a happy life free of obsession and anxiety over other people.
posted by desjardins at 5:34 PM on January 15, 2013 [11 favorites]

Also, no, the wounds from a bad childhood are not "too deep to heal", but guess what: you're not going to heal them by loving him really really hard no matter how poorly he treats you or how miserable you are, because it doesn't work like that.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, it's just that I also have the tendency to romanticize things that are actually just shitty (like martyrdom and miserable relationships) and I would love to help you avoid that. So let's stick to the facts:

--Dating a few weeks
--Alcohol problem, depression
--Inappropriate statements (he "loves you")
--Inconsistent (didn't have doubts about orientation but dated a guy...?)
--Friends state that he has "problems"
--Sex isn't working out
--You feel a sense of dread

When you take all the spin off of it, it's pretty obviously not a great wonderful time.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:35 PM on January 15, 2013 [18 favorites]

It does sound like the problem is with you, not him. From what you have written it seems as though you are uncomfortable with the things he's telling you. Your actual time with him seems great, he treats you well, you have a good time etc etc. So what's the problem? Everyone has a past and sometimes just talking about it helps, even if there is no answer at that time.

If you like him enough to continue, then do and stop worrying about everything.

If he starts treating you poorly or his actions impact negatively on the relationship then end it.

If you have issues, then stop projecting them onto him and sort yourself out.
posted by Youremyworld at 5:37 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't feel qualified to speak to the abuse part, but if the possibility that he's gay is a problem for you (and it sounds like it is) and you keep thinking he might be gay, do both of you a favour and end it, I think.
posted by hoyland at 5:37 PM on January 15, 2013

I don't think you should be posting intimate facts about your boyfriends life on here. Perhaps ask a mod to make this annon/take out some of the details.

As to the relationship I think you should break it off. Things shouldn't be this hard and sometimes when you have a million worries about a person running through your head its your gut trying to tell you something.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:37 PM on January 15, 2013 [6 favorites]

If you were dating me, and you wrote this question about me and published it on the internet, I'd break up with you. You've given us too much information, information which is not yours to share. It's great your romantic interest felt comfortable opening up to you, but you undermine that by coming here and telling the world his history.

People can heal, they absolutely can. But they need their boundaries and privacy and choices respected. If you can't do that, you should end the relationship.
posted by brina at 5:39 PM on January 15, 2013 [37 favorites]

Honestly - I would seek therapy for yourself. You're entitled to your reactions but I'm just not sure why you're reacting in the way you are. I do think you need to talk to someone about it.
posted by heyjude at 5:58 PM on January 15, 2013

He actually sounds pretty mature and seems like he is dealing with his issues, not hiding from them. I am impressed that someone so young is taking such active steps. So, yes, it is possible to have a relationship with someone with a difficult past if they are taking action to heal themselves.

But I think he might need a supporting partner, anything less is unkind. You have a choice here. Accept him as he is with his history, or realize that it is too much/not right for you and let him move on.

He sounds like a nice guy who is being very honest with you. Not posting this anonymously is betraying a bit of that trust, which makes me think that his confiding in you might not be a good thing to do. His trust has already been betrayed many times.

I am not saying that as a judgement. It just that to go into a relationship like this might take quite a bit of maturity. I don't know that I would have had it at your age either.
posted by Vaike at 6:02 PM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

He's had a long term relationship with women, feels revolted when he has sex with men, gets turned on by you, and only watches straight porn. He has reassured you now several times. I'm starting to think this is your issue, not his: "I once dated a guy who turned out to be gay and it really crushed me..."

But either way, in my opinion, you've done as much as you can to ask about this, and he's reassured you about this as much as (in my opinion) he should have to -- particularly while attempting to recovering from sexual assault.
posted by salvia at 6:02 PM on January 15, 2013 [9 favorites]

It's simpler than you're making it out to be.

he seems uncomfortable with sex. I.e. you guys aren't a good fit in bed.

If that's true then that's enough right there to make him not the right romantic/sexual partner for you. He could still be your best friend. The tricky part may be explaining that you think he's wonderful but that your sexual chemistry isn't quite right.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:14 PM on January 15, 2013

It sounds to me like you're hurting too much from your prior relationship to be at ease in this one. I think it would help you more to focus on yourself right now and not try to be in a relationship with someone who trips a particular anxiety and who rightly needs to focus significantly on his own recovery process.
posted by EvaDestruction at 6:17 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

For background we've only been together for a few weeks but we've already kind of fallen for each other; he told me recently that he is in love with me/

All the other stuff aside, this is an enormo red flag. As far as the gay stuff goes, last week I thought you were overreacting but now I actually agree with you that there is perhaps something going on with him in terms of his sexual orientation -- in that he MIGHT (might!) have bisexual tendencies and he hasn't worked through some issues with that yet. He "never" doubted his orientation, but he dated a man doesn't really hang together for me -- it is, as noted above, at the least inconsistent. That doesn't need to be a dealbreaker and it doesn't make him a bad person, but you are at a point where you need to accept what he tells you about his sexuality, live with a doubt you seem to be unable to shake, or break up with him.

But personally, it seems to me that for WHATEVER reason, your intuition is throwing up a LOT of red flags with this guy, and when you really feel right with someone, there is not this much angst and dread and praying in the first two weeks. I spent a lot of my younger years trying to talk myself rationally out of believing whatever it was my gut was telling me, and the thing is, my gut was right like...85% of the time. Who even knows what is about this guy that's making your relationship Spidey sense tingle -- I actually think the gay thing is kind of a red herring, ultimately -- but it sounds like there is something in you that is saying, "dude, this is going to be a disaster," and I think you should consider listening to that voice.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 6:20 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

He sounds like a guy who has gone through some hard times in the past but is aware of that and working on himself. You seem to see him as "damaged goods" in a way. If I were him, I would be very hurt if I read this question. Please have the mods anonymize it.

You sound like you are thinking of "straight" vs "gay" in binary terms and the fact that he identifies as straight but is a bit effeminate and has experimented with guys is freaking you out.

It needn't freak you out at all. Sexual orientation and activities are not binary concepts. There is a continuum called the "Kinsey Scale" that reflects this fact.

Bisexuality exists. It doesn't necessarily mean you like men and women equally. Some people are bi but prefer one gender over the other to a greater or lesser degree. He doesn't use the word "bisexual" as self-identification, which is his prerogative. He's obviously into you. He was bi-curious enough to try having sex with a dude, but may not have enjoyed it...fine. Okay. It happens, and it is so not a big deal.

Him being uncomfortable with sex may have to do with being sexually abused, even though it was not by a woman. If you care at all for this guy, please try to be more sensitive, and if you can't deal with his issues, break it off now so he can find someone who isn't freaked out by his past.
posted by xenophile at 6:25 PM on January 15, 2013 [5 favorites]

loves going down on me.

Ha, well, that is the official "is my boyfriend gay" test and he has passed with straight flying colors, so stop being like this and get your mind right.

From your report, I think he's being incredibly clear and forthcoming with you, and very careful about asking for what he wants and needs, particularly in light of his difficult history. And honestly I think that you're being dramatic and weird and not listening to him or believing him.

I have never, ever in all my abortion-clinic-defending feminist-ally days suggested that "if you switched the genders on this question you would be getting flayed alive" but in this case it is sorely tempting.

What Xenophile said above is very useful. What really matters here is what you want and what you can deal with. If you don't want him, or can't deal with him, then do him and yourself a favor. It's okay if this is too much for you or too weird for you or just not right for you!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:29 PM on January 15, 2013 [4 favorites]

This is the first few weeks. Also known as the easy part - where you don't have to negotiate, compromise, tolerate having tolerated morning breath every day for a year...

Please recognize that this is way too angsty and way too hard and way too weird. It doesn't matter why that is - it's true no matter what the super-secret answer to the mysteries you're trying to resolve turns out to be.

It's not dumping if you both are kind of uncomfortable and things aren't working and it's only been a few weeks. That's just plain old "moving on."

I suggest you do exactly that.
posted by SMPA at 6:35 PM on January 15, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't see the falling-in-love claims this early into the relationship as that alarming of a red flag, inasmuch as that kind of thing is pretty common among young people who take an immature approach to relationships.

Everything you described about this guy's issues sounds perfectly normal for someone who has undergone horrific abuse as a child. Confusion about orientation is common among people who have underwent sexual abuse, especially men who have been abused by other men. It is admirable he's taking steps to work through his past.

Everything about your reactions to this situation as indicated in your consistent second-guessing of his orientation and relationship capabilities is perfectly normal for somebody who is in no way, shape, or form mature enough or prepared to be supportive while in a relationship with someone who is trying to heal from his kind of past.

So I would suggest the two of you break up, because I don't believe you're ever going to stop second-guessing this unless you grow a lot, and you are going to end up hurting him as a result.
posted by schroedinger at 6:38 PM on January 15, 2013 [7 favorites]

What are people's thoughts on this?
Please let this one go. The fact that you keep looking for something to be wrong/to be fixed/to be questioned is not how one goes about a new relationship.
posted by sm1tten at 6:48 PM on January 15, 2013 [3 favorites]

ok, i get it that you were hurt by another guy who turned out to be gay. that would understandably be a hard thing to deal with. this guy is not that guy though. if you can't accept what he is telling you about his sexuality and his past abuse then i think it would be best for both of you to break it off.

we are all affected by our pasts in differing ways and degrees. you seem to be affected by your past of dating a guy who turned out to be gay. i really think this is more the issue than your current guy. he seems to be dealing with his issues quite openly and honestly and actively working on them. despite that it sounds like you are stuck in the fear of your past repeating itself. maybe seeing a therapist would help or just talking with a good friend about your fears about this would shed some light for you. i wouldn't drag this out for long though as i think this guy needs to be accepted for who he is and his difficult history of abuse and subsequent confusion and not made to feel like something is wrong with him or that he is in denial.

in a nutshell, the problem is more your past than his at this point.
posted by wildflower at 6:55 PM on January 15, 2013

"I once dated a guy who turned out to be gay and it really crushed me..."

Break up with this guy. Get a therapist instead.

Either dude is gay and in denial, possibly because of his abuse, and you will get hurt when he figures it out, or he is straight but effeminate and also has some issues with sex because of abuse and you will fuck him up worse by obsessing over it.
posted by jacalata at 7:05 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

but the fact that he insists he's not yet he dated a guy makes his sexuality seem like a wild card

It sounds like he wondered if he might be gay, tried dating a guy, found sexual intimacy with a guy "revolting," and thus determined that he is not gay or bi or otherwise interested in relationships with men. This makes him someone who explored his sexuality and came to a conclusion that he's straight, it does not make his sexuality a "wild card."

That said, I think the general AskMe advice on this kind of thing is good: multiple posts about a new relationship are a pretty good indicator that this isn't the right relationship for you. It doesn't mean you screwed up, or that he's secretly gay--just that things aren't clicking in a way that makes a healthy, happy relationship possible.
posted by Meg_Murry at 7:05 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also, I don't get how he dated a guy and then he insists that he hasn't yet dated a guy. It's just really oddly inconsistent in a way that doesn't make sense.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:23 PM on January 15, 2013

Because maybe he was initially uncomfortable with admitting he's explored his orientation at all, for fear of inducing gay panic in his prospective paramours like it's doing with the current one? Also, if you dated a guy only long enough to figure out you couldn't have sex with them it would've been quite a short dating period indeed, and may not constitute "dating" in his mind.
posted by schroedinger at 7:45 PM on January 15, 2013

Good relationships are fun, and easy and straightforward.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:57 PM on January 15, 2013

Well, before this question got anonymized, I skimmed some of your previous questions. Your real question here seems to be whether you can trust him, and you've asked that question several times before in different ways. In one, you describe yourself as someone with abandonment issues from your childhood. It seems like those issues played a role in two other relationships you posted about. In another question, you mention usually being anxious in relationships.

Right now, it sounds like you're super-scared that this relationship is going to fall apart. You write: "it was like I could see all our potential disintegrating before my eyes." It makes sense that you'd be really scared, but I think that fear is more about you than him. I think you feel fear and anxiety (maybe because you always feel fear and anxiety in relationships, particularly early on), and you're looking around for a potential reason.

I think you'd find more relief if you stopped this fact-finding mission about his sexuality and focused on yourself and your own fear. Your fear sounds incredibly visceral and hard. You deserve to have it be understood, and to get support. Could you talk about this openly, maybe with a therapist, and maybe with him, to start getting a handle on this and how it is impacting your relationships?

Right now, though, you are projecting your fear onto him by imagining that he (his sexuality) is the reason that the relationship might fail. Instead of saying, "I'm terrified," you are saying "he's probably gay and will probably leave." The thing that a lot of posters are trying to say is that you seem blind to the ways that prying questions, second-guessing him, and essentially pre-blaming him for potential relationship problems could really hurt him. He does seem pretty resilient and straightforward, but he has had to deal with a lot of abuse, and I hope you will be careful. Your anxiety here is ultimately not his responsibility, and not (I don't think) his fault. At the same time, you deserve to have those feelings heard, accepted, and cared about, and I hope you will find a way to address them, independent of your speculations about him.
posted by salvia at 7:58 PM on January 15, 2013 [1 favorite]

Something about the way you've phrased your question and the responses you're getting is really bothering me.

The issue is NOT "Is he gay?" From what you've told us, he is extremely unlikely to be gay. But sexuality isn't black-and-white like that, either, and you obsessing about this label is really bad for both of you.

He's the one with a lot of childhood issues, but you seem to be bringing most of the neurosis to the table. As someone who went through some similar horrific experiences, I really hated the kind of stigmatization that I experienced in relationships with "normal" people who had no frame of reference and were projecting a lot of things onto me from their own fears. Your ex was gay; that has nothing to do with this guy. His family was abusive; he doesn't seem to be projecting that onto you.

If you are enjoying your time with him and falling for him, just enjoy it.

I also disagree that relationships have to be perfect in the first few weeks or they just go downhill. Some people are worse in the early, unsure stages of a relationship, and are more comfortable as the relationship matures. Relationships can get better as people get more comfortable. So if you like him, and he likes you, stop worrying about this. Assume he's straight. And see what develops.
posted by 3491again at 7:59 PM on January 15, 2013

This is complicated to unpack. I've got it!!

First things first: He likes to go down on you = Very Into Women.

Second: I've kissed many a girl (female here) but have never wanted to go down on a woman = Not Into Women for me. Had I ever tried, I imagined I might have found it unpleasurable, too, hence no attempt ever made in that direction.

Now. You know gender and sexuality do not equal each other, right?

Although my husband and life long partner is very masculine (tall, handsome, manly) he's just enough metro-sexual (more into fragrance and style) than I am to make our marriage work. Prior to him, I really loved men who skewed with more, ahem, feminine traits. My two favorite comedians aside from Bill Hicks, are Eddie Izzard and Greg Proops (who has been happily married for eons and famously states, "I'm not gay, and I make no case for it.") My husband was fairly new to America from Egypt, but loved Kathy Griffin (a male gay icon!) So I think you get my drift here.

It's not so black and white. Your guy is into YOU.

That said. I think in your early 20's especially, people have had some fucked up shit happen to them back in their childhoods that you/they are just just just starting to deal with. That shit was rough. It was for me.

I was not memorably sexually abused, but I had other stuff happen. I was a difficult person to date in my 20's. I did date a man, in particular, that had been awfully sexually abused as a child. I thought my experience gave me insight into his - this was not the case. Further, I worried about our intimacy (for his sake) way way too much to have a great lasting relationship with him.

Now in my 40's, I could handle this revelation you've just had, if the person giving it had done a lot of self-work (like me) and was the type of person to have experienced life and learn from that (like me.) Otherwise, it would be too too difficult.


You're not a bad person!

It seems you like metro-sexual type men. Yay! They are DELICIOUS.

It seems this particular fellow's background is too disturbing for you to handle. Rightly so, because at 23, I guarantee he hasn't begun to handle that shit himself.

My last thought for you...

I did not link to it, but once here on the green I wrote a pretty raw description of my abusive childhood that garnered a lot of attention. In my 20's, I was bright, talented, and living in one of the best cities on Earth. I had a decision to make: Do I focus on my career and success? Or do I focus on healing my crap so I could be a Better Human?

I knew I was dooming my chances at Success (as we in America think of it) by focusing more on my inner-work. So be it.

At 42, I'm finally successful career-wise AND I have a husband and son I am worthy of and to be envied.

Your 23 year old guy has a long road ahead of him. Whatever you decide, be kind, keep the long view in mind. Likely he's got the right stuff, just not for you at this time in his journey. Que all of your doubts.

He'll likely go his way. You'll go yours. There are more compatible versions for each of you out there.

Be kind. But no,this is likely too much for you. It was MY job to make my abusive history a non-issue for Mr. jbenben, and now, my son.

Looking back, I don't blame anyone. It all helped me grow.

That's the best you can (and should!!) aim for in your situation.

posted by jbenben at 8:00 PM on January 15, 2013

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