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Is he a cheater?
September 18, 2008 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Is there any way he's not cheating on me?

My boyfriend travels a lot for work. Last night he was supposed to be staying at a particular hotel. When I didn't hear from all night, and he didn't pick up his cell, I called the hotel and they said he wasn't registered. I called him at his desk (at the travel location) -- he picked up (unaware that I'd been calling his cell all night and unaware that I knew he wasn't at that hotel). He said he went right home after dinner last night. I asked where his cell phone was he said he forgot it today. I clarified that I meant last night. He said he left it where he stayed. I asked where he stayed. He said the hotel. I asked which hotel. He gave me the same hotel he original told me about -- I told him I knew he wasn't registered there and that he didn't go back to wherever his phone was last night. He said he stayed at a friends because it got late. No further explanation. He was very silent when I said I just wanted to know the truth. Eventually he said something like "I need to think about how we interact."

I said: "Look if you are just going to try to turn this into some offensive to distract me from what happened last night -- forget it. It's not gonna work. If you want to convince me that you really are staying at that hotel, send me the receipt when you check out today." Silence. So I said: "I think we both know there won't be any receipt."

Then he said something like "I'll call you later" and that was it.

So he's totally cheating, right? That or he was out all night doing drugs. And I gotta say, he doesn't seem like the drug addict type. At all.
posted by GIRLesq to Human Relations (161 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
Been there. Cut your losses now, and get out. I'm sorry for you. :(
posted by kaseijin at 10:39 AM on September 18, 2008


If he is, or he isn't-- you don't trust him, which isn't a good basis for a relationship.
posted by Static Vagabond at 10:39 AM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Whether or not he was cheating, he was definitely being dishonest. That should be all that you need to know.

I am sorry.
posted by Silvertree at 10:39 AM on September 18, 2008 [10 favorites]


There's no justifiable excuse for his responses to you in that phone call. You know what to do...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:40 AM on September 18, 2008


What they all said. I am sorry.
posted by tristeza at 10:41 AM on September 18, 2008


If he doesn't unveil the 40-foot mural of you that he spent all night painting as a surprise, my money says that he was cheating. Sorry.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:43 AM on September 18, 2008 [22 favorites]


Could be cheating. But could be out drinking with friends, or something else that is both innocent and (perhaps in his way of thinking) not really your business.

But even so, that he felt the need to lie says something is really wrong in the relationship — he feels he can't trust you, or isn't supported, or just doesn't want to tell the truth.

Anyway, it's a conversation that you need to have in person, not on the phone. And it's the big picture things (eg truth telling) that matter, not hotel receipts (which are easy to arrange and aren't really the point).
posted by Forktine at 10:45 AM on September 18, 2008


He might not be cheating, but he's definitely lying to you. Off with his head.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:45 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have had one very bad night (the details are not the same as yours, but...). I told my then-gf about it and we've gotten past it. We're married now and very happy and, while I'd take back what I did in an instant, I don't think that one night defines me.

I'm not saying that don't need to break up with this guy. Maybe you do. But hey, maybe it won't be forever. Sorry though -- I know that it hurts.
posted by zpousman at 10:45 AM on September 18, 2008


DTMFA.

There shouldn't be any other reason why he's being dishonest.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 10:45 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yup, he is definitely doing something shady. And then he tries to turn it around on you regarding "our communication?" Blah. Don't even give it a second thought. Buh-bye.
posted by fusinski at 10:47 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


See, just to clarify some...there are lies and then there are lies. "No, those jeans look great on you!" is minor and fairly trivial. Something like what you were told, however, would be a deal breaker for me these days. Not only was he lying about something that would fundamentally shake your ability to trust in him, but he was then reticent to discuss the matter when called on it.

Something is very rotten there, and while he may or may not be cheating, this is not a trivial sort of dishonesty.
posted by kaseijin at 10:49 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


He isn't necessarily cheating, but it's pretty clear that whatever he was doing, he doesn't want you to know about it. There are any number of things one could mention that don't involve what most people would characterize as "cheating". Maybe he was out all night drinking. Maybe he was gambling. Maybe he was at a strip club. Maybe he was out all night playing video games. Okay, that last one is a bit unlikely, but all of these are things he wouldn't necessarily want to talk to you about or admit to if he thinks you'll disapprove.

But even if he was doing something perfectly innocuous, you've got a problem, for even if he isn't cheating (and he very well may be), his unwillingness to talk about it is a Very Bad Sign. If he were your husband, I'm not sure what I'd tell you, but as he's "only" your boyfriend, I think it's probably time to deliver something like an ultimatum. Either he's willing to be honest with you about his activities, or he's got to go. As Static Vagabond said, you don't trust him (and you have reason not to trust him), and that's a terrible foundation for a relationship.
posted by valkyryn at 10:50 AM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


He's not honest. Kudos to you for not falling for the offensive blaming it on you crap. You need to think about what your best interests are and not the interests of you as a couple when evaluating the situation. Because he's not putting the couple's best interests at heart.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:53 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should add that there are perfectly acceptable ways of him not telling you about it. If he said, "Look, I had a really hard time last night. There's nothing for you to worry about, but I just can't tell you about it," you'd have a different decision to make. Maybe there was a deeply embarrassing family situation he had to take care of or some other problem where there are good and compelling reasons for him not to tell you. Hell, if he's working for the government he might not be allowed to tell you.

But it doesn't look like that's what's going on here. He appears to be up to something that he doesn't want you to know about and isn't willing to talk about it. Bad signs all 'round.
posted by valkyryn at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sounds as though he's cheating on you and not even shelling out for alibi hotel room. Draw a line in the sand. Tell him to give you a truthful and detailed account of that night or you won't be able to trust him.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2008


The big huge red flag in this isn't whether or not he cheated. It's that he 1) lied and 2) when you stood your ground he tried to deflect the discussion with something as guilt-trip inducing and cheap shot in its it's-not-me-it's-you tactics as "I need to think about how we interact". Good on you for not falling for it.

Honestly, I believe he needs you to tell him to think about how you'll no longer interact.
posted by neblina_matinal at 10:54 AM on September 18, 2008 [11 favorites]


Good lord, don't listen to any of these people. Find out what's going on, THEN make a decision. All this "DTMFA walk out the door don't look back don't give it a second thought, sorry it didn't work out" bullshit is typical Metafilter knee-jerk overkill. None of these people know you, or him.

Oh, right. The question. Yes, there is a chance he's not cheating. But without the facts, it's all idle, pointless, and apparently shrill speculation.

Get the facts, face to face, THEN make a decision.
posted by BorgLove at 10:56 AM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


"I'll talk to you later" = "I need to think up an excuse asap."
posted by goethean at 10:57 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Come on. It's totally conceivable that he had something going on that he didn't want to share with you that WAS NOT cheating -- such as volunteer work he doesn't want to be ostentatious about, or a minor inpatient procedure done that he didn't want you to worry over.

Kidding. DTMFA.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:01 AM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


Don't listen to BorgLove. Your boyfriend is cheating. If you try to talk to him to get "the facts" he'll likely either lie or beg for forgiveness, guilting you into taking him back. If this is what you want, go ahead, but I'd let my voice join the chorus of "Dump him and don't look back."

(Disclaimer: I'm a guy and have cheated on girls and have been cheated on by girls and have had completely faithful monogamous relationships and this isn't any more knee-jerk than ducking and covering when you're on a golf course and you hear someone scream 'fore')
posted by Damn That Television at 11:05 AM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow, I'm usually able to see some sort of way to give someone the benefit of the doubt in "Is he cheating" questions, but this one is just... there's nothing there. In addition to being a liar, he's an awful one at that. If he had said "I was at the hotel last night, I have no idea why they didn't have my reservation", I could maaaaybe buy that as an excuse. But there's nothing here to even hope for. He's given you two stories that conflict. If he had been staying there, why was he so quiet when you asked for a reciept? That's basically flat out telling you "I am a liar". And he seems too cheap/stupid to attempt to go to the hotel and give them the money for a room and get a reciept AFTER YOU GAVE HIM THE IDEA.

Cheap, stupid, liar. I'd break up with someone with those qualities.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:06 AM on September 18, 2008


The best part is a dozen roses just showed up at my office today. But they were two day air -- so he must have sent them before the incident. I think I'm going to throw up.
posted by GIRLesq at 11:06 AM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


What's important isn't what he did or didn't do. It's that you cannot trust him at all. A receipt? Noooooooo. This is a no win and you just need to cut your losses now. I know that can be so hard. I'm sorry. But you deserve way better than what he's giving you. You deserve to know that he loves you and believe it and trust him without having to request real evidence to substantiate his assertions.
posted by smallstatic at 11:09 AM on September 18, 2008


Yeah, I know it seems obvious that he's cheating, but none of us knows for sure. She's invested in the relationship. What if she doesn't want to walk away so quickly? What if it's a little bit important to her? Don't you think she should find out the truth before making a rash decision? Don't you think putting him before a Metafilter firing squad before he explains himself is a little irresponsible?

DTT is right; don't listen to me, or any of us; we're a bunch of internet strangers with a penchant for self-righteous judgmental behaviour in the absence of real facts. Use your head, and get to the bottom of it. The make a rational decision.
posted by BorgLove at 11:10 AM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


On the upside: at least you're not in denial.
posted by roger ackroyd at 11:14 AM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Don't you think putting him before a Metafilter firing squad before he explains himself is a little irresponsible?

GIRLesq said "He was very silent when I said I just wanted to know the truth." She's asked him to explain himself, and he said nothing.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:15 AM on September 18, 2008


I am waiting to hear how he tries to explain it away. Because I just can't help myself.

By the way, the receipt would be hard to fake as it would have to be for three days and charged to his corporate card (since he told me corporate made all the arrangements as part of the reason why his name wouldn't be logged. Of course, I had them check for the corporate name and we all know that hotels don't just let you check in without ID and a credit card). How could he ever explain that charge away to his bosses? And if it were on his own card then it would be obviously fake.

Anyhoodle, yes, I'm very sad. He flew into town just last weekend to tell me he wanted to marry me and that he would be finished with this job in 6 months so we could finally stop this long distance relationship and move on with our life together.
posted by GIRLesq at 11:15 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


The only conceivable not cheating explanation I can think of is that he was pocketing the expense money for the hotel and staying with a friend. But that's real thin and would still leave you with the lying and add some fraud on top.

Oh, and the flowers were from Ask Metafilter - we're sorry about the whole situation.
posted by true at 11:17 AM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, I very clearly repeatedly said to him:

Whatever happened I can forgive you. I just want to know what is really going on and why it's going on. Either you want to move past this or you don't just let me know.

RESPONSE? Silence.
posted by GIRLesq at 11:17 AM on September 18, 2008


You need to find out what's going on. Clearly, he lied to you. Then he tried to mindfuck you into thinking you were the one who was behaving inappropriately.

So, yeah, you need to get to the bottom of this.










Then you need to DTMFA. Or not, but I'm guessing you will.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:17 AM on September 18, 2008


If he was just pocketing the expense money (I could see him doing this) why lie to me about where he's staying? And where the hell is his phone? It's not at his office and it's not with him and he doesn't have a hotel room.

Ugh. I need to move on. It only gets worse.
posted by GIRLesq at 11:18 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whatever happened I can forgive you. I just want to know what is really going on and why it's going on. Either you want to move past this or you don't just let me know.

RESPONSE? Silence.


I withdraw my earlier comment. DTMF now.

The "I'm not going to talk about what I'm doing wrong. Instead, I'm going to attack you for being suspicious" is a classic, classic mindfuck.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


DTT is right; don't listen to me, or any of us; we're a bunch of internet strangers with a penchant for self-righteous judgmental behaviour in the absence of real facts. Use your head, and get to the bottom of it. The make a rational decision.

I'll have you know that my penchant for self-righteous judgmental behavior continues even when facts have entered into discussion BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS

I feel awful for you, GIRLesq, and suspect that even posing your first rhetorical question signals that you already know what so many of us have asserted, but the above quoted advice is especially valuable in a time like this. Call up a close friend or two and talk it out, or should none be available, write out the situation in a journal or dictate into a tape recorder. Externalize your thoughts and feelings -- it helps -- and come to a conclusion based on what you know and how you feel.
posted by Damn That Television at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2008


If you really want to screw with him, go the total "radio silence" route. Don't reply to his e-mails, don't answer his calls. Yes, it will take some willpower, but if you pick up, leave and deny him closure, it will wreck him, and you will have the total upper hand.
posted by BobbyVan at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Dudette, seriously, if you're validating receipts to justify the continuance of your relationship you are only postponing the inevitable.
posted by fusinski at 11:20 AM on September 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


And where the hell is his phone?

It really might be with him. Remember, he's a liar.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:20 AM on September 18, 2008


2 Day Air can arrive early in some cases. Quoted shipping speed along with arrival time are not irrefutable evidence of when the flowers were ordered.
posted by Exchequer at 11:21 AM on September 18, 2008


IMO the best case scenario here is that he was with his buddies at a strip club. The BEST CASE scenario.
posted by fusinski at 11:22 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Re: the roses--sometimes those deliveries show up early. If you really insist, you can call the florist to find out the date and time when they were ordered.

It sounds as if he is cheating, but you can't be completely certain. Obviously, he is hiding something from you.

The two of you really need to have a serious discussion about this before you do anything, and trust and honesty need to be the pivot points of that conversation.
posted by yellowcandy at 11:22 AM on September 18, 2008


I know he didn't have his phone because he would've been tipped of to the fact that I knew he wasn't registered at the hotel (I had sent him a text message about it which he obviously had not seen).

I think he sent the roses in advance knowing he'd be out all night. Just in case I was upset he didn't call the roses would smooth things over. Because who goes straight to work in the same clothes from the day before? He had to have brought things with him. I think it was all planned. And that's why he left his phone somewhere (but obviously not at work and obviously not at the hotel at issue).
posted by GIRLesq at 11:26 AM on September 18, 2008


Dudette, seriously, if you're validating receipts to justify the continuance of your relationship you are only postponing the inevitable.

I think fusinski's on to something. At the very least, your relationship would need a hard reset.
posted by adamrice at 11:28 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


GIRLesq, you are spinning. Having to play detective is not part of a healthy relationship, so don't let yourself fall into that role. Stop playing Nancy Drew and wait to hear what he has to say for himself.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:30 AM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


This huge pile-on is correct, wow. It almost doesn't matter whether he's cheating. The way he responded to you is, for most self-respecting adults, unacceptable. So yeah. You know what to do--by the way you worded this post, you knew exactly what to do and just wanted to double check with common consensus. You've got it, and so...good luck.
posted by ifjuly at 11:33 AM on September 18, 2008


Trust your instincts and forget the proof of purchase stuff.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 11:37 AM on September 18, 2008


It's pretty obvious that you two don't belong together.
posted by clevershark at 11:47 AM on September 18, 2008


here's the email he just sent:

I have been at another hotel all week (Radisson) (see attached). I have
spoken to you every day and night. I went out last night and didn't
come home because I'd drank a ton and was having fun--I rarely get to
have any fun out here my life is pretty darned solitaire. I told you
the wrong hotel precisely so this type of communication would not occur.
I am very embarrassed, it was a very juvenile thing to do and I am
sorry. Why give you the wrong hotel? Because if I went out this week
and decided to stay out late (which as it turns out, I did on weds pm),
I didn't want to deal with another fight. That was a mistake, and here
we are. I guess I thought that if I told you I stayed out there would
be a fight, so I took the path of least resistance (dumb). It makes me
extremely frustrated and I should have just been up front and I also
should have hauled myself back to the hotel last night to retrieve my
phone because it crossed my mind several times over that you might be
stressed out, but I also told myself, hey she and I are both grownups,
I'm already out, we'll chat tomorrow, it's all fine. I was wrong. You
have every right to be upset. I am sorry. I don't want to fight
either, nothing left in the tank to fight.
posted by GIRLesq at 11:48 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


DITCH THAT MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE!

Like some people said, he's clearly lying, eventhough he might not be cheating.

WHO KNOWS WHAT COULD BE GOING ON!

He could be off in some random place snorting cocaine from a hooker's cleavage or something.
posted by sixcolors at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


GIRLesq, what was attached?

I'm sorry you're in this situation. Whatever really went on, it's clear that he's dishonest.
posted by different at 11:50 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Eff that passive aggressive noise.
posted by fusinski at 11:51 AM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


So he's explaining why he lied. Not why he oops lied on the fly, but why he delivered a carefully considered lie, and his whole ikky thought process behind it. Jut because he is confessing to the hotel switch does not mean he's come completely clean. There's likely more story to this and none of it will make you feel good.
In my experience, people who lie to you usually do it more than once.
posted by 8dot3 at 11:55 AM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


First you have to talk to him, but be very wary of technically-possible-but-not-likely explanations and excuses. Be emotionally prepared to dump him if you aren't completely satisfied with his answers.
posted by rocket88 at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2008


He said he stayed at a friends because it got late.

Up to this point, I could have believed it. My fiancé constantly loses his cell phone, turns the ringer off by accident, stays out late with clients and doesn't call me before bed, falls asleep and doesn't answer calls, forgets to tell me which hotel he's at, etc. But he never, ever stays at a friend's house.
posted by desjardins at 11:56 AM on September 18, 2008


Yeah, no. At least he *realizes* he's a juvenile jerk, but do you really want to have to keep vetting his expense reports because he keeps running off to have fun with the boys?

He lacks basic consideration for you ("it crossed my mind... that you might be stressed out... but") and, regardless of what he's doing with his penis, he's got a weird attitude about separating his playtime from his relationship time. He wants to *avoid* fighting over his whereabouts, so he goes off on this giant CIA deep-cover thing that he can't even pull off correctly?

Not even DTMFA, just a load of stupid WTF on his part.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2008


Attached was a fairly convincing receipt from the Radisson.
posted by GIRLesq at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2008


If you're posting his e-mail to Askme, the relationship is over.
posted by cjets at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


Wait, what? He lied about his hotel in order to avoid a fight over you not knowing where he was?
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Not why he oops lied on the fly, but why he delivered a carefully considered lie, and his whole ikky thought process behind it.

And that he not only actively avoided the subject, but that he doesn't want to deal with fighting or talking about it anymore, which means he's not actually story, just that he doesn't want to deal with you the way somebody who cares about another person should. What a child. I hope you'll leave this guy and never look back. There are buckets of better men out there.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:00 PM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


He wants to *avoid* fighting over his whereabouts, so he goes off on this giant CIA deep-cover thing that he can't even pull off correctly?

Thanks Fairytale of LA ... that made me smile for the first time this morning. I don't know why I take pleasure in the fact that he's a dumb ass. But I do.
posted by GIRLesq at 12:01 PM on September 18, 2008


The hotel excuse makes no sense. How would lying about his hotel prevent you from thinking he was out late? And in general his aggressive language indicates this isn't a beneficial relationship.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:01 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


His email sounds full of convenient lies. And believe me, faking a receipt is something that those in the types of work that involve a lot of travel are more than capable of. Ahem.

I'll give you a bit of a data point. I work in an industry that requires constant travel - consulting. I have certain values that have prevented certain more promiscuous behaviors on my own part, but I like to think of myself as a pretty normal person otherwise, and am good friends with a lot of people who do engage in such things. That said, I have *still* been utterly *shocked* by the amount of sleeping around that happens on the road, in business travel. The people it happens between, have, time and again, blown my mind. As does the audacity with which many approach it. Its like everything is thrown out the window on Monday morning on the way to the airport, and you return back to life v.2 on Thursday night, and the two worlds are very carefully managed to remain completely separate from one another. I'm not saying that I'm above living like that, but it just seems like a hell of a lot of effort and risk and other stuff I'm not looking to get involved with. But many do.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:02 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Thirteenkiller:

I know, it makes no sense at all that he would give me a different hotel to avoid a fight about his whereabouts. I mean, if you think I'm going to call the hotel directly, what do you think is going to happen when I call and you aren't registered there?

AND WHO THE EFF STAYS OUT ALL NIGHT ON WEDNESDAY WITH THEIR FRIEND? AND PLANS IT?

I guess I'll never know exactly what happened. I feel a little bit validated that he had the courtesy to say that he's wrong. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but sometimes it helps you get some closure.
posted by GIRLesq at 12:04 PM on September 18, 2008


Why give you the wrong hotel? Because if I went out this week and decided to stay out late (which as it turns out, I did on weds pm), I didn't want to deal with another fight.

This doesn't make any sense. Why would giving you the wrong hotel avoid a fight? Giving out false info that is easy to verify would make SURE there was a fight. If he wanted to go out drinking and avoid a fight, he would come up with a story that would make you LESS likely to call and try and reach him, not MORE likely to call and try and reach him.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:06 PM on September 18, 2008


I don't dissent from the majority advice in this thread, but I always think it's a pity when one or two AskMe posters seem to want to encourage people to think of their (soon-to-be-ex?)-SO's as really really nasty and evil, because it won't help you in the long run to take that view of this guy forward into whatever you do next in life. So take comfort if you can from the fact that he almost certainly hasn't been elaborately deceiving you for months or years -- he seems to be far too much of a comically inept liar for that...
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 12:06 PM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I'm not sure if he's cheating but what he is damn well saying is that he wants to break up with you but he doesn't have the courage to do it himself. My guess is the he's been giving off these signals for awhile, has been using a bunch of excuses, and he really didn't plan on pulling off this maneuver very well hoping that he'd get caught. He doesn't want to fight because he wants you to end it. So give him what he wants; you'll be better for it.
posted by Stynxno at 12:10 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh God. The guy was talking marriage, yet he's so afraid of talking to you that he lies about what hotel he was staying at so you can't call him? GIRLesq, please ditch this guy. He's a waste of time. I like the above poster's suggestion of just cutting him off, no closure. It doesn't matter where he was or what he was doing at this point.
posted by orange swan at 12:13 PM on September 18, 2008 [8 favorites]


"Look if you are just going to try to turn this into some offensive to distract me from what happened last night..."

How else is supposed to react to this besides with silence. You've already made it clear you won't listen to anything he says anyway.

Clearly you were suspicious before you talked to him (you called the front desk after all) so it's quite likely you came off as accusatory from the moment he answered the phone. "I need to think about how we interact" means he tired of your jealousy and the tone you take with him during arguments.

Just my two cents. But I agree with everyone else that this relationship is toast.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 12:19 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I definitely needed to vent. But I also needed to know whether anybody would say: "He's probably not lying. It doesn't sound that crazy." Of course, he admitted the lie before too long.

I responded to his email saying: "How can I believe you were at friend's place in light of all these other lies? And in light of the fact that this isn't the first Wednesday in that town where things have gone awry? The flowers came. My heart is broken into a million little pieces."

I'm not sure there's anything left to say on either side. If he feels like he has to lie to me, and I feel like he shouldn't be drinking himself into oblivion on a Wednesday night, we are maybe not so compatible anyway.
posted by GIRLesq at 12:20 PM on September 18, 2008


Well, to me this level of dishonesty would be a deal breaker. Do you want a lifetime with someone who would rather lie to you for his own convenience rather than tell you the truth?

OTOH, I don't know this guy and you do. Is this behavior totally out of character for him or are there-now that you are looking-other red flags?

I'm not saying totally break this off but I think you guys have a lot of talking to do. This really is unacceptable behavior.
posted by konolia at 12:24 PM on September 18, 2008


"I told you the wrong hotel precisely so this type of communication would not occur. Why give you the wrong hotel? Because if I went out this week and decided to stay out late (which as it turns out, I did on weds pm), I didn't want to deal with another fight."

did I read this right? he wrote this to avoid an argument after the fact he botched up several excuses? all this foreplanning and he didn't have his story straight before hand? i'd trust my husband well and beyond the initial lost cellphone wrong hotel stayed at friends weird story just because he's kind of a goofy nimrod like that sometimes, but he would have just come out and said something like "forgot to register the hotel, tried another, lost cellphone, crashed at SO-and-SO's house - all the info up front not some mystery to be solved - and i have all his friends numbers in case *I* have an emergency and need to get in touch. not be all evasive like it's ridiculous that i should know where my husband/boyfriend/significant other is. hey, that's part of what couples who are or who are planning to be married do. reading the above events and lines i'd be leaving my husband over something like this. some items are just a red dot. there isn't even any attempt on his part to reassure your trust.

... and an episode like this would seriously make me wonder if he's even worth trusting for deeper, more legal commitment. you however are the only and best judge.
posted by eatdonuts at 12:25 PM on September 18, 2008


Honestly, It sounds like he lost his job, and doesn't want to tell you. There are many many other things he could be doing that aren't cheating. Nevertheless, the one thing he isn't doing is telling the truth. Give him the shot to fess up and come clean. It may actually be a problem he needs help with. but if he doesn't say anything, tell him good bye until he wants to tell the truth.
posted by warriorengineer at 12:27 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


You and your boyfriend have issues with communication, honesty, trust, and defining a balance between individual freedom and relationship responsibilities. I think every relationship has similar problems to varying degrees. If you love each other and are willing to invest lots of time and energy into working on your problems, then start doing that now.
If you (and only you, not AskMe) think there's no reasonable chance of success, then you know what to do.
Either way...good luck.
posted by rocket88 at 12:30 PM on September 18, 2008


I have to point something out. The guy failed to call you one night when you apparently were expecting a call. You responded by: calling "all night," texting him, calling the hotel front desk, and calling his daytime work site. The fact that you did all this (and had all that information) suggests that you already didn't trust him.

This doesn't in any way excuse his dishonesty, but it might be helpful to consider why you had such a strong reaction to his failure to call and why you seemed to need a lot of detail about his exact whereabouts.

Maybe I'm strange (or older), but I don't need to know the exact location of my partner at every moment. When he travels, it doesn't even occur to me to ask what hotel he'll be staying at. Same goes for when I travel. And talking every night? Why? We both have lives, go out with friends, and trust each other.

Again, not excusing his dishonesty in any way. But if you tend to react intensely when you can't locate your boyfriend immediately, you might be headed for future pain even with honest guys.
posted by PatoPata at 12:31 PM on September 18, 2008 [29 favorites]


Oh lordy lordy loo.

1. Clearly lying. Like, constantly. How many stories does he have by now?
2. He's already tried, twice, to blame his behaviour on you, in the same general way. No. He may have responded POORLY to past relationship troubles, but it's not like you forced him to hide his Secret Life of Fun. He decided to either a) avoid basic interpersonal things like phoning you to say he's ok and is going out for drinks, which if it were true should be fine and b) lie out of his teeth and lie and lie and lie and not really care how it affects you.

Either way, it was his choice.
3. He's implying that being with you sucks (I rarely get to have any fun out here).

Ugh. I am not a kneejerk DUMP HIM NOW mefite, but ditch him and get some friends to give you consolation.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 12:33 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Whatever you do, please do not leave the future of your relationship to a bunch of strangers on Ask Metafilter. The group mind here is powerful, but actually it knows nothing of you. Worse, the groupthink here can turn nasty, jumping to conclusions and labelling people in ways that really are quite dark and brutal. If we were in front of you or this guy in person, we wouldn't say half the nasty things that I am reading above.

Clearly there are trust issues on both sides (you don't trust what he is saying as honest and he doesn't trust you enough to be completely candid with you.) You have all the difficulties of a long distance relationship. Maybe one or both of you isn't happy. But before you make any drastic moves at the behest of this community, take a deep breath, make sure you get together in person, and try to ensure that both you and he talk openly about what you want for the future.
posted by skylar at 12:36 PM on September 18, 2008


You know, if an adult wants to stay out all night and get hammered - especially when they're far away from their sweetie - then the conversation that's had before the hammering is "Honey, I've had a shitty week, and although it's only Wednesday, I'm going out tonight to get trashed, and may not be back until it's time to go to work. I'll call you when I wake up. And you're listed as my ICE contact in my cell phone in case anything happens - not that it will!"

His other stuff is just goofy. Why is he acting like he's 15 and just got caught by his mom in a lie ("No! I totally slept at Joey's house! I did!"). Come on.

Sorry for your troubles. Good luck.
posted by rtha at 12:37 PM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hosted From:

Yes, I am suspicious. This isn't the first unexplained Wednesday. I was very careful with my tone. However, your point is well taken. I don't like calling anybody and asking: where were you last night? I don't want to be that person -- yet it's exactly what I've become.

East Manitoba:

Hee! That's pretty funny. I guess because it's so awfully true.

Warrior:

He hasn't lost that job. I just talked to him at his desk this morning. He knows I'd be more than thrilled if he lost that job anyway -- I tease about it all the time.

I pretty much think he was out boozing all night. I'm sure there were attractive women in the group and hmay or may not have hooked up with one of them. Obviously, the reason I don't like him out boozing all night is because I think it's an inappropriate scenario especially every freaking Wednesday night that he's in this particular city (where his company is HQ'd). So, even if he wasn't cheating, I just think enough is enough. You want to go out drinking with your buddies? Knock yourself out. But there's no need to be out all night long or even past 2 a.m.. Especially on a week night. But apparently this is so important to him that he plans it and lies about it.

So, yeah, the relationship is probably toast. It doesn't matter if he cheated or not. It matters that he's acting like a fraternity boy and lying. I really truly appreciate all your feedback this morning. I probably would've had a nervous breakdown at my desk without you all.

It still sucks. But I feel better.
posted by GIRLesq at 12:38 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's really working hard to try to make you the bad guy here, isn't he? I'm seeing overtones in his letter about how difficult you are to deal with, how he doesn't want to have to deal with your feelings, and how immature you are. (After all, you're both grown-ups, right? And being grown-up means that this isn't really a problem, right?) For somebody who's constructed a pile of lies, this is a very lame attempt at making things right.

It's too bad, because it was such a good opportunity for him to show himself well. I am not knee-jerk DTMFA when it comes to stretching the truth, because I remember something that happened with Mr. Sculpin a few years ago. He got caught in an awkward situation and decided that the best way out of it would be to lie to me. Well, lies have a way of collapsing, and when I found out, I was monumentally hurt and angry. Mr. Sculpin could have blamed me; he could have told me more lies; he could have done a lot of lousy things, but what he did instead was suck it up and fix things for real. It was a tremendous display of emotional courage, and even while I was still hurt and mad, I couldn't help but gain a lot of respect for him. In the end, we wound up a stronger couple.

That's not what I'm seeing here. This was his big moment to make you feel better about him, and, oh man, did he ever not rise to the occasion. For me, at least, that would be a dealbreaker. You sound pretty level-headed to me; I bet you can do better than this guy.
posted by sculpin at 12:47 PM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Y'know, I don't want to interrupt the pile-on here, but here's the thing: I obviously have no idea what your relationship rapport with this dude looks like, but in a vacuum, there's nothing innately OMGDTMFA! about his conduct thus far. Let me try to put this into his (again, totally hypothetical and based off of partial information) perspective:

So you're out of town on business, and you see a chance to meet up with some friends and get raucously drunk on a Wednesday night. Sounds fun! Like the kind of fun that you don't need your girlfriend nagging you about from back home, because sometimes that can be a major buzzkill. So you turn your phone off. And you don't really want to get raked over the coals for turning your phone off when you get home from your night-o'-drinking, but your girlfriend (for some odd reason) is bugging you for the name of the hotel you're staying at, so you give her the name of the Westin across the street, because it can't possibly matter. Now all of a sudden it's the next day, and you're getting the 3rd degree about your night, and you really don't feel like you're answerable to her for going out and drinking until you fall down, because you work a lot and don't get out much and you had a chance to have some fun and decompress without affecting your business on this trip, and now all of a sudden your girlfriend is hopping mad because she couldn't go ONE NIGHT without checking in on you? Fuck THAT noise. So you get a little defensive on the phone, and you're a passive-aggressive guy sometimes and she takes it completely opposite the way you intended her to, and all of a sudden it's DEFCON 2, and she's demanding a hotel receipt OR ELSE, and you're generally puzzled at what could have made this such a big thing, so you send an email explaining why you did what you did (because, after a little introspection, you realize that the fake hotel name was kind of a dick thing to do, so you want to apologize for it), and send her some flowers because it seems like a nice gesture, and now you're getting back an email telling you that her heart is broken into a million pieces?

Which is to say, it is wholly conceivable that there's no malice (much less cheating) on this guy's part, and that you're overreacting to a series of poorly thought out, but nonetheless innocuous decisions that he's made, and now you've dragged your closest 70,000 internet friends in to validate your opinion when you're still clearly really upset about it and doing the confirmation-bias thing where suddenly everything he's done for the last six months is another Warning Sign That He's Cheating On You, when really you need to sit down with this guy and explain why you're upset, and talk things through with the person you're giving serious thought to marrying.

So maybe you two are done, but maybe it's a series of unfortunate misunderstandings and overreactions. It sounds to me like you owe it to both of you to figure out which is the case.
posted by Mayor West at 12:49 PM on September 18, 2008 [35 favorites]


A couple of thoughts:

I spent the past half-week at a convention with a ton of out-of-towners, and the partying and staying out late and crashing in random places was standard, so that much of it sounds perfectly logical - sleeping around was purely optional, although some people certainly seemed to be taking that option.

If I knew I had fun plans with people I don't see very often and my gf was prone to calling seventeen times a night to check in, I'd probably turn off my phone too. Not saying you would have been so, ah, enthusiastic with the attempts at communication if he'd actually talked to you at some point, just that it might be worth considering what your expectations were.

That being said, I would have told my gf I was turning the damned phone off. I also wouldn't have lied to her about which hotel I was staying at - I mean, wtf?

So even if you take his every word at face value - and to answer your original question, I think it's possible that he didn't cheat and actually did everything he has thus far said he did - he's still a dick. Maybe it's fixable, maybe it's not, but there are clearly issues in this relationship. It sounds like he's treating you like a burden (if you replace my references to "gf" above with "mother" you'd pretty much have my standard plan for travel.) That's not what I'd want a romantic relationship to be, at all.
posted by restless_nomad at 12:51 PM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obviously, the reason I don't like him out boozing all night is because I think it's an inappropriate scenario especially every freaking Wednesday night that he's in this particular city (where his company is HQ'd). So, even if he wasn't cheating, I just think enough is enough. You want to go out drinking with your buddies? Knock yourself out. But there's no need to be out all night long or even past 2 a.m.. Especially on a week night. But apparently this is so important to him that he plans it and lies about it.

I understand why he feels the need to lie to you now, given your judgmental tone about how he spends his freetime. You're not his mother, you know. You may have different values WRT drinking (especially on weeknights!) but that in itself doesn't make him an awful, evil person. If he's an alcoholic, that's a different discussion, but you haven't suggested that.

With only the evidence presented here, which does not provide proof of infidelity, I'd give him a pass, because it seems like you're both acting like jerks. You seem needy, untrusting and insecure, and he's cowardly and lying like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar. My partner and I have had similar situations (though vastly scaled down) wherein he has lied to me about playing videogames all night when I'd asked him to do XYZ around the house. He's not accountable for his whereabouts every second of every day, and his free time is his own.
posted by desjardins at 12:55 PM on September 18, 2008 [13 favorites]


I'm going to second warriorengineer. Him losing his job actually makes the most sense. The weird hotel switch and lack of information in general just doesn't fit together.
posted by odinsdream at 12:58 PM on September 18, 2008


I just dumped someone for constantly asking where I was and who I was with. In the short run, it might have been easier to just start lying, but I'm old and too worn out for that hassle. Maybe he isn't.

Not to say you shouldn't DTMFA; it might be the best thing for him, too, given what it sounds like the relationship's turned into.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:03 PM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


But there's no need to be out all night long or even past 2 a.m.. Especially on a week night. But apparently this is so important to him that he plans it and lies about it.

He has to, because you give him shit about it.

Listen to yourself, you're all over him like a disapproving mother, trying to decide what is and is not proper for him. It's easier for him to lie and have a bit of peace than deal with your disapproval.

I can't tell you whether he was cheating or not, but you two clearly have different ideas on how to live life. That's the main problem. His actions aren't right, but they are understandable from a human perspective.


I probably would've had a nervous breakdown at my desk without you all.

Me thinks you're a wee bit dramatic and he uses this as reason to lie, so he doesn't upset you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:06 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, what desjardins said.
posted by small_ruminant at 1:06 PM on September 18, 2008


Dear Mayor & Restless:

Yes. I think you have nailed his perspective down exactly. And if those were all the facts, he'd be right and I'd be an insecure shrew for checking.

But a few Wednesdays ago, I called him to say good night as is our pattern and practice and his phone answered itself. It must've been in his pocket and he moved and pushed a button and it picked up. And I could hear him in a very quiet room cooing with some woman. Not banging her -- but being very flirtatious after midnight on a mother-effing Wednesday in said town.

He said basically he's lonely traveling all the time and there's nothing wrong with flirting with strangers so long as it doesn't go anywhere for a little ego boost. I said I thought that was exactly how affairs begin and that it's totally inappropriate to be alone with a woman wherever you are at that hour and drinking and flirting. He agreed it was inconsiderate and I let it go. But now here we are again -- the very next time he's in said town and again on a Wednesday. And, of course, he fails to appear for the usual call ON A WEDNESDAY.

He travels all over the country. I don't check on him every where he goes. Just on Wednesday in this town I like to definitely hear from him -- we've discussed this -- and he started with the whole "i forgot my phone" thing early in the day but I thought he'd go get it before he went out since the hotel is close by. But he didn't. And he gave me the fake hotel name days in advance. So pretty much, he had this planned. That and he managed to go straight to work from his all-nighter which suggests he brought a change of clothes.

If this were an isolated spontaneous event, yeah, I'd be a bit nutty. But it's the second time and he totally planned it. I never yelled at him or accused him of anything. I just said I knew he wasn't at the hotel and I wanted to know where he really was and why.

But yeah. This is just not a good foundation for a relationship. I'm so sad because I really liked him a lot. But it doesn't seem to be up to me to fix anything. Either he's going to lose his damn mind over losing me and turn a dramatic course or we are just going to plod away from each other. I think we all expect the latter.
posted by GIRLesq at 1:08 PM on September 18, 2008


::blink blink::

Given the new info in your last post, this all clearly boils down to him acting out (granted, in a very immature, passive-aggressive way) against your attempt to control his behavior when he's out of town.

Oh, but if you'd framed the question that way and provided the backstory with the question ("my BF goes out partying on Wednesdays, I don't approve and we've fought about it before, and -this- week he even lied about it!"), you wouldn't have gotten this terrific outpouring of support. Some people might even have disagreed with you about it the appropriateness of partying with co-workers on a weekday! So instead you lied by omission so as to bask in the glow of AskMe validation.

Congratulations on manipulating a bunch of strangers on the Internet.
posted by a young man in spats at 1:08 PM on September 18, 2008 [5 favorites]


So maybe you two are done, but maybe it's a series of unfortunate misunderstandings and overreactions. It sounds to me like you owe it to both of you to figure out which is the case.

Mayor West
I thoroughly enjoyed your comment - no snark at all - and it's possible you have fleshed out the guy-thinking behind the actions perfectly.

But there's no way your chap is effortlessly ready for this marriage - or this long term commitment now!

I think your stream of consciousness reminded me far too uncomfortably of a relationship that's already finished with the idealist stage - and is heading straight towards simmering mutual recrimination?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:08 PM on September 18, 2008


I said I thought that was exactly how affairs begin and that it's totally inappropriate to be alone with a woman wherever you are at that hour and drinking and flirting.

Okay, if I were him I'd have run far away by now. You aren't married with kids. You're not his mom. If you don't trust him, break up. If you do, don't worry.

What am I missing here?
posted by small_ruminant at 1:16 PM on September 18, 2008


GIRLesq, given that most recent post... why did you have to ask? "OMG my bf did some bizarre and stupid shit last night and now I'm suspicious" is WAY different than "My BF travels a lot and it's usually fine except one particular town and one particular evening and once I overheard him sweet-talking some chick there."

Given that info? Yeah, he's either cheating on you or trying to, and he's not very good at it. I was trying to avoid saying it, but... DTMFA.
posted by restless_nomad at 1:16 PM on September 18, 2008


Thanks Young Man:

I wasn't intentionally manipulating I was losing my damn mind because it had happened so immediately and I really needed to not get everybody I know involved. I certainly don't want to jade all of my friends until i have sorted it out a bit myself.

Nevertheless, you are totally right. My spin is one-sided. And I am absolutely acting like his mother. And thanks to each of you who told me so because I really need to look at my contribution to this. I'm going to give it a lot of thought and see what kind of balance I can actually achieve.

I mean -- it's never going to be okay with me for him to lie (except to say how great I look in these jeans or whatever). But honestly, staying out all night is a lot for me to swallow. Not only does it make me worry that he's lying dead in the street, it just seems like there's something else he's trying to avoid (and before you say: "me" keep in mind that we only see each other on weekends. He doesn't need to avoid me on Wednesday night -- I'm nowhere to be found.).
posted by GIRLesq at 1:18 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


So instead you lied by omission so as to bask in the glow of AskMe validation.
Congratulations on manipulating a bunch of strangers on the Internet.

a young man in spats

Jesus mate, that reads harshly!
You could've made the same point with a little less personal edge, you know?
posted by Jody Tresidder at 1:18 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


You want to go out drinking with your buddies? Knock yourself out. But there's no need to be out all night long or even past 2 a.m.. Especially on a week night.

Is he an adult? Are you his mother? Could this possibly be the reason he felt compelled to hide his party plans from you?
As I said upthread, he has problems with communication and honesty, but you have problems with trust and allowing him some personal freedom. You both have some work to do.
posted by rocket88 at 1:20 PM on September 18, 2008


I told you the wrong hotel precisely so this type of communication would not occur.

Makes no sense. If he believed it inevitable that you would call, telling you the wrong hotel is the worst way to avoid "this type of communication" - it guaranteed that you wouldn't get through, thus gauranteeing your eventual justifiable anger when you finally discovered he slept somewhere else. IF he were cheating, the really slick behavior would just be to keep the phone on, have a perfunctory conversation with you early in the evening, put it on vibrate, and text you every now and then that everything's fine.

I'm not sure he's a cheater (he's a bad cheater if he is, or not trying very hard), but he's certainly a liar, and for me that's dealbreaker enough. He went through three stories about where he stayed:

1. I'm at Hotel 1
2. I got drunk and stayed at a friend's
3. I actually stayed at the Radisson because you're such a harridan!!

Once someone has lied twice, there's no real reason to assume that by the time they get to #3 they're finally coming clean.

I agree with those who say your relationship just doesn't appear to be working. You don't want to be with someone whose interests and work are so different from what you want in a partner. He has absolutely no idea how to be direct and respectful of you and takes the childish path of lying - and not even thinking clearly about the lie (alcoholism might not be out of the question here, but that's more than I know - it does cause befuddled thinking like this, though). Is there anything here worth saving? I mean, come on.
posted by Miko at 1:21 PM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


Not only does it make me worry that he's lying dead in the street, it just seems like there's something else he's trying to avoid

To Repeat: You two have clashing values and ideas on how to live life. All of this drama is springing from that. Somebody has to change or you two have to split up, otherwise you're going to drive each other crazy over petty shit like this. Neither of you is wrong in how you think per se, but you're definitely clashing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have spoken to you every day and night.

So suspicious to me.

Plus no denial of cheating in the E-mail message. Not a word. He thinks he's getting one over on you. "Having a ton of fun" could mean anything.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:27 PM on September 18, 2008


Jody Tressider writes: I think your stream of consciousness reminded me far too uncomfortably of a relationship that's already finished with the idealist stage - and is heading straight towards simmering mutual recrimination?

You speak the truth. It speaks, at least, of a relationship without trust, which is in equally rocky waters.

GIRLesq, from your last comment, it sounds like you've got a pretty good handle on things... I wish you the best of luck when you get to talk to this guy, hopefully you can get to the bottom of what really happened and sort things out.
posted by Mayor West at 1:35 PM on September 18, 2008


To Repeat: You two have clashing values and ideas on how to live life. All of this drama is springing from that. Somebody has to change or you two have to split up

This.

Now, I admit that I think you should dump him because this is very similar to an ugly relationship disaster from my past, though because I'm generally relatively chill about what partners do when we're not together, my guy had to do a LOT more crazy shit before I started freaking out about it.

But the "I lied about what hotel I was staying at so that you and I wouldn't fight about where I was on Wednesday night, which was out all night with friends" is pretty much the sign of a dead relationship.

At least one of you, and perhaps both of you, is too crazy and dysfunctional to be in a serious relationship right now.

Either break up and seek counseling for yourself, or seek counseling as a couple. But this is serious shit.

If both of you can't get closer on stuff like this, you need to end this. And this, in my opinion, is fucked up well beyond where you could conceivably solve it by talking with each other--if you and he are both committed to fixing it, you'll need professional help.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:36 PM on September 18, 2008


Jesus mate, that reads harshly!

You're right...

GIRLesq, I apologize for being out of line with my post above. I was reacting to the negative DTMFA responses as much as your question, which wasn't fair.

I've been in a similar situation as your BF, as I'm sure many people have before, being frustrated about not being trusted and then lying, because if I wasn't going to be trusted anyway, I might as well. Which is obviously a shitty, immature response to the situation that only made it worse. In my case, fixing this took a lot of time and work from both of us.

I hope you're able to open up a line of honest communication with your BF as a result of all this and are able to start acknowledging the real issues causing this mutual distress (seconding the suggestion of maybe talking to a therapist/couples counsellor); and whether the relationship survives the process or not, good luck to you.
posted by a young man in spats at 1:48 PM on September 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow, I'm usually able to see some sort of way to give someone the benefit of the doubt in "Is he cheating" questions, but this one is just... there's nothing there. In addition to being a liar, he's an awful one at that. If he had said "I was at the hotel last night, I have no idea why they didn't have my reservation", I could maaaaybe buy that as an excuse. But there's nothing here to even hope for. He's given you two stories that conflict. If he had been staying there, why was he so quiet when you asked for a reciept? That's basically flat out telling you "I am a liar". And he seems too cheap/stupid to attempt to go to the hotel and give them the money for a room and get a reciept AFTER YOU GAVE HIM THE IDEA.

Wow, I wish I could my answer back. If you are constantly harping him about getting drunk at night, then his story makes total and perfect sense. Not one word of what he said sounds like a lie to me. If he has to check in with you every Wednesday, and he wants to go out on a Wednesday without having to talk to you, then not being around his cell and not letting you know where he's staying sounds like the ONLY way to get to do that. Not that he should get a medal or anything, but the problem isn't "He's a liar" or "He's a cheater", the problem is "I've gotten my man to agree to something he doesn't believe in".
posted by 23skidoo at 1:58 PM on September 18, 2008


I agree this sounds like a relationship that's over. But for the sake of clear communication, even with yourself, I'd come up with exactly what's not working for you and exactly what you do want. I hear you saying a few things -- drinking's not okay, you didn't mind the drinking except for overhearing the flirting, etc. I'd first work on nailing down exactly what would and would not work for you. For example:
[a] I just don't want to be with someone who goes out drinking until the wee hours of the night. If that's your thing, that's cool, but I want out.
[b] Look, I need to clarify something. Were you out all night drinking, or were you hooking up with some other person? Because drinking is okay, but cheating is not.

Then, if you think it's worth it, talk to him about what you want in a way that respects that he might want to act differently, and that it's his life to live so he gets to choose. (Why is Bobby Brown going through my head all of a sudden?) What you're doing now (at least in a couple places) acts as though he should automatically share your values and judges him for not doing so. (For example "it just seems like there's something else he's trying to avoid" is fairly close to "drinking all night is just wrong, amirite?").

There's nothing wrong with your values. I'm not saying "accept the unacceptable." But you need to articulate what your values are and what you can and cannot accept, and then discuss those with him in a way that respects his own right to be however he wants (even if that means you leave). Then, you guys can either negotiate ("okay, I promise not to judge you for an occasional binge, if you promise to tell me what you're doing instead of hiding it and lying"), or you can agree to disagree and go your separate ways ("it's cool if you like to drink all night, but that's not how I want to live my life, and I want to find a partner who shares my values in that respect, so maybe we're just not the right people for each other right now").
posted by salvia at 2:00 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe he was running around on you.

Maybe he was just feeding you a line so he could behave in a way you disapprove of without having to deal with your reaction - in which case it doesn't matter whether you, he, or both are being unreasonable: this is not how good relationships work.

Either way, this relationship is broken. Decide if you want to toss it or fix it, and do it. All this other detail is window dressing and irrelevant.
posted by phearlez at 2:01 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh I am that guy.

Well, not really, but it's close. I happen to travel a lot because of work, not only in the country but basically to other continents - live in South America, travel frequently to the U.S. and Europe.

When my previous relationship was almost over, I really didn't want to talk to my girlfriend anymore, so I didn't leave any phone number, hotel names or even connected to any instant messaging software. I was not wanting to make her suffer; it's just that I was deeply depressed but didn't have the strength to terminate a 7-year long relationship.

It was a nightmare for myself and for her: she would call, I wouldn't answer. I logged in to Gtalk, then turned invisible so I didn't have to talk to her. And all the stress of making up story after story after story just to have my mind free of having to think on how to break up with her. I was not cheating, but I wanted to break up so badly.

In hindsight, my behavior was terrible. Only when I got out of this relationship and sought some peace of mind in several therapy sessions, I realized I would have made it easier for both of us had I broken up with her at least a couple of years before.

He may not be cheating, but it seems he wants to get out. In either case, he's lying to you and not even trying to make up good stories. I could surely kick his ass in fiction-writing.
posted by dcrocha at 2:25 PM on September 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


It sounds like you may need to split up due to incompatibilities. His behavior was bad. But I'd love to stay out all night every Wednesday if I had a Wednesday night buddy. To me, that's just fun. (And I'm a 36 year old female.) So you guys have some communication/trust/boundary issues to work out for sure, but I'm not sure if there's cheating going on.

(Even though as a rule, I believe people cheat when given the opportunity. I'm just sayin', it may or may not have happened last night.)
posted by iguanapolitico at 2:31 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


You seem to be aware of this but to confirm, with the new information/history you added, he's totally just testing you and passive aggressively letting you know that he does NOT want to be controlled or otherwise have his time and life managed by you. He's just not ready to be accountable to you, to the degree that you want and need. It's unfortunate but please don't think you're at all in the wrong. Your reactions - lots of calls, desperate attempts to investigate and piece it all together in a way that could yield plausible deniability - are completely and totally normal. Especially if you really liked him. As a lawyer, you may like to control and manage situations, including relationships or you may have a low threshold for ambiguity in relationships. None of that is necessarily bad, but he's going to need to be a LOT more aware and committed to giving you the reassurances and information you need. I really wish you the best of luck with this. You seem like a smart, with it woman. He should be so lucky to have you.
posted by smallstatic at 2:38 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anything that takes this much energy out of you while causing this much angst is not, to my mind, a thing worth pursuing.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:23 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


He flew into town just last weekend to tell me he wanted to marry me and that he would be finished with this job in 6 months so we could finally stop this long distance relationship and move on with our life together.

I don't think this is a coincidence.
posted by granted at 3:25 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I am a woman and a lawyer.

I don't think that made my boyfriend make up a hotel so he could stay out all night god only knows where a mere three days after he flew across country to tell me he wants to get married and then followed it up with a dozen roses.

This kind of thing isn't reserved for women who went to law school.
posted by GIRLesq at 3:43 PM on September 18, 2008


I completely agree with granted. The same thing happened to me--my SO proposed, went off on a artists' residency a mere two weeks later, "fell in love" with another woman, and then (I later found out) toggled back and forth between me and this other woman for a year before I finally figured things out and left him. Either your boyfriend is not ready for marriage period, or he's "kickin' at his stall" before he settles down. You need to have a non-harridan conversation with him and say, "Look, are you really ready to get married? Save us both some future heartbreak and be honest with me now." Then, depending on his answer, you really break up, or you really forgive him, put this behind you, and build a better relationship that isn't mired in lies and avoidance.
posted by fiery.hogue at 5:00 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


He might not be cheating, but he's definitely lying to you. Off with his head.

What she said.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:37 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I certainly wouldn't appreciate hearing my SO cooing to some woman in the middle of the night, then having him defend it because he gets lonely.

I think you are well within your rights to be suspicious, GIRLesq, based on this recent shady behavior of his, and that might have prompted you to go down some paths you wouldn't have considered 6 months ago (calling the front desk, for example). That's not unforgivable, and for goodness' sake, it does not make you his mother.

Who knows whether he was cheating or not, but if he has planted the seed in your brain and then defended it, jeez, i think being honest and/or checking in with you is the only honorable way for him to go. He should have known that's where your mind would go when you couldn't reach him.
posted by agentwills at 5:46 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's my 2 cents and I apologize if someone else has already floated this idea and I skimmed past it.

The only conceivable reason I can think of that he would lie about what hotel he was at days in advance is because he was planning on having a woman over to his hotel room. He didn't want you interrupting by calling or her picking up the room phone. It explains why he could come up with a hotel receipt from a different hotel and it explains why he didn't want you to know what hotel he was really at on Wednesday.

Also, the previous incident with the cell phone where he accidentally knocked it on taught him not to bring his cell phone with him this time. The other woman also may not know about you, so having someone continually calling or taking a phone call privately might set off alarm bells for her.

I can't for the life me understand how lying about what hotel he was at would serve to hide the fact he went out and got drunk with his friends. Either way you couldn't get ahold of him and he lied eve. after the fact about what hotel he stayed at, so it wasn't even a case of "oh I thought I was staying at X hotel, but for some reason at the last minute they switched my reservation to the Radisson." It would only serve to stop you from calling his room and interrupting him. He came up with this lame cover story after the fact, which is why it makes no sense whatsoever.
posted by whoaali at 5:56 PM on September 18, 2008 [7 favorites]


Go with your gut. His reactions sound pretty much exactly like what I've dealt with--when they know you don't have real proof, there's a lot of silences and then some weird story that doesn't make any sense. He went to another hotel to avoid his phone? Then he stayed at a friend's? Then he waited to send a long explanation via email? What?

I wish you could know the truth, but it sounds like you won't be getting it from him (I mean, you asked really, really nicely). I'd say move on, as hard as it may be to convince yourself that something really bad happened without evidence.
posted by timoni at 6:00 PM on September 18, 2008


Wow, there's a lot here. My initial reaction was very different from everyone else's. You sound controlling and judgemental, and you both sound like you have VERY different standards about what kind of behaviour is acceptable. Realize that your opinions are NOT universal. I, for one, find it perfectly acceptable to stay out drinking on any night of the week, as long as my other responsibilities are fulfilled.

What this all boils down is not that either of you are bad people. What it should tell you is that you have very different expectations about conduct toward each other. I don't think your relationship has much of a future, sorry to say.
posted by !Jim at 6:26 PM on September 18, 2008


Hey, don't take some of these answers too harshly. My primary mode of behavior in relationships comes from a pretty trusting place, but I have been in situations where I would have acted in just the way you did. It doesn't mean you're a controlling person, or that this is some huge red flag that other people are going to see in you and you should get to a therapist because no one is ever going to love you again. It means you're in a shitty relationship, and you should get out of it, one way or another.

Looking back on some of my past behavior (along the lines of calling the front desk to verify location), I'm not exactly proud of myself. But it wasn't how I'd acted in previous relationships, and it's certainly not how I act in relationships now. That's just the situation I found myself in, and in retrospect, I had a pretty good reason for having that kind of gut reaction. I worried for a long time that it suggested something awful about me and how I behave in relationships, but that turned out to be very much not the case, and I am sure things are probably the same for you.

Find someone who doesn't make you feel like you have to act this way.
posted by adiabat at 7:53 PM on September 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


Has anybody else noticed that hotels catering to business travellers inevitably have all kinds of pay-per-view porn & the folders with "local services" info are generally full of ads for escort agencies? Just sayin'.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:02 PM on September 18, 2008


(that might not apply in the US, or wherever the OP lives)
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:39 PM on September 18, 2008


Ubu - the porn is ubiquitous; hotel ads for escort agencies less so.
posted by desjardins at 8:52 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is so incredibly similar to the experiences I had with a drug addicted boyfriend. I didn't want him to go out and do drugs all night - so would call him, bitch him out, etc. The end result was him ditching his phone, lying about his whereabouts, giving ridiculous excuses, etc. Honestly, I thought he was screwing around on me (which he may have been) but the drugs definitely were the driving force behind the dynamic. It takes two to tango in these scenarios - one to be the cop and the other to be the criminal. Both roles are unhealthy and it will go round and round until one of you stop it.

You have to face the fact that you have no control over his behavior. That doesn't mean that you need to accept it - but that's a choice for you - it has nothing to do with him. Decide what you want, either break up or build some firm boundaries, but ditch this pointless drama - it's not doing either of you any good.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 9:58 AM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


He's just not ready to be accountable to you, to the degree that you want and need. It's unfortunate but please don't think you're at all in the wrong. Your reactions - lots of calls, desperate attempts to investigate and piece it all together in a way that could yield plausible deniability - are completely and totally normal.

I agree with this. And all those guys who are telling you "hey, this is totally normal behavior and you suck for objecting to it"? Don't get involved with one of them. Find a guy who knows how to behave in a relationship and doesn't feel like any sign of concern on your part is "acting like a mother."
posted by languagehat at 10:05 AM on September 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


He's just not ready to be accountable to you, to the degree that you want and need. It's unfortunate but please don't think you're at all in the wrong. Your reactions - lots of calls, desperate attempts to investigate and piece it all together in a way that could yield plausible deniability - are completely and totally normal.

I agree with this, but wanting to go out drinking late every Wednesday is also completely and totally normal. All those guys who are telling you "This is totally normal behavior and you suck for objecting to it"? Don't get involved with one of them. Find someone who feels comfortable with the amount of control you want to have, because trying to forge a relationship where both people hold two opposing (but equally valid) viewpoints creates needless drama.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:30 AM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Once you get to this point in a relationship - where suspicion is your constant companion and you're on the brink of (or even past!), for example, rooting through desk drawers and coat pockets to try to find some evidence of infidelity so you can triumphantly exclaim 'I knew it!' - then that relationship is in some very treacherous waters. Unless you can manage to sit down and work through this, you'll probably spend from now until you break up in a very bleak place.

If you were planning on getting married, I've have thought that you were at the stage of being comfortable with having some percentage of your social life in which the other party isn't involved. The proviso, for want of a better word, is that you at least have some way of being able to get in touch with the other person in an emergency. In that respect, he was wrong to lie about which hotel he was staying in.

Hope you sort it out, one way or t'other.
posted by highrise at 12:19 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


All:

I am generally a trusting person -- just these Wednesday nights have become an issue. Other than the email he sent, there was literally zero from him yesterday. He sent me a txt msg saying he was working like crazy and missed his flight to his weekend trip with old college roommat (which was preplanned).

Needless to say, I think he needs to get his ass here to discuss this if he wants to salvage the relationship at all. After sleeping on it, and connecting a few more dots, and his radio silence, it's actually pretty convincing that there's another woman and in all likelihood she's on this trip with him since it's one of the very few weekends we've had apart.

I sent him an email this morning saying that I will not take his calls, I will delete all txt, emails and voice mails without reviewing them unless it says "I'm in town at airport" in the subject line. I said that if he ever wants to speak to me again, he'll leave for my town immediately because in the wake of these lies it's the only way I can be confident that I am his priority and confident about where he is and who he is with.

If he comes (I'm not counting on it), and if we can have a very honest and rational conversation about what happened and why it happened, then I'd be willing to try and trust him again. But if he doesn't show up, then I'm totally done. There's nothing more for either of us to say to each other.
posted by GIRLesq at 12:59 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I worried for a long time that it suggested something awful about me and how I behave in relationships, but that turned out to be very much not the case, and I am sure things are probably the same for you.

Yeah, sometimes "crazymaking" behavior is really understandable in context. Here's a good example.
posted by granted at 1:39 PM on September 19, 2008


I sent him an email this morning saying that I will not take his calls, I will delete all txt, emails and voice mails without reviewing them unless it says "I'm in town at airport" in the subject line. I said that if he ever wants to speak to me again, he'll leave for my town immediately because in the wake of these lies it's the only way I can be confident that I am his priority and confident about where he is and who he is with.

You know, it sounds at this point like you're really interested in continuing to play the drama game than in taking care of yourself and getting out. You're issuing tough ultimatums, but what they really are is tests of love and attempts to control him. Would you respect someone who responded to this sort of insistence: " if he ever wants to speak to me again, he'll leave for my town immediately"? You know, if I'm working, I really can't do that and it's not reasonable to ask.

If you believe that you don't deserve this treatment, just plain stop contacting him or responding to his contacts. Don't do it for dramatic effect, though. Do it because you mean it, and move on. It's starting to sound like you're locked into a battle for control with him, but don't really want to let him, or maybe the relationship, go. It's not so healthy. I don't think you have anything much to rescue, and the new basis for your relationship built on your strongarm technique wouldn't really bode well for the future either. Just stop extending the drama, let go, and move on.
posted by Miko at 2:10 PM on September 19, 2008 [8 favorites]


I've got a lot invested in this relationship. He's telling me he wants to marry me and that I am the number one priority in his life. I am in love with him and I'm also saying that empty promises and words aren't enough, it's time to prove it and match your actions to your words.

Yes, it's an expense to fly here but he can afford it. Yes, he's giving up a holiday weekend but let's keep in mind that he's likely with another woman (and he was just on a 10 day holiday to Europe earlier this month). And there have to be consequences for your actions. He clearly planned to spend the night with this other woman, set up a bunch of lies in advance and got caught. So now it's time to make a choice -- either you regret the choice and you will step up or the whole thing was a giant house of cards and I believe that the choice I've presented him with will let me know one way or the other and I can move on without doubts.

Honestly, I think he's not going to show. But I'll know by say 11 pm tonight when the last flight from where he is to where I am comes in. I feel like by that time tonight the drama will be over. Whereas if I am just waiting around for him to call all weekend -- it just drags it out. I'm not going to have another sleepless night.
posted by GIRLesq at 2:24 PM on September 19, 2008


If he comes (I'm not counting on it), and if we can have a very honest and rational conversation about what happened and why it happened, then I'd be willing to try and trust him again.

Respectfully, I don't think you need to have a conversation to figure out what happened and why it happened. It's not like what happened recently doesn't logically follow from what happened in the past. Take one girl who thinks that partying on a Wednesday is bad and that a boyfriend should call in so that she knows what he's doing. Add one guy who likes to party on Wednesday without having to call in. If neither one likes compromise, then what logically flows is that the girl tries to get the guy to not go out and to call her, and the guy tries to go out anyway and resents her.

It doesn't seem like you want an honest and rational conversation about what happened. It sounds like you want him to be a different person. Which is fine, but it's alot easier to just find a different person altogether.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:35 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


What Miko said.

It might be worth thinking of your absolute ideal resolution of this situation, sit with that, and see if even that would satisfy. Even if he drops everything and flies in tonight, my guess is it still won't be enough, and you'll both feel resentful and cornered.
posted by small_ruminant at 2:37 PM on September 19, 2008


People, at this point, it's become very clear that he wasn't out drinking. He was with another woman. If he was simply out drinking, which he does all the time and gets no complaint from me, he wouldn't have totally shut down yesterday. Plus, you just do not pack an overnight bag to go out drinking when you have a hotel room in the center of the action. You pack an overnight bag because this woman is like: "Why should I stay at the hotel when all my stuff is right here in my lovely home? Why can't you just stay at my house for once?" And so he finally caved and did it and I caught him. HE PACKED A CHANGE OF CLOTHES. It's totally confirmed that he did not go back to his room before he went to work at 830 am. I talked to him at 830 am, by the way, and he did not sound like he'd been on a bender all night. Trust me, I wanted to believe the drinking story but it's totally impossible.

My ideal resolution is that he comes here tonight, confesses, and discusses his feelings and we go to therapy as a couple. But, honestly, I think it's pretty clear that he wants to marry somebody who will tolerate his affairs. Up to this point I'd been very easy going and I let the last incident pass and so I think he thought I was the girl for the job. He's been married before and his last relationship ended in affair. I believe that people can change, and I understand that people make mistakes, but he's got to step up and make me the priority or I'm done.

So, like I said, I should know by the end of the night. The first flight has already arrived and he was clearly not on it. The next one lands in a few hours and there are two more after that. Then my waiting is over. I'm deleting him from my phone and every other IM or communication device I have and I'm moving on.
posted by GIRLesq at 2:48 PM on September 19, 2008


I feel like by that time tonight the drama will be over.

It could actually be over right now if you don't hand all the power over to him, as you are doing.
posted by Miko at 2:48 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah. I did hand all the power over to him -- but it was the only way I could think of to get my answer (whether or not he will take extraordinary steps to fix this; and really a $300 plane ticket is not that extraordinary to somebody who earns a quarter million a year).

But I set a deadline for moving on with my life and that's important. I can't control him but I can control how long I will feel this way. I will feel this way until that last flight comes in and then I am wiping my life clean of him. There's definitely a part of me that hopes he doesn't come so that I can just move on. And before y'all tell me that I can just move on no matter what, I can't. I am in love with him and I will give him the chance to make this right. But this is his last chance and the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

I'll sleep just fine tonight knowing that he lies, cheats, and put a weekend trip ahead of our relationship.
posted by GIRLesq at 3:19 PM on September 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. All that information about his history of cheating would have been helpful in the original post.

2. I do hope you finish with this tonight. But keep this in mind: there are victims, and then there are volunteers. And right now, you're volunteering.
posted by Miko at 3:25 PM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


GIRLesq, good for you. I understand wanting to hear an explanation and doing therapy. I hope that he does come round and want that scenario, as well. But it sounds like you're ready to move on if you have to, and that's awesome.
posted by timoni at 3:33 PM on September 19, 2008


He's been married before and his last relationship ended in affair.

Yeah, don't date these guys.
posted by desjardins at 3:36 PM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oh, and even if he magically shows up on your doorstep tonight, it's not going to stop you from being suspicious every time he's away or every time he doesn't answer his phone. Him showing up really doesn't answer anything, except whether he wants to keep you hanging on while he apparently does whatever the hell he wants. If he shows up, then down the road you'll have to create another test to reassure yourself. The tests will keep getting more and more arduous because a person can never be convinced that someone loves them. They either know it or they don't.
posted by desjardins at 3:39 PM on September 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


I've deleted him from everything. It just feels better than sitting around waiting for something that I don't even think is going to happen.

I feel like I have my answer: nobody else matters to him (at minimum, I don't really matter to him). I know what he's done and I know he's only sorry he got caught. He's not sorry that this hurts me and he's not sorry he did it. And he's not willing to go to any trouble to repair this damage.

Amen. Good night. That's all she wrote.
posted by GIRLesq at 3:50 PM on September 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Good for you. Move on to happier things.
posted by Ponderance at 7:22 AM on September 20, 2008


I think you have made the right decision, largely because the odds favor your supposition that he is having an affair and isn't willing (though he is capable) to move heaven and earth to repair the situation.

If we relax that supposition at all, you might have made a serious mistake. If he was not having an affair, but knows that his behavior is highly suspicious, I think you have quite effectively signaled that you will be difficult to convinced and that he would be taking a flight into a chainsaw. Or if he was unable to book a seat on the flight, etc. But I do doubt it.

So I am with you, and this sucks, and you are right to be suspicious and angry and over this. But on this last bit, please. You say you know he's not sorry (save that he got caught) and that nobody else matters to him and that he's not willing to go to any trouble to repair the damage. This is obviously overkill; you are unnecessarily demonizing someone in order to feel more confident in your decision. You don't know any of that, given the terms you set down regarding communication, and the anger you have not unreasonably displayed; we can guess he is not sufficiently sorry to follow the prescribed steps you set out, given their personal costs and the unlikelihood that they would be successful. If he took you seriously, and was inclined to apologize or seek therapy or whatever, you have told him that none of it matters if he wasn't on the flight and you don't want even to hear about it. That's your prerogative, but don't make inferences that assume he is at liberty to disregard your ground rules and prostrate himself in any other way.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 11:59 AM on September 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, it's the next day... Is the drama over?
posted by salvia at 1:27 PM on September 20, 2008


So, it's the next day... Is the drama over?

Somehow I doubt it.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:29 AM on September 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You gave him a chance, he blew it.

Perhaps you need to think about how little he needed to change for you to take him back.
Once you realise how low that bar is set take some time out to raise it.


Then cut him, cut him with knives ;)
posted by fullerine at 8:34 AM on September 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


He did not take a flight on Friday. On Saturday afternoon was the next time I heard from him and he said he would "be willing to take a flight" but he didn't say when. The email started out with some attempts at blame shifting, and then at stirring up doubt talking about "speculation", then he made references to how just last week he flew out to discuss marriage, then he said he hasn't eaten or slept, and all that in about 50 words.

I didn't know how to respond so I slept on it. Early this morning I said that in the wake of a huge betrayal he: (1) told more lies; (2) took six hours to cobble together a nonsensical cover story; and (3) took two and half days to write a 50 word email that attempted all sorts of things but did not attempt to tell me the whole truth or meaningfully reconcile.

I said that there has been none of what I need: complete truth (and that point is critical); an outpouring of regret/emotion; and real effort at meaningful reconciliation. Finally, I asked that he not rub salt in my wounds by writing back just to argue with me or proffer more lies.

He has not responded.

I know that sending an ultimatum like "get on the flight or I won't speak to you again" was a stupid thing to do if I wasn't going to stick to it. Of course, I thought I was going to stick to it. And I've come sort of close to sticking to it. But I'm still pretty beat up from this whole thing. I've lost 4 lbs in past few days because I have no appetite (and I'm a petite girl to begin with) and sleeping is very very difficult. So, yeah, my responses haven't been perfect but I'm doing the best I can under these circumstances.

And CLYDE thank you so much for your comment. Really really helpful. Obviously, I'm having trouble processing all of this.
posted by GIRLesq at 10:49 AM on September 22, 2008


So you're done...right?

Seriously, let it be done. It's done. You should be proud of yourself for standing up for yourself and deciding that you don't deserve the poor communication and duplicity in a partner. The only people who put up with that on an ongoing basis are those whose neediness is greater than their self-esteem.
posted by Miko at 11:16 AM on September 22, 2008


I didn't know how to respond so I slept on it. Early this morning I said...

He has not responded.


Maybe he needs to sleep on it.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 11:24 AM on September 22, 2008


Hosted:

Yeah. I suspect he does need to sleep on it. I'm sure that the last thing in the world he wants to do is own up to what he's done; it's not exactly a joy ride. At the same time, this is day 5 -- he's been sleeping on it quite a bit.
posted by GIRLesq at 11:53 AM on September 22, 2008


I can't quite tell if you're missing my point or not, so I'll try to be more explicit.

Throughout this thread, you have castigated your (ex?)BF for not responding in a timely manner. Whether it's a few seconds pause on the phone or a few hours to hop on an airplane, his inability to react quickly and absolutely appropriately to your satisfaction has been presented as some great guilt on his part. When the ball is in your court, however, the rules are different. You respond when you have collected your thoughts and decided how you'd like to proceed.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 4:04 PM on September 22, 2008


Hosted:

I'm not missing your point; I know that my responses are not text book perfect and even handed. It's a herculean task to be even keeled and text book perfect when you are in love and you are hurt by your beloved and being ignored by him at the same time.

It's natural to respond with anger when you're hurt and especially when you feel like your pain is being ignored. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if he is angry when I don't respond. Or when I do respond with something other than comforting loving words.

But this is an emotional roller coaster. One minute you just want to be comforted and sweep the whole thing under the rug. The next minute you are hurt and angry over the betrayal. And the very next minute you are so desperate to stop the pain you just want to throw the whole thing of a cliff. Rinse. Repeat. FOR FIVE EFFING DAYS.

Tell me what you think I should do. I'm all ears. Certainly you seem to be psychologically closest to his perspective.
posted by GIRLesq at 5:21 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hosted,

As reflected in my earlier comments, I too would be reluctant to conclude too much from subsequent behavior -- that is, I see a tension between imposing conditions and expecting the BF to defy those conditions, at least to the extent of concluding that he must not be sorry at all or only cares about himself.

BUT . . . the two situations aren't comparable. By hypothesis, the BF has committed a serious wrong, and he hasn't said very much in his defense when given the chance. (I haven't been able to follow it all, but I take that on faith.) I think it's reasonable to demand that he give some kind of prompt explanation, and then to take some time to reflect on it. It's called judgment, and we see something similar all the time when judges and juries mull things over at length . . . sometimes events that happened, or arguments that were made, in a trice.

GIRLesq,

My sense is that the AskMe crowd is very helpful and well-motivated but also tends to demand satisfaction -- they/we are decisive and want resolution. Everything in real life is more complicated and less black-and-white, and we all know it when we face our own problems as opposed to saying something dramatic about those of others. Do what you need to do, but do trust your instincts -- you know more about the situation, and yourself, than anyone here.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 6:47 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


But this is an emotional roller coaster.

No, it's a car ride, in your own car. You don't have to keep going in the same direction, you can turn the car around.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 PM on September 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


Tell me what you think I should do.

Just *try* to view the situation form his perspective some. Your last comment sounds like you're doing that now, some of your earlier ones not so much. Good luck.
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 9:30 AM on September 23, 2008


We're set to talk tonight. I have no new information so no idea how it's going to go or what he's going to say. But I'll keep you posted.
posted by GIRLesq at 12:48 PM on September 23, 2008


I hope it went to your satisfaction, if not well.
posted by Ponderance at 7:36 AM on September 24, 2008


Essentially, he denied that there's anybody else and said that I forced him to lie to me. It's the classic best-defense-is-a-good-offense. He also informed me that he is no longer going to stay in hotels in the city at issue, instead he is going to basically crash at this guy's house and live like he's in a fraternity. Which, believe it or not, for a while I thought: "Well, that's fine. It's not forever. Who cares what he's doing out there. I'll just wait it out. " And then when I basically agreed to that - and said I'd like to see him this weekend (I know some of you are going to start yelling at me right about now) he was like: "Well ... i dunno ... let's think about it." And I said: "Well, it's Tuesday night, my flight is Thursday ... " and he said: "then cancel." And that pretty much pushed me over the edge and I said: "Fine. Have a good night" and I hung up.

At the end of the day, I don't feel like he loves me. At least, I feel like he doesn't love me the way that I love him or we have different ideas about love. Whatever it is ... we aren't getting what we need from this relationship and from each other. And try as I might to clearly communicate what I want and need I fail.

Maybe a counselor could help us -- but we aren't even living in the same city and technically he's still married. (Yeah, I think I failed to mention that earlier. He's been separated for nearly a year from his second wife but they haven't filed the papers -- but that's a whole other Oprah).

So, as much as I love him, and as badly as I want to, I don't think he and I can fix this.
posted by GIRLesq at 10:01 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


He told you to cancel your flight to go see him? :( I agree, it doesn't seem like he loves you, at least the way you love him.
posted by timoni at 12:14 PM on September 24, 2008


There's a lot going on here, not only with his behavior, but yours. I'm curious why you didn't think it was important to tell us that he's still married - and that he's only been separated from his second (!!) wife for less than a year. Based on this info, your willingness to accept his marriage proposal before he's even divorced, the power dynamic that you two seem to have set in motion - I would say that there's a very good chance that you are incredibly co-dependent.

Before you go any further with this relationship, I strongly urge you to get some counseling for yourself. This guy is a major manipulator and you are being strung along (willingly) like a fish on a hook. You are heading for major trouble, both emotionally and perhaps even physically and financially if you continue to play this way.

Ditch this drama and get some help.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 12:52 PM on September 24, 2008


I don't know why, but I feel the need to defend the fact that he's not divorced. As a very recent AskMe discussed, there are lots of reasons why divorces don't happen right away.

This guy might in fact be a douche because he's not divorced, but there is no reason to presume so based on zero data. Divorces are difficult financially, emotionally, etc. In fact, it can show a great deal of compassion on one or both sides when a couple is separated but not divorced, for financial reasons such as one party keeping their spouse on their own health insurance, etc.

That said, it sounds like you two have different expectations. If nothing else, I'd step back for a while before getting together. Let the obviously charged emotions simmer down a bit first.
posted by iguanapolitico at 1:43 PM on September 24, 2008


I don't know why, but I feel the need to defend the fact that he's not divorced. As a very recent AskMe discussed, there are lots of reasons why divorces don't happen right away.

Normally I would agree with you, but the guy hasn't even been separated from wife #2 for a year and he already proposed to our OP. Add to that his recent shenanigans and I feel safe proclaiming "douche."
posted by The Light Fantastic at 1:45 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't forget "wife-beater".
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 1:54 PM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe a counselor could help us --

No, it's beyond that. A counselor only helps when there are two people who are willing to work on the relationship. But a counselor could help you, big time. What you've been willing to accept in a relationship is much less than should be the case. I have to agree that insecurity and low value placed on your own needs, combined with attempts to control the relationship do sound like classic co-dependence. So make an appointment to see a counselor - it will really help you through this - and in the meantime, go find this book at your nearest library or bookstore or wherever. It's really helpful. Just do it - read the first chapter (it goes quickly) and if you don't recognize yourself, I'll eat my hat. It could save you a lot of misery in the future if you look at where you are now and why you were ever willing to live this way. It might get you to stop selling yourself short, relationship-wise, and move on to really valuing yourself and finding someone who really values you.
posted by Miko at 2:37 PM on September 24, 2008


I would like to second the "douche" label. I would like to add "Factory Wrapped Douche".

Move on, find someone nice.
posted by Ponderance at 2:47 PM on September 24, 2008


Is there a post-script to this story???
posted by Ponderance at 9:10 AM on October 9, 2008


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