Closeted relationship

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by EvedeGeneve, Apr 24, 2016.

  1. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    Hello! I decided to post here as I have no one to talk to in my real life and I know that there are really articulate and smart advisers on this forum. I apologize for my English, it's not my first language.
    So, I was married to a man when I met my current girlfriend 1,5 years ago. I have 4 years old child. My girlfriend and I fell in love and I separated from my husband almost right away, she also broke up with her girlfriend. We moved in together really quickly because I have a quite demanding job and with a small child to take care of we basically couldn't find time to date otherwise. Fortunately, my girlfriend and my daughter get along very well and I am happy and I love her. The problem is that we live in a really shitty country where we can't be out at all. There is a strong probability that I lose my job or maybe even a custody of my child if I came out. My girlfriend works in a more artistic liberal field so she can be half out of the closet (she can be out privately but not publicly) without risking her career. Me, on the other hand, I would rather stay 100% in the closet. Maybe I am a bit paranoid but there is a lot at stake. When she moved in, I told my family that I asked a friend of mine to move in with me to help me with my daughter after separation with my husband. I stopped seeing my straight friends. Nobody knows about our relationship. This situation makes my girlfriend feel insecure. She is very jealous. She doesn't like that I still talk or sometimes see my ex husband (I have to because of our child). If I am 30 min late from work, it upsets her to the point that she starts an interrogation. I caught her checking my phone several times. She also recently outed me to my mom who called when I was not at home and thanked her for helping me with my daughter after separation, she told her: "it's my family now", so my mom asked me if we were girlfriends afterwards. I know that our situation is not healthy because of the ambient homophobia that surrounds us and lack of legitimacy for our relationship undermines her trust in me as I, in her opinion, have a choice not to be gay and have a
    "normal" life, the option that she doesn't have. The truth is I think I wasp gay all along, it's just that It was really important for me to conform and to please my parents and also I was much more focused on my career than on my love life. I don't know how to find words to convince her that I am not going to cheat or leave her, what should be my strategy? I don't see any other solution than moving out of this country in which case It will be the end of my career.
     
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  2. Yd_12

    Yd_12 New Member

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    I'm sorry about your situation. But just sit her down, and explain to her that you have never and will never cheat on her, that she's the one who makes you happy.
    I see how she feels insecure since no one knows you and her are together. Well she also has to undestand that you can't really be out where you live. You never know maybe moving to another place will give you a fresh start. And your English is excellent! Good luck! And any questions, you can message me.
     
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  3. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    Thank you. I tried to talk to her many times but that doesn't seem to help.
     
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  4. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, my situation is similar (excluding the kid). You're right-you must keep in touch with your daughter's father-I assume he's a decent father so he has to have a place in her life. The shitty country-honey, I am also living in such and I know it ain't easy.

    Here's the difference-I am nearly 21 and am out (perhaps my boss doesn't know but because it never appeared as a topic) and I could also get fired for being with a different sexual orientation. The woman that I love-she's still in the closet-she's been "dating" this guy even before we met and the only one who knows about her sexuality is me. from this point of view, I can understand why your girlfriend feels the way she does. I'm not saying it's an excuse, but a relationship, kept in total secret can be a giant pain in the ass. Like nobody knows about you two which is why you two appear as "straight & single, waiting for the right men to appear".

    Here's two options-either be more open about your true self (both of you,not saying going to parades but at least telling a few people) or you end it asap. You've got a kid involved in this mess too-the longer you stay with your girlfriend, the more attached these two are likely to become so when separation occurs, your daughter's gonna suffer too. Myself, speaking as a kid, whose parents are divorced-we are quite vulnerable and we do need stability.

    Remember, you deserve happiness so are you ready to fight for it? Babysteps will do it for now :)
     
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  5. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    Well, now my mom knows (she doesn't approve). I want to wait till the divorce is finalized (to be sure to get the custody) before telling my ex husband (he is a good guy but we never know).
    I can't end this relationship, despite the fact that it is hard to hide all the time and that it is not perfect between us, I feel like I escaped slavery, finally living and not just serving others.
     
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  6. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

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    I get your reasons. I wonder where you live-like in which country?
     
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  7. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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  8. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    EvedeGeneve, I just admire you! There are many women in your shoes who are in more tolerant environments who are afraid of leaving their husbands because of the children. So, what you did, took a lot of guts! Breaking up a family is never easy and moving on with someone else with a kid in tow is never easy. Also, your English is better than mine and I ask you to bear with me.

    You have scary real world issues, loss of job and custody of your child; and also psychological issues, jealousy, privacy and dignity to deal with. First, you need to have her separate the two. Because what she is doing is stepping on your boundaries that can hurt you and your child and in the scary, real-world-issues area. If you guys have a relationship problem, she cannot, absolutely cannot go there and out you to people. If she does, she is hurting you in very bad ways and making you feel like you have to contain her just to live. Whatever infidelity she imagines will not be the thing that ends you two, it will be her indiscriminate actions. So, first, you need to tell her in no uncertain terms that she has to guard your secret like she guards your very well being and that of your child. If she cannot do that, it is a no brainer, she is being abusive. So, please make sure she respects your boundaries on that, the rest you guys can sit and talk and repair.

    Jealousy is normal, it happens to everyone, just like love is normal and I hope it happens to everyone. Just like love, it makes us do very crazy things but more selfishly and more self preservingly than love. Yes, the problem is all her and the environment, but there are sometimes that missing ingredient that will help *click* in her head that she is secure with you. You can tell her that she is normal to feel that way, and you can understand and you can help support her. But the sneaky destructive things she does has got to stop. Berating, suspecting, going through someone's phone and getting mother-in-law on board is a very destructive and miserable path. You may think that whatever you do is not enough to assure her, it maybe because you are doing things that are rules in her head to get assurance. Rushing home so she doesn't suspect anything, or minimizing time with the baby daddy. Those will never ever be enough because they are not the right things to dispel this, talking is. Even if you'd have to talk everyday about it for a while that is the key way to find that disconnect and insecurity in her mind. I am not saying that should be the sum total of your relationship because that would suck. But she is cray cray (even though jealousy is normal) right now and everything is new and a lot is going on. You need this period of talk and adjustment and mutual support and understanding.

    I also want to address the dignity part. Sometimes, I do feel a bit insecure and wonder if my gf could do better than me. That is just me and I am a flawed person and there is dignity in trying to do better and feel better in a relationship. But if I were to go around her and check on her phone and talk to her parents in order to feel acknowledged then I really would lose my dignity. I would also be trampling on my gf's dignity. Your partner should never ever just grab your phone and go through it. She could ask to use your phone for whatever reason and it is up to you to say yes or no. My gf trusts me with her phone and gave me access because I sometimes need several devices at a time so we have an understanding. I also cannot imagine someone going to my mom to out me. Perhaps she didn't mean to except to say she is family. I have friends who are like family and sometimes people who help take care of your child will feel like family even when they don't sleep with you. But if someone takes away that conversation from me and outs me to my parent I would have blown up so many ways in my "free" world. She has no right, absolutely none to out you if that was her intention.

    Tell her that while you understand she needs to feel that acknowledgment from others that you are together, you can find ways to acknowledge that to each other everyday. There are destructive ways to feel secure, like what she is doing, checking and timing your coming and goings. Then there are affirming and positive ways to do it. There are things you can say and do to make her feel like you two are a formidable unit against all odds. Call her your partner in different languages. Make rings of everyday things and give it to her and tell her you just want her. Find new ways to say "I love you."

    I hope this helps. I hope you don't mind me repeating that it must be tough being in your shoes but I think you have done the most courageous step that a lot of women in your situation are too scared to do. You have made the step to leave your previous relationship for better or for worse. Take care.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
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  9. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    I have to admit I was waiting for your advice as I find what you write to other posters really smart and also kind. And my expectations were met.
    I guess I was very understanding of my gf's behavior because i always assumed that it was only due to the circumstances. I didn't realize i should separate these two issues. Thank you for saying all these sweet words to me, it means so much as i feel guilty all the time lately (towards my child for breaking the family, my ex, my mom for dissapponting her and towards my girlfriend for making her feel insecure. I feel really loved by her, really confident and sure about this relationship, i would so much want her to feel the same way). Thank you so much for taking your time.
     
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  10. TheScandinavian

    TheScandinavian Well-Known Member

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    I'm from Bulgaria-we're a milder version of Russia.

    Kak t.A.T.u. skazali-"Mne nuzhna ona" :)
     
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  11. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    EvedeGeneve, I hope you never blame yourself, no matter what people's reactions are, for having the emotional courage to be who you are. I hope you will take that confidence and know that you are and strife to be an awesome parent and partner. You have a lot of challenges to face, that's for sure. Your child will have things to deal with as she grows up, but all you can do is love her and do your best to be on the same page with your partner with her. When she sees that you are smart and cautious but not afraid of the world, she will be the same. I hope you can check in as you are able (I don't know the net security situation there) and let us know how you and your family are doing.
     
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  12. Coffee Addict

    Coffee Addict Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you are breaking up the family, you are just giving it two residencies. The fact that you still include the dad tells me you are not breaking the family and it is important that you don't give that message to your child. The are many forms of family, this is just one of the many, but it does not mean is not a family.

    Like @greylin said, talking is very important. Both of you have to realize that external circumstances cannot be changed, they do not depend on either of you. You also have to give priority to your safety and your family's. She knows it is not safe, professionally and personally, to be out; she needs to remember that. However, you could cheat the system and, for example, have secret declarations. For instance, you can have a "code" only you two know that when you say it in public it mean "I love you", or something like that.

    I think reassurance is key. Talk to your partner and ask her what can you do to reassure her. For example, when my gf has to be away (and it cannot be avoided), I ask her to please call me to say good night, and she does her best to do that. I will miss her anyway, but it makes me feel reassured when she calls me right before going to bed. Of course, I need to be fair and ask for things that are reasonable; I will not tell her to get a tele-transporter and as ask Scotty to beam her up (although, that would be fun -- just kidding).

    You can talk to each other and negotiate. What is it that really makes her feel insecure and what can you do to help her feel better. You can also agree on gentle reminders when things are getting out of control, so that you don't get carried away by jealousy. I know that my issues are not fear of being cheated on, I fully trust my partner, but my issues are different. I try to find the real cause of my fear and talk to my partner about how to fix it.

    I wish you the best.
     
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  13. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    Thank you for your advice. That is really helpful and inspiring.
     
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  14. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    I've just talked to my gf and she thinks that I exaggerate the danger. She told me there are some basic rules that gay people should respect here (no PDA, no public declarations) but me being worried of losing my job or custody is ridiculous and a sign of internalized homophobia. Maybe. I am not sure of anything now.
     
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  15. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    I am sorry she is responding that way. She needs to respect your concerns even if she does not perceive it. You have been respecting her feelings of jealousy even when you have done nothing to cause it. I mean, who's the paranoid one? Who is internalizing some homophobia there? She is afraid that you would cheat on her just because you wanted a "normal life'? You chose her! You try to adjust and reassure her and she needs to do the same.

    No one can hurt us like the ones we love, I hope you guys can just take a step back and talk. There is always some underlying unhappiness to all of this. Is she working from home and helping with the kid and this is like, her new life all of a sudden? Have your someone take care of your kid for a day and take all the time to hash this out. Your feelings, as well as hers are very important.

    And...how about she respects your privacy? Why would people be afraid to do PDA if there are no real consequences and fear? Would a judge really be impartial, I think not. Think about officials here in our grand ol' USA refusing to give out marriage licenses because of their beliefs. No one likes to live in fear, she is your partner and I feel she can support you a lot better in this.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 28, 2016
  16. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    Yes, she is helping a lot with my daughter, not all day long but she picks her up from the kindergarten. She always volunteered to do so and seems to genuinely enjoy spending time with her. We usually have one day on weekends when my daughter is with her father for the day. My gf was always very accepting of my child and it is one of the things I love about her. It is not always easy to date someone with a small child maybe she is resenting me deep inside, I don't know. She told me she feels sometimes that everything between us is just temporary like some phase for me and she will get attached to my daughter and then get hurt because I would want to go back to my 'normal' life. There is this fear of being really invested in our life together and then not having much left of it in case of a breakup. We also have some age gap which doesn't help (I am 30, she is 42). She told me that if we stay here, we would have to lie to my child about our relationship or teach my daughter to hide it as well. I think she doesn't want to be a fully invested parent and partner and not to be acknowledged as such all her life.
    If I am really honest with myself, I don't think I would be fired right away if someone at my job found out that I am gay. I am a corporate lawyer, nobody really cares. But I could maybe be discriminanted agrainst or collegues would talk behind my back. The judge could give a sole custody to my ex (there are new explicit anti gay laws here) only if the latter insists on it which i think he won't do. Indeed, maybe I am exaggerating a bit. Just don't want to take risks. It annoys her that i present my uncomfortableness as a real danger.
    I am really starting to consider moving out of the country. Wonder how much of our problems will just go away if we live some place nice and how much of them won't.
     
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  17. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    It is my belief that, a lot of times when people post here, they already know the answer to their problems and they are just processing it. You sound like a very fair and balanced individual and the title of your post has already pin-pointed the problem. You and your gf are unequally yoked as far as your distance to the closet door. I can see that she doesn't want to be so invested and not to be acknowledged fully. I don't know what it will be like as you have to bring up your child in the environment and have to keep her thinking of you two as best friends.

    First the closet thing. Even in best of places and times, the decision to come out is intensely personal. So, no matter what the circumstance is, one should respect another person's timing. When I read the threads on AE, and this is not scientific, I get the impression that the out folks don't really want to be with people who are not out. And if they do end up with someone who is not out, they would want this to be a temporary thing.

    If you both go to some place nice, your girlfriend would still need to understand your boundaries. If you are uncomfortable for any reason, you are uncomfortable. She and you need to negotiate first before she goes off and does something on her own that affects you, even if it is only emotionally. She has a lot of good qualities from your description, you love each other, it is a good start. She is doing this out of fear, but pushing boundaries is not a good thing for any relationship. If you leave the country, you will have to start all over in your law practice. it is very doable at your age but there will be a lot of challenges there as well. Many pressures that are external do not help a relationship. But most relationships I see here in "perfect" settings fail from very small things.

    I have a lot of hope in your relationship with your girlfriend despite the challenges. It is in the way you see things and that you are honest and fair. The hope also lies in your girlfriend being a brave and loyal person. I think your gf is a normally intrepid person and sounds like she is just suddenly finding herself vulnerable with you. Perhaps, her approach to solving this is that she wants to really know how you feel. I am sorry if I am not describing it well. Maybe, she wants to feel your commitment intuitively, and, that is difficult but not impossible to find that vulnerability in you to communicate with her in empathy. I hope in your next talk you can draw on that and be closer with her in this. The age will only matter if she gives into fear, reassurances will help. As someone said earlier, maybe baby-steps will help, certainly, it maybe good to at least put a pause in future planning (and fretting) until the divorce is finalized.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  18. EvedeGeneve

    EvedeGeneve Member

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    Last time I posted here I got so much great advices and support that it really gave me force to try to work things out with my girlfriend. So, I decided to write again as I am feeling a bit down right now.
    My divorce has been finalized recently and I went on vacation with my kid and my mother with the intention to come out to her. I was hinting the whole time about me finding women attractive and men not so much etc. and we also talked about Orlando seriously and she agreed that what happened was horrible but then at one occasion during unrelated conversation I told her that some girl on Facebook that I didn't know asked me if I could take her with me as I was going to drive in the same direction and I was thinking about it. I said: "I don't know her but it's a girl. I wouldn't take a man that I don't know." And she answered: "But what if she is a lesbian?!" The word "lesbian" pronounced with such a disgust. It felt as if she had hit me. And it was a really weird line, totally unexpected. So, I waited several days and then brought up the same topic again in a different way. I told her this true story that one of my friend's mother told him that if he was gay (he wasn't), she would stop considering him as her son and that I as a parent myself couldn't understand it at all because the love that I felt towards my child was so unconditional. I know it was a bit manipulative but I don't know, I couldn't force myself to tell her straight forward after several homophobic remarks she had done in the past. And then she told me that if something like that happened to one of her children, she would accept but she would be heartbroken and feel like a failure. I couldn't continue. I think she knows what I was trying to tell her by now, she just doesn't want me to say it. She was the person who always supported me, the person who has really done a lot for me, more than anyone and she is not a bad person but I guess, the closeness that we shared is now part of the past.
    I also have to admit that my girlfriend wasn't really supportive lately. This really crazy jealousy doesn't go away. I never cheated on anyone in my life, I even had ridiculously few partners and I am a really bad liar but I feel sometimes that her perception of me is sooo weird as if I was some kind of a whore who can manage to hook up with somebody in 30min lapse of time after leaving work and before coming home (the time I was in reality stuck in a traffic jam and my phone died). We talk and she tells me that she understands that this is crazy but can't help it at the moment. Now she is mad at me because I went away on vacation without her. I really love her but I am tired of this.
    I don't know what I want to hear. I know it's selfish of me but I feel almost as if what happened in Orlando was directed at me. There are hate crimes against gays in my country almost every week or so but US was a dreamland, it gave me hope and now I feel like it will be a constant part of my life from now on: hate, disgust, discrimination. And i accept it, despite all of this, it still feels great to be myself but I really truly don't understand why they hate us so much. I feel apprehensive of people now. Does it ever go away?
     
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  19. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    Does it ever go away? Hmmm....

    Even though marriage is now legal, and that I'm legally married...the thought still crosses that my mind that people will hate me for what I am and not because of who I am. Sure, it's gotten a lot easier...but at the same time, depending on where I am...if I'm traveling, I wonder...when I check into a hotel room with one bed and my wife...will that bring repercussions? That I -- who used to frequent gay nightclubs a lot -- could have innocently been in a place where someone walked in and did the unthinkable...just as what happened in Orlando...frightens me.

    I have taken the approach to live my life without necessarily broadcasting rainbow flags and "the gay."...but by living openly and honestly without making "the gay" an issue....and I know that's made inroads, especially with my wife's Southern Baptist family (her brother, by the way, recently went to some seminar on marriage held by Kirk Cameron...yet he asked to come to our wedding...it doesn't make sense, but I guess acceptance happens in small increments). Please don't mistake what I'm saying...I don't hide who I am..I just don't announce that I'm gay as the first thing about me...I live as who I am and when in situations where it's appropriate, I reference my wife. The point is..when people see me as more than a label..that I'm a good friend, a confidante, a respected professional...they see me as a living breathing person and not some fictitious demon perpetrated by religion or the media.

    People will always fear what they do not understand....and if it's not us, they will find another group to hate. I suppose by hating a group, it makes them feel better -- or superior...but that's not the case. I've discovered those that hate are really largely uneducated, ignorant and insecure.

    Life is short..and you deserve to be happy. Please don't let something like Orlando detract from who you are...but allow it to make you stronger no matter where in the world you are. I fervently believe that for all of us...it will get better.
     
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  20. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    Move to New England, in the USA. I have never had 1 bad thing happen to me here- I am openly gay and married.

    I grew up in a conservative part of the USA and had bad experiences there. I moved to NE in part to be somewhere where the law proteced gay people. I am very glad I fled my conservative home state and have never regretted it.

    I say this to make a point. It does make a difference where you live. It does make a difference to not have to look over your shoulder all the time. If you have the option to leave Russia and go somewhere more accepting- do it.
     
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