From the U.S.: I would like some advice on how to approach my boyfriend about an issue he has been hiding from me.
Essentially the situation is that a little less than a year ago I moved into my boyfriend’s house, prior to that I was living alone in an apartment. We had been dating for about 9 months when I moved in with him but had been acquainted for 8 years prior to that so it was not a rushed decision. I recently became aware that my boyfriend’s house is in foreclosure because he left a 1099-INT on the counter and when I noticed that the amount paid was significantly less than it should have been I became suspicious and looked him up on the judiciary case search website. There was a foreclosure case filed. I then looked through some files in our file drawer and found out he is in the process of applying for a modification and apparently has been neglecting to pay the mortgage for some time. While he was not forthright with me about this situation I am not totally shocked because I know he has had a difficult time financially in recent years, in the last 6 months he has been able to turn things around professionally though. He was working in the construction industry when the recession hit and had been for his entire career as well as had invested $50k in his sisters real estate office so he was particularly hard hit by the recession.
Anyway I’ve known about the foreclosure for a little over a month and have tried to encourage my boyfriend to tell me about it unsuccessfully. In the last two weeks he has been noticeably more stressed out and has been drinking much heavier than usual. I am concerned that things are not going well with the modification and he is becoming panicked. How can I approach him about this obviously sensitive and I believe embarrassing (to him) issue? I am concerned that he is hiding it from me but I am not interested in ending our relationship over it. My boyfriend is a good man and I have never been happier than I am with him, I understand the impact of this situation on him and potentially our future but I am willing to deal with that together with him. I do not depend on him financially.
Please advise the best way to approach him to show him that in the future he can trust me to be supportive in difficult situations and that he does not need to be afraid of being honest with me.How do I approach boyfriend who is hiding information?
How do I approach boyfriend who is hiding information?
It’s difficult for me to know how to advise you on what to do because I don’t know enough about the emotional state of your boyfriend. Let me only offer you some thoughts: You’re probably correct that he is embarrassed and scared. You’ve said that you do love him and you’re prepared to be supportive. So I find myself wondering, which is worse: To keep his secret to save him embarrassment and watch him suffer and get maybe more desperate — or to tell him what you know and offer your heartfelt support, love and help? I also wonder if subconsciously he left that document on the counter where you could see it. That way, he didn’t have to face you to tell you.
Life can be hard. One of the most important reasons people become partners is so they don’t have to be alone — in good times and in bad ones. There is a good reason that marriage vows include “for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.”
Perhaps it would be helpful to remind your boyfriend that you are in this relationship for the long haul and you take the sentiment seriously, whether or not you are married. If you can find a way to talk to him without shaming or blaming, it may be a relief to him to know you are on his team. But you know him. I don’t. Be mindful of timing and of his state as you decide how to approach him.
I wish you well.