He booked a trip behind my back

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Meredith,

Here is my story: I have been with my boyfriend for over 13 years now. We have lived together for over 11 years. His birthday was the first week of August, and on that day he told me he booked a trip to Greece three weeks ago and did it behind my back. He was leaving days later.

I was completely crushed, and he said he understood that this was selfish of him to do and he was sorry for hurting me ... but that this was something he needed to do. He also claims he is going alone. I told him I couldn't do this anymore and that I am moving out. I have not heard from him since, and he said he understood my decision. But at the end of the day, he said this was my decision. I told him I made this decision because of his actions. We have always had communication problems in our relationship. He really doesn't talk about us and doesn't know how to (he claims).

I believe him when he says he is going alone. But the sneaky way he went about it and the lies in between is what really got me. I am still moving out but I felt like I needed to hear from someone who is not in my family or friend group. And yes, everyone I have talked to has told me I am doing the right thing. I still love him and he says he still loves me, but I cannot stop thinking about how I would never have done this to him or even thought of doing something like this to him or anyone. I feel like you just don't do something like this to someone you supposedly love.

- Moving Out


I feel a bit irresponsible recommending therapy right now because it’s so hard to find a therapist, but if your boyfriend of 13 years is having trouble talking about important things, a third party can help. Therapists and counselors can ask the right questions. They can help you ask what's going on.

I want that for you because, yes, I can see why you're hurt that he sprung a big trip on you without giving you any context or information. It was a secret that involved lying, even though he's going alone.

But if you put the hurt aside for a second, you'll see some big questions, maybe in neon. They are (for me, at least): Is he not getting enough alone time? Is he burnt out? Does he prefer to travel alone and hasn't felt OK telling you that? Is he feeling well? Did anyone else know he was going? Did he think you would object to him taking a trip by himself?

"Selfish" isn’t the first word that came to mind when I read about the trip. I was thinking more about travel styles, things he might need a break from at home, and why he picked Greece. Then I thought about whether this is the first time you've felt left out or confused by his plans.

My big question for you: are you otherwise happy with him?

Move out if you want, but if it matters, try to find a good way to get answers together. If a therapist isn't available, try asking (and answering) a list of questions in writing. Some people who have problems talking are better when they have privacy and time to jot things down and then edit their own answers. At the very least, the exercise might give you more fuel to move on.

– Meredith

Readers? What questions would you ask? Why plan a trip without telling a significant other?