“My Boyfriend Broke Up With Me Over False Cheating Accusations”

I have been with my boyfriend for about two years. We are long-distance and see each other about once every month or two. We had plans for me to move to his location at the end of this year. Last year, we went to Las Vegas for EDC (the Electric Daisy Carnival) with a group of our friends (originally his). One of the friends, “Colin,” began to seem flirtatious with me. The second morning we all got back to our camping trailer, and my boyfriend, along with a few others, went to take a shower. Me, Colin and another friend, “Kyle,” stayed behind. I did not feel well, so Colin gave me a shoulder massage. He was sitting on the bed and I was sitting on the floor. Kyle believes that Colin and I kissed. He told one of the friends camping with us the next day that he is not sure if he heard Colin and me kiss. Fast forward to a few days ago, and Kyle told my boyfriend that Colin and I made out and my boyfriend believes him.

I am utterly pissed that I am being wrongly accused of cheating. But I’m also heartbroken that my boyfriend has chosen to leave me for this without giving me the time of day to even have a conversation. He is also convinced I have tried to get with two of the girls in our friend group. Both of them are in committed relationships and both of them have drunkenly kissed me. My boyfriend never expressed that these things bothered him. But now that he believes I kissed Colin, he is saying I have spent our entire relationship trying to get with other people.

At this point I am so angry I don’t even know if I want to try to save our relationship. I think it’s a lost cause anyway, but I don’t want it ending on false accusations. So, my biggest concern is: How do I get him to realize I did not cheat? My boyfriend has been cheated on by just about every one of his exes, so there is a lot of residual trauma. I have also been cheated on and would never want my boyfriend to feel that pain because of me. I just want him to know the truth, whether we stay together or not. — Falsely Accused

What if you re-frame the reason for your breakup? Instead of thinking that it ended over false accusations, what if it ended over your boyfriend not trusting and respecting you? What if his lack of commitment to you is the reason for your breakup? What if the long distance and his immature, disrespectful friend group contributed to your breakup? I mean, I don’t know how many friends are in this friend group, but at least four of them sound a little sketchy – the two women who drunkenly kissed you without your consent and, despite all of you being in committed relationships, the guy who creepily gave you a shoulder rub (I’m guessing without your consent, but maybe I’m wrong?), and the guy who lied about you kissing shoulder rub guy.

I have another theory. I looked up when EDC was last year and it happened in May, but Kyle supposedly didn’t tell your boyfriend the false accusation of your kissing Colin until a few days ago. Why would he suddenly share this with your boyfriend ten months later? I wonder if he told your boyfriend a long time ago, but your boyfriend didn’t believe him (maybe because Colin denied it as well), and he’s only now pretending he just heard the false accusation because he wants an excuse to break up with you without feeling like the bad guy. This way, he gets to play victim again. And, as you allude, he’s the victim in every relationship he’s been in, apparently. It’s a role that’s probably more comfortable to him than being the bad boyfriend who dumps the long-distance girlfriend who was planning to move to be with him this year.

Who knows whether my theory is true, but it could be, right? Right now, you need perspective, and this is probably a truer perspective than your being dumped over false accusations made ten months later. Another thing that is true: None of this really matters in the long run. There isn’t an exact reason for your breakup. There are a series of reasons — just like there are with most breakups – with some of the reasons ringing more true for you and some more true for your boyfriend, and the real truth lying somewhere on a spectrum in between. The bottom line is that this relationship seems to be over, and maybe that’s for the best. A guy who could just divest you from his life without “giving you the time of day to even have a conversation” probably wasn’t going to be great long-term material for you anyway. Could you imagine if you actually made the long-distance move to be with him and then learned how little regard he had for you and your relationship after the fact? He just saved you a lot of trouble and trauma!

I’m sure like any breakup, you’ll need some time to process it and to feel sad and then to eventually move on. But you will move on. And I hope once you have a little distance and a fresh perspective, you can see this relationship for what it was… and what it wasn’t. Take whatever lessons there are here to glean, the first of which might be: If what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, then what doesn’t happen in Vegas sometimes leads to breakups.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. Everything Wendy said, LW!

    I’ll add that you can’t make this guy believe or disbelieve anything. You told him what happened and, whether he really believes you or not, he’s told you he thinks you’re a liar. And a cheat. And disrespectful to him for your entire relationship. And, and, and. Wendy’s right that he’s putting on his cloak of victim hood to justify that he’s not a bad guy for breaking up with you.

    Forget him and take care of yourself. You really don’t want a relationship with someone who will turn on you on a dime. And who can’t actually talk about issues, but instead must find someone or something to blame. Both of those are raging red flags and I’m betting some evidence of them was present prior to this incident. Consider this a learning experience, albeit a shitty one. There is absolutely someone better for you out there when you’re ready.

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  2. Anonymousse says:

    Yes to Wendy and to it’s MJ.
    He just wants to blame you. He’s a waste of time. Block him and his loser weirdo friends.

    1. Maybe he has an issue (quite rightfully) with her sitting between some guys legs while letting him give her a massage ?

  3. Avatar photo Moneypenny says:

    Man, I would feel so insulted if my bf took the word of his friends at face value and believed that all of these things happened when they actually did not. It’s just so much more convenient for him to play the victim, rather than actually work on his issues with his past relationships! There’s really no use trying to reason with him, it’s best to just let this go and move on. He sounds like a train wreck, honestly. Staying with him means you’ll constantly have to prove your fidelity, which sounds exhausting and super unhealthy.

  4. golfer.gal says:

    A few things:

    Women are socialized to be polite above all else. This can be hard to break, but it’s really important that you are able to be assertive in situations that make you uncomfortable. When someone who has been flirting with you starts rubbing your shoulders the minute your boyfriend is out of sight, it’s completely ok to say “no thanks, I’m not interested” or “actually I feel weird about being touched by male friends” or whatever. You can say it breezily and move on to another topic to minimize awkwardness. I’m not saying you were at fault for the situation at all, just that you can absolutely tell people to stop touching you and if they get upset, well, that’s their problem. It doesn’t sound like you initiated the massage, but if you did or enthusiastically accepted, it probably did feel off/look weird to the other friend because it wasn’t appropriate – the guy was flirting with you and your boyfriend had just left.

    I was with someone who would find reasons to be upset with me, particularly accusations that I was cheating, even when he knew they weren’t true. He would actively reject talking about it because he knew I’d be able to dispute what he was upset about – I’d have phone records, location data from my phone, etc that categorically meant I couldn’t have been cheating. But he refused to let me explain, because the fact was he wanted to be able to accuse me and hold onto the idea that he had been wronged way more than he wanted the truth. As Wendy said, it sounds like your boyfriend is invested in having a reason to break up with you. Someone who is committed and loves you isn’t going to ditch you without asking for your side. So take this as an opportunity to get away from a friend group that sounds like it’s frankly full of jerks and shady people.

    1. I had a creepy teacher in high school who used to give me neck rubs *in class* and I never knew how to handle it. My mom was also a teacher at the school and the neck rubs started at an end-of-summer teacher-and-family potluck. I was sitting on a sofa and he came behind me and started rubbing my neck, without asking me or anything (or, maybe he did, and I didn’t know how to say no. I can’t remember now). What I do remember is feeling paralyzed every time he touched me because I didn’t know how best to tell him to back the fuck up and keep his creepy hands off me. The power dynamic certainly added to things, but I think I probably would have had a hard time even telling a male friend I didn’t want a neck rub. Because being a teenage girl in the 90s meant I was socialized to never embarrass anyone on purpose.

      I hope things have changed enough socially that girls today have better boundaries than we Gen Xers did back in the day. But for this LW and anyone else who needs to hear it: it is not only ok, but necessary to tell people when to back off and keep their creepy body parts off your body parts when you don’t want them touching you.

    2. I don’t think that has been the case for several decades. It was an immature lapse in judgment for her to allow that.

      1. Good of you to speak up for all women, we appreciate it.

  5. I actually had a teacher in MIDDLE SCHOOL who would do the neck rub thing. In class, and of course, only to girls. If a girl asked him not to, he would literally mock them and even get the other girls in class to mock them as well for being sensitive. It was insane! (And of course, nobody ever did anything about it).

    1. Oh, and the craziest part… I remember overhearing some of the girls talking before class trying to decide if they should wear their training bras. Because it might be embarrassing if he goes to rub their shoulders and touches their bra straps!

  6. Anonymousse says:

    When a guy says that all his exes have cheated on him, that’s almost guaranteed a sign he’s going to be suspicious, controlling, and probably never trust you because you will eventually be “just like them.”

    How great does he treat you when you aren’t in person? Because he sounds like an abusive asshole who wants to shame you for what his friends make up.

    Walk away. In real life is better. You don’t spend ages between time in person before you see how fucked us their best friends really are.

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