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by Abigail Van Buren

Friendship With Woman Makes Waves in Men's Relationship

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 35-year-old gay man who has been in a serious relationship for five years. During the last year, my significant other, "Grady," has grown very close with a female co-worker of mine he met at my office party. (I'll call her Tina.) They have become inseparable, and when they aren't hanging out, he's constantly texting and calling her.

At first I didn't have a problem with it, but lately I'm getting some strange vibes. Grady always said he was never attracted to women, but I have caught him ogling Tina when she's at our pool in her bikini. He acts like a jealous boyfriend when men approach her and even ran off a couple she briefly dated.

Yesterday there was a fire in the building where I work, and everyone was forced to evacuate. Last night I discovered that when Grady heard it on the radio, he left his job to come and get Tina and drive her home. Not once did he attempt to contact me to see how I was doing.

When I confronted him, he argued that Tina doesn't have a car (which is true), and said he was worried because she's "just a kid." But, Abby, she's not a kid. Tina is 25 years old and capable of calling a taxi or asking for a ride. I told him that rather than leave work, he could have called me and asked me to drive her home. Later he admitted that she hadn't tried to contact him -- that his worry drove him to come and get her, which indicates to me that something more is going on.

Am I overreacting like he says, or should I be worried I'm about to lose my man? -- JEALOUS IN TEXAS

DEAR JEALOUS: Grady does seem fixated on Tina. I have heard of straight men repressing their homosexual feelings until they are middle-aged, so I suppose it's possible for a gay man to discover that he's bisexual. That said, I'm not sure you are overreacting. Whether Tina is a threat to your relationship only he can answer.

If Grady is willing to go with you, relationship counseling should be available at your nearest gay and lesbian community center. I suggest this because the two of you may need an unbiased referee to prevent an honest conversation about your feelings from degenerating into an argument.

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