Social Question

dont's avatar

New boyfriend. Love him. What should I do about this lie?

Asked by dont (90points) November 17th, 2010

Ok, I’ve had him 2½ months, am totally in love. Known him a year. Suddenly today he tells me he’s got to go to jail for a couple days. “oh, so sorry I didn’t tell you. I get sentenced tomorrow.” So now I’m mad. Not about the crime, not about the jail, not about the impending probation. About the secrecy. Am I overreacting? He says he was ashamed and scared to tell me.

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56 Answers

Judi's avatar

Sounds like trouble from the start. Do you like drama?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Overreacting? Hmmm…..hell,no.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Uh…yeah, I’d be pissed off to – at what point did he figure that was not an important thing to mention – I hate these kinds of actions, I’ve been there with a person telling me he’s married a month and a half into a fling, ugh – this is a red flag, you deserve better. I’ve also been in a place where a partner didn’t tell me something important because they were ashamed about the topic – it broke my trust for some time, but we were able to move on. So, in the end, it’s up to you.

chyna's avatar

What other secrets does he harbor? Chances are, this isn’t the only one.

Ron_C's avatar

If he’s going to jail for a couple days, his crime couldn’t be too bad. 2–½ months is too short of a time to know if you really love a person. Just don’t run into any commitment too soon (a little play on words there).

Dutchess_III's avatar

Time to say bye bye.

chyna's avatar

@Ron_C Did you just hear my eyes roll at your little play on words? :-)

Ron_C's avatar

@chyna so that’s the sound I heard. I guess the “play” was pretty lame.

dont's avatar

It’s a dui. And it’s a hard thing for me to trust anyhow, but he knows this. It’s not like we are kids, I am grown and so are my kids. But still. I feel like he lied, but he says he didn’t, he was just scared and used the word “omitted”. WTF?

Judi's avatar

Your life WILL be full of drama with this man.

submariner's avatar

You’ve been dating for less than 3 mos. and you expect him to tell you everything? Secrets are not lies. You have a right to expect him not to deceive you, but you don’t have a right to expect him to trust you completely with everything. You have to earn that over time. A wife would have a right to be angry; a gf of 2½ months does not.

Still, you have to ask yourself whether you want to be involved with someone with a criminal record, poor judgment, and possibly a drinking problem. Whether or not you blame him for keeping this from you, you may want to reassess your relationship.

Here are a few more questions to think about. These questions are not intended to lead you to a particular conclusion; depending on how you answer them, you may want to dump him or stay with him.
—If your positions had been reversed, can you honestly say that you would have been as forthright as you say he should have been?
—If he had told you right away, how would you have reacted?
—You say you love him (which means different things to different people). Why? What’s lovable about him? Is he less lovable now? Has your understanding of what kind of person he is changed?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Haha look at all the chicks bagging dude…

Why not just accept his answer “He says he was ashamed and scared to tell me.”

Sounds pretty reasonable for a new affair. Would you have told him situation reversed? Are you sharing too much now? Can he trust you to keep his “ashamed” past deeds to yourself, or will you gossip and seek sympathy from friends who can’t imagine putting up with such a horrid bloke?

Fact… Chicks dig dangerous dudes.

I bet you even think it’s a little bit sexy that he’s such a bad boy. Watch your step… easy to get a guardian angel complex if you’re not careful.

Good luck either way.

dont's avatar

No, I keep to myself and don’t like to share details. It’s a small town and people make stuff up. My problem is that he knew before we got together that this would become an issue, let it go to where we really care about each other, has known my past, and slept with me. Then on the night before all this goes down, he waits until right before he has to leave to drop this on me. That’s what really makes me question.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Simple choice then. You concentrate on comforting your problems, or you concentrate on comforting his problems. Depends on who you love the most.

dont's avatar

Wow you people are harsh! I like it here! PS. I love me best.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Aside from the DUI, and the not you, could you look at him objectively and say he’s a credible, open person? Or are there holes in what you know about him? Have you met his family and friends? What are they like?

chyna's avatar

@dont You do know the rules here don’t you? You have to come back and let us know what you decided and how it turned out. :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. You’ve known the guys for 2 months and he’s going to jail. Hello???!!!

wundayatta's avatar

Maybe he didn’t think things would get this far with you. Maybe he thought he’d be off to jail long after you had broken up with him. Maybe he wasn’t sure he’d have to go to jail and was hoping he wouldn’t have to tell you. The plea bargaining could have gone on up to the last minute, I suppose.

I agree with the folks that think the drinking and driving is a problem. A serious problem. Perhaps you feel like you can help him there and for all I know, maybe you can. But I’ve learned that I can’t really help anyone who drinks too much or smokes too much. They have to help themselves, and to do that they have to think they have a problem and they have to want to do something about it.

I have certain self-destructive impulses which lead me to be attracted to the wrong people. So I can see getting all interesting in trying to save someone. Being a savior is the only thing I figure people will really like me for. I’m sure that’s not true in reality, but in Wundyland, that’s what the real deal is.

I wouldn’t give up on him just yet. I’d stand by him when he comes out, and see if he feels safe to open up about his pain. If not, I’d try to wean myself away. However, if I loved him the way you do, there’s no way I could wean myself away.

So I think all you can do is to be there when he gets back. You weren’t going to do anything else, were you? And then keep my eyes wide open to see if things are as he says, or if they are different. I’d also think long and hard about the drinking, and watch him carefully. If he has other issues, he’ll start to wear on you, and then it might not be so hard to split. However, it may not turn out to be necessary to split.

None of us can predict your future. Many people are very concerned that you’ll get hurt, so they warn you in strict tones. I’m concerned, too, but I’m reluctant to jump to conclusions until I have a lot more information. Things are generally not as they seem.

Judi's avatar

Do you think a DUI is no big deal? Not a warning sign of a bigger problem? He didn’t have the foresight to take my childrens and grandchildrens lives into account before getting behind the wheel drunk. If he waited til now to tell you, he’s a drunk holding onto a shit load of denial. Train wreck relationship in the making.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Aren’t there a few jail birds on fluther right now? Where did I hear this?

anybody wanna guess how many times I’ve been in and out of jail for stupid ridiculous shite over the years? hahaha, you’d need a lot more fingers and toes to count that high. a few nights in the pokey can build character in a young man who desperately needs to build character.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

OK lets’ get something straight here @dontSecrecy is not a Lie.

Truth is earned my friend. It is not for anyone to toss it about carelessly amongst those who questionably cannot handle it.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I would think it entirely plausible to believe that your attorney would be able to get you out of a DUI, especially if it was your first offense. Perhaps it came as a shock to him that the courts meant business on this subject. It would appear that perhaps he’s a bit of a risk taker and a scofflaw, which is why the whole package of the person is more important than the single incident. Good people do make dumb decisions, figuring they’d beat the odds. There’s a big difference that driving home from a friend’s house when you’ve you’re slightly intoxicated and driving home hammered several times a week.

megan5555's avatar

He is going to jail!!
wow you must like guys who are naughty..go you:)

mrlaconic's avatar

Its not a lie it’s a secret and as others have said 2.5 months is not enough time to flip on him for not telling you everything. I do not lie to my partner, but I do omit certain details that I am not proud of or don’t feel they have earned the trust of having that information yet.

For example I am not proud of a time in my life when I dropped out of High School and moved to NJ and was in Job Corps. The result of that experience is that I got a good job and I have had solid employment since.. but I would only tell you “Yeah I lived in NJ for a little while I was back there for work” I would omit the details that I was there because I dropped high school and was in a government rehabilitation program.. because I don’t feel confortable telling you that… but it doesn’t make it lie

And I just told everyone that, yes its true

john65pennington's avatar

Makes me wonder, “what else has he not told you”?

Kardamom's avatar

No one accidentally gets a dui. I’m very tired of hearing people say that so and so is a great/sweet/nice/ intelligent person even though he/she is in jail. It’s extremely rare to end up in jail if you haven’t comitted a crime. Run away from this person now! Unless you enjoy having people “omit” the truth about other things too, like how he “accidentally” slept with your best friend because she came on to him or how he “accidentally” ran up your credit card bill or how he “accidentally” crashed your car or how he “accidentally” forgot to pay the electric bill. You barely know this guy, but you know enough to know that he is not a keeper.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I once made the mistake of making a mistake. Actually twice. Maybe three times. I forget.

I guess it would be best if I just give up on finding true love.

btw all, the OP stated that she’s not upset “about the crime, not about the jail, not about the impending probation”. and we shouldn’t speculate about future accidents that any of us are capable of.

jlelandg's avatar

I would most question his critical thinking as far as: why did you get a dui and not get a lawyer who specializes in that stuff…money to the lawyer (even a bit expensive) and community service is way better than jail time and money to the government.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I have a very good friend that got a DUI. He managed to get out of jail time, but only with a really great attorney. He is a great father, husband, solid citizen, entirely trustworthy and honest. He is not someone you would run from. He never drove after having even a glass of wine after that incident. He’s never been a problem drinker. He would never tell anyone about the incident, unless they asked.

OpryLeigh's avatar

For the most part I agree with @RealEyesRealizeRealLies however, I would be wondering what else he has neglected to mention. I don’t think this would cause me to break up with someone that I loved (especially if we had only been together for 2 months) but I would probably be very guarded until I felt that I could trust this person 100% to not keep secrets from you as your relationship progresses.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

It’s a funny world we live in, with no easy answers for relationships.

Consider that being “very guarded until I felt that I could trust this person”

might be the very reason… “he was ashamed and scared to tell me.”

His fear of shame was not intended as an untrustworthy act. It may have been misguided, but it was not intended to hurt her or deceive her. He’s simply a young man trying to make the best of problems he’s facing. Young men tend to make more mistakes (generally) than a more mature man. Trust me… I know. We live. We learn… hopefully.

If I was this young man, the best thing I could possibly hear from my girlfriend would be something like, “I’m here for you and I want you to know that you can share anything with me. Don’t be afraid to let me trust you without judgment”.

Cruiser's avatar

I would be mad and glad you found out he is trouble before you invested anymore time with him.

wundayatta's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Why are we two of the few who see it this way? I’ve never been in jail (that I know of), and, while I have driven drunk (back before MADD was even thought of and no one thought anything of work-sponsored drunkenness), I never was caught. Young men do things that they wouldn’t do while older. They get in trouble more. They have poorer judgment.

If you shame him for what he’s done, he’ll only hide it more. Believe me. I know a lot about shame and hiding things. If I didn’t feel all this shame, I probably wouldn’t be on fluther, the only place I feel safe talking about a lot of it. But the first time I talked about being unfaithful, I was expecting to be totally torn up and buried for it, because that’s the way most people who do such things seem to get treated around here. I still don’t know why I wasn’t. Maybe it’s easier to condemn people in absentia than it is to their faces.

We do not know this young man’s story. We do not know why he was drinking when he had the accident, or whatever it was. In my case, I was drinking because I was at “bar night,” a nearly mandatory event each week, that was designed to promote team building. I was responsible for the car. I knew I wasn’t in good shape and I asked my boss if someone else could drive and was told not to worry about it. This was in NYC, with the traffic they have there.

I had about six people in the car. At one point, driving through the Village, I found myself in the wrong lane with a cop in a car next to me. The road had turned from one-way to two-way without me noticing. I was scared to death he’d have me take a sobriety test, but he just told me to get in the right lane and be more careful.

Once, I was speeding down the roadway at 90 mph because I wanted to see how fast my car could go. It was night, and the road was always deserted, so I didn’t feel there would be a problem. Of course, just as I crested a blind hill, there was a state police car heading the other way. I saw him turn around, and I went careening around a bunch of roads and corners until I spun out facing back the way I came, with my engine stalled.

I frantically tried to restart the car. Just before the cop came, I got it started and back into my lane driving up the hill past him. I saw him hesitate and keep on going. I was totally shaking with the adrenaline rush. Now, I drive like an old man. My kids yell at me to go faster.

I bet almost every guy here could tell a few stories like that, or more than a few such stories. About more dangerous activities, too. I’ll bet a significant number of the women have stories to tell, too.

We grow. We change. We stop taking such risks. We might even become more introspective.

There’s a story behind every event, and we don’t know the story here. It may be a sign of character issues and it may not. He may have learned a lesson and he may not have. He is clearly ashamed, and the more shamed he is, the more he will hide his past, and the more likely it becomes that some future woman will suffer much more because of what he has hidden.

Shame is a terrible thing. It isn’t a very good way of reforming people. It tends to push things underground rather than reforming people. It is the first thing that 12-step groups try to teach: you have no control over your addiction. Right or wrong, it clearly follows a philosophy that shame is an important part of the problem.

It is far too soon to be talking about those dreaded “red flags” that everyone is so fond of waving. Take note. Pay attention. But this is a real person, and as I keep on saying, we don’t know his story.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies The problem with what you said is that we don’t know that he didn’t intend to be untrustworthy and we also don’t know he hasn’t done this type of thing before. It sounds like the OP doesn’t even know this herself. Whilst I agree that he probably didn’t mean to hurt or decieve, we don’t know for a fact. His being “ashamed and scared to tell” maybe the truth or may just be an excuse for not telling her.

This is why I don’t think this “offence” is a reason to break up but I do think it is a reason to be a bit guarded for a while.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

”...we don’t know that he didn’t intend to be untrustworthy and we also don’t know he hasn’t done this type of thing before.”

Why are we considering judging him upon what we don’t know?

What we do know is what she said he said, “He says he was ashamed and scared to tell me.”

And we also know what she said about herself, “Not about the crime, not about the jail, not about the impending probation.”

She’s mad about the secrecy, “So now I’m mad… About the secrecy.”

And since he’s told her, it’s not a secret any more… So there’s nothing to be mad about any more.

I’ve taken this question here for anyone who’s interested.

OpryLeigh's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies There is no harm with being a bit guarded. Trust has to be earned and whatever his intentions were he has given her reason to doubt him (hence why she is here!).

dont's avatar

@chyna ok he’s out now and suckin up terrible. I just don’t feel very close to him right now, and he’s copping an attitude about me being so “anal” about it. I think he should be “oh, I am so sorry for being a butt, it will not happen again.” Whatever, I don’t need this crap and even if I love him I’m not settling for less than what I want.

dont's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies he only told me because he had to. I would wonder where the hell he was and question it. I believe if he could have gotten away with it, he would have never told me. It definitely is all about the secrecy.

chyna's avatar

@dont You go girl!

dont's avatar

@chyna I do go! Right down the street unless I get what I want from this guy. My dont personna means Don’t Need from now on.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

” totally in love. Known him a year…”

Sucks when you think you know someone, when you didn’t.

Sucks worse to think you love them, when you didn’t.

dont's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies I do love him. Just Don’t Need him. Certainly Don’t Know him.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You may have just discovered the solution for world harmony…

To love those we don’t know and don’t need.


dont's avatar

@chyna I’m following the rules. We had a long talk and I’m keeping him as long as there is no more secrecy. We will be wide open with each other, and he agreed it was the best way to be. He is relieved he isn’t going to lose me over this “mistake” his words. I’m still guarding myself.

chyna's avatar

@dont Thanks for the update! I love when people follow up with their questions.
That sounds like a good plan. Maybe it was a good thing this happened so you two can now be totally open with each other.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

good for you @dont. I’m glad you worked it out. But I have a question for you…

How may one be guarded and wide open at the same time?

wundayatta's avatar

Love is always a risk. It just is. And that’s ok. Even if you get hurt, you can recover. Meanwhile you have a chance to make it work.

dont's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies wide open truth and honesy. Guarded heart

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

My truth and honesty come from my heart. Where do yours come from?

busta21's avatar

He probably just didn’t want to tell you because he was ashamed and he didn’t want to see your reaction nor wanted to get you mad but the longer it took him to find a chance to tell you he couldn’t tell you a few days before he went.

dont's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies yes my truth and honesty come from my heart. And I’m wide open with both with him, but I have other things there too. He knows it, I know it, we are working on the trust and getting better at it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

That’s all any of us can do… great answer @dont.

Nullo's avatar

…But he did tell you.

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