I’m 28 and my boyfriend is 30 and about a month ago, he was suddenly and shockingly arrested. The details of his charge are extremely complicated, so I won’t try to explain everything, but he was caught in a sting operation. Since his arrest, he’s been held in jail. His lawyers advised him to not talk about his crime with anyone, which means he’s been unable to offer me any explanation for what happened. Even though my boyfriend has a clean record, his lawyers say the best plea deal they could get him would likely be 4-5 years in jail. Needless to say, this has been devastating and shocking news.
I love my boyfriend very much. He and I have been together for two and half years, and have been living together for part of that time. We were talking seriously about getting married, and I know he was even working on getting a ring. He has always been kind, caring, loving, and supportive; it’s beyond shocking to everyone who knows him that he could have broken the law. It’s obvious his arrest caused major issues in our relationship (like trust), but I thought with counseling and time we could possibly overcome that. But now that I know that he could be in jail for four years or more, I’m not sure what to do. How could I wait that long for someone? How could we overcome the other major issues to our relationship with him in jail for several years? Would he even be close to the same person after that much time in jail? I want to do what’s best for me and him, but I’m not sure what that is. It seems like no matter what I decide, it’s going to be horrible and hurtful for everyone involved. — Arrested Love
It’s got to be incredibly shocking and painful to invest over two years in a relationship only to discover the person you thought you were with isn’t who you thought he was. I feel for you. But I also have to be a voice of reason. What will be even more painful that what you’re going through now is waiting on the sidelines for years for the chance of getting back the relationship you’ve now lost. The truth is that relationship no longer exists. It never did exist. It was essentially a figment of your imagination — helped in creation by your boyfriend who seemed to go to great lengths to keep the image alive.
But now you know the truth. No, you may not know all the details of your boyfriend’s crime. You may not know who he really is, but you know he is NOT who you thought he was. And why — why, why, why — would you give up years of your life during your prime waiting around for someone you don’t even know? Because it would be too painful to break up?
People break up for painful reasons all the time. In fact, aren’t all breakups made for painful reasons? You aren’t right for each other, or your families disapprove of the relationship, or the timing just isn’t right, or distance comes between you, or someone cheated, or, or, … or one of you is guilty of a crime and goes to jail for years. It may be painful, but it doesn’t make it a bad reason to breakup. It actually sounds like a pretty sensible and logical reason to dump someone and MOA, particularly if you aren’t married, don’t have kids, have only been together a couple of years, are 28, and had no idea the person you were with was even involved in criminal activities.
I know it’s hard to let go of that image you had. But it’s already gone. That relationship you believed in never existed. Even the fantasy of it disappeared the minute you found out the truth about your boyfriend. Rather than try to build something new with him, you’d be better off building something new with someone else eventually — someone with whom you don’t have so much baggage to work through first, someone who isn’t in jail, someone you can let yourself trust.
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