My Lover is Immature

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
I find myself in a very complicated relationship. I love my partner very much, but things are hard and there are a lot of hurdles on our way to true hapiness. For starters, we met at work and work together. I am 26 (soon to be 27) and he is 20. I am white and he is black. I am out of the closet and he is not.

I find that a lot of our arguments stem from misunderstandings, be they cultural, intellectual or just age related misunderstandings. The thing that bothers me the most is that he would not give me a chance to explain myself properly when he gets angry, as he is short tempered, and I guess a little self centred. He will not listen to what I'm saying.

I love him very very much. However, I have spend a lot of time crying. We have been together for almost 9 months now, and things were great at the beginning, but ever sex was introduced into the picture, things became very complicated.

A while ago things turned really bad when he started sleeping all the time while he was with me and I could sense something was wrong and that he was more distant, but he just kept saying that he was fine. It came to a head when about two weeks later we had a huge argument (again because he slept the whole time that he was with me (at 19h00)) and it ended with him saying he needs some time alone to sort himself out. Which I gave to him. Problem is, he still stopped by my office at work every tea break and lunch. I was just not allowed to see him after work or at my place.

This went on for slightly more than a week after which he finally, albeit reluctantly, told me that he's under a lot of stress, financially, but also because of being gay. Teasing at work, at home and pressure from his mom who does not like the idea of her son hanging out with someone who is gay (she is unaware, but suspecting I guess, of the relationship).

With that information I could of course understand why he has been like he was, as previosuly I presumed he's either cheating, or has lost all passion for me and don't know how to end the relationship.

We then went away on holiday together and it was great. No fighting, we were just together all the time and happy and laughing, like in the old days. But now we're back, and things seem to tend to go back to bad. He doesn't want to come over regularly, or when he does he does not want to sleep over anymore.
Sex has become kind of an issues as I feel very passionate about him, but he is reluctant to have any kind of sex.

I also have a big problem with the way he talks to me. For instance, he'll say he has to go somewhere, but then he won't want to elaborate when I ask. He says he'll come over, but that he wants to go back home (after an hour or so) and when I ask him why he wants to go back, his answer is "just".

And then when I keep pushing for an explanation he gets angry at me and says that he has private stuff that he wants to do. (Eventually he'll relent and tell me that he wants to sort out his budget, etc.) But I find it difficult not to be suspicious as he is so reluctant at first to tell me what's going on. In the end I don't even know if I should believe what he tells me as I think he might be lying anyway and that he was stalling at first to think up an excuse.

Trust has become a big issue, and he is well aware of this. We've spoken about it before, but it just keeps happening again and again.
Is it wrong of me to want to know what he's doing when not with me?
I've also said to him that trust is earned. Is this a true assumption?

This is my very first relationship, as I only came out of the closet recently. I do love him very much though, and think about him constantly. I have read many of the advice over these pages, and have tried several of them.
But it often seems one sided.

Money is an issue for him, as he's not earning that much, but I'm the one who always has to call. I'll buy him airtime for his cellphone, but then he'll use it to call his mom and friends, not me.

I'll write him letters, but never get any in return. He'll say he'll do something, but then I have to wait days, and sometimes even months before he does (like writing me a letter in return).

I know I'm complaining a lot and only highlighting the negative, but I would really like to get things sorted out so we can be happy together.

Should I just wait and give him time to sort himself out? Should I just not expect anything of him? What about my needs? When I do tell him my needs he just presumes that I'm saying he doesn't love me and then he gets upset and we end up fighting because he won't listen to what i'm saying.
Please help. Advice
I have several gay friends and one of the biggest things they warn against is getting involved in a barely-out barely-adult. Young adults have enough to wrestle with between "what am I doing to do in life" and "this dating stuff is fun!!" without tossing in the "Gays don't have it easy in the world!" and "My mommy and daddy disapprove, now what do I do?" issues. It is a gigantic personal issue that can easily take young gays years and years to work through - and usually the person they're in a relationship with is just dragged up and down an emotional rollercoaster the entire time, unable to do anything at all to help.

Gay people, like any other people out there who embody something that others might not approve of, have to be self assured. Just like black people or handicapped people, they cannot let what others might say nastily get to them. There are many, many biased and stupid people out there who just love to tear down someone different. Either you life your own life and are happy with it, or you constantly worry about what others will think and let it destroy you. This is of course pretty much true with ANY human being but unfortunately minorities and the handicapped get the most active, daily hassle in their lives.

It sounds very much like he's still thinking about what Mommy and Daddy think instead of what HE feels about issues. One of those things every one of us adults has to do eventually is live our own lives, and stop trying to live a life that pleases our parents. He on the other hand is treating YOU like his new parent and wanting to hide things from you because they're "private". Being in a relationship is about VOLUNTARILY SHARING yourself with another person! Yes you have separate friends and separate activities but you always share information about them because you actively love each other and want to be a part of each others' lives. If he is claiming that you wanting to know is intruding on "his life" then he is not in a relationship. He randomly sees you and then cuts you out of the rest of his life that he lives "on his own". He's treating you like another parent that might disapprove of things and therefore must only see a limited amount of what he does.

You can either stay with him and just accept that you're going to have a lot more of this for the next few years as he grows up, or you can pull back a bit and just be a good friend to him while he gets his act together. You can't make him grow up, and you can't rush him either. If he can't grow up on his own, then you will always be his parent and he will always resent that.

-- from Jenn
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