I’m 48, a gay man who was in an on-off relationship with another man since I was 21. Four years ago, we entered into a non-sexual relationship. I left him last October.
Since then, I’ve had difficulty being financially stable, having had to quit full-time school to work full-time, plus care for an elderly dog, all not very successfully.
It’s been four years since I’ve had sex/intimacy with another man. I’m uncomfortable with sex apps, I don’t sit in bars seeking men. I’m old-fashioned.
I want to have sex, but it's starting to become a conundrum. Sex isn’t as important as it was at 25, but it’s still important. I’d like to have a relationship. What should I do?
You’ve changed your life dramatically and now need to focus on adapting to one challenge at a time.
Most people in their 40s are past full-time schooling or find ways to afford it. If your previous partner was supporting you financially, your having to work full-time is a major new reality.
So, for now, you don’t have the time required to find a lover and build a relationship without using dating/sex apps.
Also, having your life in flux isn’t the best nor most attractive time to start a relationship. Focus on your job.
When more settled, start going to events/activities that interest you and meet new people. In a diverse community you’re bound to meet other gay men in situations where you can get to know them.
When you connect with someone, having sex again won’t be problematic.
I’ve been in my second marriage for three years. My husband is a full Canadian citizen while I emigrated to Canada on a Permanent Residence Visa in 2017, with my daughter, who’s now 13.
After marriage, I discovered that he watches undressed, sexy women and porn videos daily on his mobile phone, laptop, and through his Instagram app.
He’s interested in nothing else.
He emotionally abuses me, shames me and always finds faults in me.
He’s good to my daughter but treats me as if I’m nothing. I can't get separated as my daughter’s happy to have a father and financially I’m nowhere.
He’s 56, I’m 49. Even though my feelings are active, he still says that I’m old and he’s not interested.
I don't know what to do because I can't let my daughter get hurt. How can I help myself be strong?
Stuck in a Bad Marriage
Ending the emotional abuse is essential for your mental health. Protecting your daughter, especially as she becomes a young woman (with her “father” hyped on pornography) is equally essential for both of you mentally and likely physically, too.
You need the advice of an immigration counsellor regarding how you’d be affected if you were to separate from this man.
As recently as January 2019, the website www.canada.ca/en/immigration states,
“As a permanent resident, you have the right to: get most social benefits that Canadian citizens receive, including health care coverage, live, work or study anywhere in Canada, ... protection under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”
Having this knowledge plus seeking more resources and support from within your cultural community can help you decide whether staying with him is your only choice (I think not).
If you suspect he’ll react to your strength with more abuse, you need to make a safe plan to leave with your daughter (e.g. abused women’s services/shelters) and seek a restraining order from police.
My wife of 16 years is a wonderful woman. Our problem is managing my diagnosed mental health condition.
She’s endured a tremendous amount and I see that she’s unhappy and losing her spirit.
Should I leave for her benefit?
I Blame Myself
A mental health condition is not your “fault.” It’s a fact of life that you’re both facing, as you’d do with any physical health problem that could happen to either of you.
See a mental health specialist together and raise your concerns about your wife’s well-being.
Ask what the best-practice approaches are to live with this condition…e.g. having an occasional caregiver relieve your wife’s watch over you, or you attend a weekly support group and/or fitness program, while she has a break.
Leaving her is not the immediate answer to her stress. It could make her feel she failed you, when she’s been a great helper and support for you.
Tip of the day:
Don’t seek a relationship when your life’s in flux. Focus on major challenges first.