I have been dating my current boyfriend for about 5 months now. He has a way of getting himself into trouble, but has always treated me very well. I know he believes that he is in love with me; he is very affectionate to the point of being clingy. He is constantly bringing up moving in together, kidsÖ he even referred to me as his fiancťe a couple weeks ago. As he is 7 years my senior and weíve been together for such a short amount of time, I am not ready for any of this and have made that clear to him. Every time I ask him to back off, he gets upset and panics that Iím going to ďleave himĒ. This level of attachment at such an early stage was a red flag from the beginning, but not something that I was ready to end it over. I thought maybe it was normal this is for someone his age (28) to want to settle down.
Aside from this, the relationship went very well for awhile. He is very romantic, and makes me feel loved and special. However, for the past month some strange things have been happening and I feel in my gut that something might be wrong.
My boyfriend has a steady job in a warehouse, and makes just about enough to pay his bills. He has occasionally asked me for money for small things like cigarettes, and I usually oblige. Then he started going out a lot in the middle of the night for hours at a time and coming home with some excuse. When Iíd finally had enough and tried to end it, he spent a few days claiming to love & need me, begging for another chance. I gave in, and things got better for awhile.
Then my money started disappearing.
The first time it happened, we were out at a bar together, a place where he knew everyone but where I had never been before. I canít remember ever parting from my purse, except to have him hold it. Later, when we got home, I picked my purse up from the bedroom floor and noticed instantly that it was lighter (my wallet was pretty heavy from all the coins inside). My wallet had disappeared, along with my license, credit cards, etc. At the time I assumed that I had been careless and a stranger must have taken it; I never even considered that it might have been him. He disappeared again that night, claiming his cousin needed help.
The second time it happened I didnít even notice my cash missing until he handed it to me, claiming his landlord found some money on the driveway and asking if it was mine. Heís always behind on rent; I canít imagine that if his landlord found money outside that he would have returned it.
The most recent time was a couple days ago, on Halloween. I went out with my friends to a bar near home for a couple of hours and only had 2 drinks, neither of which I paid for; I think I opened my purse once during the whole night. This is a regular bar for us, and I know and trust almost everyone who was there that night. Even when I did set my purse down, it was near my friendsí purses, and no one had anything missing except for me. I slept at my boyfriendís house that night, and on the drive home in the morning I noticed my cash was gone again. He had gone out in the middle of the night again, claiming his friend (whose mother is dying) needed consolation.
Is it even possible that all of this is a coincidence? His mom (who isnít too fond of me due to her ďbaby boyĒ being so enamored) implied once that he was lying to me, but I guess itís possible that she is the one lying. She could even be the one doing the stealing, though I doubt it. His sisterís boyfriend, who happens to be a friend of mine, mentioned that he had a drug problem some years ago and actually brought up the question of whether he was leaving in the middle of the night. I realized then that itís extremely possible that heís stealing from me due to drug addiction, a theory that for some reason had never even crossed my mind. I know for a fact that heís not cheating on me.
I donít want to jump to conclusions and accuse him of such a serious thing without any proof. I suppose itís possible that I could just be getting careless, especially when I drink. Maybe Iím just becoming paranoid. Is it even possible that someone can be crazy in love and stealing from me at the same time? Iíve even begun to think that maybe his borderline obsession is all just an act. In my heart I believe that he is a basically good person and really does love me (although much too soon), and that if he is doing this that he may just have a serious problem. Even so, I donít think itís something I can excuse. He is a sweet, attractive guy, but at the risk of sounding snotty, I know I can do better. I have mentioned that my money keeps disappearing, and he acts concerned and tries to offer me some of his, which I deny. This morning I asked him if he was on any drugs, and of course he said no.
So, finally, my question is: should I look for concrete proof before I accuse him of stealing? Or should I confront him directly and risk a big blowout, especially if Iím wrong? Even the drug theory is just a guess; I have never noticed any abnormal behavior that would suggest him being on anything. I wouldnít even know how I could prove it without risking being stolen from again, or how to begin to ask him something like that. I feel pretty powerless here; I donít want to leave a good man who makes me happy for something he didnít do, but I also donít want to stay with a conniving one who is lying and stealing from me. Has anyone been in a situation like this? Any ideas on how to handle it?