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Dear Wendy

Boyfriend Lies to Friends About Me

Home Forums Advice & Chat Boyfriend Lies to Friends About Me

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  • #1096967 Reply
    Sarah
    Guest

    Hello,

    I would appreciate your opinions surrounding an ongoing issue in my 3 year long relationship. From the beginning, my boyfriend would lie about about small things for no reason. We talked about it, and I am grateful he made an effort to change so it is mostly no longer an issue.

    However, he still lies about me to his friends. Most lies are small, but I don’t like how he portrays me to important people in his life. For example, one of his friends asked to hang out with him at a restaurant that only has outdoor seating. It was over 100 degrees outside and my boyfriend hates the heat, so my boyfriend asked if I minded if he and his friend hung out in my apartment. I said that was completely fine. I quickly tidied up and was getting ready to leave the room when I saw my boyfriend text his friend back. Instead of telling his friend he didn’t want to be out in the heat, he said, “Sorry man, do you mind coming here? My girlfriend is wanting to hang out with people.” It’s a small lie of course, but I feel it makes me seem needy when in fact he asked me to do him a favor.

    In the past he also asked if we could spend time together, then texted his friend that I was having him move furniture for me (even though he had asked if we could watch a movie). Another time he has asked me if I’d like to go somewhere with him and a friend, then texted the friend, “Sorry man, my girlfriend wants to go. I know that’s lame.” I feel slightly betrayed, like perhaps he doesn’t see me as a long-term part of his life so it doesn’t matter how his friends see me. I am hurt that he won’t stick up for me to his friends and admit that he likes spending time with me. I see some of this as just immaturity, but I am wondering if this is a symptom of something deeper I should be worried about. Am I overreacting or deluding myself? Thanks so much for your advice!

    Clarification: This may have happened more times than I am aware of, as all of the texts I have seen have been completely by accident (picking up his phone and thinking it was mine, hugging him from behind while he’s sitting on the couch, etc.). I have not gone looking for more instances of this in his messages. After the second time I noticed a lie like the ones I described, I talked to him calmly after each instance. I feel like his excuses do not justify or explain the lying. Is it right to approach him about this pattern of behavior?

    #1096970 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Ok, you’ve been together three years, don’t live together, think he’s not in it for the long term, and don’t trust him (even if I buy that you saw these sent texts completely by accident). And he doesn’t communicate with you, like, “aww crap, I don’t want to eat at that restaurant, it’s hot as balls, can I tell him to come hang here because you want to be in the A/C?” To which you could say, “uh, why don’t you just ask him to go to a restaurant where you can eat indoors.” Or even, “ok, but don’t use me as an excuse, because I don’t want people thinking I’m a pain in the ass.” It should be that easy and comfortable after 3 years. You should also just know that you’ll be spending time together and not have to run it by his friends. In every one of these cases it sounds like he already had plans with his friends and had to make an excuse to spend time with you. Why is that?

    If everything else is perfect and it’s this one thing, then just tell him you want him to stop doing that. But it sounds like more is going on here.

    #1096973 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    He’s not trustworthy; I don’t think you should be waiting for him to grow up.

    I think these little lies are actually a bigger problem. For whatever reason, he can’t accept responsibility for his own preferences and feelings. He doesn’t want to sit in the heat – blame you. It’s easier to point the finger at someone else than simply state his own preferences. Why? What’s so bad about saying “Dude, it’s too hot to sit outside. Let’s take the stuff and eat in my air conditioned apartment?” Seriously, what is so hard about that? Does he think his friends will think him less manly or something stupid like that.

    But if he can’t take responsibility for the little things – what makes you think he’ll take responsibility for the big things? Marriage, finances, children, home ownership, whatever. I mean, if someone were lying to me about doing the laundry, I wouldn’t trust them when they said the bills were paid.

    And you should have greeted his friends at the door and said something like “You guys have fun, I want to take some alone time so I’m going out.” and then left. That would have been sweeeet.

    #1096974 Reply
    ktfran
    Participant

    My husband and I have been together for six years. Do you know how many times I’ve accidentally read a text? Zero. Purposefully? Zero, except when he explicitly shows me one. Even when I pick up his phone while cleaning and the screen lights up, I manage not to read anything.

    Anyway, his white lies are weird. I agree with @listforleslie in that if he’s lying about these insignificant things, why wouldn’t he lie about bigger things? For some reason, he has to cope with some weird issues and he’s not being authentic with you or his friends. Do you want to live like that forever?

    #1096978 Reply
    Kate
    Keymaster

    Agree, you don’t read your boyfriend’s texts if you trust him. They’re completely avoidable. You have to make an effort to read them.

    #1096980 Reply
    Prognosti-gator
    Participant

    “White lies” are kind of a nebulous area. We want to value honesty, but also want to maintain some “social lubrication” and use them when they can smooth things over. Sometimes, they are the “less awful” alternative when complete honesty is going to be hurtful. “Sorry, X and I made plans to go visit their parents today” is a whole lot nicer sounding than “Sorry, the idea of spending an afternoon with your new boyfriend sounds horrible. I cannot stand him, and am looking forward to your inevitable breakup.”

    BUT – in your BF’s situation, you have to ask yourself what purpose is he using his lies.

    He obviously doesn’t want to look the one making the decisions, so he’s “blaming” you. Why is that? Does he have a history of having his decisions trampled by his friends? Does he think that by blaming you, his friends won’t be able to overrule his wants?

    We’ve told our kids that if they’re ever in a situation where they’re uncomfortable or under pressure and want to get out of it, they can blame us for it. I don’t really care if their friends think we’re oddly controlling, if that’s a fiction needed to help them avoid doing something dangerous or stupid.

    The difference here is that we specifically told them it’s ok to blame us if the need were to arise. Your BF is using you to avoid confrontation, but hasn’t cleared it with you. (And, none of these situations seemed like personal safety was an issue, so there’s that too.)

    If your BF isn’t able to stand up to others in relatively low-stakes situations, what’s going to happen in higher-stakes ones? Unless you want to be his permanent scapegoat, this is something you need to address.

    #1096981 Reply
    Hazel
    Participant

    Hmm. It seems small but I’ve encountered it before and it is a trait of blaming any convenient person for things he wants to say which might even slightly piss someone off. Can you imagine how that one’s going to work out if you stayed together and had kids? He’ll spin you as the baddy at every viable opportunity, even if you both actually agree about something.Everyone thinking he’s the cool dude (while you are the slightly demanding one) is far, far more important to him than others’ perceptions of you. Also you are accidentally reading his texts for a reason, even if it is purely subconscious, you don’t trust him. Because he lies.I reckon you need a fair bit of work to sort this out- if you think it’s worth it.

    #1096983 Reply
    Bittergaymark
    Guest

    Eh. These seems like a strange hill to die on. Also… The LW paints herself as a rather unreliable narrator — what with her near constant “accidentally” reading of his texts.

    #1096984 Reply
    LisforLeslie
    Guest

    Fair point on the snooping. She’s reading through the texts because she doesn’t trust him. Because he lies.

    OP – are you prepared for a life filled with lies (both big and small)?

    #1096989 Reply
    Sarah
    Guest

    Thanks for this advice — I’d thought about this in a marriage or when dealing with extended family but never how that might play out with kids involved. Of course a relationship like that is not something I want for myself, but I would especially never want to knowingly put children in that situation.

    I had also never thought of something subconscious being involved as well. When he asks me to read something on his phone and a message comes through for example, very occasionally I catch a word or two of it without intentionally reading it. I’d never thought about that being abnormal, and if asked about it I probably would have attributed it to movement on the screen drawing my eye for a fraction of a second. Perhaps it is an indicator of deeper trust issues. Definitely something to think about, especially if I am projecting my own trust issues onto the relationship and creating a problem. Thanks for making me aware of something I may be doing that exacerbates things.

    I wanted to be sure I am not overreacting or being unfair. I don’t know if the 3-4 messages I saw over the course of our several years together are representative of how he speaks about me, or if it was just bad luck. Either way, I see no reason for the white lies. It certainly can’t hurt to keep a closer check on my behavior and give the benefit of the doubt since I have so little information (at least while I think things through and decide about the future).

    #1096990 Reply
    Sarah
    Guest

    I hadn’t connected those two things before now. My parents did something similar with allowing me to “blame” them if I needed to remove myself from a situation. Like you pointed out, I don’t see the situations he lied about as being particularly uncomfortable or an issue of safety. Thanks very much for the advice — I want to be there for him, but I definitely do not want to be a lifelong scapegoat, so this has to be addressed.

    #1096991 Reply
    Wal
    Guest

    Maybe he’s not a real friend, If he or she loved you, they’d always be loyal.

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