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Author Topic: Poz boyfriend feels dependent  (Read 2417 times)

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Offline pareidolia

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  • Posts: 2
Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« on: September 20, 2012, 11:32:54 AM »
Hello! I am a gay man in my 30s. I met my boyfriend almost three years ago and within weeks of starting our relationship, he tested positive. We had had unprotected sex, but I tested negative (and am still negative, tested every 6 months). I did not break up with him; in fact, I so no reason to do so. I really liked the guy, he was (and still is) getting excellent care, we both learned a lot about living with HIV, and I don't mind using condoms. So everything seemed okay... though I still had this nagging feeling that maybe he was staying with me because he needed the emotional support. I know that sounds condescending, but there were numerous online/virtual infidelities on his part in the months after the diagnosis and I asked him over and over again if he wanted out, promising to continue to be a friend. Every time he said no, that he loved me. He also said he "needed" me, which caused some worry. Fast forward: he loses his job. I help him out financially, let him use my car (which was just sitting in the driveway anyway, since I walk/take the bus everywhere), and ask him to move in with me to get himself back on his feet (no rent, no utilities, etc. = growing bank account) and he did. Well, he's been dragging his feet with breaking his lease and last week told me that the old apartment symbolizes his independence, that he'll need somewhere else to go if "we don't work out." And he keeps saying he needs his own car (which I agree with) because that will make him more independent. I just kept getting vibes that he doesn't want to be with me but feels he has no choice. Once he has a car he can always move back in to his place and move on. Anyway, I recently learned that he told a friend of his that "now that his HIV in under control, [he] just wants to move on but doesn't know how." I don't know what to do at this point. I love and care about the guy very much. But it feels awful knowing that someone is staying with you because he feels he has no choice. It was also painful to hear that he was with me because he "needed" me and now that he's got good care, has disclosed to family and friends and has their support, and learned that there are plenty of gay men who will sleep with him despite his status, he'd like to move on. I've always worried that, because the beginning of our relationship coincided with his diagnosis, the day he finally came to terms with being HIV+ would signal the end of our relationship.  Sometimes, I kick myself for not breaking up with him earlier (b/c of the infidelities), because this is partially my own doing. Sometimes, I wonder if all of his salacious FB chats and internet dalliances weren't in part intended to prompt me to break up with him. Like he wants out but can't quite work up the strength to say so.

So what do I do? In the past, I've proposed: breaking up, having an open relationship, "playing" together with others (I'm no prude!). I've tried talking with him, but I think he's scared to tell me the truth because he does depend on me to get to work every day (not that I'd throw him out onto the street!). If I break up with him now, he will have no transportation, which will affect his ability to work, an apartment with no electricity or heat (that was shut off long ago), and piles of bills he can't pay. Maybe that's not my problem and I should quit enabling him. Thoughts anyone? The perspective of someone else in a serodiscordant couple (poz or neg) would help a lot!

Thank you!

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 04:44:41 PM »
I think you should print out this well explained post and give it to him and have a discussion.
If you split up, I hope you understand neither is to blame, neither is at fault. It sounds like both of you have good reasons to want to split up and remain friends, and it sounds like neither of you has done anything on purpose to hurt each other.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2012, 08:39:18 AM »
Look at it this way - what would you do if hiv wasn't part of the equation? Because after all, it isn't, not really. If he's using you, chances are he is just a user and would be regardless of hiv. Nobody needs/deserves that in their life.

He's an adult - if he wants his independence to the point of hanging on to an apartment he cannot afford, give him his independence. After all, you won't be breaking up with him because of his hiv status, you'd be breaking up with him because he's using you.

I also agree with Mecch - it's time you two sat down and had a full and frank discussion.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline 0608

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Re: Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2012, 08:52:55 AM »
Agree with Ann here.  HIV isn't really the issue; it's about trust.  I say confront him (gently) with the "I want to move on but don't know how" quote and see what he has to say.

If you still have doubt, I say make the cut before this turns messy.  You don't have to stay with him out of concern or pity; like you yourself said:  "Maybe that's not my problem and I should quit enabling him."  Sounds right on to me.

Offline mecch

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  • red pill? or blue pill?
Re: Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2012, 09:24:59 AM »
Well don't assume anything.

I didn't read anything here that suggests he doesn't love you.

Also I don't have a problem with lovers also expressing how they "need" each other.

Furthermore, as a lifelong resident of urban areas with nightmare rents and hard to find apartments, I have ALWAYS had anxiety about when to give up one....  (Anyone else remember Slaves of New York with Bernadette Peters?)  I think it could be responsible and self protective, and respectful of the lover if you are living in the lover's apt, to have a way out of a cohabitation.  After all, this cancels a "need" that sometimes unfortunately does keep people together.
 
Finally, don't interpret what he says to a friend about going forward meaning it is about his love or your couple, it might be generally how to "go forward" in life, on so many tasks, since he's in a new and tight spot.

You can only discover the truths by talking to each other rather completely and honestly.

Best for that!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline pareidolia

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  • Posts: 2
Re: Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2012, 10:00:55 AM »
Thank you all for the replies!

mecch, good point about nightmare rents. We live in an area with high rent and his apartment is a steal. I also see that having a contingency plan can be considered responsible and respectful (i.e. so that he doesn't become a burden if things don't work out).

As for "moving on," he said that in reference to me. His friend had asked him how things were going with me and he said that I was supportive and saw him through a dark period, but that he misses the excitement of dating, hooking up, etc. and wants to move on.

It's hard to imagine HIV not being part of the equation, since it weighed heavily on us early on (coping, visits to the doctor, starting meds, telling his family, etc), but maybe Ann and 0608 have a point about trust. I can't help but worry that when he says independence he means license to date, etc. Since he has in the past refused all my attempts to satisfy sexual appetites (e.g. open relationship) and reiterated his desire to be monogamous, I wonder if he just wants to have his cake and eat it, too: a loving, supportive bf who he can bring home on holidays, with a little excitement on the side. I could see how having to use my car, living in my apartment, and not really having the money to go out on his own can hinder that.

In any case, I will sit down and try to have a serious discussion with him. Thank you all again!

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2012, 10:14:00 AM »
You're very welcome. Good luck with the discussion and I hope you can do what's right for you - and feel good about it.
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline lost_boy

  • Member
  • Posts: 105
Re: Poz boyfriend feels dependent
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 05:15:46 PM »
Given that he misses the 'excitement' of dating etc, sounds to me a little bit like he doesn't want to grow up and enter into an adult relationship which involves commitment.

Then again, it could also be that he does care for you deeply... but he's still a bit of a user and a philanderer!

Relationships have their ups and downs, and if it's more down than up then maybe you both need out and your need to be the 'adult' one and end it. As Ann says, I do think this is less about HIV, more about trust (you guys could have been brought together for any other circumstance).  You both need to talk anyway! Hope you can work it out, life's tough like that. It ain't perfect like the movies, sadly!  :P

 


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