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Gay/Lesbian Issues/Relationship issue with Partner


Hi Reece,

Thanks for taking my question.  I am in a relationship with my partner since December 2013.  The biggest problems in our relationship boil down to three.....(1) We both own our own homes so we are unable to move forward "together" right now, (2) his ex and he still live together (his ex is a disabled amputee), and they still share the same bed because of the house configuration and (3) I ask for what seem to be simple things in the relationship and don't seem to receive them.  (like him staying over at my house on occasion).  I am a big follow through type guy.....If I say I am going to do something, then I will.  He says he will do something, but then doesn't.  "I'll call  you after lunch" then calls 2 hours later.  Stuff like that.  We live about 10 miles apart, but it takes about a half hour to get to our homes.  

Am I reading too much into things?  I am assured that the "spark" between him and his ex is over (I believe it is) but I get jealous when they do things together, that they still share the same bed, and that he wont stay overnight unless we are out of town on vacation or gone for the weekend.  Is it me?  is it him?  Both?  I do love him and he does love me.  We have hopes and dreams of moving to California one day.....Please help before I go crazy overthinking things.  Thanks!

Hi Lee,

Thank you for sharing parts of your relationship journey with me. I can appreciate some of the challenges that the both of you are experiencing with the living arrangements and distance, coupled with certain hopes that you have to keep you both connected and attuned with each other.

Your feelings and concerns are a relationship issue for you not to shoulder on your own. I can imagine it feeling a bit isolating. Rather than directly commenting on the particulars of your email, I'm going to share some things for you to consider that may help build the connection between the both of you. Jealously is often rooted in not feeling secure about a situation so let's treat it as such:

1. Think about how both are connected. Not just sexually but emotionally.
Take inventory of all the ways you both connect. What do you feel is missing? What do you need more of? if you need more consistency when you both connect, it's important that you share how it and why.

2. Approach with curiosity rather than criticism or accusation
Relationships can easily fall into to compare and contrast what you do to what he does. Try your best not to do this as it can be what I all and 'emotional set up' for conflict. When we do that, it creates suspicion and distance. I suggest approach with curiosity: "Why is he inconsistent with the timing of his phone calls?", "Is it unreasonable/reasonable for me to expect when he calls?", "If he can't call what would be reasonable and how can negotiate this?", "I wonder why he can't sleep over? Does his roommate have a certain kind of care-taking dependence or something else?" Communicate these curiosities to him. It helps if you preface these discussions with sharing that the hope is to better connect and understand each others' unique situations.

3. Can you both set a date aside that is uniquely yours?
Given your living circumstances, it's important that the both of you have a scheduled date/routine so there's reliability and consistency. It doesn't matter what it is: A sleep over, afternoon get together, text messages... it just needs to be done. The would foster more security within your relationship.

With those 3 suggestions, I hope that it helps quell some of the stress that you may be experiencing. There are relationship counsellors available (even on Skype) who can provide couple's counselling or therapy should you need it. If you want a great book to read on some of the how to's of communication, I highly suggest "Hold Me Tight" by Sue Johnson.  

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Reece Malone


I can answer questions on sexual orientation, gender identity, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual sexuality (youth and adult), coming out and disclosure, transgender and gender-non conformity including transition process, how to support a partner of someone GLBT, sexuality and faith/spirituality/religion, safer sex and harm reduction, comprehensive sexuality education, and questions from service providers working with LGBT individuals and families.


I'm currently a full time sexuality educator and facilitator specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity. I hold the positions of the Education Program Coordinator at the Rainbow Resource Centre (supporting LGBTTQ individuals, families and allies) as well as clinical sexologist at Four Rivers Medical Clinic in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. My roles include: sexuality education, counseling/therapy, media spokesperson and consultant. I have sat on several non-profit sexuality organizations as well as been a consultant to the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada. For more information visit:

American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists, The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, The American College of Sexologists, The Canadian AIDS Information Treatment Exchange, The Canadian Professional Association for Transgender Health, The Sexual Health Educator's Network (Manitoba), The International Society for Sexual Medicine.

Malone, R. (2010). "ShoutOut Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Transphobia and Heterosexism." Rainbow Resource Centre. Winnipeg, Canada. Malone, R. et al (2010). "Your Questions Answered. Gender Identity in Schools." Public Health Agency of Canada. Ottawa, Canada.

Undergradate degree in sociology - specialized focus on human sexuality Masters of Public Health (Sexology) Doctorate of Human Sexuality

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