“My Boyfriend Lies About Past Relationships”

Two years ago I began dating a man with whom I get on extremely well. We took the relationship slowly even though we really liked each other from the start. He has a grown child from a relationship, and I have two teenagers still at home. We introduced each other to our children after six months of dating and everyone gets along well, so there are no conflicts there.

At the beginning of our relationship we shared our dating histories. He is 55 and I am 48. His background of never being married was a little worrisome to me because I wondered if he was a commitment-phobic person. He has been completely attentive and committed to me, so that doesn’t seem to be his problem.

What is disturbing to me is that over the past few years I have learned that he lied to me about his dating history. He told me initially that he had never dated anyone beyond six months, but then I learned that he had dated one woman for ten years and another for two. He told me about a month-long trip to China that he took with a group and his daughter, when his daughter was a teenager. Later I learned that he took a girlfriend with them, too. That was after he had told me months before that it was just him and his daughter on the trip.

We never fight, but, on the two occasions when I confronted him about the lies, he got angry with me and stormed out of my house. Then he texted me from his car, stating that he was done with me. Later he returned to tell me he was sorry for behaving very immaturely and that he had over-reacted.

He is still friendly with his daughter’s mother, and each year his family gathers for Christmas and she is invited. I was invited the first year we dated, and the ex attended. It was uncomfortable for me because his daughter is now 26 and her mother has been remarried for 15 years!! When I told him it was uncomfortable for me, he said that he understood and that she (the ex) should not be included, but that it has just become tradition. The following year, he invited me and told me that the ex was coming. I said that I was uncomfortable since I believe that, by this point in our relationship, she should not be included in such intimate family gatherings. (The gathering takes place at his house).

I did not give him an ultimatum but said that I just did not feel comfortable with it and elected not to attend. He said “ok.” After a few days, he decided to dis-invite her, but he used a lame excuse that had nothing to do with the real reason. Why could he not just tell her that it is no longer appropriate for her to be included – she is long married to someone else and I am his serious girlfriend? Her husband never comes to these things, and I believe he probably is uncomfortable about them, too.

I feel very torn. On one hand, this man is very attentive, loving, and committed to me. We get along beautifully. On the other hand, I feel like I am one in a long, long, LONG string of girlfriends. He assures me that I am “the one” and he believes we could be married “one day.” I wonder if I am being strung along and will fall to the wayside like 50+ women before me, or if he is sincere about marrying me.

Thoughts? — One in a Long String of Girlfriends

I feel very torn, too. On one hand, I’m baffled about why your 55-year-old boyfriend would lie and tell you he’d never had a relationship longer than six months when, in fact, he’d had a couple long-term relationships. On the other hand, I’m baffled about why you are totally flipping the eff out over the fact that at 55 he’s had two serious relationships and that he took a girlfriend on vacation with him once. How does that equate to you being just one more woman in a “long, long, LONG string of girlfriends” or you “being strung along [to] fall to the wayside like 50+ women before” you? That’s just kind of crazy. It’s AT LEAST as crazy as lying about the length of previous relationships, if not more so.

You say your boyfriend is “very attentive, loving, and committed to you”? Then chill out. You’re going to lose this guy if you continue behaving like a jealous teenage girl. So, he’s had a couple of girlfriends before you. HE’S fifty-fucking-five years-old. Yes, it’s bizarre that he lied about it, but maybe he had a sneaking suspicion you’d freak out about thinking of him with another woman besides you. After all, look at how you’re behaving about his maintaining a civil relationship with his ex-girlfriend. They have a daughter together. How nice for her that, once a year, her parents can put aside whatever differences they had in their relationship and celebrate the holidays with her, together, under one roof, along with other family and friends. All kids of divorce/separated parents, grown or not, should be so lucky. This is a lovely gift that they’ve been able to give their daughter, and you are out of line to try to sabotage it. As you said, the ex-wife has been married for 15 years. Your boyfriend invites her to his Christmas gathering for his daughter’s benefit. It’s one occasion a year the daughter gets to have her whole family together, and why should she have to give that up because her father’s 48-year-old girlfriend can’t handle the idea of her boyfriend having previous relationships?

I think all of this boils down to the final few words of your letter: “(I wonder if) he is sincere about marrying me.” You feel uncertain or insecure about your future together, and you’re projecting that insecurity onto all these petty things. This isn’t really about your boyfriend remaining civil with an ex or withholding the fact that he took a former girlfriend on vacation with him to China over a decade ago. This is about whether or not there’s a future for the two of you. You need to feel like you’re on the same page. Causing a big fuss over whom your boyfriend invites to his family Christmas party this year isn’t going to get you the clarity you need. Obsessing over his past relationships isn’t going to get you the clarity you need. The only thing that will give you the clarity you desire about the state of your union, present and future, is to sit down and talk about it with your boyfriend. So do that. Ask him if he’s sincere about marrying you and, if so, when. Ask him why he’s lied to you about previous relationships. Ask him why he feels he can’t be honest and what YOU can do to make him feel more comfortable opening up to you.


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


  1. My guess, based on the little I can glean from your letter, is that you are a jealous person by nature, which is lending to the insecurity you’re feeling about your relationship. As a 35 year old woman with divorced parents, I would LOVE it if my parents were civil enough to attend a holiday event together so that I didn’t have to run around to 4 different places on Christmas eve and day (my fiance is also from a divorced family, so yay for us). As Wendy says, chill out! His ex is remarried and has been for 15 years. If anything, you should be cultivating a relationship with her because, despite his daughter’s age, if you do marry him, she will be part of your life for the long haul.

  2. RedroverRedrover says:

    Whatever you do about him, tell him right now to reinvite his ex to Christmas so she can make plans. How are you threatened by someone who’s been an ex for so long, and who’s happily remarried? Don’t ruin Christmas for his daughter with your petty jealousy. Jeez.

    1. Unbelievable. She says the new husband probably feels uncomfortable too so he stays away. Why not take a page out of his book? He doesn’t try to destroy a family tradition even though he is married to the woman going to her ex-boyfriend’s house…yet the new girl friend does? If you are so uncomfortable then go do something else. Your behaviour is just selfish… and short-sighted.
      And I hate to break it to you but you had no real problems – lying about a girlfriend coming on a trip years before he even knew you? who cares? But congratulations because if it’s problems you wanted you have some now because there is no way the daughter is liking the likes of you after you excluded her mother from the family tradition that has gone on happily this whole time…so good luck trying to convince her dad to marry you “one day”.

      1. To clarify – not giving an ultimatum but guilting someone into what you want them to do is not the same as ‘this is your tradition – not for me – you have fun and I’ll see you later” which is what should happen.

      2. Avatar photo something random says:

        Good call. Stating that she did not give an ultimatum diverted me from this when I first read it.

  3. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

    Wendy is right (per usual) that the issue is really your insecurity about your future with your boyfriend. Which is fed by your insecurity about his past. Realistically, HE HAS A PAST. It would be impossible for him to be the “attentive, loving, and committed” boyfriend you say he is if he had NO relationship experience. Is it f*cking weird he lies to you about his past relationships? Totally. Can you deal with that?
    Also, if on two separate occasions he stormed out of your house after being confronted with his conflicting stories, I dont really think this qualifies as “[w]e never fight.” I’m just sayin.’

    1. So yeah, LW, the way you wrote this letter, it seems you’re focusing on the fact that he had past relationships. Not that he lied to you about them. I would be concerned with the later, not the former. Why did he lie? Is it because he rightfully figured out you are jealous or insecure? Or is he just a tall tale teller? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. I think you need to have a calm, rational discussion and figure that out before you proceed with the relationship.
      Also, wtf. The guy is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. You were concerned about a 55 year old never being married. Then you were concerned that he had a couple long-term girlfriends? The 10-year relationship was probably pretty darn close to a marriage, just without the signed papers. I mean, he CAN’T win with you.
      My final thought, I’m so tired of hearing about people and their insecurities with past relationships. Especially when there are children. I think it speaks VOLUMES about the character of the people involved if they’re able to remain civil. Grow the eff up already.

      1. That wasn’t meat to be a reply. Sorry. It was meant to stand on its own.

      2. I totally agree that this guy probably had the sense that LW would be jealous and insecure, and tried to hide/downplay his past so as to keep everything calm and drama free, and to keep from inciting LW’s jealous wrath. Was it the right move on his part? No. Buuuut here we are. LW, chill out. Seriously.

      3. It’s true – he can’t win. She had a better concern when she thought the 55 year old’s longest relationship was 10 months…finding out about the long term girlfriends should have been comforting. Honestly, this is how girls act at 15. That is the age they don’t want their first boyfriends to have had a past relationships…hard to believe the LW is 48 and a mother of two.

  4. Avatar photo something random says:

    I know letter writer is going to take a lot of crap for the christmas thing. And it’s good that she didn’t demand boyfriend stop the invites but rather made her feelings clear and decided not to attend. But I have to agree with Wendy that most people wouldn’t have such a strong reaction to the “appropriateness” of the situation. There is objectively nothing inappropriate about it. The insecurity really is puzzling.

    One thing I’m not clear on is if he just represented himself as a blank slate when you guys were first getting to know each other or if he has continued to make little lies throughout the relationship. Letter writer says she “found out” about a ten year relationship and a girlfriend who went to China. Does this mean the boyfriend told her later on down the line? Or that maybe she picked it up from obvious reminders such as photographs and chit chat with the kids? If this is the case, it would seem he just didn’t feel comfortable getting into his dating history early on. Maybe he never wants to get into it. How much does it really matter?

    I do think his reaction to the “confrontation” is a major red flag, though. Maybe he has some skeletons and he’s willing to gaslight about them. Clearly the letter writer believes being able to speak openly and honestly about the first four decades of their lives is important. She’s of the history repeats itself camp. I think Wendy was spot as usual in her advice. Hopefully the letter writer will listen.

    1. Avatar photo something random says:

      “Why could he not just tell her that it is no longer appropriate for her to be included – she is long married to someone else and I am his serious girlfriend?”

      Letter writer, this statement is also a red flag but for you boyfriend. You clearly didn’t hear or respect HIS feelings on this issue any more than he heard yours. The difference is yours was based on discomfort with his innocuous holiday traditions with loved ones. While it was fine to make your feelings clear and decide not to attend, it was also unflattering jealous and unsupportive. It would have been healthier if your boyfriend had chosen to continue is tradition without you and left you to examine your discomfort. Unfortunately, he chose to accommodate you and this somehow made you feel validated in disapproving of a charming family tradition. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable and take time to examine it. Your quote suggests you were WAY over invested in him completely severing his relationship with his child’s mom whom he has known for at least damn near thirty years. This is a controlling intention and you should be aware others would perceive it as a Major red flag.

      Just to clarify I’m not giving you a pass.

      1. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

        This! For the life of me, I cannot stand when someone gets into a relationship with a person who is a parent, and thinks that all previous arrangements/boundaries must immediately be ceased or changed solely for the comfort of the new person. When kids are involved- grown or still young- traditions in the family unit are important, and it is not the “right” of the new person to decide what exactly the arrangements/boundaries are to be or their appropriateness. (With a caveat, I suppose- if parents are like spoon-feeding each other and absolutely ignoring new person or something.)
        Also, unless you know for sure, LW, mom’s husband could be staying away from the family Christmas for innumerable reasons, from allowing that family to have the tradition to having a job where he values time at home alone to decompress (or a Chandler Bing-style aversion to a usually beloved holiday and its traditions). Who knows why he stays away? Just because him being uncomfortable with the tradition like you are fits better into your side of the argument doesnt mean that is the reason that he does not attend.

      2. RedroverRedrover says:

        Maybe the husband has kids with another woman too, and he goes to his ex’s house to be with his kids? Like a mature adult?

      3. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

        HAHA, yes!

  5. OMG LW, chill out. The Christmas thing is WONDERFUL! Honestly, the daughter is so lucky and the ex is not looking to get back together. Someday, there could be grandkids and there will be holidays, birthdays, religious milestones. For you to come in and ask for this to end is so cruel. The idea that a couple can put the past behind them and say, “We don’t love each other anymore but we both love our daughter” is so great to show that a family might not be together but they still get along. I have a friend who had a kid with a guy and they broke up before the baby was born. Every year, they take a family picture on their son’s birthday with just Mom, Dad, and him. They have since moved on to other relationships and have other kids but they both show that he is loved by both of them separate from the two new family units. It is the sweetest, most mature thing to do. Please, please tell your boyfriend that you made a mistake and don’t ruin Christmas.

    1. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

      Your friend’s tradition is amazing. What a great idea

  6. First, just to get it out of the way, is your boyfriend a pathological liar? I’ve known a few.

    If not, then I have a hunch that, early on in the relationship, you freaked out about something he said to you, and since then he’s been cautious about how much information he gives you. I did something similar early on with my husband when he told me he used to be a “bad boy.” If you’re not open to hearing certain things and have shown that you’ll flip out, a guy is probably going to avoid telling you the whole truth. Lying about having a 10year relationship IS bizarre, but think back… Might you have given him a reason to want to cover things up?

    The trip thing – that’s not a big deal in my book. When you’re getting to know someone, I think it’s pretty normal to talk about vacations and such and gloss over who exactly was with you on the trip. You find out later it was the girlfriend, but who cares? Of course it was.

    1. Ok, now that I read your update, it’s not far off from what I thought. He didn’t want to be perceived as a player (maybe because some woman before you had freaked out), so he edited his history. You have to understand that a guy who does this is a guy who will try to cover things up to avoid being seen in a negative light or being embarrassed. That’s a fact. And you HAVE caught him in multiple lies. It seems like a lot of lies and just overall kind of bizarre and convoluted. If he’s really devoted to you and once in a while lies about something stupid but comes clean when you call him out, and then over time you aren’t catching him in lies anymore because he’s stopped lying about stupid shit, then you can live with that, right? But if you never know if what he’s telling you is true or not, and he’s lying about stuff that matters and has important implications, maybe you can’t live with it.

      I’m also concerned about his seeming need to find the “perfect” partner and that he says he wants to marry you but won’t commit to a timeframe. Those are not great signs.

  7. I had some sympathy for you at first, until you made him disinvite his daughter’s mother to Christmas, and ruining the one normal tradition she has with her family. Your jealousy is just ruining everything.

    1. I honestly can’t think of a reason why a 48 year old women with two teenagers from a previous relationship could not understand how important that must be to the daughter, and her boyfriend in that situation.

      1. EXACTLY.

  8. Avatar photo fast eddie says:

    The LW’s jealousy was probably obvious to this guy early on and being 55 his opportunities for sex and companionship love were sparse. Therefor he withheld his history out of fear. Best outcome is to cut him loose to find someone that isn’t a nut case. They don’t trust each other and never will.

    1. Avatar photo fast eddie says:

      Most people put their past behind them, this guy put his into another galaxy but the debris (kids) from the blast off lingers for decades. All his screws need to be tightened or replaced.

  9. Your letter leaves me wondering what kind of relationship you have with your ex and his family. Hopefully you can find a way to step back from this and realize there is nothing wrong with being able to co-parent in a civil way that involves including that co-parent in holiday celebrations. Even when the child is grown, it’s nice to be able to celebrate together. Family doesn’t stop being important because you turn 18.

    Obviously though your issue is much bigger than your boyfriend being a successful co-parent. You don’t trust him because he lied about his past. So like Wendy said talk to your boyfriend and discuss the parts of your relationship that you are uncomfortable with. But, please leave his daughter and the family he has built for her, which I’m sure he would hope would also be able to include you, out of those discussions. And maybe instead talk about how the family you will build together that includes his daughter and your’s will look like.

  10. Without having read all the comments, I have to say I am not a fan of men who lie. I would end this relationship simply on that basis. No matter what he reason might be, he chose to lie. However, having said that, I agree with Wendy that you are way overreacting about the past girlfriends. (And I say this as a person who is prone to jealousy.) Frankly, it would be more worrisome to me if a 55-year old man DIDN’T have past girlfriends. (Or boyfriends, for that matter.) As for his daughter’s mother, she’s his daughter’s mother, and you cannot expect her to be excluded from family events. This relationship does not sound healthy on either end. I would MOA.

  11. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    It’s funny, after reading LW’s first couple of paragraphs about how the 55 year old boyfriend lied about past relationships, I figured the concern would be “what else is he lying about? Can I trust him?” or something along those lines, but the concern was “I feel like I am one in a long, long, LONG string of girlfriends … and will fall to the wayside like 50+ women before me.” That’s a weird leap. Is that really the concern? Not that he LIED to your face about something so… so simply as whether he had prior relationships or not? I would be really upset to know he just lied to my face. And if he lied because he felt that I couldn’t handle knowing he had prior relationships, then I’d also feel insulted, like he doesn’t think I’m mature enough to handle the truth. So, just focusing on that issue, I’d talk to him. It sounds like you have though, and he gets mad. So I’m curious: what exactly have you talked to him about? If it’s “Does this mean you’re just using me?” then yeah I’d be pissed to. You gotta focus on the lie aspect of it and how it kills your trust. … I dunno, I am not good at relationships, but that to me seems like the big issue.
    As for the holiday gatherings with his daughter’s mother, I think you’re being unreasonable. She’s been remarried for 15 years now so what’s the big deal? If it makes you so uncomfortable, why don’t you stay home like the ex’s husband does? It’s their gathering with their daughter, let them have that gathering together – it’s for the daughter. You can celebrate with your boyfriend and his kids separately, no? Seems like a no brainer – and very remote from the lying issue.

  12. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    From the LW:

    Hi Wendy,

    I love your response and I read the response of others. I was unable to post to the others so maybe this response will make its way to the respondents.

    Sadly, I did not make myself clear about the Christmas event. I love that the ex and my boyfriend have a good relationship. In fact, I invited her to his birthday party that I had for him at my home. I was upset because if given the choice between me and her he chose her and said that to me. I don’t feel there should be a choice and, if so, at what point do I become the first choice?

    As for lying to me about his past, he flat out lied to me and there should have been no reason. On our second date, he asked me about my dating history and I gave him an overview. I asked him about his. There was no judgement or further discussion after he shared with me, what turned out to be a pack of lies. As we moved through the relationship, I found that he had lied about his history. On our first date, he told me he was divorced, but I later learned he had never been married. He told me originally that he only dated his daughter’s mother for five months. In reality they “sorta kinda lived together” for “six or so years.” That is a BIG difference. He told me he and his daughter took the trip to China and no one else was with him, but I later learned about a girlfriend of two years having gone with them. I am not jealous, at all, and I expect a man of 55, never been married, to have had relationships. I question why he lied to me. I have caught him in so many lies about other women that it does give me pause. Why the lies?

    I took your advice and asked him straight away. He told me that he lied because he was embarrassed by his “sketchy” dating past, primarily that he did not want me to think he was a player. Apparently, it has caused problems for him in the past, so he chose to lie to me based on that and nothing I have ever said. I told him that it is the lies that bother me and not his past. Since he lied, and I did not know why, it made me feel as though he was playing me. He said he wants to marry me, but he was no committal as to when.

    Wendy, my boyfriend has been searching for the perfect mate his whole life, but never found the perfect one because no one is perfect. Each woman he has been serious with has had potential for a LTR, but when push came to shove, his need for solitude and independence were so strong that he was able to find fault with the woman and he bailed. So this kind of past makes me feel very nervous about a future with him. At what point am I no longer “perfect?”

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Oy, this is a mess. The lies are terrible, yes. What’s up with that? That’s sketchy. But you’re all ove board
      Why did you give him the “choice between me and her” – there is no choice, you feel that there shouldn’t be a choice, but you’re asking him to make a choice? What are you 9? He’s not with her, he’s with you.
      I’m not sure what advice you’re seeking. The lies seem shady. Your issue with the ex being invited to events with the daughter seems shady. That his past makes you feel very nervous about a future with the boyfriend seems… misplaced. I’d think the lies would do it but ok.
      What was the question?
      I have a man coming to visit me in ONE WEEK. A MAN. A SINGLE MAN. WHO IS CUTE. AND NICE. AND HE IS COMING TO SEE MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. (Sorry, I didn’t know where to put that.)

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        ^ So wish me luck. I figure it’s going to be fantastic or terrible but probably nothing in-between but I’m taking a chance!
        Ok, back to LW.

      2. Yeah I’m very confused as to what the LW wants to get an answer about as well. Is he going to leave her because he’s commitment phobic, maybe. But, I don’t think we can answer that because we can’t see the future. I also wonder what problems having a full dating life caused, unless he was not truthful in those relationships either?
        And I agree with the choosing one over another. Why make him choose? It seems like another power play trying to feel confident in the relationship. If he chooses me he must be more serious than I think.
        I would ask myself if I was really happy in this relationship and if I was actually getting out of it what I wanted. If not why stay? Why wait to see if he’s going to leave you if you’re not happy?
        Go AP! Good luck! 🙂

      3. I agree with both of you. And rewording the Christmas thing doesn’t make you sound any better LW. At all.
        However, I do think there are some red flags with this dude. The outright lying is troublesome. IDK, I think I would cut my losses and MOA.

      4. yeah i think that’s why she needs to step back and really think about if she’s happy here. it doesn’t sound like she is when she takes in to consideration his lying, so why stay in this relationship? It seems like she wants things to be perfect and work out even though they aren’t. Which I think a lot of people can relate too, but wanting something bad isn’t enough.

      5. RedroverRedrover says:

        I can kinda see the Christmas thing if she feels that the ex really is more important than her. But I think what she’s missing is that it’s not the ex who’s more important, it’s the daughter. The ex is presumably only invited for the daughter’s sake. And if he’s making the choice that his daughter is more important than the LW, then he’s doing the right thing IMO.

        Although the fact that this is even an issue should be a red flag (for him). She should have either sucked it up and been uncomfortable, or she should have said she won’t go, but in a way where she reassured him that she thinks he should continue the tradition and keep the ex there. This wasn’t one she should have been trying to “win”. The “win” is for the daughter to be happy and for her relationship with her parents to continue to be good. You don’t try to put yourself ahead of someone’s kids.

      6. RedroverRedrover says:

        And I would MOA too. It doesn’t seem like he’s all that interested in the kind of commitment the LW is asking for, plus the lying is an issue. Maybe he only lied about this and everything else is fine, but who knows?

      7. I want to know what part is so uncomfortable at these Christmas parties! Are the BF, and his ex like really touchy feel, and all over each other, or are they just acting like a family, and having fun on a holiday with each other? I think this probably does come down to the relationship she does have with her kids father. She must think that since they are ex’s they shouldn’t be friends, because that is what she is used too.

      8. RedroverRedrover says:

        Yeah, that confused me too. Also, why did she invite the ex to the bf’s birthday party at her home, but then complain about her being around on Christmas? It just doesn’t seem to make sense. Maybe the ex didn’t come to the bday party, and the LW knew she wouldn’t, so she felt it was ok to invite her and look good even though she didn’t really want her there?

        I don’t know, this update just brings up more questions than answers. I don’t think the LW is going to get what she wants from us. I can’t see a way to fix whatever’s going on here, and it’s probably best if she moves on.

      9. I want to know too. Because if the ex is cool enough to invite for the birthday party then what is so special at Christmas? They hang out under the mistletoe? If the boyfriend left the LW in the dark to go screw in a light bulb at his daughter’s mother’s house I could see what the issue could be. That is a her vs. me kind of thing. But this I just don’t see that way at all.

    2. Unfortunately the only thing this follow-up did for me, was make me think the Christmas thing is even worse. You made him choose between you and his daughter’s mother…over a Christmas Party! You never should have put him in that situation, and clearly you don’t love his relationship they have together. And in the end he did choose you because he went and disinvited her, because of how “uncomfortable” you were with this women attending a holiday party because the daughter is now a grown women and shouldn’t need her parents to be cordial to each other anymore apparently.
      The rest of the follow up really just gives us the same info really. Yeah his lying sucks, and very weird that he thinks long term relationships are part of a sketchy past. It seems you are both hung up on some things that really need to be talked about in more depth than just his lying.

  13. kakattack says:

    LW, you really need to get over your jealousy, especially with the ex attending holiday functions. Both sets of my grandparents are divorced and remarried, and we do holidays with everyone and have for as long as I can remember. (So Thanksgiving/Christmas is Grandpa/new wife, Grandma/boyfriend, my parents, my aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.) And my grandparents divorced in the 1970s!
    It’s always been really nice to have 1 holiday function instead of 2, and it’s also nice to see everyone getting along cordially. I think it taught me from a young age that you can be friendly with exes, especially if you share children/grandchildren.
    And how do you know the ex-girlfriend’s husband stays away because he was uncomfortable? Did you ask him? Are you a mind-reader?

  14. One of a long string of girlfriends says:

    I found this in my inbox as I was cleaning out my computer. I was the LW. I remember, at the time, feeling completely attacked by everyone on this board. Wendy, your assessment of me was completely off base. Everyone else’s comments were also wrong, wrong, wrong.

    I put my “jealousy” aside (as several people claimed I was) and tried to understand that he had a past that I needed to get past. I learned several things as I continued a relationship with this liar and a cad. The nice relationship he had with his ex had for the sake of their child, that everyone here believed I needed to respect, was an ongoing sexual affair despite the fact that she was married to someone else and he had a girlfriend. He also did not have a few relationships in the past. I found out that he used a dating site where he met and used about women about 50. He charmed several of them out of lots of money. He also spread several STI’s around while he was at it!!! Fortunately, I got out of that relationship.

    Wendy, all I can say is “shame on you” for not listening to a reader/writer. Thankfully, I took your advise and the ripping by your readers with a grain of salt. I did my due diligence to find the truth. Then I bailed from what could have been a very hurtful situation by a player and time bandit.

    1. Trust your gut says:

      To “One of a long string of girlfriends”….I was going to write a comment before I had even read your final one – just to express my incredulity at Wendy’s reply and all the other comments and to let these expert readers consider that when something feels off, it usually is….. I was in a LTR (6 years) with a very charming and affable man who, too, was dishonest about his past. He presented himself to me as a well educated and decent man with integrity. But lots of things never made sense and I had a terrible sense of unease about him and especially his past. Lots just didn’t add up. He said that he too was never in any relationship that lasted longer than weeks until the one with his ex before me (and mother of his children). She was also a constant presence in our lives (he would do her gardening, take her to the supermarket, take the dog that she wanted to keep, for its walks??) and I was scolded by anyone I confided in for not seeing that this was an amicable, mature set-up for the sake of the children. He told me that he had never wanted to be in a relationship with this ex – it was just casual and she trapped him by telling him she was on the pill and then getting pregnant – and so he did the right thing and stuck by her. Yet when she became pregnant, she already had five children from previous relationships, having had the first one at 15 yrs old (a bit of a clue to wear a condom?) and as time went on and I got drip fed more about him, I realised that they were already living together and had been for well over a year when she got pregnant. They stayed together for 13 years and had another child. He told me it was a dull and miserable relationship and it had made him waste his life and opportunities. He only stayed for the sake of the children because of the mother, that she and her life was so chaotic and her older children were growing up and having babies in their teens and going to prison etc. He came across as a “nice guy” who had been taken advantage of. However, their family photos would have suggested otherwise, lots of holidays, drunken parties, extended family events, and a time living abroad. Why would this man need to lie? Why not just say the truth, like we all do? It was a decent relationship that just never worked out in the end??? Long story short, this man too turned out to be very manipulative, exploitative and a compulsive liar. He convinced me to start investing in property with him (using my money) to help him catch up with his lost opportunities for career development and pension etc, only to cut me out later. He is now in a much better place financially than when I found him and I am in quite a bit of debt. Throughout our relationship and when we broke up, he maintained contact with not only this ex before me, but a whole line of them going back over 30 years, reaching out to them whenever we fell out or he felt lonely or down and once we had separated, to try and rekindle something. Meeting his children actually made me really question the persona he had presented to me as they were just awful, their rude behaviour, ignorance about the world, lack of interest in school and lack of manners belied the kind of person he tried to present himself as – polite, cultural, educated etc. They could barely sit through a meal in a restaurant or be taken anywhere on holiday without constantly complaining and kicking and slapping each other. That always never added up for me, how he could have tolerated/accepted/got into lifestyle he had before he knew me, with constant drama and social services involvement, prison visits and being called into see the school headteacher etc. Again, I had just thought he was a decent “nice guy”, maybe a bit gullible. But it was me who was the gullible one. I have lost a fair bit of money. I realise now that the previous relationship was not only acceptable but actually beneficial and lasted so long because the ex was on welfare and had a nice big council house paid for by welfare and free money coming in. The babies were probably planned by both to get more money. He worked and still does a fairly low paid job but his salary was disposable. He used to have to pretend he lived somewhere else because she was claiming to be a single mother to claim every welfare benefit she could get. He has never maintained his own children, the tax payer does. So you were right. If something doesn’t seem right, it really probably isn’t. You dodged a bullet and well done! Btw, this guy also turned out to have an STI, which he “didn’t know anything about” and then tried to pin on me! I went and had a blood test which showed that I did not have it and thankfully he never gave it to me but could have !! Decent people tend to think that others must be too but unfortunately there are some really dangerous and morally bankrupt people out there and I guess someone has to cross their paths….us!!! .

  15. Anonymous says:

    I married this man. He was lying to me about his past relationships at first, then about everyday things, even the music he was listening to. I got exactly the advice as the comments here, I was blaming myself for years because of it. He always assured me how much he loved me, everyone told me what a nice guy he was and I was just being difficult. I lost myself while trying to make our relationship work and developed anxiety attacks towards the end because I was always on the lookout for lies. Long story short, he cheated on me with his coworker and left me for her 3 weeks before I gave birth to his son. The nice man dissapeared, he smeared me to his friends and family and couldn’t care less for our baby. I found myself running back to my mothers house because he wanted to keep our apartment and everything else. Luckily the law doesnt work that way and his girlfriend and him didn’t get to keep the things we worked for togehter. So if anyone’s in a similar situation and finds my comment, run. Run as fast as you can and don’t look back even for a second.

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