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Dear Doctor,

I am not so sure you will answer mine, because I have tried to get answers elsewhere from other's and no one will touch it, but I will try and see.

I just read your Dazed and Confused article and it helped me a bit too, but I have a situation that I would like to hear about from an outside, male point of view. For the record, I am female and this is about my boyfriend of 1 year and 3 months and a "friend" of his. Here it goes..........

On a Thursday night he calls me at 6pm to say he is going to a male friend’s house to work on a vehicle---I figure it is really out of character for him to go out so late, but believed him just the same. He says he will call me when he gets back. No call by 10pm, so I try to call him---no answer. I go to bed and sleep. The next morning I get up to go to his house, I find a card from a woman friend of his that is very provocative and sexually suggestive with him and how she likes it. Then I proceed to the bathroom to find a "used" condom in the trash. I call him on his cell phone immediately to tell him of my findings.

He acts confused and says he has no idea what I am talking about, except the card in his room on his dresser. He owns up to that and says he forgot to throw it away. He tells me to leave things as they are and he will take care of them when he gets home. His phone records show that he called the female friend in the afternoon at 5pm and that she called him back at 6pm when we were on the phone. He said he had to take the call, it was his boss so he lied here.

I left to go to work and came back later to have him tell me that he had had friends that stopped by while he was out that Thursday night ---although, they supposedly did not tell him that they were stopping, nor did he "see" them. According to him, they borrowed the house to "play"; thus the condom. And for the card, he told me that his friend did give it to him and he told her that it was not appropriate as he and I are in a relationship. She stopped by to see him, before he left for the male friend's house after they spoke on the phone. He says he did NOT do anything with her and still says the same 2 months later. She became quite obsessed after that and started leaving notes around his house, so he had the locks changed to keep her out and supposedly "talked to her and told her to stop it!!" I was not allowed to be around when the phone call took place. He felt it would case too much conflict.

Now, the lock has been changed and for 1 month he kept it locked but now he keeps "forgetting" to lock it and once he lost his keys in the driveway and did not go back to lock it, because he was "late" for work. I know the keys were not outside, they were on his desk, but I did not argue the point.

Should I believe that he did NOTHING with this female friend that night? He did admit to being with her shortly before he and I got together.

I am in love with him and I don't really want to end it, but I am not sure if I can keep going on with this, because I feel the lies are keeping us from being together completely. Yes, I do know that he has lied to me before and he knows I know. For example, he told me that another female friend of his knew about me, but when I called to talk to her if she knew me, she said she did not, so I asked him about this and he said he had kept me a secret from her. She lives in another town about 45 minutes away, so it was easy to keep me a secret from her. He apologized a few times for keeping me a secret and said that he felt his private life was HIS private life and she just did not need to know. But he did say he was sorry and he said he takes full blame for that.

Am I crazy for staying in this relationship? Am I the only one to try to make this work fully and monogamously? Please help me and tell me from your side. And please be bluntly and honest ­ I NEED that.

Respectfully,

Painfully in love ======================= Hello!

I answer every email I get - even the "tough" ones. However, I don't think you're going to like my answer.

Let's begin here with you: what in the hell are you doing going to his house when he's not there, looking through his trash, checking his cell phone, reading his mail, calling his ex-girlfriends, etc.? You found some things you don't like - big deal. What I tell people is this: any "evidence" found during the commission of a crime is inadmissible! You have absolutely no idea what the context of any of this is! Perhaps his friends really DID come over and bang it out when he wasn't there. Perhaps he really DID call his "friend" and tell her those things, etc. I can see exactly why he lies to you. You've told him through your actions (and likely, words) that he can't be honest with you. Don't blame him for this - you've created it yourself. That's a terrible foundation for a "relationship".

Now, let's deal with the trust issues: you're making a huge mistake here about what trust is and where it comes from. It DOES NOT come from what he does or says. It comes entirely from within you. Let me give you an example: if he were to promise to pick something up for you from the store, or to take your car in for an oil change, etc., would you "trust" him to do it? Of course you would. Here's why: because if he didn't do these things, so what? You'd just do them yourself and be fine with it.

Here, you're expecting him to do and say things to make you trust him. Then, because you actually lack belief in yourself (specifically, the belief to be a good partner to him, the belief that he wants to be only with you, the belief that he is in love with you, etc.), you feel you have to sneak around behind his back and find evidence that frankly, isn't real evidence at all. The only real (read: absolute) evidence you can have is to actually find him with someone else.

Now, all of this said, he may be running around behind your back. Frankly, neither you nor I know, but that really isn't the issue here. What is at issue are your goals. What do you want in your life? What do you want in your relationship? Do you want to be with someone that you love, trust, respect, etc., or do you want to be with someone you have none of these things for?

If your current relationship isn't giving these things to you, don't sit around waiting to see if it eventually will. Make some decisions about your own life and go make them happen. If that involves having a sit-down with your boyfriend (I think it should), then do it, but don't expect him to try to make you feel right about things, and don't just make assumptions about his wants being the same as yours. Instead, really listen to what he wants and compare it to what you want. If they match, then you need to get started working on yourself to solve these issues you have with mistrust, spying, etc. If not, then its time to move on.



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Have a love, relationship, sex or man/woman question? I answer all email. You can write to me at dwneder@beingman.com for answers. For more information about my books, "Being a Man in a Woman's World" (volume I & II), and other products visit: www.beingaman.com. Check out the discussion group at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/beingaman.

Copyright (c) 2004, Dr. Dennis W. Neder All rights reserved.

posted on Tuesday, July 06, 2004 10:46 PM
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