When my straight roommate, Justin, learned I dealt with same-sex attraction, he almost ended the friendship right then and there. He saw my obsession with him and that I wanted him to meet all my emotional needs. I reassured him that I wanted to deal with my issues in a Christian way, and we agreed to keep talking.
He began to understand that I was not trying to do anything sexual with him, but I did have an unhealthy emotional dependence on him.
Justin kept spending more and more time with his other friends, leaving me totally alone, sometimes for days at a time. In his absence, I felt a building loneliness and deep pain over the loss of a close friend. I craved seeing him anytime I could, but it often felt like I’d never see him again.
In some ways, I almost made it seem he had died! I worried about Justin constantly, wondering whether he would make bad decisions or be hurting or needy. I cried often, but I kept taking my pain to God.
Even with a better understanding of my SSA, he just couldn’t take daily contact with me anymore. So, he told me he was moving out.
We soon moved into separate homes with different groups of roommates, and he would not answer my texts or calls. I knew it was over, but I had no idea how long the horrible inner pain over him would last.
In the following months, I thought through all that had happened in my friendship with Justin; clearly, I was the one at fault. I’d grown obsessed with him and had been selfishly demanding the kind of relationship where I’d have him all to myself.
I determined that I would not let this happen again with any friendship. Anytime I’d find myself demanding affection from one guy or feeling jealousy over his other friends, I’d take it to God in prayer and reevaluate everything.
Emotional dependency is so destructive. I hate it!
Believe it or not, though, this was not the end of the story with Justin . . .
Have you ever had a close friendship with another guy fall apart? Did emotional dependency contribute to the problem? Did the friendship eventually heal, or did it fall away?
* Photo courtesy sbrac, Creative Commons.