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TheGirlInterrupted's avatar

Why does a lie from 9 years ago still bother me?

Asked by TheGirlInterrupted (157points) December 8th, 2017

I knew his ex from school, and he seemed to have a lot to say about her early in our relationship even though they were only sort of a couple for like two weeks. She was a bad person and treated him awfully and he broke up with her. I told him I would appreciate it if he didn’t contact her or have anything to do with her and he asked the same of me about my exes. It wasn’t a problem for me and I thought it wasn’t a problem for him. We moved in together and after a year or maybe 2 years I got on the computer that we shared. He left a Facebook page open that was not an account I knew about. It seemed like it was incognito. He had the page open to messages sent between him and his ex that I was clear I didn’t want in our life. She was the only friend on the account and the only conversation. Nothing seemed like he was contacting her to cheat, there really wasn’t much in it. When I confronted him about it he denied it and acted like he didn’t know what it was. Later he deleted his history and I was unable to find the page again. After fighting for weeks, we made up and he still insisted he didn’t do it. I know he did, I just chose to let go. I thought about it from time to time but especially this year it has been eating away at me. I don’t want to bring up the past and dwell but I almost feel like I can’t move on until he admits it. Like it would be closure for me and I can trust he will tell the truth no matter how embarrassing it is. We just had our 11 year anniversary so I knew he’s in it with me and me only, but I am still tortured. Why does this bother me so much still?

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11 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

None of us know you or your psychology. You would/should have dropped this years ago. So the question is – why haven’t you?

My guess is that you’re somehow insecure with your partner – I don’t see a reason why you should be – and you’re keeping this in your back pocket, to use some time when you get mad or frustrated, you’ll bring this up as some justification for doing something.

You really need to get over this, because (as you described) it is a danger to your marriage if you keep it around in your mind.

TheGirlInterrupted's avatar

There is a bit more to our relationship I guess that might give more insight to this issue. I agree I need to let it go. My problem is that I have tried for so long and I don’t know why its still nagging. There have been other things in our relationship he did that were really hurtful that I am totally over. I have made mistakes too and he has forgiven me. Maybe an important note to make is that he questions all kinds of things from the past continually. He also is very paranoid about what I do on social media and questions every guy I know. We have shaky trust for sure the difference is I know he would never cheat on me and he thinks I would. My fear or distrust is that he just doesn’t tell me things that are silly or small and that is hurtful to me… obviously.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Sounds like neither one of you really have faith in the other. Frankly, your relationship is already poisoned and will just grow more toxic as time goes on. My advice: might be best to sever it before any more damage is done. And if you don’t have kids then absolutely sever it before they come into the picture and are damaged by a toxic relationship too.

longgone's avatar

Does this sort of thing happen in other areas of your life, too? If it does, then you’ll need to work on changing your thought patterns. A behavioral therapist would be helpful there.

flameboi's avatar

Let it go, let it gooo…

It bothers you because he did something you did not want him to do, and he denied it like a pro. You had the option to dump him right then and there, but you did not, so now, you have to live with that decision.

I assume you believed this was not such a big deal at the time (after the fighting I guess). Maybe he wanted stuff he left behind, maybe he wanted closure and tell her that she was a horrible person, or that he wanted his cds back, or brag about how wonderful you are. You will never know. There are rocks that are better left unturn. In those situations, men are vulnerable, and we don’t want our significant other to see us fighting with an ex over that kind of stuff, so we do it in private, we get our closure and we move on quietly.

Kardamom's avatar

I’m surprised that you would stay in a relationship with someone for 11 years when there is clearly trust issues on both of your parts. The way you’ve described your relationship, it sounds horrible to me.

I suppose it’s possible to make your situation better, if you both were 100% dedicated to fixing your problems, and I’m pretty sure couples counseling is the only way at this point. Both of you have done hurtful things (I’m guessing that one of you has done worse things than the other, but I’m not sure which one). You and your boyfriend have an ongoing dynamic of mistrust and hurtful behavior. He lied to you early on, and that situation was never adequately resolved (you just agreed to not talk about it, which didn’t help you) and the cycle began, and now continues 11 years later.

I could not live with this type of relationship. It sounds terrible and demoralizing. If it were me, I would end this relationship and then get myself into some short term therapy to try to figure out how to break the cycle of your thought patterns. It’s not healthy for you.

Your boyfriend doesn’t sound like much of a prize. Sometimes being single is a much better situation than being with someone who is mistrustful and unkind (even if you were also mistrustful or unkind to a degree).

The argument that you did bad things too, so it’s OK that he continues to do bad things (as if you or anyone else deserves that) doesn’t hold water.

TheGirlInterrupted's avatar

Thank you very much everyone. Very helpful. I almost feel better just talking about it with strangers since I haven’t had the guts to bring it up with him.

TheGirlInterrupted's avatar

Update: I decided to bring this up with him after 9 years. He was shocked to hear that it still bothered me after all this time. He denied it and gave me a bull shit story about how it was probably his friend just messing with her. I said again how I don’t care and I will be forgiving if you did that but I just can’t take lies in our relationship and it is still effecting my trust in him all this time later. I said I don’t know if we can make it if he lies and those lies cause me to have distrust. Three days later he decided to spill the beans. He told me the truth that he did contact her secretly and behind my back even though he knew it was important to me in our young age that she disappear. He realized why I have so many nagging problems with us and we even talked about the other bad things he’s done to me. Even though I think we can move on from such a miniscule thing I am seeing a therapist to help me get over my trust issues and my fears of his secret social media habits. He has agreed to see a couples counselor with me too.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Ah yes, he knowingly, willingly violated your trust, but it’s clearly your fault for being bothered by that and you, obviously, are the one who needs to get over it.

Kardamom's avatar

If you see a couples counselor with him, make sure you call him out, every time he lies. Because he will lie, and he will try to blame all of your troubles on you. He will do that. I guarantee it.

Maybe now is the time to start planning or a future without this person. Continue to see a counselor on your own, though. You need to gain some insight on how to avoid this type of situation in the future.

Good luck to you, my friend. You can live without him.

snowberry's avatar

He’s a train wreck. You can do better. If you continue with this guy, expect lots more of the same behavior! And yes, keep up with the counseling.

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