My name is Michelle. I am a brunette 29 year old French-American woman living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My boyfriend, let’s call him Jeremy, is one year older than me. He just told me that he’s leaving me for a very wealthy 48 year old South American man.
Jeremy, a redhead with sad brown eyes and perfect skin has never claimed to be gay, acted gay, or even had a lot of close male friends. He broke it to me last Friday over a lovely Italian dinner that we couldn’t afford, saying literally “This charming man has the funds to take care of me. One day, maybe he will take care of us. In the meantime, I’m leaving you to live in Buenos Aires”. I chuckled and sipped my Chianti until I saw the look in his eye and then I welled up with tears. I KNEW something was coming. But FUCK. Why this?
He says he still loves me but now I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that doesn’t go away. I know deep down this is somehow my fault. I have headaches every day. I don’t eat. I don’t understand.
Jeremy grew up in London with a very, very rich father and was surrounded by all the super luxury anyone could imagine. He went to the most expensive prep schools, vacationed in Switzerland, and even had an enormous stock portfolio when we first met… He’s been estranged from his mother since he was 8 or 9. I guess she was diagnosed with a mental illness at some point and left London to go live with relatives in England somewhere. He doesn’t know or doesn’t say where. He says he doesn’t care.
I don’t know why it matters. I don’t know why I’m asking. I found this site online. I want to know about the gay thing. Tell me. Could this be possible? We’ve been together on and off for 5 years and have had amazing sex until a few months ago. He constantly complains about finances and the recent lack of opportunity for tried and true westerners in NY.
He thinks he needs this man and his money but maybe he just wants to try something new or leave town. To leave the crumbling US of A. I love NY and he knows I don’t want to leave. Could this one person really be offering him everything? I know I can’t. I went to a prestigeous college and then modeled for a famous designer but now I work at an organic nutrition clinic. I can pay my bills but that’s about all. I do love Jeremy but I will never get his stock portfolio back.
I guess maybe Juan Carlos will. Or maybe Jeremy will come back. Should I wait for him? My arms are numb and my hands are cold and I know the winter is just barely upon us.
Thanks for reading and don’t worry if you have no answers.
Wow. This is a tough letter to answer.
First of all, let me tell you – my name is not PIEFOLK, it’s Michael.
Secondly, I want to make sure you understand this: what’s happened is not your fault – not in any sense of the word. You don’t get to blame yourself for this one, Michelle. There’s no telling what people will do for money, and if your straight boyfriend wants to prostitute himself for money (no matter how much money) you have no agency over his character, ethics, morals or actions. Nobody is expecting you to make sense of this, either.
How can you make sense of this? You can’t. You can only lock the door to your soft, beautiful heart, and don’t answer if he comes knocking again, even with baubles from Paris, or a Tiffany engagement ring. He doesn’t really love you. He loves money. I hate to say it, but it doesn’t matter how well appointed he is, how nicely tailored his Armani suit might be, or if he owns a yacht someday. He’s never going to win you back. He’s abandoned you, and any real love he might have forged with you – all for the thrill of chasing the money dragon.
You will never see him again. Put yourself in the position of the ‘wealthy 48 year-old South American man.’ If this guy is pulling the purse strings, do you think he’s going to have any sort of interest in splitting the affections of a beautiful man with (gasp!) a woman? No.
Your long term boyfriend has left the bohemian freedom of NYC (and your arms) to live as a pretty red bird in a gilded cage. On the other hand, if you can put this behind you, you have the freedom to fly. I hope you fly, and sing, and migrate, and someday I hope you find someone with flaws, who’s sort of pretty, who can be the caretaker of your tender, mysterious heart. Until then, you are your own husband.
It’s not that difficult to be your own husband. Take yourself on dates. Buy yourself flowers. Kiss strangers when it feels safe.
Once, I loved a perfect Taiwanese man. He had inky black hair and perfect skin. His posture was flawless and he was well suited to work in the art world. He was gorgeous and he had such poise. However, he was only beautiful on the outside. He had no idea the meaning of kindness, of compromise, of mutual understanding. It was always his way or the highway. He didn’t care about my stress level, about my complicated labyrinthine heart, about my unique philosophy about openness and family.
Love is staying together. Love is growing together, and apart, and reconvening after a long day to share the triumphs and tragedies of daily life. Love is staying. Love is a choice. He’s choosing not to love you. In some sense, he never loved you in the first place. He tricked you. He lied.
Someday you might run into him at a party, or an event, or some such drudgery one must attend to stay visible in the world of fashion. If it were me, I’d take a short walk with him and forgive him. It’s a selfish act, forgiveness. We do it so we can be free of the pain caused by others. Then, I would walk away and never look back.
Some say ‘forgive and forget.’ I have an impeccable memory. I say, just forgive.
p.s. The US of A is not crumbling. We are experiencing the aftershock of globalization. It was the Clintons that wanted to globalize America in order to even out the wealth in the world. We still have resources and creative verve. You can head back to Europe if you like, but as for me, I’m staying right here.