After we began dating, he invited me to his home and wouldn’t let me go upstairs, which was fine with me because it was a new relationship. Three months later, he begged me to move in. I avoided answering his question because I didn’t understand his motive. Another three months later, he begged me again to move in and I felt maybe we were moving in the right direction. But then I found out that his ex-girlfriend had been living in the upstairs bedroom that he wouldn’t let me see!!
I was so upset that he had lied, and I told him so. He then said I was a psycho and that he was just being a nice guy and allowing her to live there until she found another place. Ok, sooo… you can’t tell your new girlfriend this information?? I worked as a nurse at the sheriff’s station. The ex is a drug addict who was busted stealing money from a local shop. It seems to me like this man wanted me to come into HIS home and clean up a mess because he didn’t want to do it. Am I a jerk for questioning his integrity and motives in this situation? — Former Sheriff’s Nurse
You need to reframe how you’re looking at this. You aren’t “questioning his integrity and motives.” You’re listening to your intuition. This isn’t really a judgment call on your boyfriend. I mean, it could be, of course, but then that puts you in a position of questioning your own judgment, like you’re doing (i.e. “Am I a jerk?”). Instead, if you viewed ending this relationship because your intuition has repeatedly alerted you to a potential issue, you shift the dynamic to a more empowering position for yourself. And then learning about the girlfriend being hidden away in an upstairs bedroom validates your intuition. It was right! This IS a problem.
While it’s alarming and upsetting to learn that your boyfriend is a weirdo and to feel troubled by his secrecy and his judgment and the way he’s now calling you a psycho (ALWAYS a huge red flag in a relationship, btw, if not an outright deal-breaker), I hope you also feel affirmed in this experience. All the healing and self-reflecting you did following your divorce is going to protect you in relationships going forward. You can trust your gut feeling when it alerts you that something is a little off. That’s practically a superpower.
I am very hurt. And I feel this self-doubt that I was not clear enough or fast enough or assertive enough to tell him I love him and that I’m serious about us. We did have a brief conversation over text regarding commitment, to which he replied that he needs time to commit. He never revealed his marriage thing to me.
Please help me make sense of all this. How should I approach this situation if I really do have strong feelings for him, even now? — The Vibes Were Great
There’s not much to make sense of. You met a guy who wanted to cheat on the woman he was about to marry and he did. He didn’t love you. Your telling him you loved him would not have changed anything except making you feel even worse about his “marriage thing.” There is no situation here to approach, and any feelings you think you have for this guy would be misdirected and certainly undeserved. You can harness those feelings into self-love and self-compassion and the belief that when you find the right person, there will never be a question about whether you are “enough” anything. Any urgency you might have when you meet the right person to express your feelings will be borne from a desire to open your heart and not a desire to “lock it down.”
Bottom line: There’s nothing you could have or should have done differently. Don’t let this experience shake your self-confidence. Sometimes we read people wrong. We get so excited by the idea of someone that we want to rush the relationship timeline. There’s never anything wrong with taking time to get to know someone – really know them – before expressing love. And not every heart swell is an indication of love. Sometimes the fireworks are just that – something explosive that grabs our attention but fades before our eyes even have time to adjust.
He doesn’t want me putting my arm around him or anything like that as it makes him uncomfortable. He doesn’t like bringing me anywhere with him because he’s afraid of other people looking at me. He also said it messes with his head when I wear nice clothes. I reassured him it was only to make myself feel good and not to impress anyone, but he can’t get his head around this. On the other hand, he has never stopped me from doing any of this (just tries to put me off it, I guess). He never stops me going anywhere and doesn’t stop me hanging out with any of my friends (male or female).
I’m not sure what to do here. Considering we have a house together and we’re starting a future together, would I be throwing it all away? When I raised all these issues with him, he said that the main thing is that we get on in the house together – that’s where we spend most of our time and that’s all that’s important (which I disagree with).
I’m worried that if I leave, I won’t find someone I connect as well with again. Is this something that can be worked on? Should I stay and hope his insecurities fade in time, or should I walk? — His First Serious Girlfriend
Don’t walk; RUN! Your boyfriend is exhibiting hallmark signs of emotional abuse. Here’s a link outlining some examples of such signs, and I would encourage you to do some research about emotional abuse, and I would imagine that what you will learn will resonate with you. The link I included has good advice for how to leave such a relationship. This is the time to lean on your support circle, and if you own property together, you should consult with a lawyer and make sure you protect your assets.
Beyond getting out of this harmful relationship, please know that you will find someone you connect well with again. Take some time to heal and be patient. It may not happen with the next person you date, but eventually you will find someone whom you not only connect with but also who shows up for you in the ways your boyfriend isn’t able to. He will want to know your friends and family and share experiences with you out in the world because all of that is part of building a healthy relationship. Your right person is someone who will want that with you. And someone who doesn’t want that isn’t for you.