Me and my boyfriend have been together for about 5 years now and we have a great relationship in general – we hardly argue, we’re pretty much happy together all the time, but there’s one thing that bothers me… I think my boyfriend is a liar!
My boyfriend has always had a wild imagination, and on various occasions I have caught him lying about something. It happens every now and then, and will be something along the lines of letting me think he’s working late and “forgetting” to mention he went to the pub with his co-workers, or telling me that the person who keeps texting him isn’t a woman when it is.
We’re so happy and I trust him 100%, but I can’t help wondering why he would lie about such silly things – does it mean there’s something else he could be hiding?
I feel like I have to be on my guard all the time in case he’s lying about something else, and whenever I confront him he gets angry and calls me “paranoid” – help! Do I have a right to be suspicious, or should I let it slide?
Thank you for posting your question so others can benefit, too. Let me address your concerns focusing on one very important word: trust. Trust is essential in healthy relationships and anything less can be very damaging in the long run.
Sometimes problems with trust arise because one partner has actually made poor decisions that make him/her untrustworthy. Being caught in a lie just once can make trust in the future very challenging or nearly impossible. Other times a man or woman might not trust their mate, not because their mate was caught in a lie, but because they themselves have been hurt in the past and find it difficult to trust anyone in any relationship. The bottom line, however, is that lack of trust – warranted or not – is a cry for communication and resolution, so the relationship can stay intact.
From your post, Natalie, there is an important dynamic that I would like to point out, that I noticed right away. It would seem that you have actually “caught” him in lies to date, concerning going out with friends and texting a woman – but that he did not disclose these matters to you. To me, this implies that you are feeling the need to follow up on where he is when he says he is working late, or checking his texts to see whom he was texting with. At the same time, you stated, “I trust him 100%” and “I have to be on my guard all of the time.” These statements and experiences contradict one another, and it is obviously causing you stress and pain.
It is obvious to me that you absolutely WANT to trust him and love him very much, but at first glance and based on what you have written here, you are experiencing those red flags that tell you something is wrong. The time has come for healthy communication between the two of you.
Let me start by saying that red flags aren’t always accurate. There can be many explanations that surface when you communicate. So when you ask to speak with him honestly and openly, do not throw out accusations – just tell him how you feel and give him the opportunity to do the same.
You have already established that he has lied about some matters, the next step is discovering why. It might surprise you, but some men lie about going out with the guys or texting a woman because in their current relationship (or one’s in the past), these were topics of extreme conflict, envy and jealousy. It could be as simple as him merely avoiding perceived conflict with you. If you aren’t the jealous type, you can put his mind at ease and promote him being honest in the future – a relief for both of you.
If you are the jealous type, you can learn and grow from the communication and work as a team to heal the rift. He will need to stop withholding the truth out of fear, you will need to trust him and allow him to socialize with friends from work, even if female. Perhaps the female he texted with is happily married with three children! You must communicate to get the facts out.
Of course, there can be a poor outcome as well sometimes, where a boyfriend does have something to hide. But by getting it out in the open, Natalie, you will no longer have to deal with the unhealthy feelings of not trusting your lover. It takes quite an emotional toll over the long run, so it is best to address it as soon as possible.
Not trusting your lover can really harm the relationship and your own health over time, so getting to the bottom of these trust issues by way of healthy communication is extremely important. I recommend you set aside some time with your partner to address your concerns in the near future.
Good luck to you and thanks again for writing,