Sep 29, 2010

An unhealthy open relationship

I recently blogged about a newly acquired acquaintance whose life story is fascinating and worthy of being converted to a book. We had met each other in one of the networking sites a few months back and have become good friends. In the three months or so that I have known him, I have come to respect him and his lifestyle. He's an older man in an open relationship with a younger guy for around 7 years or so. But it's not just another open relationship.

My friend lives in his own relatively-luxurious apartment, has a regular office job, and has a secure lifestyle. His boyfriend, however, is married with two kids, lives separately in his relatively-poor household with his extended family, and does not have a regular job. My friend loves his younger partner in the same way a two lovers love each other, but his boyfriend probably, in my inference, loves him more like an elder brother. They meet each other over weekends, spend time with each other, and enjoy each other's company.

But that's not the end of the story. My friend is not totally honest to his boyfriend about the fact that he's sleeping around. According to him, it is inferred/implied and does not need to be talked about openly between the two partners. Not only does my friend sleep around (as he did with me a couple of times), he gets emotionally entangled in relationships with other men to whom he is not honest about the fact that he already has a boyfriend/lover.

In a conversation with him late last week, I was shocked to learn that he's currently in "love" with three other men. One of them is traveling all the way from a neighboring country to visit him for 10 days. This is the first time they are meeting. When I asked my friend if he thinks he's not being dishonest and unkind to all parties involved, he nonchalantly said: "It's fine as long as everyone is happy, at least temporarily. When the truth is eventually out, there is an element of pain to be endured, but that is compensated by the happiness gained during the time the relationship progresses until the revelation." He added that such things happen both in straight and gay circles and people take it in their stride.

I argued with him about this whole situation. He's not only "cheating" on his lover by getting into romantic relationship with others, but he's breaking the hearts of those people who's getting into new relationships with. Those people might be young men who might be having their first real emotional relationship, unfortunately however, with my friend. My friend holds all the cards here and he's virtually toying with the lives of others. As things stand now, his latest "lover" has a broken heart (after the revelation of course), which my friend is trying to mend! I am extremely sorry for this young man and I wish I could help him out some way.

But the real question is this -- what do I do with this friend. Do I try and reason with him? Do I try and accept the cruel person that he is and get along with life? Do I break up my ties with him?


Meghana said...

Well, this is an interesting blog!

Anonymous said...

IMHO a person who rationalises his unethical behviour like this cannot be trusted to do the same in other areas of his life - some of which may touch your friendship.

If I were you, I'd wish him good luck and walk. He has obviously experienced life longer than you - your trying to reason with him is imho unlikely to change him significantly enough. He (hopefully!) will learn the hard way and change for the better some day. But one can't be sure. Nor is it worth it hanging around hoping. About all those young men whose hearts he is breaking, one can only wish them a good learning experience and fortitude to move on.

Would I break my ties with him? It depends on how much stress and pain his life and its details is causing me. I similarly know an older couple that I got close to and found myself in moral conflict with. I did not have to break my ties with them entirely, as they moved away and I then distanced myself. Today we exchange messages about once a year.. that is about it.

Hope this helps. I have been reading you blog for a while. You write well. As one brother to another: try to reduce or eliminate as much pain as possible in your life.

Be well.

Kris Bass said...

@Meghana: thanks!

@Anonymous: Thanks for the comment. Since blogging about this, I just had one conversation with him. That was brief. Yes, I'm trying to distance myself away from him.

Thanks for the favorable comments about my writing. :)

I'll try to follow your advice!

Anonymous said...

I have trouble finding ONE guy, and your friend has THREE???

Kris Bass said...

Unsung - you know, this guy that I'm talking about is not healthy. And I guess he takes advantage of vulnerable young men. You don't want to do that, do you?

Anonymous said...

I am straight woman, and I know a guy is who is exactly like the one you described in this post.

After having my heart broken multiple times, this is what I've realized - He thinks he is doing all the parties involved a big favor by providing his "company/love" and not entangling them with emotional commitments. He is pretty delusional that way, and it is no use explaining the facts to him.

I am sure this is the case with your friend too.