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A dear friend turned hostile

Tagged as: Friends, Gay relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (31 December 2014) 5 Answers - (Newest, 31 December 2014)
A male United States age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Dear Cupids;

Let me start by setting the scene (I'll try to keep it to the point).

I was raised in a large, strict and very religious household. I am one of 29 grandchildren (soon to be 30) and the only one who is gay.

My family did not react well to my coming out, there were many tears and foul words spoken, eventually I was given an ultimatum 'go to a gay conversion camp or we'll disown you'. I was eventually disowned by all but my eldest brother and mother who both do their best to visit.

I was very lost for the first few months without the large support system of a close family and became very good friends with another gay man my age I met at a support group let's call him 'Jack', he'd been through a very similar experience and we both eventually became roommates.

Jack became my rock and support system through my darkest hours including a number of threats from my family. But eventually I began to find my feet and settle down into a new life.

Jack is a wild child while I'm more of a house cat but we've always gotten along fantastically, a few months after moving in together Jack got very drunk at a friend's engagement party and tried it on with me. I pushed him away and he played it off as a joke but it soon became clear he had feelings for me.

It took me a good while to finally talk to him and tell him I wanted to be his friend but wasn't interested in a relationship beyond that with him and he seemed to take it well considering.

We continued to live with each other and things seemed really great, however when I began a relationship with somebody else things turned sour quickly. He now constantly makes comments about how he is sure I'm being abused and manipulated, he's lied about seeing me covered in bruises, he's increasingly hostile towards me and my partner but when I confronted him he threatened to hurt himself and call the police on us.

I decided to move out and live with another group of friends but he would continually call me and text me with either apologies, threats or insults.

I feel like I am losing a fantastic friend who seemingly desperately needs more help than I can offer him. He was my support through my lowest points and I want to be able to offer him the same comfort but I'm scared that right now that would not be in his best interest and I should maybe cut off all contact.

Any help or advice would really help.

View related questions: drunk, roommate, text

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A female reader, YouWish United States + , writes (31 December 2014):

YouWish agony auntI came from a similar ultra-religious conservative background, and my husband did too, so I know how stifling and pressure-filled keeping up appearances and toeing the family line is. When my husband's brother came out at the age of 22, the scene played out very similar to how you described yours. The screaming, crying, ostracizing from the family is still painful to think about. I was his only friend for quite a while when even my husband reacted very harshly at the news, something he very much regrets.

Slowly but surely, the dust faded. The term "never say never" is one to remember, because the bonds healed between my BIL and his family. He didn't change. The family's attitude did. There comes a moment where if you are in a religion that speaks of love at its center (the phrase "God is Love" has graced many walls and fridge magnets), it's possible that real love finds a way in. It took years, but things are better in that family than they were even before he came out.

Your friend is a flawed human on a journey same as you. You feel gratitude and guilt that you couldn't be what he wanted when he was what you needed. It's how things work sometimes - when we're not well, we don't see the toxicity in others the same as we do when we heal. You are seeing some of these flaws, and you not being well all the way, helping him would be like a drowning man helping another drowning man. His ego is getting the best of him because of the rejection. Substance abuse also messes up clear thinking.

You did the right thing by removing yourself from the situation. As for you and Jack, time is the only thing that can work, as he is too blinded by ego now.

Be careful while talking to him. Cut off contact for now, because if he crosses the line with threats and unwanted contact, there is a danger there for you.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (31 December 2014):

Jack has his own issues, and didn't accept your rejection well. It is possible he had ulterior motives when he offered you his support, and to share living-space.

Although he was someone you looked to for support, you didn't notice he was growing feelings. Or, so your post implies. It is certain he was sending you every signal he could; but let's say, you were a little more involved in your own issues.

I don't believe you were totally oblivious to the fact he was infatuated with you. You tried to overlook that; because it made you feel uneasy, or it may have been awkward. The drunken-scene was not the first and only incident. That was an act of frustration. He tried to let you know many times before. You had a use for him. You placed a lot of your emotional-dependency and neediness on his shoulders, and took advantage of his loyalty. Then placed him in the "friend-zone;" once you found someone you wanted. Let us be totally honest, my young friend!

What you may have failed to realize (or didn't want to); is that Jack's devotion came from a place other than friendship. Living together only reinforced his feelings, and he has already been through the trauma of rejection from his family. Taking care of you gave him purpose. Sharing the same kind of pain helped him to cope. He also has some serious mental-health issues that are unresolved; but I'm sorry to say, it's up to him to find the professional-care he needs.

I suggest that you sit down and write Jack a very sincere and heartfelt letter.

You should thank him for his support and friendship up to now. Explain to him how and why you can no longer maintain the friendship you once had under the present circumstances. Also include how it makes you feel when he shows you hostility, and how painful it is for you to see him in this state. You should gently suggest he might consider getting professional-counseling, and explain that you would prefer to discontinue any further contact until he has. His current behavior toward you has you very troubled, and he is forcing you to consider your options for your own safety and protection. Including that of your new friend.

Wish him the best, but explain you cannot offer him the feelings that he wants from you. Save a copy of your letter. Read it to yourself to remind yourself not to break no-contact. Don't encourage his drama by overreacting. He's pulling out the drama-queen to get attention, and to distract you. He knows how to push your buttons. The police will not simply take his word that you did him harm; if you were no where near him, and there are no witnesses to support his allegations. Police know self-inflicted wounds when they see them. He has to place you at time and place it happened.

It's time you changed your phone number. You should file a police report if he ever threatens you harm; or to harm himself. He is a person with deep emotional problems, and he isn't dealing with things well right now. You must now turn-away and move on with your life. Friends sometimes have to be left behind, when they no longer behave as a friend should.

I'm a gay man also, and I know how dramatic gay men can be.

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A female reader, So_Very_Confused United States +, writes (31 December 2014):

So_Very_Confused agony auntHe helped you and now he has turned on you. Seems the friendship was intended to make him feel better more than anything and now that he's not getting some need of his met, he's going off on you.

document any and everything that goes on with the roommate and get out as soon as you can....

I'm so sorry that your family is so NOT accepting.

May you find peace and happiness in the new year.

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A female reader, TasteofIndia United States + , writes (31 December 2014):

TasteofIndia agony auntThis is a guy who is going to go out and complain about being "friendzoned", instead of seeing the reality - you're not interested. Funny things can happen to a person when it looks like things won't go their way, a person can change quite significantly. Now that desperation has set in, he is frantically trying every avenue he can to get you - denial, manipulation, emotionally abusing you, then apologizing...

Right now, you don't seem like a healthy person for him to have around. Lord knows he's not doing you any favors. I think the most supportive thing for you to do would to cut off all contact so that he can get himself together and stop this obsessive and frankly, creepy behavior. Once he gets his head together and moves on, then perhaps you can see about re-entering friendship. Or, maybe he was there for you at the right time, and now this relationship has played its part.

I'm so sorry about your family - how sad that they are so mislead to see things this way. Glad that your Mom and Bro are trying.

Best of luck, and I hope you find yourself surrounded by positive, supportive people. Happy New Year!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 December 2014):

He was your support with an agenda in mind: have sex with you.

People can do wonderfull things if sex is on their mind. But when this option dissapears they couldn't careless and become a different person.

I am a woman, straight, and I know how men treat you when they want sex from you. As soon as they realize they are not getting it where does their cordiality goes and desire to help. The fact that he "understood" that you are not into him means nothing. He understood on words but the fact stayed that he is attracted to you . This hostility will not go away.

Sorry about your ashole family. They don't deserve you. Shame on them!!!

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