Forgive someone who stole from you?
August 19, 2010 2:10 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to forgive and go on loving someone who stole from you? (Long-winded story inside)

My boyfriend and I are mid-30's and in a long-distance relationship. We've been together 1 1/2 years and have loved each other immensely the entire time. We've always had a great time together.

When we met, he was consulting. Then his contracts dried up and he was looking for work. I went to visit him and lent him my bank card and gave him the passcode to get a haircut. (I know I know!) About $4000 in the account. I forgot about it and left it with him, remembering later and even said, "if you're ever in a bind and need some cash..."

Two months later, I got a statement and saw that the account had been completely drained - we both knew this is not what I meant. Days of me crying and him apologizing ensue. I decide to go and see him, he finally gets a job, albeit a crappy one, and is paying me back $200 a paycheck. He has no excuse, just that it was stupid and he was desperate and needed to pay taxes and was otherwise out of money. He wanted to tell me about it but was too embarrassed to do it over the phone and wanted to do it face to face. He didn't want to lose me. He wants to spend his life with me (as do I - in a world where this never happened), is still interviewing for a better job, and we are blissfully happy when we're together except when I think about this one thing he did, I get upset and we both cry. I truly believe this is something he wouldn't do again, but it is definitely something that I would have never done in the first place.

Now I'm back at my highly stressful, but lucrative job and I'm having a harder time dealing with his situation, even though it's improving. I want him to be a source of pride to me, instead I'm embarrassed by him and his crappy job, barely talk about him and feel like I'm acting on the phone with him. When we first got together I saw him as stable, but now I realize he didn't have his shit together at all. To his credit, he's trying insanely hard and working more overtime than I thought existed in a week in order to make it right. He tells me that being with me is his goal. He wants to create a stable environment for me so that I can come live with him.

I know I'm supposed to dump him, like yesterday. I just would like to ask the hive if it's at all possible to get past something like this with time, patience or something resembling divine intervention. I know people do all kinds of horrible things to each other in relationships, only to kiss and make up. Am I kidding myself by staying or should I muster all the patience I can and give the guy a chance?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (40 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Unless you are unbelievably lucky, in your married life together, you will face challenges more daunting than being ~$4000 over your head. Do you want a partner who will confide in you and let you help them, or someone who is so ashamed and proud that he will do straight up immoral things to keep you from the truth?
posted by telegraph at 2:15 PM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

People make mistakes. Even huge mistakes.

The good news: By having this big thing happen early in the relationship, you are learning how to deal with them. It is quite possible that this is the worst thing he will ever do to you.

The bad news: you've already made up your mind about how you feel about his morality because of this mistake he's made. Even though it is his mistake -- and is a big one -- you both deserve to not be in this hole. It sounds like he's sorry he fucked up. But it also sounds like ut if he's always digging his way out of that hole, it's never going to be possible for the two of you to be happy together. Do you really want to build a relationship that you have so many questions about?

But really it comes down to this (which comes down to if you truly mean these words):

I'm embarrassed by him and his crappy job, barely talk about him and feel like I'm acting on the phone with him.

Nobody, no matter what kind of shitty thing they've done, should have the person with whom they want to spend the rest of their lives feel this way about them. Cut him loose.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:23 PM on August 19, 2010 [5 favorites]

Is he trying?

That is one of the acid tests, for me. Anyone can make a massive mistake. It's how the individual handles that mistake and deals with the consequences that is the important bit. It seems that this guy is trying to make things right with you - he's paying you back, he's apologised, he's working lots of overtime.

However, there's also the aspect of you forgiving him. Can you do that, 100%? If you can't, this is going to poison your future relationship. Only you can decide if his behaviour was a dealbreaker or not. If it was, then break up. If it wasn't, then forgive him and move on. You certainly can forgive him for this, but do you actually want to? Not forgiving him won't change the past. Neither will forgiving him, but at least you won't start crying every time you think about what happened.

It sounds like you don't actually want to be in a relationship with him - "I'm embarrassed by him and his crappy job, barely talk about him and feel like I'm acting on the phone with him" - and if that's the case, then be straight up and honest with him.
posted by Solomon at 2:25 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

I don't think that this is something strangers on the internet can answer. It depends on what is a dealbreaker for you. For me, I would DTMFA and not turn around to look back. I don't fall for the meaning to tell you, oh so embarassed crap. If he respected you, he wouldn't have done it. He would have asked you for help. Some people are more tolerant. Do you think he's really worth waiting to see if you can get past this, or do you think that there is probably someone with their shit together who can make you happy (and locally no less)?
posted by bolognius maximus at 2:27 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

"I'm embarrassed by him and his crappy job...."

wow... do him a favor and let him move on.
posted by HuronBob at 2:28 PM on August 19, 2010 [15 favorites]

y'know, you did say "if you're ever in a bind and need some cash..." Yes, you didn't expect him to use it all, but I'd be hesitant to call it stealing, if I were in your shoes. Everybody does stupid things once in a while, so he did something stupid. Now it sounds like he's trying really hard to make up for it. Iif this sort of thing happened all the time, then yea, it's clear that you can't rust him, but if he continues to work hard, and pays you back, give him another chance. Maybe he's one of those rare people who can admit that they were wrong, and learn from their mistakes. In a long-term relationship, those are pretty damn good qualities.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:30 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

rust = trust
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:32 PM on August 19, 2010

It really is about you being able to forgive him completely, and him being able to straighten the hell out completely.

It's hard for a relationship to gain this kind of baggage early-ish on. It taints everything after for a long, long time - it's hard to climb past this when all the crummy feelings associated with the event come up again and again for both of you, often out of nowhere. It's a shitty load to carry, for both parties - guilt and shame for him; anger and betrayal for you. Everyone suffers.

That said, from my own experience I would say it is worth trying if the relationship is important enough to you. I would suggest maybe talking to a counselor or other mediator to help you work through this stuff, though - is that possible long-distance? It will go a lot better if you have a map of how you want to deal, and a safe place to talk honestly about things.
posted by peachfuzz at 2:33 PM on August 19, 2010

some people will jump tall buildings to prove themselves once they've been caught doing bad things. i learned that i prefer a partner who doesn't do those bad things, so doesn't need to go to heroic measures to make it up to me. your boyfriend doesn't sound very responsible and you're not his mother. unless you want to teach him how to grow up, you should probably find a better match.

something i had to figure out in myself after 10 or so years in the dating world - "why am i always finding partners that are unavailable?" - is there a reason you've spent a year and a half in a long distance relationship? do you normally find yourself in situations where the relationship would be PERFECT except for this one thing? you might have some growing to do yourself...
posted by nadawi at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2010

You're right, he did not have his shit together then. But it sounds like he's getting it together. I am a big believer in second chances. There have been times in my life when I have been given them, and I am eternally grateful to those who gave them to me.

Now, whether or not you give him a second chance is up to you—it is a choice you make. Can you imagine being happy with him if he is forever in what you're calling "a crappy job"? Can you imagine being happy with him if this is as together as he ever becomes? If you can't, then you should end the relationship.

But if those things are a possibility, and, crucially, if the two of you are open and honest with one another from now on, I say cut him some slack and keep trying to make this work.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:37 PM on August 19, 2010

Have you considered asking his long-term friends or relatives about him? They might say, "oh, yes, he's never been able to manage money, he's always borrowing from us, can't hold on to a dime." Or they might say, "What? Wow, that's so unlike him, that's never happened before!" If it's the former, then you know that his behavior won't change and DTMFA, or at least never lend him a penny again and keep your finances separate. If it's the latter, then at least that's something to work with.

If it were me, I'm with bolognius maximus and would DTMFA immediately; in my experience, people who use the excuse about "being embarrassed" or whatever are only trying to buy time so they can plan their next financial manipulation of you.

But then, you asked about forgiveness. Of course you can forgive. You can forgive anyone you want, including the guy who shot the pope. Forgiving someone and living in their personal space 24/7 are two completely different issues.
posted by Melismata at 2:43 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Think of some of the men you admire--your father, grandfather, boss, professor, etc. Then ask yourself whether you can picture any of them ever doing what your boyfriend did. Yes, you are fond of him. Yes, he was in a bind. Yes, we all make mistakes. Yes, he deserves your compassion. But this does NOT mean that you should invest any significant part of your life in this man. His actions constitute a "tell." That is, he has given you a preview of how he behaves when the chips are down. Unless you want to go on bailing him out and forgiving him and possibly having him resent you for doing so, give up any plans to stay in a relationship with this man. Lots of marriages eventually end when the weak partner gets tired of always being in the wrong and the strong partner is fed up with his/her weakness. Look for a man who is your equal; this boyfriend is destined to disappoint you, and himself, over and over again.
posted by Jenna Brown at 2:45 PM on August 19, 2010 [11 favorites]

y'know, you did say "if you're ever in a bind and need some cash..." Yes, you didn't expect him to use it all, but I'd be hesitant to call it stealing,

I'd add to this the fact that, even if was stealing, it doesn't sound like he was trying to put one over on you. That is, the money was there and he took it, but it's not as if there were likely to be any other "suspects". The guy was in a bind, and borrowed from Peter (you) to pay Paul (the taxman, or whoever). Yes, he shouldn't have done it. Yes, there are far more troubling deceptions out there.

Sounds like you're more concerned about his crappy job anyway ...
posted by philip-random at 3:00 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

You could continue to monitor your feelings as he continues to try to right the ship. Sad experience convinces me that you cannot always return to a trust level after a breech like this. Maybe you'll find he truly redeems himself but if you cannot respect him, it's going to be awfully hard to live with him and commit to a joint future. I actually tried to do that and my body eventually rebelled.
posted by Anitanola at 3:17 PM on August 19, 2010

Without any other background information, it does sound like you should break up. I can't imagine abusing someone's trust by cleaning out their bank account. There's no plausible scenario (in my mind) where your telling him to use your card if he got into a bind would give him permission to take more than, say, $250 out... and not pay you back within a month. Whether or not he is truly sorry, you're still going to be stuck with someone who did this to begin with. If he had no qualms about taking $4,000 of your money without telling you, what else is he capable of? Not to mention that he was too chickenshit to either take care of his own problems, or come to you and ask for help. Do you want to be with such a putz for the rest of your life?

And he's paying you back only $200 per paycheck? What the fuck?!?
posted by buckaroo_benzai at 3:29 PM on August 19, 2010 [7 favorites]

I'm inclined toward forgiveness myself. I do think it sounds like he's really trying, sincerely. And, I do like the idea of a second chance here, given that many things sound positive.

On another note, I also was once a bit of an under-achiever whose (then) wife one day made it clear that she wasn't going to be able to live her life that way. I put some effort in...built a decent career, and really am a better man today for her honesty. That is meant to address the notion that his "crappy job" is an issue, by the way. A person of character can often improve their situation.

Now, having said that, I would also suggest you re-read Jenna Brown's comment, because, wow, I think she's really hit the nail on the head with the weak/strong issue. I've not seen that point made before, but man, it sure rings true in my experience.
posted by Richat at 3:35 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Speaking for myself, I would not hesistate to end the relationship. It's not so much about the money (although I imagine losing $4000 would not be pleasant) but about the way in which it was taken from you. Yes, it was less than smart to give him your card and PIN, but that's kind of like the old argument about the woman who was attacked because she wore short skirts "and led him on". An adult is someone who has learnt to control their baser urges, and who doesn't just take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, and hang the consequences! And, he's your loving partner, not some random room mate!

Would it have been so hard for him to pick up the phone, call you, and ask to borrow some of the money? That's what I would have done, in his position.

He strikes me as someone who is less than honest in his dealings with people. When you are in a relationship with someone, trust is perhaps the most important part, and he has clearly shown that he can't be trusted.
posted by humpy at 3:36 PM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

I want him to be a source of pride to me, instead I'm embarrassed by him and his crappy job,

Dump him for both your sakes. You deserve a partner who you trust and can be proud of. HE deserves a partner who respects him and isn't ashamed of him. Even if he hadn't stolen your money, this dynamic will poison your relationship.

Think about would you feel if you knew your partner, someone who should be proud of you and in your corner, was ashamed of you and your "crappy job?" (Yes, some jobs suck but there is dignity in honest work, janitors and poultry-plant workers deserve respect.)
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 3:39 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

From reading your question, it sounds as though you've already decided that you don't trust him and you don't wish to put in the emotional work in order to move past the broken trust. This is okay! You are allowed to make this decision for yourself!

If I'm misreading you and you do want to stay in this relationship and trust your boyfriend again, individual and couples counseling may be in order. Couples counseling for obvious reasons, individual counseling to deal with you feeling embarrassed by him and your feeling that you're "supposed" to dump him.

First and foremost, be honest with him, if not brutally honest. Share with him that you're having doubts about your feelings for him and the future of the relationship. This guy shouldn't be working to "create a stable environment for me so that I can come live with him" if you don't see a future in the relationship.
posted by epj at 4:10 PM on August 19, 2010

I think you probably need to dump him... the way I see it you have two options: never allow him any access to your bankcard, financial information, etc. for the rest of your relationship; or allow him continued access to your financial information with the knowledge that he might very well screw you over again. Even if you weren't embarrassed by him, neither of those seem like great options to me.
posted by mskyle at 4:14 PM on August 19, 2010

If you stay with him, you will have money troubles forever. How much has he paid you back? Is he willing to sign a note?
He took complete advantage of your trust, didn't have the balls to tell you, but let you find out alone, and is trying to grovel so you don't dump him.

Of course he wants to be with you--he doesn't want to have to work for a living, bu is willing to let you kill yourself at a stressful job. If you want to do that, and have him be the At Home Person, okay.

I'll predict if you marry, and he stays home--you'll go bankrupt. And I don't believe the "pay taxes" story.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:26 PM on August 19, 2010

Wow, interesting responses.

I'm for forgiveness if he is willing to make up for it and it sounds like he is.

If he simply doesn't get what he did wrong and doesn't show any remorse thats the key sign to quit in my opinion.

To my own family members I have given over $40000 with the explicit agreement that they would pay me back over time and have yet to see a single penny. No remorse whatsoever so I don't talk to them and they don't talk to me. I used to still call them to keep in touch but I stopped after realizing I was the only one trying to keep in touch.

I probably wouldn't even care about the money if they said they were sorry and couldn't pay it back.

I remember a guy in the news who gambled $400 000 of his family's savings and the husband and wife stayed together.

I know $4000 is a lot of money but its also not a lot of money.

What's worth more than money is trust.

About being embarrassed of your guy, don't be you really love him.

But there is a psychological barrier that you have to fight. If you are the breadwinner then both of you have to come to terms with that and discuss how you feel about it and stupid society conventions/rules about men/women.

Otherwise there may be resentment on both sides.

I know a girl who gave up on her love because he wasn't going to be making that much money and even after years thinks she screwed up.

Personally, I grew up without associating money with love and even disgusted with the idea of the pursuit of money for money's sake. A lot of thinkers in other generations (not ours typically) also felt that way. You can be rich or poor in life in so many ways, not just by money. Good health is richness, quality friends is richness, love is richness, ability to think and learn is richness.

Unless you think you will be destitute and really poor with this person, I'd say let love come before money.

I'd rather live a modest (not poor) lifestyle and be in love than make a lot of money and not find the right love. Of course both would be good I know but ...

Actually, put love and health before money and you'll be richer than you think.

My 2 cents but at the end of the day you'll have to evaluate your circumstance in full yourself or better yet with your SO.
posted by simpleton at 4:49 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'll add one point that no one's mentioned. The IRS is very understanding (as are state tax agencies) about making payment plans. Instead of a) planning his taxes better in the first place and b) making a payment deal with the IRS, he chose to "misappropriate funds" from the person he should love the most. Think about that decision a bit.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:05 PM on August 19, 2010 [4 favorites]

HE deserves a partner who respects him and isn't ashamed of him.

Um, no. Respect is earned and this guy hasn't earned squat. What he did is theft and it is quite understandable that the OP has (obviously) lost respect for him.

The cynic in me wonders whether he repaying because his moral compass is (now) properly calibrated or because he doesn't want to OP to dump him. In other words, would he keep repaying the OP after she dumped him? My guess is no.

If I was me (and I could stomach it), I would try to hang on to any of the positive feelings I had towards this guy and stay put until he paid me in full...and then I would kick his sorry ass to the curb.

And no, this guy doesn't deserve to be treated better than that by the OP. He got his gift when she didn't call the cops.
posted by murrey at 5:38 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

To my own family members I have given over $40000 with the explicit agreement that they would pay me back over time and have yet to see a single penny.

Simpleton -- the point is that the OP didn't lend her SO the money in the first place.

"If you're ever in a bind", is maaaaaybe "if you ever need a few hundred bucks paying the rent". Even then, something like that should be definitely asked for in advance.
posted by suedehead at 5:41 PM on August 19, 2010

I've been with Mr. M. for almost 7 years now. The car we use is mine; I bought it before I knew him and paid it off not long after I met him. I never go around saying "it's MY car" and the expenses around it are shared. That said, when I was out of town on business, and Mr. M. got invited to visit friends in South Jersey, he called me to ask if he could borrow the car. (To which the answer was 'of course'.) He didn't wait for me to come home and see the mileage or notice it needed gas before I asked "did you take the car somewhere?" and even then I would have just been curious and not accusatory because as far as I'm concerned he has as much right to use it as I do.

You left him the money to use if he got in a bind. The upright thing to do would be to have called you to say, "Remember you said I could use this if I was in a bind? Well, I'm in one now, and I want to make sure that it's okay that I do use this, because it's more than a couple hundred bucks." I would absolutely use the word steal because HE NEVER BOTHERED TO TELL YOU. He waited TWO MONTHS for you to get the bill and see that the money was gone.

And the OP is somehow in the wrong here?

Now, with that said, "crazy overtime" isn't $200 a paycheck unless he's getting paid every week, then again I don't know what he does or what he makes, but $200 a paycheck sounds pretty dim for someone trying to make good, fast.

I don't think he's upset that he goofed, I think he's upset he got caught. What did he say he would have done if you hadn't called him on it? $4000 isn't a lot of money to everyone else? I'd love to have your lives.

If you tell me that he is working crazy overtime and is paying you back every red cent every single week then I will agree that he has honor and it is worth working on this relationship. But if he did not immediately volunteer a payment plan and if he has not made 100% good on every bit of that agreement, then I do not think there is anything there for you.

SHE's the one in the wrong here? She's the one who HE should dump because HE deserves better? HE TOOK MONEY FROM HER. Come ON. There is no respect here.
posted by micawber at 6:04 PM on August 19, 2010 [9 favorites]

QUESTION: Would he continue to pay you back, even if you broke up with him?
posted by jbenben at 7:49 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

jbenben has an excellent point. If you dump him, wait until you have the money back. I hate to be uncouth, but it's happened to me.

I am ah, generally unsympathetic to this kind of thing usually, but it sounds like this guy has fallen on hard times like a lot of people (doesn't sound like he works a "crappy job" all the time, but it's what he can get now), he had a giant fuckup but is genuinely trying as hard as he can to pay you back. If you are wanting to give him a chance, this is pretty much the best case scenario for giving someone one. I would be bothered, and I would never give him access to my money again, but in this case it might just be worth it to give him a shot.

But if you are emotionally done with him, then well, wait it out until you're paid back and then dump him.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:04 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Interesting jenfullmoon, but not my point exactly;))

I just meant does the guy really have character? Would he still pay you back, even if there was no hope of a future with you?

The answer would factor into my decision to forgive or dump.
posted by jbenben at 8:32 PM on August 19, 2010

Can you forgive him? Sure. How hard it will be to forgive him is entirely dependent on your personality. Some find forgiveness easier than others, and for the most part, that's just how it is.

The real question is this: What happens if your relationship with him lasts really REALLY long term? Like I said, you can forgive him, but...

Can you TRUST him?
Can you trust his JUDGMENT?
Can you trust someone with his lack of judgment to be your husband?

Forgiving is easy.
Trusting? Not so much.
posted by 2oh1 at 8:35 PM on August 19, 2010

So as I was reading the OP and part of the responses all I could think of was a commercial from my childhood. Enjoy. Borrowing without asking
posted by ThomasBrobber at 9:58 PM on August 19, 2010

I forgot to post my actual thoughts though. Can you forgive and go on loving? Absolutely. The real question will you trust him again, hold it over him, really forgive? Those are only questions that you can answer yourself. But I think you've answered your question in your statements of "I want him to be a source of pride to me, instead I'm embarrassed by him and his crappy job, barely talk about him and feel like I'm acting on the phone with him," and "...when I think about this one thing he did, I get upset and we both cry." I wish you the best in whatever you decide.
posted by ThomasBrobber at 10:04 PM on August 19, 2010

wait it out until you're paid back and then dump him.

At $200 a paycheck, assuming biweekly paychecks, that's going to be another 10 months. That's a long time to date someone you don't respect in order to get cash out of them.

In any case, I think paying you back at such a slow rate is pretty unacceptable.
posted by grouse at 10:47 PM on August 19, 2010

It sounds like your entire view of him has changed. The question is, can you live with the new fallible crap job having him? And is your view distorted by transient emotions or are they forever?

Just because he's
trying does not mean you have to love him again. You also do not have to decide right now.
posted by Omnomnom at 11:05 PM on August 19, 2010

Not clear how long ago this happened.

In general, seems reasonable that someone can screw up in a big way--once--and it doesn't cast the die. (Generally dismal people can do really nice things, too.) But re-earning trust takes time.

In my experience, overtime money gets a big tax hit and I assume he's keeping a roof over his head, etc., so the amount he's paying you (not clear if it's $200/wk or every two weeks) doesn't seem paltry.

Not clear what was going on with his consulting (do you know, beyond what he has told you?) and finances, if he was generally responsible with his money, had a decent amount saved for emergencies, etc.?

From "I realize he didn't have his shit together at all," it sounds like things were not in good order or close when times got bad. Not a good sign.

As others have said, "I'm embarrassed by him and his crappy job" is chilling. Not at all clear if that is related to the money stuff or how much you've thought about that, but if he got hammered by the Great Recession, words like "compassionate" and "understanding" are not those that come to mind in thinking about your reaction to his circumstances.

Operationally, unless you're able to come to terms with things, at some point in the not too distant future, he's likely to to realize that something's weighing on your mind and it will be time for a big talk.

If not, at some point, someone not being told about a big operational problem, the money, doesn't feel too far away from someone not being told about major feelings of doubt, embarrassment.
posted by ambient2 at 11:12 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Additional thought:

If you decide to call it off with this person romantically, can he borrow the money to pay you back from another friend/family member immediately? And then pay that person the $200 per paycheck instead?

If you decide to break, a clean break is the way to go.

Likewise, this $4000 goes beyond an amount you can afford to let go.

posted by jbenben at 11:31 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Yes, it is possible to forgive someone who has done something stupid, even if it is early in the relationship.

However, in order for this to happen, in my opinion, the offending party needs to show remorse and change (which it does sound like your boyfriend has) and the offended party needs to let the past be the past. Are you willing to forgive him completely and to never use it against him again?

If so, I would suggest that when he pays the $4000 back in full, you forgive him completely. If you need one last night of angry crying, do take it. But after that, the issue is in the past, and, for the sake of both of your sanity and the health of the relationship, you will need to let it go.

It might be that this is a deal breaker for you, which is perfectly understandable. But, if it isn't, there's no shame in sticking with someone even though they've messed up (provided, of course that they've changed). In fact, I have a great deal of respect for anyone who is able to forgive and move on.
posted by brambory at 11:58 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

A person's actions are the best indicator of their true beliefs and who they really are. What he did tells you what kind of person he is. When things get tough, he is willing to steal, to deceive, to lie by omission, and generally take the easiest path, regardless of the consequences to someone he claims to love. This is a fact. If he is capable of changing to a different kind of person, and if you can ever truly believe he's changed is another matter entirely.

I would insist that he get a loan and pay you back and make his $200 payments to the bank. And then I would drop his ass so fast his head would spin. This is just me, of course, because I'd be able to forgive, sure, eventually, but I would never be able to forget.
posted by lemniskate at 10:14 AM on August 20, 2010 [3 favorites]

I feel like there are at least two camps here just as if we were debating about someone who cheated on someone.

Camp 1 says once a cheater always a cheater.

Camp 2 is willing to forgive, given the appropriate effort.

People in Camp 2 like myself are perhaps more naive in believing that people can learn and change.

On the other hand, some people really can't change and can't learn even if they try hard. Some weakness in their character perhaps. So I kind of get Camp 1 to some extent.

I saw a movie once based on a true story where some lawyer really believed that a murderer (a female) was innocent. He worked years and years to get her out and finally she got out. She killed again.

That's extreme I know but my point is that even if someone says all the right things, they still might not follow through and do the right thing.

That's scary but perhaps applies to only dysfunctional people.

I think only the OP knows her SO well enough to decide what's best but sometimes that can be cloudy if you love someone.

I like the idea of the SO getting a loan from the bank, paying you back and then him paying the bank monthly payments so that you don't have to follow up on his payments. This would prove something. Hopefully he can get a loan at the bank though.
posted by simpleton at 6:53 PM on August 20, 2010

Your boyfriend didn't "make a mistake" He committed a crime. Against you, who offered to help him. You could have turned him in to the police--no wonder he's crying. Now you see him in a new light, with your illusions gone--don't take to heart the idea that you considering his job "crappy" is "chilling" He doesn't deserve any respect from you. That's just your broken illusions showing you this man in his true light.
posted by uans at 9:24 AM on August 22, 2010

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