Dear Hot Stuff,
I am in love with a beautiful woman I have been with for
just under five years now. She is the love of my life but I'm not
sure that it's mutual. We seem to be having some difficulties, I am
really quite afraid of what they might mean for 'our' future. I
can't seem to picture myself without her, it pains me to imagine
I think the problem is me. I'm too childish - I
like to make her smile and when I'm in awkward situations I just
make a fool of myself. But I know that I also behave this way as a
protection. I have been through the worst trauma one can go
through, something which has been really hard to deal with,
although my partner has stuck by me through it all. She
has been my rock, but my behaviour makes it difficult for her
to connect with me.
Aside from all of this, my partner isn't exactly 'out
and proud'. We both came 'out' at college, but since then, she has
proceeded to climb back in the closest and close the door behind
her! So I find it difficult knowing I don't exist in her world
outside the house - her workmates don't know about me, her
friends, etc. She must be ashamed of me, right?
When I suggest doing things like going out for a meal,
just the two of us, she shuts me down. She really wants to make new
friends and pursue that rather than talk about us and sort it all
out. Our sex-life is non-existent, in fact when we do make love,
the contact feels so overwhelming, I find myself crying. What does
that mean? She seems incapable of giving me the one thing I need
right now - reassurance. She feels like an ice queen, wanting
to get rid of me but just not sure how to...
I feel very alone, isolated and unwanted. I have a major
health issue that means I'm not at work, which is driving me crazy
and I spend all of time imagining life without her. I have nothing,
nothing to wake up for in the morning or even live for. She has
been my world for so long, and I'm afraid without my world I'm just
going to be nothing and have nothing... Please advise me, I don't
want to wear a fake smile and, most of all, I don't want to burden
her any longer. If I've outstayed my welcome in her life, and the
only way to make her happy would be leaving, then I shall leave in
hope she finds true love and happiness.
Julie from Tyneside
Dear Troubled from Tyneside,
This is all very sad, Troubled, very sad indeed. There are
clearly a lot of different problems that have merged into one and
everything has become very bleak.
My advice for you is very simple. You need a break with
everything that has gone rotten and a new start. Of course I know
that this is much easier said than done.
There seem to be three main strands of issue. One, your
relationship has become strained because of, two, your physical and
emotional health issues, none of which is helped by the fact that,
three, you don't work and have nothing to focus on or construct.
(In my opinion. I'm no psychologist and so please treat this advice
as mere council from someone with stricken with an almost
pathological common sense!) I don't know the nature of your health
issues, but I can only advise you as strongly as possible to
attempt to engage in some sort of constructive activity that I
believe will help your self-esteem and allow you to have a sense of
productivity. Why not try working from home via the internet; why
not start a blog or a website? Something, anything that will permit
you to engage in a project and give somewhere to direct your
As for your relationship, it can be very difficult for to emerge
unscathed through traumatic situations and experiences. It all
depends on the nature of the person that you're with and how
willing and ready they are to engage with and support you. It
sounds to me like, sadly, though your partner has been capable of
being there for you, finally the pressure has become too much.
Somewhere along the way, something has become tired. It happens in
most relationships. The fact that you know this makes it worse. We
tend to become clingy when we feel someone slipping away when what
we really need to do is let them breathe and reflect.
But it's not only your partner that needs to reflect on the
future of your relationship. You must also think about whether it's
a relationship that is helping you as a person, or not. It's
horrible, but sometimes we have to be selfish and say, 'I need to
take care of myself.' Relationships and partners can't be the only
thing capable of saving us. We also have to be able to say 'I CAN
take care of myself.' Don't stay clinging on to memories of what
the relationship has been, ask yourself, is it a pleasant feeling
knowing that someone wants to 'get rid of you'? No! You're worth
more than that.
And finally, you must never, ever, think that you have nothing
to wake up for. Be strong, be selfish. You will always have YOU to
wake up for.
If things seem really too bleak, you can always try seeking
professional help. A good counsellor or therapist can help you find
a sense of perspective and recover your self-confidence when all
seems lost. Search http://www.thelesbiantherapistdirectory.co.uk/
for LGBT-friendly therapists in your area, or ask your doctor for a
referral. You do not have to deal with these feelings alone.
Have an issue that you would like to see
treated? All queries will be kept anonymous, except of course
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