dear sharideth: letter #7

edited for length…

Dear Sharideth

My boyfriend and I are in a committed relationship.  I thought it was going well.  A couple of months ago he went to a party without me and I asked why he didn’t ask me to go along.  He said he didn’t want me to feel awkward because his ex-girlfriend was going to be there.  They’re still close and have a lot of history together, about 20 years worth.  I told him it didn’t bother me that he’s still friends with her and that I’d like to meet her if she’s important to him.  He apologized and said he should have taken me with him.

About a month later he went to another party for his ex-girlfriend’s sister’s birthday and lied to me about it.  He said he was just going out the guys.  I found out from a mutual friend.  When I confronted him, he admitted that he lied and said he was sorry.  He said he didn’t tell me because he felt like he needed to go since he’s still close to her family and that they might have gotten upset about him bringing another girl.  I told him again that I don’t mind him being friends with her and her family, but I really don’t like that he lied to me about it.  I asked again about meeting her and he said he loved me and he would just stop being her friend instead.

I am not sure what to make of all this.  Am I overreacting by being upset?

Sincerely,

Not Into Lying

dear NIL,

no.  you are not overreacting.  lying about what he’s doing and who he’s doing it with is definitely something to be upset about.  i’m really bothered by his solution, too.  ending the friendship instead of including you in it?  that seems way off to me and i suspect he’s lying again.

what i’m about to say is going to sting.  i’m no good at sugar coating and i don’t think this is the time for it anyway.  the ex-girlfriend and her family is a part of his life he doesn’t want you in.  if he’s gone to the trouble of sneaking around to spend time with her/them, he’s not going to end it.  your solution to get to know them – reasonable.  his solution of ending the friendship – not reasonable.  there’s some reason why he doesn’t want you near them.  that he would tell you they would be upset about him bringing another girl around means there’s something more going on that he not telling you.

my initial reaction was “it’s not about the ex, it’s about the lying”.  but i think it’s really both.  i would ask him point blank why that part of his life is off limits to you.  if he loves you like he says he does, he’ll come clean and you can work it out.  if he can’t or won’t or lies again, the problem is much bigger.

in my opinion, this is serious.  anytime someone is lying to cover up a part of his life that he doesn’t want you to know about, it’s a giant red flag waving atop a caution yellow pole with a flashing neon sign pointing at it.

so again, overreacting?  no.  absolutely not.

oh so sincerely,

sharideth

i’m not sure i’ve been very helpful on this one.  like a total downer.  but to me, lying is serious business and has no place in a quality relationship.

here’s a blog i wrote a while back about relationship deal breakers.  lying is one of the big 4.

what say you?

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10 comments on “dear sharideth: letter #7

  1. JBen says:

    Why would they be upset if he brought another woman over? Especially if that woman was his WIFE?! That is weird.

  2. Jenn says:

    I say you, Ms. Sharideth are right (as per usual). Lying is the fundemental issue here. A relationship is based on trust. I don’t know what else you need to say. It isn’t about jealousy or insecurity, it is about not being honest and when you aren’t honest, it is reasonable to assume there is a reason for that dishonesty.

  3. Jonathan B says:

    Absolutely 100% right, says this portion of the guy contingent. The most probable reasons for his actions, in my book:

    1) He’s got something on with the ex still, and is trying to have it both ways. This is not necessarily so, but he’s leaving lots of room for doubt that direction.

    2) The ex hasn’t told her family that they’ve broken up, and he’s putting in appearances to keep them from finding out. This sounds like a sitcom plot, and in fact has been a plot of sitcoms and even a movie or two, but that doesn’t make it entirely impossible. It would be a strange but plausible explanation for him making public appearances with her without you, but it’s a little ragged as an explanation for him not bringing her to meet you away from her family/friends.

    3a) There’s something he doesn’t want you to know about her/them
    3b) There’s something he doesn’t want her/them to know about you
    3c) There’s something he doesn’t want her/them to tell you about him.
    3d) Rather than a specific “something”, he has more general anxieties of conversations outside his control between the ex- and the current.

    All of 3 clumps together under things going out of his control. If you’re from a different “group” than the ex and family, and they may be prejudiced, then he could be either protecting himself from ill opinion, you from ill treatment, or himself from being morally obligated to reject them for their reaction to you and thus give up the friendship. If he has past history he’s ashamed of, for whatever reason, and is afraid they’ll tell you in conversation, that can be self-protective too. Particularly if it’s something that in his mind (whether rightly or wrongly) is so bad that you’ll break up with him over it.

    I’m trying to give some wide leeway here with 2 and 3. Honestly the signals are favoring #1 enormously, and deciding to end the friendship when you just want to meet her is an absolutely enormous red flag that makes me wonder if he’s hoping that will calm you down and allow him to keep something going. There may BE a perfectly reasonable explanation for all this, but if so he needs to man up and explain it to you. Because he’s sending all the wrong signals if he’s not doing anything wrong.

  4. PaulSuperapple says:

    Good answer, but it can be summed up easily. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. (or however that cliche goes) If they’re truly in a committed relationship, he would be open to bringing her around the ex. He is not really committed. NIL should really decide if this is the type of person she wants to be with long-term. NIL is not overreacting at all, in fact, NIL should consider dumping him.

  5. For once, I don’t think there’s anything I can add or subtract from this post. Keep on a-rockin’

  6. nathan says:

    At this point, it’s time to have a frank discussion with the guy, and if he continues to hide this part of his life, it’s time to move on. Lots of red flags going on in that situation.

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