Trust Him or My Intuition?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I have been dating this guy for 5months, and unlike what I had before, there was no honeymoon period. He seems to be a person who likes alot of personal time, while I thrive on closeness with my partner. So we’ve been rather distant to begin with, and he says its good to take things slow and have personal space.

He seemed to always be honest about alot of stuff, like his ex-gfs, jobs, and brought me to meet his family and tells me we’ll get married. He’s even got the room in the apartment allocated for us. However, he also does things that makes me suspicious. For e.g. He likes to add alot of pouting girls on fb (I asked him about it, and he said its virtual and only to make his profile page look better). Also, he mentions his ex-gf (who has migrated) every now and then, but says she’s like a good friend because they’ve been through alot together. In the past 3months, we have quarreled alot because he always says he is busy at work till late, tired and stressed from the work load. Even out meet-ups became only once or twice weekly, few hrs each time. I asked to end the relationship a few times, and he always begged me not to saying he does love me, and that he has never cheated on me. He claimed what he is guilty of is choosing work over me.

But my feelings tell me something is amiss…. Even if he is not cheating on me with another girl per se, he loves himself more than he loves me. And everytime he says he’ll reflect and change, he doesnt. Its basically alot of talk, without action. He just goes further away from me, and keeps to himself (and hopefully not someone else, I think?). He doesnt even want to SMS me when he’s home at night anymore.

Is this my own doing? Do I wrongfully accuse him so much he’d prefer to have as little contact as possible? Or am I right to trust my intuition that he isnt being exactly truthful about something? Or maybe he is still hung up over his ex (he claims she left a year ago). If he does love me, and is purely preoccupied with his job and not cheating, should I take him back? Even though his needs always come before mine?

A. From what you have written he has made work his priority. This is not your “own doing.” If you had it your way, you and he would spend more time together. He tells you repeatedly that he’s going to change. You said it best: he is “basically a lot of talk without action.”

Not many people would be willing to tolerate “a lot of talk without action” for very long, especially in a new relationship. You seem to have given him sufficient opportunities to change his behavior, yet he has not.

From your letter, it seems as though you and he have already parted ways and you are considering whether or not to give him another chance. Only you can answer that question but before you do, have an honest discussion with him about the various problems you have had with the relationship. If you don’t, and you decide to give him another chance, then he will likely continue the same behavior. If he can get away with “all talk and no action” his track record shows that he probably will.

If you decide to reconcile, inform him that he will have to prove that he can change by actually changing. Be specific about how you want him to change. The more specific you can be about the needed changes, the more success that is possible for the relationship.

To the question of cheating, it’s not clear from your letter that he is. Having friends on Facebook with people you disapprove of does not equate to cheating. Nor is it necessarily a sign of betrayal. Hiding his friends list would be a form of betrayal. He is not hiding his friends from you.

Having said that, since you expressed your dissatisfaction and he continues to keep his Facebook friends, then this could be a problem for the relationship. If it’s a problem for one party in the relationship, then it’s a problem for both. The question then becomes should his having certain Facebook friends be a problem for you? Unfortunately that’s not something I can determine from a short letter. I would have to have much more information about why you see it as a problem before I could determine if your concerns are warranted.

Gradually, you and he were spending less time together but it is difficult to determine why. It could have been the dynamic of the relationship. Early on in the relationship you and he were not spending much time together. As you stated, there was no “honeymoon period.” It might also have been a sign that the relationship was degrading. I believe that it might have been the latter but I can’t know for certain. The fact the you decided to end the relationship (at least temporarily) also supports the idea that the relationship wasn’t going well.

“Should you take him back?” is your primary question and regrettably I can’t answer that for you. If he is unwilling to change and he continues to put all of his needs before yours, then no, you should not take him back. A one-sided relationship would be unhealthy and unsatisfying. Relationships need to be balanced. If you continue to struggle with how to approach this relationship, then you may want to consult a therapist. Click the find help tab to locate one in your community. I wish you the best. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 1 Jun 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Trust Him or My Intuition?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/06/01/trust-him-or-my-intuition/