Is My Boyfriend Cheating or Am I Paranoid?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year and a half and we have recently given birth to a baby boy (4 months ago). Our relationship has always had many problems and I have left him many times. I have always suspected him of cheating, (it’s almost like a gut feeling or paranoia, I’m not sure which) but he always told me that he would never do something like that to anybody, that it was so awful. He would always tell me he loves me and no one else, but I just never believe him I guess.

I don’t really have any “real” evidence of him cheating, but here are some things that I’ve noticed: He is talking on Facebook to a couple of girls that he used to like, like a lot and he is always the one to start up a conversation (both of them do have boyfriends however). Also, he used to leave his page logged in and not even care if I saw it, but lately he logs off as soon as I sit next to him. The other day I saw him deleting some text messages on his phone and he NEVER does that (or maybe he does that all the time and this is just the first time I caught him).

I also think he lied to me about going to an interview when he actually went to see two of his girl friends (both have boyfriends). He left for his interview around 2 and the next day I used his phone to text my brother and there was a message from one of the girls at 2 saying come here and talk to us. He dressed up really nice too. So I’m not sure if he actually went to the interview or if he went to see them.

Another thing that makes me feel he might be cheating is that one night he went out to a strip club and didn’t come home until 5:30 am (I didn’t know he was at the strip club until he came back that morning). Last night he went out with his friends to Buffalo Wild Wings, left at 9 and didn’t come home until 2:30 am smelling like alcohol and perfume. He did ask me if I wanted to go, but I had to stay at home and take care of my son. Do you have to have a girl hug or rub on you for you to smell like her, or could he have been sitting next to the girl who wore the perfume for a long time? I thought that you had to hold someone for a while before you started to smell like them.

We have been fighting a lot lately and I told him there was 99% chance I was going to leave him because I just have had enough! He doesn’t help me with the baby or anything! We have been getting counseling, but that doesn’t seem to be helping. There are lots of issues and I just don’t love him and am unhappy in our relationship, especially lately. So what do you think? Do I have a paranoid personality disorder or is my gut really telling me that he is cheating on me? Anyone who have dealt with an issue similar to mine, please give me some of your thoughts and advice. Truly appreciated! :)

A: What I think is that you and your boyfriend are 20 years old and were not at all ready for the responsibility of having a child. You don’t love him. Your relationship has never been stable. Now your boyfriend is bailing on his job as a parent and you are constantly anxious about what he is doing. You were insecure to start with. I have no way of knowing if your insecurities are heightened by the normal exhaustion and emotionality that comes with new motherhood or if your boyfriend is in fact distancing himself from you and the obligations of fatherhood. Either way, I’m glad you are in counseling. It’s your only hope of making a family together.

I hope you will take your letter and this response to your counselor. She needs to know how desperate you are feeling. Whether you and your boyfriend stay together or not, you are now parents. That binds you to each other and to your child forever. I hope you will do the work necessary to make yourselves into the parents your child deserves.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Sep 2012

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2012). Is My Boyfriend Cheating or Am I Paranoid?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/09/10/am-i-paranoid-or-is-he-cheating/