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I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

I'm not sure if I've put this in the right topic, I'm new here. Also this might be a long one, but please bare with me if you can. 

I'm in a bit of a tricky situation with my boyfriend, and the only person I can talk to about it always makes me feel as though my feelings aren't valid so I thought I'd give this a go. 

My boyfriend and I have always had trouble communicating as he's always burried in his phone messaging people and it's often hard to get his attention. I haven't let that bother me though, I've just waited for a moment of his time when he has the chance and isnt distracted. Recently we just moved in together, and during the move there had been a few times where he'd left his phone somewhere unlocked with his messages up and asked me to pass him along his phone. I did as he asked and I'm not a nosey person so I try not to look when I do it, however there was one time where I briefly glanced down at it and saw messages that alarmed me. They were between him and a girl I had never heard of before, and it seemed like she was complaining about her current relationship and said how she is happy, but she was also happy with my boyfriend when they were together. 

Now, I tried to confront him about this as it bothered me quite a bit, at first he denied talking to anyone besides "the boys" myself, his family and my cousin who we see often.  Eventually he finally acknowledged the fact that he does message this girl but got defensive and tried to shrug me off. I asked him who she was to him and if they had any history together at all, to which he informed me that she was just his best mates little sister and nothing had or ever would happen between the two. I don't believe what he has told me about their relationship, I do think she is actually an ex. One thing that concerns me is that she's quite a bit younger than us both, so I'm unsure whether he's embarrassed to tell me because of the age difference, or maybe he's unsure of how I'll react I'm honestly not sure. But since I confronted him about it, an ex of mine has actually reached out to me wanting to be friends but I shut it down because 1. I would rather spend my free time with my boyfriend not messaging my ex, as I work 2 jobs so free time doesn't come very easily to me and 2. I would hate it if my boyfriend is friends with an ex, so I'll extend him the same courtesy that I would expect from him. Now just last night I told him about my ex and how I handled the situation and he seemed happy about the decision I made and made a comment saying "good thing I don't talk to any of my ex's".

I want to confront him again and ask him if he really meant what he said about his best mates sister, because after that message I saw I  really do think that she is an ex, and that makes me very uncomfortable and I also don't know how to handle the lie he would have told me if that is the case. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

Hey @Mimi_19,

Firstly welcome to the forums Smiley Happy Sounds like you're going through a tough situation. Please let me know if I get any of the details wrong here because I know it is a bit complex.

 

First of all, I just want to say that I think you did really well to talk to your boyfriend about how you're feeling. We can't resolve problems with our partners unless we are open and honest when we communicate, which you're doing. I think the key is to keep talking. Your boyfriend may or may not be open to communicating honestly or openly, but you can only control your own behaviour, not his.

 

You have a lot going on with your multiple jobs, and it seems like you are very aware of what you do and do not want in a relationship. I think in these situations it can be helpful to phrase things in terms of "I". So for example "Hey [your boyfriend's name here], can we have a chat? I just wanted to talk to you about how I've been feeling. When I saw those messages on your phone, they made me feel very hurt and like you are keeping something from me. It's really important for me to feel like I can trust you, so I'm wondering if there's anything you want to share with me that you haven't told me already? Honesty is really important to me, so I'd really like to hear anything you have to say."

 

Opening the lines of communication and demonstrating you're willing to listen to anything he has to say diffuses the situation, and he's more likely to be honest with you if there has been something going on. How does this sound? There's also a bunch of info on relationships here if you need.

____________________________________________________
“Your now is not your forever."
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down
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Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

Hey @MisoBear

Thanks for your time to read and reply to my message. I like the advice you had to offer about how to phrase the things I need to say to him, however unfortunately for me that's pretty much how I started our first conversation. I told him how I felt about his messages that i saw and I told him that I got even more upset when it seemed like he was trying to hide her from me. Again unfortunately for me when I talk to him like this, all he does is say "I'm sorry you felt that way, I didn't mean to, but you have nothing to worry about" he doesn't actually really address my concerns and he keeps insisting they grew up together and she's just like a little sister to him. I keep trying to encourage honesty with him, by being honest with him about my past and why honesty is so important to me, I also keep telling him I'm not here to judge him just to listen and understand. I spoke to my cousin about it the other day and she said to not mention it to him again, because we've already spoken about it and he insists he told me the truth, she feels if I say anything more it will upset him as he will think I don't trust or believe him and if not she fears I will keep getting shut down. 

Do you have any further tips to help me get through to him? Or should I listen to my cousin and leave well enough alone? 

I just fear if I take her advice it will emotionally take a toll on me keeping so much of my feelings bottled up to save his, plus it has been distracting me from my work which is not a good thing when you're a dental assistant and have so many people relying on you to be on top of everything. 

Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

Hi @Mimi_19,

 

Sounds like you've done really well in how you've been communicating with him. If I were in your situation I think I would find it very difficult to let it go and pretend like I didn't have the concerns you're having. I think trust is so important in a relationship.

 

In my personal experience, I don't think pushing down your feelings and trying to forget things works that well, especially given you already have so much going on. The last thing we want is for this to manifest into a greater problem and for it to take more of an emotional toll on you than it already has.

 

I guess what I would ask you is do you think you can continue to be in a relationship with him if you feel that he's not being honest with you? 

____________________________________________________
“Your now is not your forever."
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

@MisoBear thank you for your kind words. 

Honestly no I cannot continue in a relationship where my partner is dishonest with me. I've been down that road many times in many different types of relationships and I've always ended up hurt. 

This is what I was trying to explain to my cousin, maybe he doesn't think what he's lying about is a big deal, so he keeps covering. But what I want him to understand is any lie, no matter how small or insignificant is a really big deal to me, like you mentioned honesty is the most important thing in any relationship to me. I just want him to understand that lies always catch up to you, he may lie to me about it over and over again but one day it will come out, and when that day comes I will have to end the relationship if not sooner if this keeps weighing on me and he won't own up to it. But before any of that, I just want him to understand that if he continues to lie to me he will lose me, and if he's okay with that so be it, but if he's not we need to start communicating honestly and openly. 

The only thing is every time I explain it to someone like I am to you, they keep telling me not to do it and just leave it. Do you think its a good idea to let him know some of what I've mentioned in this message about how if he continues to lie I can't continue the relationship? 

Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

@Mimi_19 I can tell from your post that you have so much self-awareness and wisdom. You're clearly very emotionally intelligent and sometimes others aren't this way (so hard, I know). It sounds like you've been pretty clear with your boyfriend about why you're upset, and that he is brushing off your concerns, and that this is really hurting you. 

 

I think your course of action sounds good. From what you've said, you've already communicated your boundaries to him and currently, he is not respecting them. In past relationships, when I've had issues and spoken to friends about them, I've often had the response of "oh, I'm sure it's nothing, don't worry about it, you're so good together" and I think a lot of the time it is because people only see the good parts of a relationship, and not what is going on beneath the surface. Also I think it's important to realise that even though others will offer you advice on how they would handle a situation, what works for them might not work for you. I think the only person who knows how you're feeling is you, and if you're not happy then I think you need to put yourself first. 

 

I'm hoping your boyfriend can show you respect by acknowledging your concerns and changing his behaviour, but if not I know that you have the strength to put your needs first. It isn't an easy decision to put ourselves first a lot of the time, but I know you have all the tools you need to make whatever choice you need to.

____________________________________________________
“Your now is not your forever."
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down

Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

@MisoBear thanks again for all your advice and kind words, I really appreciate it. I will take all of your advice on board and continue with my communication style and see if it gets better, if not like you said I will need to make the hard decision of putting myself first, which is never easy but if things don't get better it will be my only course of action really. 

 

 

Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

Hey @Mimi_19, what you are going through sounds really tough. I know I have definitely been there myself... and like you, I also value honesty Smiley Happy I am sure most of us do too! What you wrote in your second last message is very valuable. Is this something you have reflected to your partner before? It is definitely important to lay down the boundaries of your relationship. Everyone is different, so it is best to clarify what behaviour you expect in your relationship. As you mentioned, after a certain point you will need to put yourself first. If you communicate this with your partner, then it is up to them whether they improve their behaviour. What you are asking is not unreasonable and you deserve to be able to have a trusting and honest relationship. Dealing with mistrust and lies can become terribly exhausting to deal with so I really empathise with how you may be feeling.

 

At the end of the day, it is your relationship. You are the one who has to sit with these feelings and live with your partner etc. So while advice and support is helpful from others, you should do what you think is best. Please keep us updated Heart

 

 

Re: I need advice - trust and lies in a relationship

Hey @Mimi_19,

I've had a big week with uni exams so I'm sorry I didn't respond earlier. I'm wondering how things are going now? Has your boyfriend responded positively at all?
____________________________________________________
“Your now is not your forever."
― John Green, Turtles All the Way Down