After the disinvitation, my parents planned a trip to come to visit me, which coincidentally happened right before my boyfriend’s weekend trip home. I thought that even though I wasn’t meeting his parents, we could organize so he could meet mine for the first time. He agreed, but then he and Jane both booked tickets two days before they had originally planned and before my parents were set to arrive. I was furious. I thought it was a clear sign of infidelity and broke up with him at that time. He begged me to stay and swears that he doesn’t believe he committed any emotional infidelity.
Since then, we have been working hard to build up the trust he broke. It took a good couple of months before he was able to implement some strict and appropriate boundaries with Jane. During this time I found out that he had told her about our fights (that were essentially about her). I felt utterly humiliated. Around eight months later I found out he’d lied about seeing her on our 1-year anniversary (we had dinner planned and he said their meeting was brief). One of my asks was that he keep me informed of when he was going to meet her. Also, he bought her a present (a book), which he’d also bought me, but he hadn’t told me he’d bought one for her. Every time I think things are working better, I feel like another lie comes out. On the day-to-day things he’s a great boyfriend: he’s supportive, kind, and funny, and he cooked for me every day while I was studying for some exams. But I can’t seem to get past this, and I don’t know if I’m being played for a fool here or if I’m being too hard on him. Do I leave or do I stay? — Not His Jane
You’re fixated on the wrong thing here. In thinking about whether or not you should continue this relationship, you are focusing only on your suspicion that your boyfriend is cheating on you – at least emotionally – with Jane, and you’re obsessing over any potential signs of said cheating, from the kind of gift he gave Jane (and didn’t initially tell you about) to what day on the calendar he spends time with her. This stuff is pretty insignificant though, especially considering that you don’t need a sign to know that your boyfriend has been a disrespectful jerk, which is reason enough to leave him. The fact that he invited you to meet his parents for the first time and then disinvited you because your presence “would be too hard for Jane” is a much bigger deal than the fact that he gave Jane the same book he gave you or that he saw her briefly on your 1-year anniversary.
You say that on the “day-to-day things he’s a great boyfriend,” but his cooking for you while you’re studying for exams doesn’t negate the deep sense of betrayal you feel. It doesn’t matter how funny and kind he is when you have daily dread over a friendship he has with a woman whose feelings he has prioritized over yours on at least one very significant occasion. You call him a “great boyfriend,” but if he’s blowing off an opportunity to meet your parents after two years of dating you by leaving town a couple days earlier than planned, unnecessarily, with a woman he’s bringing home to meet his parents instead of you, he’s not great, and no amount of well-timed, home-cooked meals will make up for how insignificant he’s made you feel.
Bottom line, when deciding whether or not to continue a relationship, pay the most attention to how that person makes you feel. And if it’s not a great feeling, it’s not a great relationship and it’s time to move on already.
I asked him if there was anything I may not want to know but should. I still had suspicions and snooped yet again. I discovered that he was secretly texting and talking to an old friend that he met through a dating site that he said he was never intimate with, saying they are just friends. She lives far away so the likelihood of their seeing each other is minimal, but he still kept in contact with her. In addition, I found numerous Craigslist sex solicitations from October through the end of February. I found this out in April/May. When confronted, he said he was testing himself. He never cheated on me — he never saw or spoke to any of the Craigslist contacts. He said that when he moved into my home, he wanted to make sure he wasn’t that “type.” He said he wasn’t and he would never cheat on me. However, the trust has been broken and I’ve been struggling with his words.
Can this man be trusted? Should I believe him? He says he loves me and wants to marry me, but I’m still not 100% trusting him. He is a good talker and can talk his way out of anything. HELP! — Can’t Trust This
This relationship is super Dysfunctional with a capital D, from your calling random contacts in your boyfriend’s phone (!), to “confronting” him about his previous relationship before he started dating you – which, frankly, isn’t your business — to his bullshit justification for soliciting people in a sexual nature on Craigslist. He was “testing” himself? After he moved in with you? To see if he was “that type”? Spoiler: he is TOTALLY “that type.” If you look up “that type” in the urban dictionary, there’s a picture of him with a smirk on his face, gripping a bunch of whips and chains, surrounded by a harem of women he solicited off Craigslist, and he’s probably wearing leather chaps. And if you look up “big ol’ snoopity-snoop” in the urban dictionary, there’s a picture of YOU holding a magnifying glass over her boyfriend’s phone, looking for any validation of your deep sense of distrust for your scummy boyfriend.
And you want to know if you can trust the guy? If you should marry him? Fuck, no, you can’t trust him (clearly!). And if you actually believe his bullshit when he says that his numerous sex solicitations on Craigslist were a way of “testing” himself, well that doesn’t make him a “good talker” — it just makes you a bad listener. Stop being so gullible and listen to your gut that’s been screaming since at least one year into this relationship, if not sooner, that this guy is seriously bad news. There is no trust to be had here and there is no future. It’s just an endless sea of dysfunction, out of which your only life preserver is a long overdue breakup.
P.S. Your boyfriend’s ex ghosted him after four years of living together. Ghosted him! After living together for four years! I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because she was sick of picking up his socks.