Tag Archives: romantic relationship

February 26, 2014

“Dear Daddy Kenneth, while I feel that I made the right decision to walk away from a bad relationship for the past year, I feel lost and keep wondering what is wrong with me that I didn’t deserve love and respect. I gave it my all including financial and emotional support. I was never enough. He has jumped right into another relationship and I’m still angry at what he has done to me. I feel like I can’t move on. We don’t speak period so the questions will never be answered. How do I let this go? Sincerely, a hurt soul”

It is very hard to let something go when you’ve held on for a long time. If you thought that you were losing it, and held tighter at the end then letting go is even more difficult. What you have to remember is that even though you walked away rather than sink any more emotional and financial resources into this relationship, you already contributed those resources and you’re going to feel their loss. That’s not even to mention the fact that you are going to feel the loss of the stability you thought you had with this person. Allow yourself to feel, and mourn, that loss. I have a theory that a person is in mourning for their past relationship for half as long as the relationship lasted. This means that your ex-boyfriend is rebounding with his new beau, or he emotionally ended the relationship with you much sooner than you did, and has already mourned its loss.

I find that when relationships end, it’s usually because the people in the relationships want different things out of them. When relationships end badly, it’s because the people in them did not know how to communicate properly about those differences, or they didn’t even try. Most of the time, people assume that their partner knows what they want, and their partner wants the same thing. This is not always the case. Not wanting the same things does not mean that you are not deserving of love and respect, it just means that you partner may not know how to give you love and respect in a way that you can appreciate it. A failure to communicate can leave both partners feeling like they “gave it their all” and just “weren’t good enough.”

The question of what you did wrong, from his point of view, will never be answered completely. What you did was fail to give him what he needed, and fail to tell him what you needed. What he did was fail to give you what you needed, and fail to tell you what he needed. Beyond that, the specifics of his needs and your needs cannot be articulated unless you both drastically change your method of communication with each other. The chances of that happening at this point are negligible.

How do you get over it, and move on? You have to grieve. It sounds to me like you’re already in Anger, which is the second stage of grief, and next you’ll move into Bargaining, followed by Depression and Acceptance. You won’t be able force these, you won’t be able fake any of them; all you can do is let yourself experience them as they come. I recommend that you stay in acceptance as long as you can before you try moving into another relationship yourself. There’s no need to compete with your ex to show who is doing better post-breakup. Surround yourself with friends who love and support you, and work on letting go, one step at a time. You may also want to use your anger to motivate you to block your ex on social media, and remove him from your phone.

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February 17, 2014

“So I have a question: if you love someone, have been through hell, and tried to work on trust, how then can you ignore that his reputation both in the relationship and outside are always on your mind? I have a guy that refuses to take responsibility for his side dealings, and while the evidence is clear we are lost in translation. I’ve dated escorts, dealers and even bankers, but never loved like I do now but the trust and honesty are gone. How do you get it back when they think the truth will hurt you more than the lies?”

Trust takes years to build and seconds to break. Once broken it is very rare that it can ever be fully repaired, and repairing it takes monumental effort on the part of the person doing the trusting. What kinds of efforts can you make? A friend of mine once told me that they found inner peace with their trust issues by trusting everyone to be themselves, nothing more, nothing less. If you can do that with your partner, you can start to build trust again. Instead of fighting his reputation, try embracing it. Don’t force him to pretend to be something he’s not in order to please you, but allow him to be himself and love him for all of that self.

Show him that the truth doesn’t hurt you, because you love him. Don’t pull “ah ha, gotcha” moments on him, when you have all the evidence, just let him know gently and non-judgmentally that you know what’s going on. If his “other man” was at your house and left his undies, wash them, fold them, and tell your boyfriend where they are and mention that he should make sure the other man gets them back. If they leave a used condom in the bathroom trash can, ask him nicely to take it out.

The more he knows you know, and the more he sees you can handle it without confrontation, the more likely he is to tell you things, and trust you not to freak out. You will be opening the door for communication without trying to force him through it. It’s one thing to tell your partner that he doesn’t have to sneak around, it’s another thing to show him you mean it.

Your boyfriend will continue to exhibit the same patterns of behavior that have “worked” for him in the past, and will fall into the same lies and deflections he’s used before. Don’t rise to his bait, and don’t call out his lies. Just let him have his way, and drop the subject. The more you accept him the way he is, the more he’ll accept that he can be himself around you. Eventually the lies will become unnecessary and stop; you’ll get to the point where you can tell your boyfriend that you’re out of milk and he should ask his fuck bud to pick some up on the way over.

As for the “reputation” outside the relationship, ignore it. If someone tries to hurt you with it, don’t be hurt by it. Say, “I know all about it, why are you gossiping about my boyfriend?”

I am not saying you need to be a pushover or a doormat; by all means, get what you need out of the relationship or get out. At the same time, accept that he’s getting his needs met too, and if you love him, you should be happy that he is. If he’s 15 minutes late for dinner, eat without him and serve him up some cold leftovers, and let him know you missed him at dinner and wished he was there. If he isn’t there to watch your tv show together, watch it without him; tell him you did, and he needs to catch up on his own. You know by now when his excuses are legitimate and when they’re bullshit. Reward the legitimate excuses by waiting longer, and ignore the bullshit ones. He’ll figure out the pattern quickly enough: “tell the truth, I wait; lie to me and eat alone.”

Do you have an question for “Ask Daddy”? Send it to me, for a chance to have it answered in a future column.

Do you like what you see on Ask Daddy Kenneth? Ask Daddy is a public blog, so you can share your favorite columns on your social media to introduce your friends to the column!

July 31, 2013

“What’s your opinion on age differences … 33 and 19 …”

I see no reason why two or more consenting adults should not engage in a mutually satisfying sexual or romantic relationship. However, that relationship must be mutually satisfying.

With that said, in relationships where there is a significant age difference, I suggest that you follow Dan Savage’s campsite rule. That is: It is the older partner’s responsibility to leave the younger partner in better shape than they were found in. This means no new scars (emotional or physical) no new diseases, and no new children.

I also recall that in my 20’s I learned a lot that made me into the man I am in my 30’s. I can’t help but wonder if my growth as a human being, and as a gay man might have been stifled if I had stayed with the older partners that I had when I was in my late teens. I know that it’s because of them that I ended up where I am today, with the experiences I had, and for that I am grateful. But the older partner in this instance should be wary about attempting to solve the younger partner’s problems for them or stifling their growth as a human being. While it would be easy for the older partner to say “Let my experience guide you” and to protect the younger partner from the worst, remember that the younger partner is likely to have recently ended this type of relationship with their parents, and they will need to have shaping and growing experiences of their own.