Is this a deal breaker? Lying and taking my money?
September 6, 2014 1:18 AM   Subscribe

This summer my partner and I stayed in our common hometown by the sea. I have my own place there and so does he. I had to leave 2 weeks before him to go to work in another city, where I live. I had organized a holiday rental, for a week, 7 nights at my place. He was going to go last Saturday and get the keys from the renters. Otherwise all else was organized, cleaning etc. It was only for him to get the keys. The shock was really bad when today....

today I got a thank you email, from the family who had rented it, thanking for a wonderful stay, and saying how great it was that they could stay an extra night. What?? I didn’t know anything about that. Then I immediately knew he would have received money from them for an extra night as well. Only this has gone in his pocket.
I talked to him on the phone, asking him when the family left. He said Saturday. I asked; are you really sure? For sure? He said yes. Then I confronted him, and I said that I knew they left on Sunday.
Ok, he said. And I know they payed you as well, I said. No, they didn’t, he insisted. Yes, they did, I insisted back.
I needed the money was all he said.

I am freaked out here... I value honesty more than anything in a relationship, and now I feel really devastated and disappointed. I actually feel really sick and my hands are shaking. We have been together for a few years now. Ok, what if he needed money - do I forgive this?

Is this ok? What do I do?? Help, I need some insight here! Thanks so much!!
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (37 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I would view this as a dealbreaker. If he needed the money he should have talked to you about it--it's the equivalent of stealing money from your bank account. Major breach of trust.
posted by Anonymous at 1:26 AM on September 6, 2014


what the fuck?

It's not only a denial, it's a double and then triple down denial.

This is so bizarre that i'd be wondering if he was slamming dope or something. I'm completely serious.

If he just kept it, and didn't say anything yet since he wasn't back in town with you i wouldn't think it was that weird. Maybe it just didn't seem like a big deal, you know? but actively denying it two layers deep? That's like actually so weird that its the kind of thing i can only think of, at least in my life, super-losers and junkies doing.

Everyone i've known who would deny something like this sucked really really bad. Even if they were just afraid of admitting they were wrong or something, it's still really dumb dishonest childish behavior. And most of the memories i have of people doing shit like this, they just overall sucked as humans even if they didn't seem like it at the time.

This is way more negative and harsh than i usually am on here, but really, this is like "getting woken up with a slap in the face" kind of stuff. It's a car wreck of sudden shittiness.
posted by emptythought at 1:32 AM on September 6, 2014 [59 favorites]

I'm having trouble seeing a circumstance in which this would remotely be OK. If you really value honesty more than anything else, I only gently want to point out that it doesn't sound like you're getting it here. It sound like you have proof of that, to your face.

I had a relationship which I was too young (I'm not suggesting you are now, but I was) at the time to know was terrible for me, although the signs were there for me to read. I remember lying in bed and realizing that, after two years, it'd gotten to the point that if I asked him if the sun were shining outside, and he told me yes, I'd still look out myself to check. I really didn't believe him about anything anymore, and how is that good for anyone?

In a good relationship as I think of them, you have your partner's own best interests at heart and you can trust them to have yours. It sounds like he was only thinking of himself, not you. This is not an equal partnership. Love yourself, because it doesn't sound like he is being loving to you.
posted by spelunkingplato at 1:39 AM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

Letting them stay: not a dealbreaker.

Secretly taking money and lying about it: dealbreaker.

Doubling down and continuing to lie about it when faced with actual evidence: all deals broken.

Why did he need the money this badly? Why jeopardize your relationship like this for it? Or is this a pattern? These are questions you probably cannot get an answer to, because he's now an untrustworthy capital-Liar. This isn't the sort of individual I'd want as a friend, let alone a partner. There's no trust, and everything else comes falling down.
posted by RainyJay at 1:47 AM on September 6, 2014 [34 favorites]

I'd press charges.
posted by spitbull at 2:14 AM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]

Complete deal breaker. And to be honest, it doesn't sound like you trusted him anyway. If the same thing had happened to me with my partner, it wouldn't even occur to me to first, test him by asking when they left when you already knew, second, to not believe him when he said he didn't get money from them, and third to assume the worst when he didn't admit to having the money. I would assume my partner had forgotten about the money, or was waiting to surprise me with it before I would assume he was trying to rip me off.

It turns out your suspicions were correct, which is horrifying in itself, but it bodes really badly for your relationship that you had those suspicions in the first place.

Dump him. And check your bank balance, credit rating and anything else he has access to really carefully. I wouldn't be surprised to find he was an addict or gambler or something.
posted by lollusc at 2:18 AM on September 6, 2014 [27 favorites]

As another poster suggested, this is classic junkie behavior. At the very least, it looks really bad.

I'd say, give him a chance to explain in detail, and analyze his explanation carefully. Unless he has an explanation that adds up 100% logically and emotionally to you, I think you better cut the guy loose. If you still have any doubts, run.

Breaking up is no small thing, and I don't suggest it lightly. But this is the kind of bad secret that suggests he may have many other bad secrets he's been keeping from you.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:28 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh wow. I'm really sorry, what a horrible shock. And what a way to find out you 100% unequivocally cannot trust him. But you knew this already, which is why you pushed for answers that you already knew. You can ask him for an explanation as the above posters suggest but he's already proven he can and will lie to your face, so his response is not really worth anything, and really, what can he say that will make this better? If you had an open trusting relationship, you would already know why he needed the money. But you don't. And he stole. And he lied. And he lied again. For me, there is no coming back from this.

I second checking your bank accounts, credit rating etc but by the time you find out who he really is, you want to have severed all your connections and be far far away, so he has no way to access you financially or in any other way. This guy is bad news. Again, really really sorry for you but it's good it was only a few hundred dollars that we know of and hopefully no more.
posted by Jubey at 2:38 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

I also realized in my shock I missed the hometown detail.

Honestly, that only shores up my semi reaching theory about the junkie thing. He goes back to hometown with you. As soon as you leave, he goes and hangs out with his friends and parties. He borrows money to get high, or wants more at the point they stay the extra night. Now you're here.

I realize I just wrote my own narrative there from not a ton of info, but it's classic drug-addict-in-remission shit with going back to old people and/or places. To the point that in NA(or aa, etc) they tell you Not to do that.

It just fits too well with the bizarre lying to me. Especially if he had seemed like a straight up mensch of a dude before. Hanging out in his hometown with old people he used to... And bam. It's like a tv script it's so trope-y.
posted by emptythought at 2:47 AM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

How do you know that the family paid to stay the extra night? How do you know he didn't show up to collect the keys, they asked if they could stay an extra night and he said "sure" and left, without thinking to ask for money?

I think before making any decision you should establish how much (if anything) the family paid for the extra night.

To me, another completely plausible scenario is that they asked for an extra night, he forgot (or it didn't occur to him) to ask for payment for the extra night (since no-one was using the place anyway) and lied to you about it because you'd expect to have been paid for the extra night.
posted by missmagenta at 4:12 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would take a very careful look at all my financial statements (credit cards, checking account, etc.) to see if there has been any suspicious activity over the past few months -- or perhaps longer than a few months. This guy can't be trusted.
posted by akk2014 at 4:29 AM on September 6, 2014 [9 favorites]

I came here to say what missmagenta said. How do you know they paid? Did the renters say so? Perhaps they meant to thank you for the free night, but didn't specify because they were under the impression it was at your direction and so it was unnecessary to say so?

Anyway, the result is the same; you clearly don't trust your boyfriend. If trust and openness are important to you, that is a dealbreaker; regardless of whether you got scammed in this particular instance.
posted by AV at 5:18 AM on September 6, 2014

It's implied that they paid because when she confronted the boyfriend, he said that he needed the money.
posted by Jubey at 5:29 AM on September 6, 2014 [19 favorites]

Deal breaker. You know this already. There is no universe where lying about this would be okay. If he needed the money, he should have discussed it with you.

Now you know for sure: He's a liar. (and a thief..) The question is, are you a liar too? You said honesty is "the most important" thing to you. Really? If so, you should practice some integrity and get the hell out of this relationship.
posted by Gray Skies at 6:00 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

How are lies on top of lies not a deal breaker?
posted by Dolley at 6:04 AM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

You know this isn't okay. Please don't accept it as okay. Nobody lies like this just one time. If you don't get out of this relationship now he's going to hurt you much worse at some later date. He's shown you who he is. Believe him.
posted by something something at 6:15 AM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'm sorry. This isn't about him anymore, it's about you. You know what kind of man he is, now you need to decide what kind of person YOU are. Are you the kind of person who is willing to overlook something this heinous?

What could he possibly have needed the money for that he couldn't have asked you for it? Why was it so secretive that when directly asked about it he lied?

You've had doubts before, but you've talked yourself out of them. You've invested time in this relationship and you love the idea of what you THINK it is, and the thought of breaking up and being single and starting new relationships is daunting. But, I can guaran-damn-tee you that spending another minute with a liar and a thief, no matter how convenient it would be, is FAR worse than starting over.

I would meet with him and tell him, "Clearly you're not the man I thought you were. You can keep the money. We're over. Please don't contact me." Then you know the drill. Go no-contact and do the Heartbreak Ritual, and start putting together your new single life.

It would not surprise me that once you've broken up with this guy, if your friends start coming forward with hair curling tales.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:41 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]

As my mom always says, "Do you know what you find out when someone you care about lies to you? That they are a liar." DTMFA.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:41 AM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]

No it is not OK. Get the keys back, dump him, change the locks, and weep your legitimate tears because someone you trusted lied to you and stole from you. Everything else is just details.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:46 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

After reading your question twice, I realized that the family's email did not say anything about paying for the extra night, yet you jumped immediately to the conclusion that they paid him and he pocketed the money. Which is, of course, what happened. But, what does your assuming that really say about your relationship? I mean, if I were you, and got that email, I'd probably assume partner just let them stay an extra night for free - still not great, because he should run that by you first, but not necessarily a dealbreaker.

But taking money from them, pocketing it, and then lying to you about it? I normally try to avoid the DTMFA chorus around here, but that's an absolute, total dealbreaker.
posted by breakin' the law at 8:18 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh honey I am sorry.

YES it is a dealbreaker. Of course it is!

Not only is stealing from you (!!) a deal breaker, but I agree with everyone who's pointed out that you already knew he's untrustworthy. Otherwise you would have just assumed that he'd have the money for you when you saw him. You suspected he wouldn't, apparently.

Hugs. Go over your bank records and change your locks.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:28 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Dealbreaker, definitely. What's going to happen the next time he needs money? What's he going to take from you then?

Be very careful. He sounds like he's in a desperate place and he sees you as a potential source for things he needs (like money). He's probably going to come back for more even after you break up with him, and I doubt he's going to take the break up lying down, either. Seriously, not only do you need to protect yourself by breaking up, but additional protections, like changing the locks, checking your credit reports to make sure he didn't do things like take out credit cards in your name, etc, would likely be worthwhile, too.

Personally, I think that if he's never done something like this before, or not for a very long time, this might be a sudden, new problem, like a drug relapse. However, your reaction - not just not trusting him, and knowing how to interrogate him, but also being unsure if this is a big deal, a dealbreaker or not - makes me think this is actually in line with how he's been acting for at least a while, to the point that it's messed with your perception of what's "normal" or not. That makes me think he's maybe not someone who has hit the skids with a drug relapse or something, he's someone who is someone who in general doesn't mind hurting you and taking from you. Please be careful.
posted by rue72 at 8:51 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

"Dealbreaker" is apt, because your boyfriend has broken a deal that you and he had made: tell the truth and be honest (which aren't always the same thing). Sometimes in relationship one person assumes there's an agreement or understanding while the other doesn't...but you shouldn't have to say explicitly, "I expect honesty from you and I'll be honest with you.'

It's not just that he lied; it's that he's not behaving like a true partner. He doesn't see that you're entitled to respect and honest.
posted by wryly at 8:52 AM on September 6, 2014

It would end it for me, yes.
posted by ead at 9:20 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Something like this happened to a friend of mine.

Turned out he was a secretly into meth.

Nthing changing locks, checking finances, etc., etc..
posted by jbenben at 10:18 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yes, dealbreaker. You don't mention whatever past problems you've had with him, but someone doesn't turn into a shitty thieving liar overnight. I think you need to look back at your relationship with new eyes. I think you will find other inconsistencies you overlooked at the time. Like everyone said, check your bank account and credit report, change locks, no contact.

And yeah, I think the fact that you even had to question whether this was a dealbreaker or acceptable shows that he's been working on you for a while, and makes me wonder, even, if this isn't an abusive relationship. I think you need to do some serious introspection and be really honest with yourself. But get out now, first things first. I've put up with things like this - not even nearly as bad, really, and it's only going to get worse, and end up costing you a lot more money you'll never see again, aside from the other, less visible, damage.
posted by catatethebird at 10:58 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

Here's the thing: you could tell yourself that he needed the money, feel bad for him, and choose to forgive him.

But, you won't forget, and that translates to never being able to trust him again. And that is why it's a dealbreaker.

Sorry, I know it hurts, but living with someone you don't trust hurts worse. Ask me how I know.
posted by vignettist at 12:04 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

I'm with Spitbull. At least talk to law enforcement. (There may be nothing they can do. )

He didn't single you out to take advantage of - he saw an opportunity. He probably sees opportunities in friends, siblings, kind-hearted co-workers, and will see opportunities with his next girlfriend.

You need to take care of yourself. This is quite a blow.

Good luck.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:24 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

He stole money from you and lied and lied and lied. The way he handled this screams that he's hiding something.

It's gotta be substance abuse of some sort. There's literally no other reason I can think of to be that shady about money in an established relationship.
posted by zug at 2:44 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree with everyone who thinks he has a drug habit. I had a partner who did something very similar to me. He was taking heroin. I am so sorry you're going through this.
posted by sucky_poppet at 2:56 PM on September 6, 2014

Change all your passwords and your locks before you tell him you're breaking up.

In six months you won't believe you let it go on this long!
posted by BibiRose at 3:49 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]

Is this a deal breaker?

I'd say forgive him.

But ultimately, nobody is going to give you the validation you need to dump or keep your partner.
posted by Kwadeng at 2:24 AM on September 7, 2014

This is a dealbreaker. Flat out lying to you, several times. And it seems like 'needed the money' was a surprise too, meaning a lack of honesty that predates this event.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:24 AM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

The possible drug problem is immaterial. He lied, on purpose, doubled down on the lie, and then tried to enlist you in waving that all away by claiming he needed the money (as if your right to profit off of a property that you own and maintain is irrelevant when his undefined needs are introduced).

Stop being a part of this, like, yesterday.

Good luck. This is awful.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 12:55 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Take a minute to really feel how badly he made you feel. All the different ways your body aches and your pulse races. This is real.
Listen to yourself. Love and respect yourself. He does not respect you. These are the actions of a man who holds you in contempt and who thinks "yeah, it's okay to hurt her that way. She's only her and my wants are more important. I can always lie to her."
That's what he thinks.
But you matter, and you deserve love and respect. So listen to yourself and do right by your gut feeling by dumping him.

Don't argue or overexplain. It wasn't okay for himto do that, you're done with him, bye. He's an asshole who knows he did an assholish thing which any woman would dump him for. Any explaining will only resort to him telling more manipulative lies (sob story, maybe?). And if he somehow doesn't understand that then He's a delusional asshole and what's the point in arguing with him?
posted by Omnomnom at 1:29 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

You've already decided it's a dealbreaker - he was dishonest, and you feel sick to your stomach that he was not honest. It's okay to feel that way, even if others don't agree.
posted by sm1tten at 3:03 PM on September 7, 2014

Trust the fact that as soon as you understood the information that hadn't been shared with you (he had arranged privately without your knowledge or consent to extend the stay another night) you knew instinctively that he had stolen from you. Trust your gut reaction of physical sickness in response to the fact that he has demonstrated his willingness to bald-faced lie to you to steal money from you. Look carefully for other ways in which he might have stolen from you.
posted by nanojath at 6:32 AM on September 21, 2014

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