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Lied about borrowing money... how can I save my relationship????


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How can you gain back trust that has been broken? I borrowed money from my boyfriend and didn’t tell him, now he has found out and I’m horrified that I may have doomed our relationship.


A little bit of background:

If you recognize me from some of my other posts then you may have an idea about this. Over the past two years I fell into some great financial debt and resorted to some terrible things in order to keep my head above water. I have since quit that and am paying off my debt with a real job. Recently I have had to meet some deadlines with my bills that have basically taken away my entire paychecks. I also started school again (after dropping out for a year) and that has cut my work days back some which has decreased my already small paycheck. I am to the end of my financial struggle and soon will be debt free! But I’m not there just yet.


I have been with my boyfriend for a little over seven months (he is the reason I quit doing the work I used to do) and we have a great, open, loving and trusting relationship. We never fight; we are great for each other. He would do anything to support me and take care of me. I have always taken care of myself (no matter what it took) and it’s hard for me to admit to him if I need extra help.


He has been setting aside cash for the past two months so that we can buy a new flat screen TV. He has been giving me the cash to stick in a safe place so that he won’t be tempted to take any money out of the savings we have. Recently I have had to pay so much to my bills that I have no money left to live off of until my next paycheck, so I had to resort to borrowing money from the savings in order to get me through till my next paycheck. My mom owes me some money, and I am at the end of my bills so I will be getting to keep my next couple paychecks so I knew that I could always pay it back. I saw it as a quick loan. I didn’t tell him about this because I didn’t want him to worry about me, and think that he needs to take care of me.


Last night he asked to see the money so he could count it out (he wanted to see the money so that he could feel rewarded for his hard work of saving it). I then had to confess that of the $800 the stash was going to be $300 short. He was very upset that I hadn’t come to him if I needed the money and that I took it without asking or telling him first. He doesn’t care about the missing money as much as he cares about me lying to him about it. He has now been questioning if I could have lied about other areas of our relationship. I have not. I don’t agree with lying to your partner. I justified to myself that I was simply borrowing the money and within weeks it would be returned and he wouldn’t have to worry about me at all.


I know what I did was wrong, but I can’t change what I have done. I will have the $300 this weekend (my mom is finally paying me what she owes me) and will pay him back completely. He knows I am good for it. I cant help but be terrified that I may have broken our bonds of trust completely and that we may not recover from this.


How can I fix what I have done? How can I rebuild the trust that has been lost? How can I make this up to him??

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What you did was what a child would do with their parent's money, not an equal adult partner. So the antidote is to approach him like an adult, explain that you understand why this type of behavior is not acceptable between adults, apologize for your temporary lapse of reason (none of us are perfect), and ask him to chalk this one up as a learning experience. Then pay him back and drop it. Next time you are temped to save his feelings by withholding information, correct yourself and clue him in.

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However you talk to him about it, do NOT use the term "borrow." It's quite trivializing to what you did. Do I understand why you did it? Sure. And judging by what seems to be a pretty rational response out of your boyfriend, he understands too. I have little doubt he would have lent you the money himself had you asked. However, while by definition you did "borrow" the money, common usage typically excludes when it's done unknowingly or without permission. You need to level with him, admit first and foremost that you took his money, and that you should have spoken with him about your difficulties - and that in the future, you will entrust him with the circumstances effecting you like that. That's about all you can do. Be sincere with him, return the money, and share with him your trust. The rest is entirely up to him.

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