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Living in a love triangle

I have heard of these things called "love triangles" before. Haven't we all?

But when one is actually put into practice, it baffles me beyond explanation. I got an e-mail from a reader who explained that he was trapped in the middle of a triangle the likes of which he never really thought would happen to him. Jim-in-the-middle as I will call him is a man in his twenties. This is a time when he should be exploring all his options and enjoying himself if he is not in a stable, committed relationship. At least that is what conventional wisdom tells us. Since nobody takes the same path in life, Jim walked up to a married man and the rest of his path was an uphill battle.

Of course, the married man was not married to a woman, but to a man. Jim's lover was married to someone who would often be absent from everyday life. Work and career took him away from home, and that arrangement left a husband bored in a city he was relatively unfamiliar with. Enter Jim, who somehow became acquainted with our married example, and followed acquaintance into the bedroom to kill some time before the husband got back home.

By the time I heard from Jim, he was destitute and desperate. He felt a void in his life filled only by the man he was sleeping with, forming the dreaded "emotional attachment" affairs try so gruellingly hard to avoid. This took on a triangular shape when the husband of Jim's lover discovered and gave consent to his husband to carry on with Jim, and invited Jim into their marital bedroom for all three to have a good time.

So, this is a tricky one. My first instinctual word to Jim is: RUN.

Here is the thing about being the "other guy" (or girl) in the middle of a marriage: it almost never ends with you being happy. I have been witness to a few strange instances in which the other woman (and it usually happens in a straight world) becomes the front and center trophy wife after she comes between the marriage that was already a disaster before she showed up at the door. Here in our gay world, monogamy is usually not the most paramount characteristic. As a result, fooling around with a ring or not tends to be a part of everyday life.

When you feel like you are attaching yourself to someone with the hopes they will leave the person they are married to, then you should likely think twice. You can't choose who you can and can't fall in love with, but you can choose your course of action. I do understand your heart is a tender instrument, meant to be handled carefully. So handle it that way. Shut the door on this before you get hurt, and you will be much better off. And if you need to get off? Well, there are plenty of men who aren't hitched who I am sure would gladly help you with that.

Questions comments and ideas are invited!  E-mail


  • Joe-Mo 4 years ago

    I agree with your advice, but only because the young man is not finding fulfillment in this arrangement. Some three way relationships do work out. Theres no cookie cutter answer.

  • Erick 4 years ago

    I loved your article, as I was in one sordid relationship just like your friend, and I was the "Jim" in the relationship. And you're right, it never works out, and I got hurt, and in the end, everyone told me so, I just chose to do what I wanted, rather than RUN away from the situation at first glance.
    For those out there going through that, RUN away from the situation. It sucks, and it's painful, but it's better than being emotionally hurt in the end.

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