Should I tell him I know he is a liar, or is that too drama queen of me?
January 4, 2012 7:47 AM   Subscribe

In July, I entered my only FWB relationship. I started catching feelings, and he decided he couldn't reciprocate. He came back into my life on New Year's Eve wanting more. HOWEVER, I have found out some things that have inspired my current run for the hills (irrelevant as it may be, the nitty-gritty is inside). How do I tell him that I know the truth? Or, should I just go cold turkey on communication?

Mid-August, communication abruptly stopped between us. I received no explanation. It hurt, but I squeezed out as much of him as I could all the while knowing he "could not give me a relationship." I figured I had just pressured him too much, been clingy in some way I didn't catch, had bad breath one day, something. On New Year's Eve, he contacted me and showed up to the bar at which I was celebrating. We had a meaningful conversation during which he apologized profusely and said he was stupid for not wanting more 5-6 months ago. Even his kiss felt different, like there was more feeling and consideration for me as a person in it (that's all we did, too, so I know this wasn't a last ditch effort at NYE sex). I agreed to see him the proper way, with dates and whatnot. On our first date tonight, he told me that after our FWB arrangement he had a relationship with a girl who couldn't handle him being in the Army. Well, that cut deep because it said to me that I wasn't worth a relationship but a month or so after me he found someone who was. I went snooping on his Facebook wall back to the time when we were FWB and found out that this relationship did not take place AFTER we were FWB but while he was still IN the relationship with the other girl. They were exclusive in May, were going solid through our meeting in July, and ended toward the end of August, when he stopped talking to me.

How do I tell him I know he is a player, cheater, liar, etc.? Is there a way to do this that will actually hit home, or are men who do these things incapable of realizing they were wrong even if someone tells them they were? Should I ask him if he'd like to explain himself, or is it even worth it? Is the best remedy to shun communication without even addressing the issue? I have already decided we have no romantic future; the question is... should I tell him I know he is a liar, or is that too drama queen of me? I am the worst at constructive closure.
posted by acertainseason to Human Relations (26 answers total)
Your job is not to punish/reform/scold/admonish him. Your job is to take care of yourself. Just ignore him and move on. You do not owe an explanation other than "I'm sorry, I'm just not interested."
posted by spicynuts at 7:51 AM on January 4, 2012 [26 favorites]

Broad-brushing here, people who do this sort of thing RARELY change, and making a big elaborate speech about how they're evil will accomplish nothing. The only way they'll change is if they WANT to change.

If you must talk to him, I would simply let him know that you found out you were the other woman, and want NOTHING to do with him any more, and then cut it off.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 7:51 AM on January 4, 2012 [7 favorites]

People who care about other people don't lie or withhold important truths from them. You could tell this guy that you know he's a liar, but I doubt he's going to have a Damascus road experience because of that. Telling him might make you feel good, but I don't think it's going to have much of an effect on him.

I would message him in some fashion that I'd thought about it, he wasn't what I was looking for and that I'd decided to cut off all contact. If he asks why, I'd tell him that I knew about [other person] and leave it at that. There's not really much to say after that point, so then I'd hang up.

If you ask him to explain, you won't get any benefit. It wont change what he did. He might appear to be remorseful, but that doesn't actually have any real world effect, in my book. He's prepared to treat people badly. He's not going to change because you tell him off.
posted by Solomon at 7:56 AM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

I might be a bit of a drama queen too, but I think that before you cut off contact with him you should at least let him know that you found out about his relationship and that him lying and cheating to the both of you is absolutely unnacceptable. If you do decide to do that, DON'T let him try to explain himself and make up even more lies. Stand your ground and cut off contact. This way, he knows that this horrible behavior has lost him at least one FWB and that there's a risk that you might tell other girls about him. With that being said, I wouldn't actually tell other people in your social circles about it unless it became clear that he was doing something similar to someone else that you know.
posted by permiechickie at 8:07 AM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

"Hey. I was pretty hurt after you told me you got into a relationship a month after telling me you didn't want one. So I looked on your Facebook timeline/page/whatever the hell they're calling it and saw that your Facebook status indicated you were in an exclusive relationship while we doing the horizontal mambo. I did not know this until that point, as you never mentioned it to me."

"So the question that keeps popping up in mind is this: If he did that to her, then does it mean he'll lie and cheat on me also? Maybe you've changed, maybe you were just going through a bad spot while you were pretending to have normal relationship while getting a bit of side corn. It happens, no one is perfect, we're just kinda finding our way through life."

"But I don't want to be side corn, I want to be the main dish. YOUR main dish and I told you so. You said no, you just wanted to go through the drive thru. Fine. But you neglected to mention that I was snack you grabbed in between meals at home. I had to find that out myself."

"Those are not the ingredients I need to make a feast, you know? Your label was intentionally misleading and I can't trust your brand anymore, nor do I want to. Goodbye"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:14 AM on January 4, 2012 [15 favorites]

Is there a way to do this that will actually hit home, or are men who do these things incapable of realizing they were wrong even if someone tells them they were?

Having been one of these men:
They already know, and don't care. Their interest is in getting laid, and that end justifies the means. Normally at some point this requires a "nice guy" act, which you saw on New Year's Eve. You can stop fucking him, but there will always be more women standing in line to take your place. Nothing you say will make a difference, except that he'll have a great "What a bitch!" story to share with his friends later.

This is why FWB relationships should be abandoned after high school -- they rarely end well for both parties.
posted by coolguymichael at 8:16 AM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

Wait, so: you were fuckbuddies with this guy, as per your arrangement. That was cool. You decided you liked him more than just as a casual sex partner. He disappeared, which was rude. Now he wants to date you for real. You still like him. And, of course, guess what, according to FACEBOOK, which is not highly reliable as a data source, he was dating someone else while you were "friends with benefits." But now he no longer dates her, and says he has feelings for you. He broke his contract with the other woman, not with you, though lied to you to cover his tracks. Eh, big deal. Do you like him? If so, for starters, why don't you ask him about it, instead of relying upon your Facebook snooping?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:16 AM on January 4, 2012 [7 favorites]

He broke his contract with the other woman, not with you, though lied to you to cover his tracks. Eh, big deal.

He lied to OP and he "broke his contract" with another woman? Yep, that's enough.

As blunt as it may seem, coolguymichael has it. This guy is not going to learn a lesson so save your dignity, cut off contact, and give him the cold shoulder because he is jerk.
posted by slmorri at 8:29 AM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

spicynuts has it. You owe him nothing. I know it's tempting, but there's no good to come from stirring up drama, particularly with someone who is obviously not worth your time.
posted by fight or flight at 8:30 AM on January 4, 2012

I wrote out a long post about how the two of you probably miscommunicated the nature and intent of your FWB arrangement, etc and that you didn't give him a chance to explain what was on his Facebook wall.

Then, I re-read your last paragraph.

You want to punish this guy or inspire him to change? Step away. Far away. Never call him or talk to him again. If he contacts you, simply say "Sorry, I just don't see this working out a second time," and leave it at that. Nothing good will come out of what you are planning to do, no matter how good you think your intentions are.

I suppose you could give him a chance to explain himself, although I really don't think that you're going to care about what he has to say one way or the other.
posted by schmod at 8:32 AM on January 4, 2012 [7 favorites]

are men who do these things incapable of realizing they were wrong even if someone tells them they were

In my years of experience with one of these guys (well, two, really), they just don't care. They'll give you crocodile tears if you rip them hard enough, but they really don't care. I told him once that I was "not a drive-through sex provider" and he ended up sobbing. Good acting.

My guy ended up marrying (4th time) someone who looks a lot like me, has an incredibly similar professional history, and has the same interests. Oh, and she makes tons and tons more than I do; I think she's the primary breadwinner. (NTTAWWT in general.)

It hurts to think that maybe he did change for/with her. But per other posters, maybe he has not. I wonder if she will also contract the high-cervical-cancer-risk HPV strain that I did.
posted by jgirl at 8:49 AM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

If you haven't talked to him about his relationship with the other girl, you don't know shit about it. You saw stuff on Facebook? Bullshit. If you don't want to date him, by all means drop the guy. But don't go telling him how to live his life because you think you got some insight into him via his Facebook wall.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 8:50 AM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]

RJ Reynolds has got it. you are upset that a guy you were mutually using for sex... used you for sex, and as the point of that relationship was to leave you free for emotional entaglements elsehwere he got entangled. so be it. if you like him, be honest, the basis for forming a real non-fuckbuddy relationship with him. if you're hurt, evaluate yourself before dropping the hammer on him based on 1) the entire situation and 2) your data source.
posted by chasles at 8:51 AM on January 4, 2012

1. I'm going to assume you accurately interpreted the info you saw on his Facebook wall and that what you saw really did show he was in a relationship with someone else. My guess is that if there were one iota of ambiguity, you'd have mentioned it. If I'm wrong in this, then, of course, revise your interpretation. But I bet I'm not wrong.

2. It doesn't really matter that he had no commitment to you. He was cheating on this other girl and using you to do it. Nasty. Of course you don't want to get involved with a guy who would do something like that.

3. If the story had been as he presented it to you - that he "wasn't ready for a real relationship" and then he got into a relationship with this other girl - then I see why that would've hurt, but that would be on your own time. I mean if the real reason was "I don't want to be in a relationship with you," he effectively already said that at the start of the relationship by becoming FWB with you, and most people are not going to be blunt enough to put it that way at the END of a relationship, so they say they're "not ready" instead. It sucks, but he wouldn't really have been doing anything wrong here if it had been true.
3b. It wasn't true, though. Bastard.

4. He ended the FWB situation by disappearing and silently friend-dumping you. That is not very friendly. Friends shouldn't treat each other like crap, and adding Benefits shouldn't suddenly make it okay to treat you worse than everybody else. I bet even a "I'm involved with someone and I need space for a while" would have made you feel more respected, even if it hurt.

5. He was dumb enough to leave an evidence trail on Facebook? Then definitely don't tell him what he did wrong, because if you do, he'll get better at hiding it. As a public service to the next girl, don't give him any information he could use to become a better liar.

I'd just say, "thanks, dude, but I just feel like it's not a good fit any more. Happy New Year!" and then cut off contact.
posted by tel3path at 9:27 AM on January 4, 2012 [15 favorites]

Don't bother; he knows and he probably doesn't care. Find your own closure. Most of this is none of your business anyway.
posted by sm1tten at 9:41 AM on January 4, 2012

He wasn't your friend. He lied to you. The only benefit was to him.
posted by anniecat at 10:00 AM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]

Id tell him because I would want him to know exactly what an ass I thought he was. But I would do it for me. And I wouldnt listen to anything he tried to sat in return.
posted by fshgrl at 10:25 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

FWB is for the needy, not the greedy. Ditch. Take your dignity with you. Don't even look back.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 10:25 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Don't tell. Tel3path is right - you'll just help him become a better liar.

"No thank you!" and block all future possible contact.
posted by jbenben at 10:32 AM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cheating on his GF is shitty behavior. Cheating on his GF without telling you he had a GF is shitty behavior. Stealth friend dumping you is shitty behavior.

That's 3 strikes right there.

Assholes act like assholes because they are assholes. DTMFA
posted by Bonzai at 10:36 AM on January 4, 2012 [3 favorites]

1) If he was cheating on her with you, he'll probably cheat on you at some point.

2) You don't know they were together just from his fb wall. maybe they were on a break. maybe they had an open relationship.

3) he probably was cheating though, and will likely lie to you about it if you ask.
posted by User7 at 11:09 AM on January 4, 2012

should I tell him I know he is a liar,

If you need it for closure go ahead, but you won't be doing anything other than satisfying yourself.

Personally I would just walk away and get on with my life.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:36 PM on January 4, 2012

Because I am a vengeful asshole, I would probably string him along for a while, always be busy or set up hurdles for him to leap over, and then when I got sick of it I'd silently cut him off and ignore him.

That is not a nice or respectful thing to do, of course.

The nice little lectures or pleasant "I don't want to see you anymore" kinds of things seem wasted on this asshole.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:03 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

are men who do these things incapable of realizing they were wrong even if someone tells them they were

He knows it's wrong. Or at least he knows you would think it's wrong. Otherwise he wouldn't have lied to you about it.

So telling him isn't going to be a revelation in that sense. But I think it's only fair to tell a partner or potential partner why you are dumping them. And because of your longer history it is kind of dumping, even though you haven't started dating for realsies yet. Also, it just tends to spin out into more drama if someone starts refusing to see/talk to you and won't tell you why.

So my vote is that you tell him, but don't believe anything he says in reply, and don't expect him to change.
posted by lollusc at 4:51 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am happy to report that I sent the "not interested, goodbye" text mere hours ago.
posted by acertainseason at 11:09 PM on January 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by Tell Me No Lies at 11:49 PM on January 5, 2012

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