Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: What do you do when your gay husband gets a boyfriend? I have a best friend who is gay, and we are so close and do so much together that he often gets mistaken for my boyfriend or husband by people who dont know us. Even some of our friends affectionately call me his wife. I suppose the best way to describe it is a Will and Grace kind of relationship.
However, he recently met a guy he seems to have fallen for pretty quickly and Im really concerned selfishly that the closer he potentially gets to this new boyfriend, the further he might pull away from me, even if its unintentionally.
I know hes not really my boyfriend or husband, so I have no right to complain or intervene, and I absolutely believe he deserves to be happy. But at the same time, I honestly dont know what Id do without him if he starts spending all his time with his new boyfriend, and Im scared that the nature of our relationship might change because of it and we might lose what we have. What should I do?
RELATIONSHIP, SORT OF
Ive gone to answer this a couple of times and I keep toggling back and forth.
Theres a part of me that really sympathizes, because its both common and heartbreaking to semi-lose a friend when the friend pairs off. I say semi-lose because a real friend stays a friend, of course, but the friendship inevitably changes. And theres a part of me detecting a whiff of sadness over having a favorite toy taken away. Maybe Im just being distracted by the cutesy labels, your attachment is genuinely to him and not to the gay husband idea, and therefore Im being horribly unfair but every time I started to compose an answer ignoring this hunch, it sounded dishonest.
So, with that off my chest, heres some advice for what you do here:
You treat him as you would any loved one. You celebrate his happiness; you include his new boyfriend where you can; you commit to being flexible, good-natured and patient as you all adjust to this new way of life; and you generally have his back as you hope your best friend would have yours. Fair?
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