No Higher Ground

I have two friends I recently learned were, or are, in a gay relationship. I say "were or are" because one of them, Tom, is saying the relationship was a mistake and over before it started. The other one, Ray, says he walked away from one aspect of their relationship, but is not willing to give Tom up as a friend. Tom says Ray is "a friend I can't get rid of."

I discovered the relationship by noticing Ray is extremely possessive of Tom. Ray becomes jealous and angry when Tom is with his straight friends. To look at Tom with those straight friends you would never guess in a million years he is gay. Tom has gone to extreme measures to make sure his friends know nothing about Ray.

Ray keeps a picture of Tom on his desk at work, and he is extremely upset if Tom can't meet him for lunch. Tom, on the other hand, panics at the thought of his family finding out about Ray. I am not to mention Ray's name around Tom's friends or family, which makes me feel extremely disloyal to Ray.

Tom truly wants Ray out of his life, but Ray threatens to out Tom to his friends and family if he breaks off their relationship. I care for both of them, and neither of them will seek professional help. What can I do to help them? Or should I just step away from the whole thing?


Phyllis, no one is on the higher moral ground here. Tom wants you to lie and hide his life from people who care about him and think they know him. Ray is trying to blackmail Tom into a relationship.

Both are seeking, or sought, a relationship they are not entitled to. You would like to champion a cause, but neither Tom nor Ray has a cause to champion. Perhaps their collision will induce some truth and reality into each of their lives. Stay out of it.

Wayne & Tamara

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at
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