Should she stay with lying boyfriend?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: My boyfriend and I have been dating for over a year now, and it seems we are now hitting more bumps than ever. Our relationship was unique from the start. He is in the military and was stationed in Hawaii while I was 4000 miles away attending school. He is previously divorced (only 6mo when we started dating) and was cheated on during his last deployment. We went through our first deployment successfully, where I did not stray for one minute. He was worried the entire deployment about me not being able to wait, but I showed him and gained his trust.

When we first started dating we had numerous problems with his ex-wife. She would call and email all the time and I told him after six months that it was either her or me. He told her off but she still continued. He told me he wasn’t going to speak to her ever because he didn’t want anything to do with her. Come to find out, he called/emailed her constantly during his deployment. He ever went as far as to call her and tell her he loved her still. He had lied to me for all those months (as I just found out a month ago). He told me he kept it from me because he knew it would hurt me, and he didn’t think he was doing anything wrong. He said he only talked to her because he felt sorry for her.

Well, I thought I could forget it. I made him block her on his email account and he decided to change his phone number. Well, then I had to go out of state to care for my grandfather and I found out that he lied about going out. I talked to him and asked him where he was and he said on base (we just moved on base). I knew he was lying but didn’t want to cause a fight right then. He asked me to call him later, so I did. And his phone answered on it’s own, and I heard that he was in a bar. I stayed on the phone till he took it out of his pocket and saw I was on the line. I told him not to even try to lie that I knew.

He told me he was done lying, that he was sorry and didn’t want to lose me. When I came home from from my grandfather’s I saw on his phone that he had been texting a girl from a TX number, and I knew that something was up. I asked him about it and he said his “friend” gave her his number. But the thing is he didn’t tell her he had a girlfriend. I actually texted the girl and talked to her about it. Since then I can’t stop checking his phone records and email and it’s driving me crazy. He told me he will do anything, that he’s sorry, but I just don’t know. I can’t trust him, although I want to. What should I do?

A: This man has shown you repeatedly that he isn’t ready for the kind of relationship you want. Perhaps he still loves his ex-wife. Perhaps he was so hurt in that relationship that he can’t risk making a commitment to someone new. Clearly he has some issues to work through before he is worthy of a woman’s trust. Yet trust is the basis for any relationship that will last. You’ve tried to make this work for over a year without success. I think you owe it to yourself to break this off and find yourself a man who is able to be fully yours.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Feb 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). Should she stay with lying boyfriend?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 30, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/02/06/should-she-stay-with-lying-boyfriend/