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He Lies To Me Should I Stay? - Agony Aunt

Ask Anne

Dear Anne

I am really confused. I'm seeing this guy I have been with for 2 years.� We broke up 3 months ago because he was cheating on me, but I recently forgave him and we got back together.� Everything was fine for the first month as we had no arguments. Now all we seem to do is argue. I feel it's down to him as he is constantly making me promises but then he keeps breaking them. He is lying to me every now and then too, sometimes about stupid things and sometimes about serious things. Do you think I should just call the relationship off?� He is my first proper love as I am only 20. I love him to pieces. He says he loves me and I am the love of his life!� But because of the broken promises and the lies I am starting to feel insecure in the relationship at times, and am unsure if I can trust him again. Please help me decide what I should do.�� I do love him. Fiona

Dear Fiona

Thank you for your letter. It's hard when you love someone you can't trust, isn't it? I'm not surprised you're feeling insecure. Now you want to decide whether to stay with him or not. Let's look at the situation and see what you might do.

Here is a guy who has betrayed you with another woman. He lies to you. He makes and breaks promises so you can't trust him. You and he keep arguing. However romantic the things he says, however often he says he won't do it again, your instincts are telling you that he isn't to be trusted because you have the evidence of your own senses. So what are you getting out of staying with him?

Here are some of the commonest reasons for staying with someone who treats you badly and lets you down. Do any of them ring true for you? Do you feel good when he chooses to be charming, good company and loving? Are you are proud to say, I've got a boyfriend? Are you scared no-one else will ever love you? Or do you fear that all guys will behave in this unreliable way so there's no point in breaking up? Do you think you somehow deserve unhappiness? Do you feel you have to stay loyal to him because he can be nice, or because he's had problems? Because this is first love, do you believe you have to hang onto it past its sell-by date? Do you find the roller-coaster feelings exciting? Do you want his promises to be true so you go along with them despite the warnings of your better instincts? Do you believe you're not loving him properly when you notice the painful things?

Don't forget that you've attracted at least one boyfriend so you can attract others when you're ready. Or that the price you pay for this man's charming moments is pain and insecurity. You're not responsible for his behaviour, only for staying when it's obvious he has no real intention of changing. Anyway, why should he change? He's got everything just as he wants, with him as top dog in this unequal relationship.

He just has to put up with a bit of arguing now and then because, after all, you've shown him you accept his bad behaviour by putting up with his shennanigans. Other people who've had problems don't treat their girlfriends this shabbily. Sure, the roller-coaster part is dramatic and exciting, probably with intense and passionate reconciliations after the misery. But isn't the misery real?

I'm sure that in his own way he loves you and that you love him. Or at least the lovable parts of him anyway. But if you stay with this man you can't have the good parts without the bad. The point is that love can be good or bad. With good love you feel stable, secure, valued, loved and respected. Good love isn't just romance and empty promises. It's a consistent package of behaviours that leave you feeling nurtured and secure. Both of you act on the knowledge that your partner deserves good treatment and that the relationship is one of honesty, openness and trust. Trust isn't something you give away willy-nilly. It's something the other person earns. Or doesn't. And with good love you can both acknowledge all your feelings and reach mutual agreement on how to proceed. Someone who's offering good love doesn't keep letting you down.

Do you deserve better? I believe you do. I think you deserve good, kind, honest and trustworthy love. But it's what you believe that counts. I only hope you'll learn from this experience, which is after all what first love is all about. All relationships end except the last one. Good luck!Back to Ask Anne

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