He doesn’t tell me things

I have written special Love Letters questions for this event tonight, and as you can see, the first 20 people get free drinks. Please come and support 826 Boston. (You might remember that students with 826 have joined Love Letters to give their own advice.)

We chat at 1 p.m.

Also, check the box for "amazing."

Let me start by saying this: My significant other is amazing.

He's caring, he loves me, he's not shy about expressing it, and I have little doubt he'd walk through fire to save me. I'd do the same. We've been together for a "short" time (less than a year), but we feel like we've been together forever. Our lives blend well for the most part. We each have our baggage, mine being years of an abusive relationship, where I spent years being single and rebuilding myself. His being a failed marriage from his early 20s. (We're both in our 30s). He's used to being alone, but not necessarily on his own; he's got friends but never really people to confide in. As a result, he struggles with opening up to me. He's told me he's afraid to tell me things because he's afraid I'll leave. I've told him repeatedly that the only way I'm leaving is if he refuses to let me in.

He struggles with this and continues to hide things from me, sometimes to the point of lying, until I eventually call him out and ask him pointed questions. Examples: He won't always tell me he's signed up for a new social activity until I try to make plans (were both very active in sports). It took him more than two weeks to tell me what was in his storage unit that we were emptying into our new apartment (as if I wouldn't notice all new boxes in our new place?) or he'll hear from women from his past and not tell me until after.

The women from the past part is the big issue. I don't care if he talks to them, I just ask to know. If he's going to grab drinks and spend time with another woman, I ask that he tells me. He claims he “forgets." He's lying – he doesn't "forget" – he'll later admit that he just "didn't know how to tell me." I've encouraged him to go out with his female friends before, and I enjoy my time with my friends, too. The difference is I tell him, ahead of time if it's well planned, or immediately after if it wasn't planned. I don't think there should be an issue with telling me if there is nothing to hide. I don't think he's cheating, I really don't. My fear is that if he's lying, or not opening up about things now, what does the future hold?

He's agreed to go to therapy to work on the issue for the future, but how do I deal with the short-term? How do I, in the meantime, trust a guy who admits to lying to me and keeping secrets from me? I don't want to me be the girl that snoops to confirm his story (although he did give me all passwords to all accounts to show me he doesn't want to keep things from me), and therapy is a great long-term solution, but what about the immediate aftermath of him getting caught in a solid handful of lies? Or, am I being unreasonable?

– Trust or jealousy?


First, stop with the "everything is amazing!" talk. You're putting pressure on your relationship to be perfect, and that could be why he's so afraid to tell you anything that might give you cause for concern. You say it feels like you've been together forever, but you haven't. Not at all. You haven't even hit a year. Let the relationship be new and it'll relieve the pressure as you both evolve, make mistakes, and learn how to fix them.

Second, the only solutions here are long-term. There are no short-term fixes; that's not how relationships work. You'll either see a change in his behavior over time – or you won't, and you can make decisions accordingly. If his weird lies aren't a deal-breaker now, you'll just have to wait to see what happens. I know you want quick answers, but this problem is big, and he just agreed to work to make it better. All you can do is see how that therapy changes him – or doesn't.

Third, please know that snooping is not a good option, even if he handed you his passwords. If you do it once, you'll do it all the time, and then snooping will become your security system. It'll become part of your routine as a couple. That's not what you want for the future. It's not even what you want in the present.

– Meredith

Readers? Will he change over time? How long will it take?