My good friend, “Meg,” and I were friends in high school and college, before she began dating my brother. Both of them lied to me about their relationship for an entire year, so needless to say, I was terribly hurt. It wasn’t just that they lied to me for a year, but that they told all of our mutual friends months before I knew, so I was made to look like an idiot. Then, about two years ago, they went through a rather nasty break-up after five years together. Meg and I didn’t talk much throughout the end of their relationship, and we just recently started spending time together again. In fact, she is set to move into my apartment with me in September. Admittedly, our friendship has been shaky, and I’m nervous about signing a lease with her for a year.
Recently, she and my brother began hanging out again, with the intention of getting back together. I’m noticing some more shady behavior from her since they’ve been hanging out. For example, just yesterday, I asked if she wanted to go to a class at our gym with me, and she said she had job-training all day and couldn’t make it. Later, she posted a photo on Facebook from an event that she attended that day with my brother. She and I had a talk the other weekend where I told her that she needed to either get back together with my brother or get on with her life, and that if they do get back together, that I don’t want her to be dishonest with me about their relationship. She assured me that she wouldn’t lie to me about it, but then I find her Facebook posts that contradict what she told me previously.
I know their relationship is none of my business, and if they end up happy together this time around, then more power to them. But how do I let her know, gently, that I don’t appreciate being lied to? She can be rather manipulative at times, and twist things so she can believe that the problem is not her fault. I don’t want to get into a discussion with her and suddenly find that I’m trying to defend myself when really she should be the one back-tracking. To that end, am I justified in feeling upset at her dishonesty, or should I just mind my own business? — Tired of Being Lied To
Yeah, you should mind your own business, and as you said in the first sentence of your final paragraph, Meg’s and your brother’s relationship is not your business. Furthermore, it’s telling that you were one of the last people to learn about their relationship the first time they dated — months after many of your mutual friends. People don’t keep stuff — especially good stuff like being in a happy relationship — from those they’re close to unless they’re afraid of hurting or being judged by them. Are you a judgmental person, ToBLT? Perhaps that’s something to think about and work on…
As for Meg telling you she had a job training to go to and then posting a picture on Facebook of her with your brother, so what? That doesn’t mean she didn’t go to a job training (she could have hung out with your brother afterward… or maybe the event they went to was a type of “job-training”). And, even if she did tell you a white lie and was stupid enough to post a picture that blew her cover, maybe she’s lying to you because she doesn’t want you butting into her business anymore. Maybe she wants some privacy to figure out where things stand with her ex and whether they have a shot at a future together without you monitoring their every move. They’re grown-ups! They really don’t need you to tell them how to live their lives.
And now that I’ve said that, I’m going to tell you how to live your life (hey, you did ask me for advice, right?). Don’t move in with Meg. Doing so would be an absolute disaster. Not only do you have communication and trust problems within your “shaky” friendship, her on-again-off-again relationship with your brother causes a conflict of interest between you two. It wouldn’t be such a conflict of interest if you were mature enough to separate their relationship from your individual relationships with each of then, but that clearly doesn’t seem to be the case. For whatever reason, you see them and what they share together as some sort of extension of your relationships with each of them, and this extension has given you the idea that you have a say in what happens between them. You don’t. It truly is none of your business. Leave them alone, and let them figure out what they need to figure out without your meddling. Quit keeping tabs on Meg, and quit making her love life about you. Find a different roommate, and … well, get a life. The more you have going on for yourself, the less time and energy you have to concern yourself with people who wish you keep their private lives private (well, as private as they can while still posting pictures on Facebook, but that’s a whole ‘nother column…).
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.