He lies to avoid upsetting me

We'll chat next week, pre-holiday.

In the meantime, send letters here.

Former letter writers, send an update to meredith.goldstein@globe.com with "update" in the subject line. Tell us how it all worked out.

Meredith,

I'm in a relationship with a man I love very much. I'm 32. We began dating in 2017 after I was just getting out of an abusive relationship. This man, who lived in another city, came into my life stood by me. We had so much fun together.

Around March of 2018, he began distancing himself. He'd come to the town I live in, but he'd wind up out at bars with his friends and not ask to see me. He always had an excuse.

Eventually I found out that he had started lying about everything. He was hooking up with women, sexting a woman he said was his friend. Our relationship ended. But that December, we started talking again.

Fast forward some months and we decided we wanted to try again. He asked me to move to his city and live with him, and for months we were so happy and in love. We'd both decided it was best for us to delete our social media accounts. There were no issues for months, but then I found out he had kept his Snapchat and Facebook the entire time. He would wait until he was at work or I was gone and would download the apps and then delete them.

Also, during this time I was placed on an anxiety drug that caused me to gain weight. I found a search on his browser: “gf gained weight not sexually attracted." We hadn't had sex in months. I was devastated but he swore the search was about something else. I tried to get him to talk about it and said I would understand – just tell me – and he said he wouldn't admit to something he didn't think. Finally, he admitted it.

He also admitted that he’s back on social media, and he said he didn't tell me because of the way I would respond (with jealousy). He's right, and I know I need to change my approach, but I can't if he doesn't make an effort either. He says he doesn't want me leaving, but is it too late to save this? Does he say these nice things to avoid hurting me? Typing this out made me actually kind of answer my own question.

– Upset


"Typing this out made me actually kind of answer my own question."

Funny how that happens.

Your letter is all about jealousy, stress, and rejection. That does make things clear, right?

I'm sure there are wonderful things about the relationship that didn't make it into this letter, but I'm not convinced the good stuff is enough to keep you both happy. You're managing anxiety and trying to keep yourself healthy, but you've chosen a significant other who'd rather lie than upset you. That doesn't help with your trust issues.

Really, it sounds like it's a good time to be single. If you were on your own you could spend your time thinking about what makes you healthy and happy. You'd have space to figure out what kind of partner you actually want and need.

Because this man isn't it. He needs to go out into the world, without rules about Snapchat. He needs to stop hitting delete to avoid confrontation.

You need to feel great about yourself. To feel good without him.

Let him go. You can make that decision for both of you.

– Meredith

Readers? What can they do to work on the relationship?