For once [ha!], I might actually be overreacting...
June 12, 2011 10:07 PM Subscribe
I love my boyfriend and we've been talking about getting married. I'm a little wary of some things about his past and some things he's said, even though he's been nothing but wonderful to me. I'm reluctant to address them with him directly because I don't want him to feel like I'm judging his character. Are my concerns valid, or do I let this one go?
posted by Be cool, sodapop to Human Relations (52 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a woman in my mid-twenties, my boyfriend is in his mid-thirties. We met three years ago and have been dating for two, and we plan on moving in together within the next year, once some work and lease logistics get sorted out.
My boyfriend is much more experienced than I am. He spent his twenties being a bit of a "player" and he's hooked up with a lot of women, whereas I have one major relationship and a few dates under my belt, none of which went anywhere. Despite this, we match up really well in terms of maturity, and we have fantastic chemistry together.
I found out recently that he has, in the past, slept with other women while dating someone, on multiple occasions. He says it never happened while he was in a "serious" relationship, and assures me that he considers our relationship to be serious, which I believe. He says he doesn't want to be with anyone else. He also acknowledges that being cheated on, for me, would be more devastating than it might otherwise be for someone else because I struggle with abandonment issues and low self esteem. (This is something I'm working through slowly in therapy.)
Additionally, there have been times in the past when I've caught him not being entirely truthful, either by omission or actually lying. The two situations that come to mind involve: 1. Something he was ashamed of and didn't want to admit to me, and 2. An anecdote told to me just as we started dating, in which he embellished some details for dramatic effect and "merged" people from his past. This latter only came to light because something he mentioned years later contradicted one of the details of the story. His explanation was that he knew our disparity in experience bothered me a little at the time and he didn't want to introduce more ex-girlfriends than the ones I already knew of into his anecdotes because he wanted to protect my feelings. He admitted #1 of his own volition after it came up in conversation a few times, and apologized.
Also, he has at one point gotten a kick out of assuming an online persona for a few months just to see who he could befriend, though it never went beyond an account on an interest-based social media site and a few resultant emails.
I tend to be frank in how I deal with people and I value the same in others, so these things give me pause. At the same time, he's a wonderful boyfriend, has provided me with nothing but love and support through some difficult times, he makes me laugh and we have delightful conversations together, and just thinking about him makes me giddy.
When I found out about #1 and #2 above, I sat him down and I told him that knowing the truth matters more to me than it does perhaps for him, and for many others. He apologized and promised to do better, and that was that. But now in light of knowing that he's cheated in the past, my previous concerns are returning.
I don't think he will cheat on me. I don't think he would ever do anything intentionally that would hurt me. I trust him. But since I don't have an entirely objective perspective on the relationship, I wanted to consult the Hive Mind on whether if this is something that I should be concerned about as we move on with the relationship, or if I should let it go. If the former, how do I bring it up in a tactful and non-hurtful way?