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Are gay men capable of monogamy?
So here's the story so far, with apologies in advance for the lengthy message!

I've been with my current partner almost 8 years. We've lived together for the past 7 years in the house I own. There is a 10 year age difference between us (may be relevant) Like most couples we have our ups and downs, but always work things through and everything is OK. At least so I thought...

I've always traveled internationally with work and Im currently on assignment in Africa. We talk almost every day and I get home every 2 months for a couple of weeks, or my company pays for him to come out to me. I've been on my current assignment for 7 months, and been back to see him 3 times, including two extended vacations that I paid for.

The last time I was back (almost a month ago) something didn't feel right. You know that little voice in the back of your head that says somethings up but you don't know quite what. It was silly things really; The house was clean from top to bottom (something he never does) which was a bit of a surprise, but then I notice that personal stuff of ours like pictures of us with my kids and mail with my name on it and the like are out of sight, and the bed is stripped bare and everything is in the laundry. Even my personal stuff from around the bed was all put away in the closet (again very out of character for him) It kind of felt that any sign that it was a shared house had been removed, any trace of me hidden away from the casual observer.

I should at this point add that a few years ago I had some trust issues with him, and he admitted cheating on me with multiple one night stands. It was a long time ago and while not forgotten it was water under the bridge and has never been a concern again, until now. We previously have had the long talks about monogamy, and civil partnership etc, so he is very clear where I stand on cheating within the relationship.

I tried to sit down with him before I left to return to Africa, to discuss my concerns, and he totally lost the plot, screaming and shouting at me and generally being very verbally abusive. I know it was quite an emotive subject to talk about but his response was, I thought, totally out of proportion. I had to leave a few days later with things still unresolved and a very frosty silence between us.

I tried to talk to him when I got back into Africa, however he ignored all my attempts to speak for almost three weeks (there were a few text messages in-between) When we finally did talk he neither admitted or denied that he was sleeping around. In fact the conversation developed into one where he told me he was having problems at work and getting depressed with me being away etc etc. (First I'd heard of it) If Im honest, it felt like he was simply putting up excuses for why he did what he did.

Obviously I love the guy very much, especially since he's been part of my kids and my life for the last 8 years. But I feel if I don't deal with this issue of him cheating on me now, especially since he knows that its supposed to be a monogamous relationship, then the pattern of him cheating may well continue. The situation isn't helped by the fact that Im 5000 miles away on a different continent. Maybe he thinks "out of sight, out of mind" makes it ok, but Im really hurt by his actions and that ugly issue of trust has raised its head again, and I think we all know where that can lead to if unchecked.

Can gay men be monogamous when there are so many miles between them, or is there an inbuilt lust to get out there when they have extended separations from their partners?

Should I accept that its acceptable behaviour while Im on assignment, or should I confront this head on, with the possible outcome being the end of the relationship?

Thanks for reading this far. All comments (good and bad) gratefully received.

I am afraid the question is not about if gay men are capable of monogamy, but if your partner is... Gay men, straight men, I don't believe there is much difference in the matter.

I am also afraid that your suspicion is justified.
Him yelling at you - the best defense is an attack...
Him talking about the depressive thoughts etc - he is trying to guilt you into feeling that it's actually your fault. Or he tries this way to justify it for himself.

I would be afraid that there were a parallel relationship going on. He keeps the house tidy. And if it is not very natural for him, why he would do it just for a stranger (strangers). He cares about the other guy - otherwise he would have not put your stuff away.

You can ask your neighbors if they have seen someone, but...

I am not sure what would offend me more. The fact that he cheats on me, or that he brings them into our bed.

I don't dare give you any advice. You need to know how you are feeling about this.
Nope and erm, nope.
Dear OlderButWiser

Here are my thoughts coming from a female. We are highly suspicious creatures and can smell a rat a mile away............except when we are dealing with our KIDS who can manipulate us with a smile ........

To be totally honest with you, I would not like to return home and have the bed stripped and all my personal stuff put away..........hmmm that would make me highly suspicious because what is the reason for this???? There is no logic for this but to have any trace of me removed! Why?

I also do not like that negative behaviour towards you when you wanted to discuss YOUR concerns and rightly so......... you should be able to that in a relationship without being screamed or shouted out!! I would not accept that from my partner. You deserve to be treated better. If the situation was reversed and he wanted to have that talk with you..........would you have treated him like this? No....
Again I would question this behaviour from him towards you....

All men are capable of being monogamous in a relationship when there is distance between them. Some can't and never will but some can and will always be. You have to be in a relationship where you go out the door for the day you have trust that your partner will be faithful to you

Ask yourself these questions.
Do you want to be treated like this in the future.........or do you want a partner that treats you with love and respect
Do you want to walk out the door and not have any trust issues.......or do you want to spend time worrying about what is he doing who is he talking to.
Do you want to be able to have a discussion about your concerns and have your partner listen and be attentive.......or do you want to be yelled out

all the best with this........take care
LL x
I would ask myself what annoys me.... Am I jealous... Have I a problem just because my man does not do what I say... Am I scared... and whats the reason ?
I mean ... if you are such a long time not at home and your partner stays with you, is waiting for you, loves you.... it seems that he WANT to stay with you and he accept you as his partner. Can´t you allow him a special friend.... a friend you know, too. Someone you accept as his special ( or maybe for both of you )
Maybe it sounds weird .... but it seems that you have 3 options... kick him out, being always distrustful... or allow him something what is normally not your way.
My man lives in one of germanys most gay metropoles.... and we see us only 2 times a month... but I don´t care what he does if he is not here. If I always were distrustful I could kick my nerves into the bin. That my man calls me every day... that we see us and so on shows me that he want to be with me ... so why I should ruin my nerves... as long as I know it´s all safe.
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@ Nick9 - the short answer is that both are offensive to me. That he's likely to have brought someone into our bed just makes me so angry Im not sure I could have a rational discussion about it. Any yes I completely agree that his defence mechanism of trying to make me feel guilty is one I recognised, and he has used in the past quite a few years ago.

@LL - I think us males are just as capable of smelling a rat. I think the difference is that females then act with their heads, while us males blinker ourselves to the obvious and act with our hearts in the hope that its all been a misunderstanding LoL.

@ Fenris - I think anyone who is in a relationship, straight or gay is capable of jealously guarding their territory. I think jealousy is capable of becoming destructive and all consuming when the threat suddenly becomes real and you sense there is a danger of loosing everything you have invested and having to start from scratch all over again. Im not a believer of open relationships like the one you are suggesting, especially if monogamy has been the basis of the relationship for quite a few years. Then again, maybe I need to move with the times and embrace whatever's necessary to keep the relationship going. But then again flogging a dead horse comes to mind as well....

Thanks for the replies so far guys. Keep them coming GS, reading them does help focus the mind!
I know a gay couple, they have been together for over 10 years, as far as I know there has been no cheating.

If you commit to someone it is bad to cheat. Myself, I don't care. I don't want a relationship with a single person, why limit oneself to just one other.

As I am agnostic I believe the couple thing has been created by religion. Why not just enjoy sex with someone you have feelings for. Even if it is a few people at a time Smile

Like going out and having a beer, will you do that with only one other person?

Fred Wrote:I know a gay couple, they have been together for over 10 years, as far as I know there has been no cheating.

If you commit to someone it is bad to cheat. Myself, I don't care. I don't want a relationship with a single person, why limit oneself to just one other.

As I am agnostic I believe the couple thing has been created by religion. Why not just enjoy sex with someone you have feelings for. Even if it is a few people at a time Smile

Like going out and having a beer, will you do that with only one other person?


Thats an interesting perspective Fred, and not one Ive thought about before.

Food (or beer!) for thought as they say, thanks for that.
The only truly important and impactful thing I take from your post is what your children will learn from what you do rather than what you say. If the kids have been that involved and therefore have a vested interest in who you love, then they will learn a great deal from how you proceed. With this in mind what do you think is important for them to take away in the big picture, for you personally, for you all as a family? These answers should take precedence if family values are a priority. They will indeed learn more (and maybe even in hindsight) from what they SEE you do than what they hear you say.

I do not provide this reply to suggest you have your priorities out of order. I simply know from experience that this angle and approach to the matter will manifest the wiser decision making process as you move forward with this very troubling situation.

Don't your kids and your family unit deserve better respect? Would it be easier for his disrespect to simply "disappear" entirely only to be pondered after the damage repair for the aftermath damage control efforts? Will you teach your children that it is okay to be hurt and torn and undecided yet clear in effort to retain respect, despite someone's neglect of it, despite the dismay?

Of course this could go on and on... In the end, you've got to decide for your family. You are older and wiser, so an emphasis on the unit is indicated.

Best wishes and I hope GS will be a source of support!Remybussi
Heart  Life's too short to miss an opportunity to show your love and affection!  Heart
Oh dear, you might want to go read this thread:

I hate to say it, but your post up there rings a bit too similar to the start of the one I linked :frown: And you can follow that thread and see where it lead.

Acceptable behavior? No, if the deal was monogamy and, he had cheated on you then that is not acceptable. Given that he has done it before, yeah odds are he has again.

I'll ask you the same question I asked Bowyn: Will you ever be able to trust him completely again?
*sage nod here* Yep I Figured. Sorry man, but the writing is on the wall as they say.

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