I have been with my boyfriend, “Chris,” since December of 2017. I’ve always felt some distance between us because there are parts of his personal life I’m not involved in and, since I’m not an intrusive person, I don’t like to push him to tell me. At first, I thought that, over time, he would share more, but he hasn’t. A few months ago I called things off because we had been doing long-distance without any clear time as to when we’d be together again. Recently, we found a way that we could be together and decided to rekindle things; however, before we do, I want to resolve our issues.
As I said, Chris has always been relatively private. I know that his brother and friends openly drink, smoke, do drugs and just generally do crazy things for entertainment. I never knew how much Chris was involved in, but his brother and friends recently told me that he actually is the provider of drinks and smokes, even though he has never admitted to me that he drinks or smokes. I wonder if he is afraid of my judgement, even though I have made it clear numerous times that I need honesty. Finally, when I started sharing some of my past experiences with drinking, he started sharing a bit of his history, too. I appreciated his honesty, but since he had waited until I did so to admit the behavior, that verified for me that he was neglecting to talk about things because of fear of my judgment. It made me wonder what else falls into this category and whether he’s lied about any other behavior of his. For example, he maintains he was a virgin our first time together, but now I question whether that was true.
About a year after we started dating, he went dark to everyone including me. He pretended nothing was wrong and refused to talk much. I found out through a colleague that his ex-girlfriend had accused him of rape. At this point I put down my foot and forced him to talk to me. It turns out that he went dark because his lawyer asked him to and that he wasn’t even supposed to be talking to me. Normally, if it were any other person in the world accused of rape, I would have asked questions, but Chris is the gentlest, kindest, most loving and most sensitive person I’ve ever known, and I know he is not the type of person to sexually assault anyone. I’ve been sexually assaulted myself and know the type who would do something like that. It’s not someone like Chris, who asked my permission for even the slightest touch and who was so nervous the first time we kissed that he was practically convulsing. He was the first person I was able to be confident enough with that I could overcome my own sexual anxiety that had persisted for years after my own abuse; so, without another question, I consoled him when he told me about the rape allegation.
Now, well after the entire case has been dismissed, after everyone he knew defended him, and after he suffered no social repercussions, he is still fearful of the entire incident. He has taken up beliefs and gone as far as to say things like “#himtoo.” I thought he would get past this once he began to heal, especially knowing my story and what had been done to me, but he hasn’t, and I can’t help but start to wonder why. Did I dismiss things too quickly? Should I have asked questions? I don’t think he raped anyone, but perhaps something happened in a gray area that his ex exaggerated? Is that what he is afraid of?
I never did get the whole story of what the ex claimed happened, and I can’t ask Chris or his family because it’s hurtful to them and there’s too much bias there. I have considered going to the ex, but I don’t know if she would bother with me. One of the theories I have is that she was jealous of me — I was the girl that replaced her, plus I’m respected more than she is socially — so she fabricated the whole thing. My own story is decently known and I have been given labels by peers such as feminist or liberal — undeserved, I think — so her accusation would be sensible if she hoped to get my attention and motivate me to break up with Chris. It wouldn’t be wise to go to her if this were true, so I’m left with no options.
I only want to know how I can move forward with Chris and feel confident in our relationship without questioning everything. I know my imagination likely runs away with me more than it should, but I struggle to believe him, even if he gives direct answers, because he’s so vague. How do I get satisfactory answers to these questions from somebody who doesn’t want to talk about the truth? — Needing Satisfactory Answers