This topic contains 48 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by Ange 4 months, 2 weeks ago.
October 10, 2017 at 11:02 am #722948
I have been dating my boyfriend for 2 years and we have lived together for 6 months. We are both 31. I thought we had a strong, transparent relationship, but a week ago I started to get the feeling he was hiding something about his first serious relationship (there were several clues the past couple years), so I asked him point blank if he had been married to her. He looked ashamed and said yes. I felt dumbfounded and so hurt that he had lied to me about his past. There were points over the course over the relationship where I had asked if he had been married or engaged or had any “skeletons in the closet” and he always said no. Anyways, we talked it over for hours, and he said they were only 19 when it happened and the marriage was only a year. He was so embarrassed by it and just wanted to “bury” it. It was a secret marriage and only a few of their friends know about it. I decided to forgive him, and told him from now on we have to be totally honest with each other. Then a couple nights ago, I was thinking of what he said about the marriage and realized the years/dates he told me didn’t match up. Turns out, they were married TWO years, and it was from ages 20-22. I confronted him and he claimed he “forgot” and got it mixed up and really thought it was one year. Then in the same breath he admits he was trying to minimize it so I didn’t get mad. I am just so shocked to be lied to – twice – about something like this. I don’t care if my partner was previously married, but I care about the lies. He is really upset and has apologized profusely. I have kicked him out of our apartment, but I am just so shocked and any advice would be welcome.October 10, 2017 at 11:11 am #722950
This is weird. I don’t get why he’d lie about this. I was married from right after my 21st birthday, separated at 27, divorced at 28. I was always very up front about it when dating. Granted, it was longer than a couple years, but there was absolutely no motive to hide it, and a prior marriage is something you really must disclose to someone you’re serious with. So it’s fucked up that he’d try to bury it, and then lie about the duration.
I’d actually do a public records search and get the facts. I mean, WAS it 2 years? Do the dates match what he says now? Are they actually divorced? Get the facts. Then I’d be very frank with him that you still don’t understand why he’d lie – twice – about this, and you need to understand it if you’re going to move forward but, more importantly, you’ve lost trust in him and can’t move forward until you’ve rebuilt that trust. If you and he are both feeling like you want to do the work of rebuilding trust, see a counselor together to help you through that process.
But this is the type of thing that really makes you wonder what else he’s hiding, or would hide from you, and why. It’s really unfortunate.October 10, 2017 at 11:12 am #722952
The big question is if you feel that counseling will allow you to trust him again. Only you can answer that. If you can’t trust him, then it’s probably over. He had a chance to come clean and lied again, suggesting he’s hiding this marriage for a bigger reason than he gave you. Is he also hiding a child? It sounds like you don’t have that much invested in this relationship, so I suggest that you only stay if you can truly fix the relationship and recreate trust, rather than just throwing a Band-Aid on and sort of limping along.October 10, 2017 at 11:25 am #722956
The “secret marriage” thing is really weird too, IMO. Did he explain why on earth they would keep it a secret from family and friends? I can’t think of any legit reason to do that and I’d want to get to the bottom of it.October 10, 2017 at 11:26 am #722957
He has shown you that he is comfortable lying to you, about big things, repeatedly, for years. If you had not persisted in pulling out the truth, he probably would not have told you. If it were me, I would MOA immediately. If he can lie about this to you, for so long, what else is he or would he lie about? This lie seemingly has no bearing on your well being. So what happens when something that affects you comes up? Will he lie again “to protect you”? This is all sorts of bad news, and be happy you figured out that he is a liar now.October 10, 2017 at 11:35 am #722958
I agree. My gut feeling is that there is no way I can recover from this kind of lie, but of course part of me wants this to work since up until this point I felt he was “the one”. This is just heartbreaking for me. We have a home together, pets together, and had planned our life together. @For-cutie, he did admit that he probably wouldn’t have ever told me, which is upsetting, also because what if one his friends who knew about it accidentally let it slip when we’re all out together or something? It would have been mortifying. @kate, totally agree that a “secret marriage” is bizarre, but for context, him and his ex were art school punks who thought it would be “funny”. They both lived at home at the time and never told their families – it basically sounds like a normal university bf/gf relationship but with a marriage certificate, if that makes sense. @Ron, I asked about a child too, but he said no and I’m pretty confident there’s no kid. He offered to go to couples counselling, but I am afraid it would just be a band-aid solution.October 10, 2017 at 11:43 am #722959
That still doesn’t make sense to me. They went and got legally married for no other reason than they thought it was “funny?” They would have found out pretty quickly that it’s not fun or funny to fill out the paperwork for a license, pay fees, and have someone witness their marriage. Why go through with that?? I feel like there’s some other reason he’s not owning up to. If that’s the only reason, which is improbable, it makes him look really dumb.October 10, 2017 at 11:46 am #722960
Eh… In my opinion you set him up to lie by framing any previous marriages or relatioships as some deep dark horrible secret that he would WANT to hide… I mean who asks their partners if they have any previous relationships or “skeletons in the closet?” No wonder he fucking lied.October 10, 2017 at 11:49 am #722961
I think he is minimizing the relationship for some reason. If he had just said that he’d bern married before — what would your reaction have been?October 10, 2017 at 11:53 am #722963
Hey Mark, it was never framed like that. When you’re entering a relationship with someone it’s of course normal to talk about past relationships, especially something that is public/legally binding like marriage. My past two LT relationships were with men who were divorced – it’s not an issue for me at all, and he knew that. The “skeletons in the closet” comment was more of a half-joking question before we moved in together. Anyways, I had been clear from the get-go that previous marriages weren’t an issue for me. @kate, agreed it makes him look dumb. At that age I was living on my own, in a serious relationship and working full time so that kind of reasoning/behaviour seems beyond immature.October 10, 2017 at 11:59 am #722965
Oh, okay. Then it is as everybody else said — decidedly wierd on his part.October 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm #722967
The thing that would concern me the most is that this shows a tendency to hide the truth from you (or minimize it) if he thinks it’s something that will make you angry, or even break up with him. It’s not just that it’s immature, but keeping things from you just to avoid an uncomfortable conversation can lead to really terrible problems down the road – hiding financial problems, potential job loss, medical problems, financial issues his parents are having – it’s just NOT good.
Bad communication leads to bad relationships and marriages. If you think this is something that he might work hard on in counseling, and would be able to change, maybe it’s worth a go.