Love is a Battlefield

August 19, 2009

Dear Kirk,

My Name is Larry and I'm 19. I have been with my boyfriend for over 2 years now and he is 37. Like most relationships we've had our ups and downs. We've argued and we've made up. He can be really sweet sometimes, leaving me little notes everywhere...he likes to surprise me with little gifts, no matter how small. But he also can be a complete ass. He has this amazing gift of saying the wrong thing at the absolute worst time for it. Like "I don't understand why you're stressing over exams...they're not important."

I've also just realized how controlling he is, when he'd ask me every day to go upstairs and get his laptop for him, or get him a drink etc. If i ask anything of him he tells me to "get it myself and stop being so lazy.”

We'll be in bed, having a nice hug when he grabs my cock. So I'm guessing it wouldn't be wrong for me to assume he wants sex. So I try and start something and he slaps my hand away and tells me to go to sleep, leaving me with a huge hard-on and a damaged ego. He does this a lot. He'll grab my nipples because he knows it gets me hard...then if I try and start anything he'll slap my hand away and say later. We hardly ever have sex and sometimes it's months before I get any.

I find it difficult to talk to him about anything...because he always takes things the wrong way, and if it starts getting personal (which it obviously is) he just shuts himself off and doesn’t want to talk about it.

So a few months ago we moved in together, and it was happy at first. But when I realized I wasn't happy living there, and wasn't sure how I felt about him anymore, I told him I wasn't ready to move out in the first place...and came back home. I don’t know if I want to be with him anymore.

Larry

 

 

Dear Larry,

       It sounds like a mostly miserable relationship and I’m wondering what is working for you that keeps you there. The communication seems really challenging and unsafe. One of the fringe benefits of dating an older man is that (hopefully) his emotional skills are a little more developed. This guy sounds mean, and some of the things you describe are emotionally abusive. I should say that Daddyhunt edits down letters for length, so we haven’t printed the entire letter, but trust me that it is a doozy and painful to read.

       The sexual games he’s playing with you are really ugly. It’s bad enough when a partner withholds sex as punishment, but it seems like he’s knowingly using your sexual desire against you as a way of controlling you and driving you crazy. At 19, it’s understandable that your sex drive and limited experience would allow you to get a hardon for this man. It’s a game I’ve seen men play with younger men before — the younger guy doesn’t have a frame of reference for what a relationship can be or how someone should treat him, so the abusive partner gets away with all sorts of bad behavior. You deserve someone who treats you better.

       What do you like about him? What, if anything, about the sex you have is a turnon? Are you at all turned on by the dynamic of taking care of his needs? These are important questions for you to answer so that you don’t recreate the pattern with future partners. If, for instance, you are the kind of person who enjoys doting on a partner, there are plenty of men who would meet you halfway and give you appreciation and love in return. I would suggest making a pros and cons list. Write out all the things you like about him, happy memories, things you enjoy like the little notes he leaves you. On the other side, write down irritations, pains he’s caused you, behaviors that are unacceptable to you. Having it all on paper in one place can be a great way of seeing the big picture. Otherwise, our brains are swirling with hundreds of moments, chaotic bursts of emotion and questions about what to do. Make it a list.

       Since you have a place to live and it doesn’t sound like you’re financially dependent on him, I wonder what it would be like to cut ties to him. Many of us have rough early relationships, so you’re not alone. My guess is that when you describe this situation to the next man you date, he’ll share one of his war stories with you. And hopefully, you’ll both resolve to treat each other with the tenderness and compassion that your previous partners lacked.

 

Kirk 

Tags: Advice, Abusive Relationships
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Comments

Hey Larry. I'd like to second all that Kirk said. Your current partner is beyond insensitive; he's an abuser. The sooner you get out the better. The only thing I want to add is that you shouldn't let this bad experience make you cynical or hardened toward love and relationships between men. This sometimes happens with young guys who get badly treated in first serious relationship. "The first cut is the deepest" as the old song goes. Learn from this experience so that you'll never repeat it, don't rush into another relationship (you're too young to settle down anyway!), take lots of time to get to know anyone you take a shine to in the future. But PLEASE don't become bitter, suspicious of others or angry as some people do. That would turn a bad youthful experience into a life-long tragedy. Good luck.

You want to move out, and start exploring other options.

Having a partner (abusive as he may be) for two years at the age of 19 speaks for your integrity, desire for stability and the fact that you may be very mature for your age. You may want to 'spread your wings' as one of the previous posters suggested or NOT. This is where you call the shots. For most young gay men having the freedom to enjoy multiple partners, numerous ONS, dozens of FBs is somewhat akin to the rites of passage. To the others, it is the security and comfort of a relationship that really matters. Regardless of what the majority may choose to do at your age, you want to do what you feel is right for YOU.

It is no brainer that your present partner lacks what it takes to maintain a serious and fulfilling relationship with you. You seem to have made your choice, and may need little support to move out, and part ways with him. Yet, you have learned a very valuable lesson.

You are looking for a supportive and nourishing partner; someone who fully undertstands that your exams and your furture matter. You must be able to state this in a firm and adamant fashion. Make it very clear from the day one that being your 'Daddy' means taking a degree of responsibility for you, too.

You are looking for a partner who will treat you as his equal. Being a 'junior' in a relationship inherently involves a degree of inequality. You lack the life experience, social networking skills, possibly the amount of investment, etc., IF COMPARED to someone who is significantly older than yourself. All of that does NOT go on to say that you have automatically signed on to a Houseboy relationship, in which you serve your older partner hand and foot as a matter of course. Some 'daddies' will automatically 'ass+u+me' that this comes with the territory. If this is not your play, make sure that you articulately say so. (There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in kind of of Houseboy-relationship, though. Yet, both parties should be aware of that beforehand.)

You have learned a lot about your sexual needs. Make yourself undertsood the next time around. No doubt, being in a relationship means both 'taking and giving' to some extent. Yet, you want to clearly share with your future partner all that works and does not work for you. You need to define and specify, and he needs to know. Leave very little to his reading the 'hints'. Many men are not too good at that.

Last but not least, do NOT allow yourself to be victimized. Once a certain point has been reached, you want to draw your conclusions, and if fit, move on. People around you, (not only your partners) will always tend to exploit any weakness you demonstrate. If you are 'hanging in there' just because it appears to be somewhat more comfortable to do so than move out and start being on the lookout for yourself, people will only see this as a great opportunity to put you in more pain, either because this serves their interests or just because they seem to get an extra ego boost for being able to seriuosly affect someone's life. Make sure that you always project yourself as an individual capable of taking other options. It is invaluable in life and in professional carreer, too, to always amply demostrate that you both have, and will take other course of action, if needed.

Gool Luck. Lots of trust in you and your abilities...

SC

This is the part you ought to have zero tolerance for: "I find it difficult to talk to him about anything..."

Where's the intimacy if you can't even communicate?

DTMFA.

He's a control freak, pure and simple, he gets off on his cruelty, your pain. He's an unhappy person and misery always loves company, run and be free of him and that dark cloud...

It never does surpise me to hear of such, I've seen friends of mine get involved with those types, mean and evil as all-hell; possess the naive and vulnerable otherwise sweet souls, but never the other way around.

You've become his subject, not love one; you'll learn the difference one day, I certainly did.

Locksly

There is a paperback book titled "The Verbally Abusive Relationship," by Patricia Evans. You can probably find it on Amazon for a couple of bucks. BUY IT. READ IT. It is one of the best books I own!
- Coach Lance

Larry,

You deserve much, much better. Your "boyfriend" wants to dominate you, not love you. The chances he will ever change are close to nil.

Don't read books or go to counseling. Just put an end to it and move on. It's nothing you did and nothing you could have done would have made it better.

The sooner you tell him goodbye, the sooner you can start being happy.

Hey, let me take a different tact on this. If you like this guy, why don't you suggest some couple's therapy? If he says "no" then you know he is not that vested in a relationship with you. Let me put a caveat on that suggestion. If there is physical abuse--get out while you can. Unfortunately, humans play "mind games" with each other. If you can work it out with a professional, that is good. If you can't, you will be stronger for having learned from counseling some tools for the next relationship. It is also possible that this guy is a bit gun shy himself and has had a bad relationship or 2 (okay, maybe more at his age). I also, however, see a problem if there is no communication. If you ask him to go to couples' counseling and he laughs or says no--get out and move on--even though it may be hard at first. Good luck, bud.

Kirk
You're relationship has run it's course and it's time for you to clear off. Do it soon, and make it clear that your needs are not being met and you need to go elsewhere to find what you need. DO NOT LET him patronize you or woo you into changing your mind. It is clear that he is in this thing for his own gain and is insensitive to your wants and needs. You are not doing him wrong, you are doing you both wrong by staying and investing in a losing proposition. Take everything positive you have from this relationship and use it to make the next one even better. You have not lost, failed, or screwed up. You have moved on in your maturation and are wise enough to see that you are going nowhere here.
Leave on your terms. It need not end miserably. Be honest, express yourself and go.
Good luck.

Hello everyone, it's Larry :)

I just thought that people might like an update on my life thus far.
Well after realising i wasn't happy (took me long enough) i decided it would be best to move back home to give me and him some space. I needed to see if space from him would give me a clearer picture of our relationship, and help me to make up my mind on what i wanted to do.

So after a month of being back at home with my family i decided to break it off. Although very difficult i did get the courage to say i was leaving him, and he was upset. I'm not good with people who cry...i'm too nice and i don't like hurting people. But i stood my ground and left. It felt amazing to be single and free again, no pressure to have to come over to his house, text him and say hello. The only thing that was important was what i wanted to do, nobody else.

Although we are still good friends, he's actually become quite a nice person since we split up. I did realise that he may just be trying to lure me back into a relationship, but i made it clear to him that i wouldn't be getting involved seriously with anyone for sometime. I decided to take a break from men, and the hassel of relationships. I'm going to university to study, and to "find myself" as it were, and i'm not going to worry about anyone else ;)

Thank you Kirk for taking the time to listen to my troubles, i'm happy and free now, and glad of it!

Larry

You did the right thing. Congratulations and much success in your new and happier life!!

Larry; when I read ".... exams are not important" ... that raised a red flag. If he had said, you should learn to study with a clearer, calmer mind, rather than "why bother studying", then maybe I would have been lenient towards himI am glad you DMTMFA (gotta love Dan Savage) There are Daddy/son Relationships, and there are - "its all about me" "relationships" You were in a very one sided relationship.

you at least learned through experience what does not work in relationships. To the guy who suggested couples thearapy... BWAHAHAHAH. the Relationship will just string on in its abusive state for even longer. Glad you stood your ground Larry and hopefully learned what sort of guys to look for next time - when you are good and examed out hopefully

To the asshole who said he Larry knew better... geez, you sound worse than his ex

Larry, as I read your letter I felt that it could have been written by ex=husband about me. I'm glad you finally left your bf. I'm sure you are much happier. I truly didn't realize how controlling and mean i was until now. thank you so much for really opening my eyes. Something that hasn't happened in 3 years. I now know my ex is much happier, and i need to finally move on. i always thought that his happiness was the most important thing. I never showed that. I was just like your boyfriend, an insensitive, mean jerk. Thank you for sharing your letter, I'm very sorry that you had to live with such a guy. i hope you will be glad that you at least helped one person mature and learn.

What exactly are you complaining about? You've put up with this for two years, and by staying with him, you've tacitly given him permission to treat you like this. It's obviously what you want. If you want to change, get up and DO something about it instead of pouting it out to anonymous strangers online.

And, uh, I hope you were 18 when you started dating. But nevermind that, even. Any man that would want to date a child (18 years old) when he SHOULD be well into the process of defining himself as a man is obviously emotionally damagaged and has a major inferiority complex. He's trying to valid himself by dating someone half his age. You seem at least half-way intelligent from your question - I'm amazed that this isn't glaringly transparent to you.

Wow that's a sesnsitive comment John...i think when people are actually IN these situations it's hard for them to see the big picture of what is actually going on.

John, I just wanted to tell you that I can't, for the life of me, find much difference between how Larry's abusive partner reacted to him and how you have.You're a bright man. You know a lot of psychology and that's really a plus for you and for the people who can be helped by that knowledge. Larry is a young man who can't be expected to know what you do and deserves to be treated in that light with some understanding. He is responsible, as you say, for his part in the relationship. So are you. So are we all responsible for how we treat others...even in a place like this or, maybe, especially in a place like this.

He's just a kid for crying out loud! I know for a fact you and nobody you know had it all together at 19, there's guys out here whom still don't have it together and they're old as
the hills!

A males brain (emotionally) isn't even fully mature till 21, not to mention guys don't really completely mature till late 20's-early 30's even, if they're doing all the right things anyway.

I think it was smart for him to appeal to an anonymous older crowd for advice, opinions (we're no threat) not like the "Chicken hawk" that swooped down; got his hands on him in the first place; taking advantage of his naivete' trying to mess up his young mind...

I think we've all heard it by now, "It takes a village" to raise psychologically/physically/
spiritually healthy adults of tomorrow, but then I think it's great to be there for someone finding their way just starting out in their life, that's what older people ar for.

But I give you credit of your opinion about someone coupling with someone half his age isn't that mature either.

Locksly

He's just a kid for crying out loud! I know for a fact you and nobody you know had it all together at 18, there's guys out here whom still don't have it together and old as the hills!

A males brain (emotionally) isn't even fully mature till 21, not to mention guys don't really completely mature till late 20's-early 30's even, if they're doing all the right things anyway.

I think it was smart for him to appeal to an anonymous older crowd for advice, opinions (we're no threat) not like the "Chicken hawk" that swooped down, got his hands on him in the first place; taking advantage of his naivete' trying to mess up his young mind...

I think we've all heard it by now, "It takes a village" to raise psychologically/physically/
spiritually healthy adults of tomorrow, but then I think it's great to be there for someone finding their way just starting out in their life, that's what older people ar for.

But I give you credit of your opinion about someone coupling with someone half his age isn't that mature either.

Locksly

Good for you!!!

Larry, I'm glad to hear that you made a decision on this. The point of this all, is now you are happy...and that is what truly matters in life.

I'm 21 and just got out of a 5 year relationship. No, I didn't type that wrong, five years!! Although I don't regret anything, I'm glad I did just end it.

Best of luck to you Larry!!!

Sounds like a Borderline Personality or Narcissistic Personality disorder. Read up on these....and leave him. I've been there a couple of times myself. The only relief I've experienced is through getting free from the turmoil.

Boy, his story resonates with me. I faced the exact same situation at the same age. However, mine was 30 years ago, in a foreign country. That relationship had some advantages for me, BUT, it put a stain on my life that I still struggle with today! To see judgemental assholes like "John", point fingers, is no help at all. At least Larry got out of it, and has the opportunity to seek advice. I didn't have that advantage, so, spent 3 painful, confusing years, desperately trying to make sense of anothers mean-spirited, selfish, manipulative behaviour. At the time I just knew I was very in love, nothing else made sense to me. Then one day, he came home and announced "Honey, I don't love you"! A final betrayal, and I was unloaded back to America. It took a very long time to understand that the problem was not mine. When your in a like situation, it tends to create a vacumn around you. I'm just glad that the times have changed, and that there is a better awareness. Hopefully, others will not have to suffer such bullshit alone, and unguided in the future.

Anyone care to chat on the subject of falling in love with a psychopath? l

Whats interesting is that Master slave relationships many times are more stable and less dramatic.