DEAR CHRISTINE – Not sure if boyfriend is lying
I am writing to you as I have no one else that I can talk with about my problem.
I am 19 and at university. My boyfriend for the last three years is 26. He was the first person I ever cared about and I love him very much.
We met at church when I was around 13, but only became close friends after I passed 16. Since then he has always been there for me. He helps me with my studies as we have the same academic interest, and with my daily living expenses as my mother is not well off and my father does not help.
My mother likes him very much and refers to him as her son-in-law. So he comes and eats by us, and sometimes I wash and iron his clothes.
The only thing he does not do, and has never done, is to sleep overnight. He has never done it because he said that would not be right as we are not married.
But, Christine, I heard that though he never sleeps by me, he sometimes sleeps at two other women. From what I was told they are both older than him and have their own houses.
When I asked him about it he admitted he was friends with the women as he worked with them, but said he does not sleep with them. I told my mother and she asked him about it too, and he repeated what he told me.
My mother has doubts about him telling us the truth given what she has been through. But as he was always straight with me, I would have to believe him until I can catch him in a lie.
My mother feels that as I need him now I should continue with him, but should check on him constantly to ensure he is telling the truth. I called him at home twice since I heard about his flings between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. and he answered the phone. But he has warned me not to do it again as I woke up his mother and sister. He’s also very angry with me for not believing him.
What can I do now? I love him and don’t want to lose him, but I am not sure if I can ever fully trust him again.
– HURT AND DISAPPOINTED
Dear Hurt and Disappointed,
Two things stand out in your letter – the seeming excellent communication you have with your mother and her influence over you.
It is commendable when young adults like yourself can discuss any matter, but particularly intimate ones, with their parents.
In this case, however, it is clear your mother’s negative views about men is fuelling much of your distrust and distress.
You have no hard evidence that he is sleeping around, so why don’t you believe him?
Though I am one who believes that where there is smoke there may be fire, at the same time I know people send out smoke screens to confuse other people.
The fact is he told you these two women are his colleagues. Until there is substantial evidence to prove differently, then you should continue with him.
What you need to note though is that having involved your mother to the point where she has quizzed him – I’m sure to ensure you are not unfaired – how will your boyfriend view this?
Will he feel that each time the two of you have a misunderstanding, you will run to your mother for advice and support instead of reasoning it out for yourself and discussing it with him? And will she confront him each time the two of you have any spat? Some men would see this development as an omen of what the future could hold with you.
The next thing that disturbs me is your mum’s view that as you need what he delivers financially you should stick with him. That is wrong. You should only be with a man if you love him and not for what he can give to you. When you’re in a relationship for the wrong reasons, you generally lose out in the end.
My advice to you, young lady, is to stick with your guy because of your love for him. He sounds like a decent and conscientious person.