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Thread: My boyfriend of 5 years lied to me

  1. #11
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    So what we are talking about here, essentially, is a lie told by a 14 year old? New kid shows up in a new place, at a new school, and concocts a story that helps him fit in, helps him move forward from the past and into the present. Not the coolest, but pretty understandable. Fourteen is fourteen.

    And, yeah, it kind of stuck and expanded, as happens with lies. Didn't want to tell his new fiends because he didn't want to lose them. Wasn't quite mature enough yet. He probably came to "believe" that lie, in ways, or at least find comfort in it—since, while not technically true, it was born from truth: a traumatic chapter in his life. So he was being honest about something (bad times) but expressing it through a dishonest story (dead friend).

    This is all pretty understandable, forgivable, if you can harness some deeper empathy. This lie is not about you, not something he concocted to "get you," but something that predated you, had nothing to do with you. Yeah, it sucks that your initial bonding point was mutual trauma, and that's now a bit fuzzy, but it sounds like he was relating from a real place, a genuine place, just using different "facts" to express that. Also, hopefully by this state you guys have a lot more in common than just having traumatic pasts, a lot more to lean on and into.

    If he's a good guy, if aside from this you haven't had reason to doubt him, I don't see this as a dealbreaker. More like a thorn from his past, his long ago past, that stayed in there a bit too long. Best part? He has removed it, owned it. That is admirable stuff, right there. Zoom out just a hair and what he just displayed, in telling you and his friends, is solid character—the best of stuff, the stuff we want from partners.

  2. #12

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    Originally Posted by SherrySher
    I think we have all different versions of ourselves as life evolves.

    We aren't the same people we were 5 years ago or even a year ago. We grow, we learn, we change.

    What he did was wrong, it was a huge lie. But I also think it's important to take into account the context of the lie. He wasn't lying because he behaved badly or because he had done something criminal or was trying to save face.

    He lied because he was trying to fit in. Trying to find a way to relate. To connect.

    I don't think lying is okay and I am not trying to justify it, but on the other hand, he made a mistake. We are all guilty of that.
    He also has done the right thing and owned up to it. It takes a decent man to do that as he could have easily kept it hidden.

    But he wanted to do the right thing and come clean. That is admirable.

    I, personally think this is forgivable. But it's important as well for you to ask yourself certain questions. Do you trust him? Has he lied since? Do you feel he is going to be an honest man from now on? Can you move past this?

    This truly is for you to work out if you can forgive and move forward with him now, or not.
    Thank you for your insight! He's always very honest, that's why it hit me so hard I think. I know he didn't lie to hurt me, only to protect himself in a way, to avoid being vulnerable and talking about unhappy moments. And you're right, he could have kept it hidden and nobody would have ever found out.

    I want to forgive him, but for now there's disappointment and resentment in my heart and I don't like it. It's hard having such negative feelings for the person I love most in the world. I'm unsure how to process those feelings in order to forgive and move on.

  3. #13

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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Sounds like he has grown up and matured enough to deal with life better than making up stories to fit in.

    On the one hand, I sympathize with your sense of betrayal. On the other hand, it's not good to base your relationship and your emotional connection to someone on mutual trauma bonding. A lot of young people do this and think it makes you close to share these things. However, as you get older, you start learning and realizing that your partner, spouse, bf/gf, aren't your therapists or confessors and you shouldn't treat them as such. If you want to share and talk about it, you should do it honestly yourself, meaning without expectations and without placing some burden on the other person. Expectations are best left to therapists who can actually help you deal with trauma.

    So he has matured and owned up to some youthful things he has done. His friends get it. Now it's time for you to also mature into a healthier idea of connection. No partner is perfect, no relationship is without conflict. You have to learn how to deal and how to let go of things and move forward.
    What you said about bonding over trauma is very true. Your advice on maturing is very insightful and interesting. Thank you!

  4. #14

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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    So what we are talking about here, essentially, is a lie told by a 14 year old? New kid shows up in a new place, at a new school, and concocts a story that helps him fit in, helps him move forward from the past and into the present. Not the coolest, but pretty understandable. Fourteen is fourteen.

    And, yeah, it kind of stuck and expanded, as happens with lies. Didn't want to tell his new fiends because he didn't want to lose them. Wasn't quite mature enough yet. He probably came to "believe" that lie, in ways, or at least find comfort in it—since, while not technically true, it was born from truth: a traumatic chapter in his life. So he was being honest about something (bad times) but expressing it through a dishonest story (dead friend).

    This is all pretty understandable, forgivable, if you can harness some deeper empathy. This lie is not about you, not something he concocted to "get you," but something that predated you, had nothing to do with you. Yeah, it sucks that your initial bonding point was mutual trauma, and that's now a bit fuzzy, but it sounds like he was relating from a real place, a genuine place, just using different "facts" to express that. Also, hopefully by this state you guys have a lot more in common than just having traumatic pasts, a lot more to lean on and into.

    If he's a good guy, if aside from this you haven't had reason to doubt him, I don't see this as a dealbreaker. More like a thorn from his past, his long ago past, that stayed in there a bit too long. Best part? He has removed it, owned it. That is admirable stuff, right there. Zoom out just a hair and what he just displayed, in telling you and his friends, is solid character—the best of stuff, the stuff we want from partners.
    Thank you for taking the time to answer! What you said about the lie expanding was very interesting. I think he came to believe it himself a little bit, which was easier than to admit that he'd lied.


    Our friends all reacted positively. They were glad he was honest and apologetic enough to tell them the truth. I probably would have reacted the same way if this lie had not been part of the start of our connection. But we do have a lot more in common. So much more. I guess I needed a reminder.

    I'll meditate on it...

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    DancingFool made a very good point about trauma bonding. It's very natural, especially when we're young, and presents a fast-track to intimacy and vulnerability. The problem with trauma bonding, though, is that you risk being frozen in that "broken" state, especially if you build heat and warmth with someone through sharing all those "broken" pieces. You kind of become mirrors to each other's pain and damage, rather than to each other's strengths.

    Good news, here? It sounds like you guys have built so much more than that—and, in a way, his 'fessing up is just proof of that. He doesn't want to be "that guy" anymore, and probably hasn't wanted to be that guy for a long time. Because he isn't. He's the good, kind dude you've been building a special little universe with, the guy building a special universe with his friends too.

    Him telling all of you the truth is a big show of strength, of maturity—that's the stuff to bond over, not the broken pieces, because it's strength and maturity that allows us to take those broken pieces and stitch them into a beautiful whole again. I know it's hard, and I sympathize with your emotional turbulence right now, but if you can breathe into this I think you may find this presents a place for you guys to get closer, go deeper—within yourselves, as individuals, and together, as a couple.

    Growth sometimes hurts. Growing pains, we say. But pain recedes, while growth is forever. It's okay to feel some craggy feelings right now—the bitterness, the resentment, mixed in with the sweetness, the joy. That's human, and learning to let some contradictory feelings move through us—about ourselves, about another—without reacting immediately is a real skill. If you can find that skill in yourself, right now, alongside him I think you'll learn what it feels like to grow with and next to a person. Talk to couples who go the distance and they'll often tell you that it's that—far more than the hot sex, the supportive chats, the cuddles during movies, and so on—that is the most magical thing to share with another person.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Lila94
    I want to forgive him, but for now there's disappointment and resentment in my heart and I don't like it. It's hard having such negative feelings for the person I love most in the world. I'm unsure how to process those feelings in order to forgive and move on.
    I would avoid rushing it. Sure, we all want to feel better as quickly as possible when we feel lousy, but if you gulp it down in a rush to repair your relationship prematurely, you'll build resentment that will grow over time.

    I'd tell BF that I love him, but I want some time alone for a while to let this set with me. Then go about your life while taking moments to process this appropriately.

    I once heard a great quote, "Forgiveness doesn't mean that we need to have lunch yet."

    Take some time to process, and take all the time you need.

  8. #17
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear this is going on. It's confusing. However his friends have the right attitude and do not take it personally. They have a good perspective that he had issues and now has decided to start righting them.
    Originally Posted by Lila94
    He's confessed his lie to me and our friends also. They all reacted positively, with words of encouragement. They said they understand how one can get caught up in a lie and that they felt sad for him that he didn't feel like he could open up to us and instead felt compelled to lie

  9. #18
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    I love him, he's a good man. He's kind, generous, hard-working and funny. His friends are my friends too, we're a tight knit group since high school. I absolutely adore his parents, and he loves my parents and siblings too. We were perfect together, it was easy and wonderful.
    Then do your best to not make the focus about you, I say that with your best interests in mind, instead focus on the above and be grateful that he had the ballzzz to fess up and set the record straight before you got married. (thereby giving you the chance to break up if you can't reconcile the truth with your feelings of being betrayed).

    I dunno, good guys that treat you right, show you they value you, show you love, love your parents and they love him seem to be very hard to come by these days so do your best to do that reconciling and focus on the positive and leave this negative where it belongs... in the past.

    Good luck. I hope you can move on from this.

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