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My BoyfriendLlied To Me About His Ex.

Question:

My boyfriend lied to me about his ex. girlfriend who he worked with when I met him.

When I found pictures of her on his computer, he said he forgot they were even there and deleted them. Since then we’ve argued a lot about his ex and his feelings for her. He said that he didn’t have feelings for her and it was only a work relationship. However,  I felt due to some other things, that this wasnt the case.

He has a bad memory and can’t remember things often.  However, I know he has lied to me about stuff having to do with her. When eventually tells me the truth, after several arguments and more lies, he says he does it because he doesn’t want to upset me.

I do believe he loves me, and I really love him, otherwise I wouldn’t be here asking this stuff.

The thing is, I don’t know if he loved me completely when we first met, even though he says he did. I feel like he still liked her and this really bothers me. I can’t tell if he’s lying to me about anything I ask about her.

Also, after he deleted those pictures of her off his computer, I found a usb key with pictures of me and same pics of her that he had deleted. I don’t know if he just had a few copies of them or whether they’re the same pictures that he deleted and afterwards retrieved from the the recycle bin and put them on that usb. I cant ask him because I don’t trust him to be honest about it. And even if he was, what would that mean? All that picture stuff and ex stuff happened 3 years ago, but it has kept popping up because she worked with him and just stuff would come up.

I really love him and he’s my best friend, we’re so close, apart from this. I don’t know what to do anymore. Everything in my life is falling apart. My dad is very sick, college is terrible and I’m worried about losing my best friend now.

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Answer:

Sometimes love is not enough. Enduring, intimate relationships are based on trust. No relationship that is plagued by suspicions can endure for very long.
The question that confronts you is whether or not your suspicions are warranted? Jealousy has undermined more than one relationship. For example, if you are jealous and constantly calling into question everything he does, then he may very well hide things from you in an attempt to avoid fights.

Another consideration is how serious the lie, or lies were? If these things are minor then it would be important for you to think about forgiving him. If you believe that, more than a few pictures of her, you know that he and his ex are having an affair, that might be a lot less forgiveable.

Your boyfriend insists that his ex girlfriend is just a work connection. He also insists that the photos on the computer are an oversite on his part. After all, you point out that you found photos of yourself along with her’s. Do you believe him or suspect that he is lying? Does he have any reason to lie to you? A lot depends on how many other things he lied to you about, unless the photos are the only issue. If there is a pattern of lying then you have may have good reason to feel doubtful.

You also complain that he did not love you completely when you first met. Realistically, does anyone love the other person when they first meet? There is something called love at first sight but I doubt that has anything to do with someone being completely in love. Love at first sight  feels great but it has more to do with infatuation than anything deep or lasting. The bottom line is that you love each other now rather than when you first met.

From what you report you are under a huge amount of stress and it is very likely that it is distorting your thoughts, feelings and perceptions. Given that your dad is very ill and that college is a problem puts you in a situation where you cannot trust your judgement at the present time.  When someone is going through very difficult times everyting can seem awful when, in truth, that is not the case.

Perhaps the most telling comment you make at the end of your email is that the two of you are best friends. That is more meaningful than anything else you have described except for you dad’s illness and problems at school. One of the most essential foundations of a strong relationship, along with trust, is being best friends. Remember, best friends trust one another. If you view him as your best friend, and you do, then the reasons for that should out weigh any suspicions, especially if they are based on jealousy.

You must also look at the possibility that you may be wanting to push him away, for some reason that you are not aware of. I don’t know if this is the case but it is something you may want to explore.

You could consider couples therapy to help each other sort out what is going on or enter psychotherapy to help you cople with all the very reals stresses that are presently in your life.

Ultimately, if the two of you cannot build mutual trust then, as much as I do not like to say it, you may have to end the relationship. Soimetimes that happens and, even though it feels terrible, people move on to new and more satifying partners to be with.

I do hope you can resolve these issues.

Best of luck.

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