Father Tony

Taking Out the Trash

Filed By Father Tony | February 05, 2009 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: boy next door, gay ghetto, gay relationships, jealousy, murder

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Dear BUIHK,

Let's consider your options.

You could kill that boy next door. This is the most efficient and fast-acting solution. It allows you to keep your apartment while improving the view. If we were still cavemen, either you would have clubbed him to death by now, or he you, but the situation would have been resolved without anxiety. Unfortunately for you, murder is frowned upon in your neighborhood, and is nationally reserved as a political tool used mostly overseas.

You could move. Have you considered nesting in Brooklyn's Park Slope amid the lesbian legions? On Craigslist, I found you a 1000 acre ranch in North Dakota for the price of a 300 square foot studio in your neighborhood. Your closest neighbor would be invisible without binoculars. But there is the matter of the cattle. How can you be sure that a randy steer might not horn in on your man's affection?

I am reminded of what the Mother Superior says to Maria who had fled the ardors of Mr. Von Trapp and returned to the safety of the abbey.

You could confront that boy-next-door. You could sweetly tell him that you are aware of his intentions, and that if he ever touches your man, you will lock him up in the basement of your building and torture him for three weeks before letting him die.

You could hire somebody to set him up, get embarrassing photos and use them to blackmail him. This might force him to leave town. (This once happened on the Young and the Restless, keeping Jack Abbott and Jill Foster Abbott terrified for more than a year.)

I hope by now you'll realize the absurdity of any of these courses of action.

There really are only two things that I think you can do that will demonstrate that you are a gentleman.

First, you can say and do nothing, trusting your partner when he says that you have nothing to worry about. It's what Jackie Kennedy did. It's what Princess Diana could not do.

Or, if you really can't force yourself to do that, find an opportunity when your man and the boy-next-door and some friends are all present. (Maybe at an impromptu encounter on the street, maybe at a bar or a dinner party.) In a calm, almost jocular manner, tell the boy-next-door that you admire his taste in men, that you are aware of his designs on your man and that you do not appreciate them and that you wish he would find a boyfriend of his own. Offer to help him find one. He will flatly deny trying to steal your man. Your response should be "I'm glad to hear that because I would like to be your friend but this is in the way." Any one else who hears this exchange will immediately excuse himself and text this juicy gossip from Battery Park clear up to Washington Heights. Once all the cards are on the table, the boy-next-door will probably fixate on someone else. This is called defusing an infatuation.

By now, I'm quite sure that all our readers are jumping up and down with impatience because I have not gotten around to the crux of the matter: your unhealthy fears and your need to control what is beyond your control. Take stock of your feelings. Share them with your partner, friends and maybe a professional. You need to shed your hostility.

You should realize also that in a world in which gay partnerships are fluid and ill-defined, and, in a world in which half of all marriages end in divorce, almost anyone is fair game for the batting of eyelashes. Also, not every man on your block is a gentleman with a code of behavior to match your own. This will never change. Let go of it. A world in which no one hits on your partner is a fantasy, and your partner's behavior in this situation is the only one that matters. His refusal to "do anything" about the boy-next-door may not be particularly valiant, but if he says you have nothing to worry about, you should trust him. Meanwhile, if the building next door should come up for sale....


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steve tabarez | February 5, 2009 12:10 PM

Unfortunately, some obviously care to perpetuate the fluidity, and lack of definition, of gay male relationships. Others, just look away when confronted, as if making a choice, or a stand plays into the obvious fears of committment, like the bf? Or, as most in our community, always trying to keep options open, always on the look-out for the next great boy, never being able to be connected to himself(other than the obssessive compulsions he feels), or to anyone else, the psychological implications/pathologies are numerous fair boy. Ultimately,the best indicator of future behavior is past behavior. alonf the same lines, if you have a history of entangling yourself with men who have done this to you before, chances are you need to look at this too. And, if neighbor boy, has been the hyena feasing on the carcass of someone else's man, than he's probably just hooked on the drama, and trauma of and cowardice, of lways trying to hone in on another boy's man. You guys need to get an agent!!!!!Not that I'd watch. Im like tamer shows like SHARKS KILL.

I say go with the flow and be happy that other folks find hubby attractive. Keep reinforcing hubby's vanity by saying things, "You are the most handsome man in the neighborhood but I love you for the sweet way you treat me". That's the way to keep him, not by being a bitch to those who flirt with him. Your insecurities are showing. Bitch too much and hubby will start seeing you as a bitch also. Hubby can't change the way he looks or who is attracted to him. It just is. Accept it and don't personalize on it.

I agree with Mr. Merrill and would add that there is a strong possibility that your man also enjoys the attention, and while he may never act on it, he would be sad to see it go. He may even flirt back to encourage it, but will hopefully stop at the point where things cross the line, such as the moment the neighbor begins to unzip his pants.

But as the good Father says, if you don't have trust, you have no relationship. Your man is either trustworthy or he isn't. If he is you have nothing to fear. If he isn't, then the problem is not with the neighbor.

Ooooh, he reads the comments. What a wonderful shot emphasizing those gorgeous eyes!

Anyways, here I was thinking the caveman route would be the most sensible approach. You just have to mean the threat ;).

Relax and go with the flow. If hubby doesn't have a history of putting out for the next cute thing to come along, what do you have to worry about? Be happy for the hubby.

I flirt with everyone. Thank God Jerame got over the super-jealousy thing years ago.

Chris from Athens Greece | February 6, 2009 12:57 PM

Tony, this is the first time that I don’t like what I hear from you. “ Fluidity of gay relationships??”. What you mean really is cheating… “Half marriages end in divorce??” .. Yes but the other half remain with constant battle and lots of compromise. I can only accept fluidity in a relationship only if both parties agree to play around. This is not the case here. One partner is totally committed, the other is playing a silly game. Why do you try to make him look like a fool with all these preposterous suggestions in the beginning, when you know that the problem lies with the boyfriend ??. And of course the boy next door should not be blamed at all. Recently I went out with a guy in Athens which constantly was playing around. We were in a restaurant and he would comment on all the guys sitting around. I find this preposterous and deeply hurting, when the other person likes you. We all have the capacity to wait for a couple of hours, get the hell out, and screw around till we drop dead. The rest is plain cruelty….

Dear Chris, I am not necessarily advocating for the "fluidity" I mention. I am simply noting a reality. Many single gay men figure that coupled gay men don't all subscribe to the same rules, so why not treat them the same as single men. Boundaries are not clear. That is why this couple needs to decide their own boundaries and clarify them with the interloper. Gentlemen are easily spotted, and so are cads. Each one makes up his own rules for living.