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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
jrrn Offline
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Age: 22

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Exclamation Please help! Don't know what to do or think - May 29th 2017, 02:22 AM

I really need some advice. So me and my boyfriend have been together for almost a year and a half now, and we both love each other a lot. We have talked about the future and whatnot, I can't imagine myself with anyone else. He trusts me and I did trust him... So recently, he had exams and a lot of revision to do so he was studying a lot in the library. He met up with friends most of the time to study together as he told me (guy friends), and I 'kinda' made a joke about him secretly studying with a girl and if he would tell me. (I wouldn't say I am the 'jealous type' I'd just say I'm territorial and protective.) He said he would if I asked. I told him I wouldn't really be comfortable with that idea and asked if he could just tell me. He agreed. And so the other day, I saw him messaging another girl, and I'm completely fine with him having girl friends btw, we always ask each other who we're texting and so when I asked him, he was like 'this girl from my course, she just asked me what I got for my essay'. He was acting a bit weird about it and I didn't want to think anything of it but he's never really acted like this before, like he was hiding something? Then today I was over at his house and he went out to go to the gym for a couple hours, so he let me use his laptop to entertain myself whilst he was gone. I decided to check my Facebook, but turns out he was still logged on. And you've probably guessed what I did already and I feel so so awful for it and didn't mean to at all but the button was just there. I checked his messages. I looked at the conversation he had with the girl who 'asked him about his essay'. Turns out, they've been messaging back and forth for a couple months or so and he was asking her if she wanted to study together in the library, arranging to meet up and stuff. I mean I don't have anything against that but it was the fact that he lied to me. I saw that he also met up with her quite a few times. The way they were talking seemed not exactly flirty I guess, but a little too many jokes, and I remember a message he sent saying 'aww you broke my heart *broken heart emoji* *laughing emoji*' meaning it as a joke it seems, when she said she couldn't meet up with him one time. I just don't understand why he would initiate to meet with her everytime- yes everytime (she was never the one to ask?) when he could just meet with his other mates? Or even as a group? But alone with her? And I know it's wrong to read his messages like that, but what's done has been done and I can't ignore it. He even messaged her 'hoping to see you before you leave' as im guessing she lives outside of town from term time. So then I kind of asked him about it, I didn't say that I read his messages at all as I was scared of his reaction, and I also wanted to see if he would tell me the truth. So I somehow brought up the question of 'have you met with any girls alone for any reason whilst with me? Friendly or not, just be honest please.' And he said no. Straight to my face. The audacity to lie to me!! I thought he was a very honest guy, and he even has said the most important thing in a relationship to him is trust. So I don't get why he would lie?? I'm planning to confront him about it all- how I read his messages and everything. It's just that in a couple of days I planned a little roadtrip for us together, as I'm leaving for 3 months for an internship overseas. I don't want to ruin our trip as I planned it for a while now (and it was expensive and I can't cancel), but I also can't keep this in for too long.. should I just tell him now risking the fact that we might break up..? Or wait till after the trip and keep it in making it harder for myself? I really don't know what to do. I love him and always will, it's just that he has betrayed my trust. And for me trust is the most important thing in a relationship too. So I actually don't know if I can look past that personally (I know he didn't cheat, but still) and continue the relationship? Because for me , once someone breaks the trust, it is so hard to gain it back. And I know I'm a bit of a hypocrite as I checked his messages I guess so that broke his trust. But like I said I can't undo what I saw and I really don't know what to do or I'm just being a little too sensitive over the fact that he did this?? Please help <3
  (#2 (permalink)) Old
del677 Offline
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Re: Please help! Don't know what to do or think - May 29th 2017, 08:26 AM

Welcome to TeenHelp and thank you for writing.

If you're about to go on a short trip with your BF then perhaps now is not a good time to initiate trouble if you want to have a pleasant trip. Try to enjoy the moment.

I'm glad you had a good year and a half with this boyfriend. That's a good start. Sounds like no regrets there. Sounds like you had a good time, and you wouldn't change anything if you had to do it over again.

So before thinking forward into the distant future, do some review of the past, and see if you've been happy or not, and would you have been as happy without him. Have you benefited from the relationship?

Can you continue to benefit from the relationship? Can you still have a good time on this trip you've planned and enjoy it with him?

Now you've learned a little something more about this boyfriend of yours. He likes to dance with more than one woman. How serious it is with other women, and how many other women there are, I don't know.

With these kinds of matters, a frontal confrontation
assault always blows up, as it puts the other person on the defensive, leaving him with no way to respond (what could he possibly say?) So, these matters have to be handled in a somewhat delicate, strategic way, where you approach them from the side, instead of head on. Naturally you start by planning for a time to meet with him where you can both talk about this, and let him know so he's prepared.

You approach the subject by first laying out your problem, then you ask him questions which start with the word "What..." or "How..." and you let him solve your problem.

Do NOT start a sentence with the word "Why..."

So here's an example. We need to figure out what the root of your problem is. (Remember this is your problem, not what's wrong with him.) You caught him in a lie. The problem is: You don't trust him anymore. The problem is: relationships are built on trust. The problem is: you want to continue having a relationship with him. The problem is: You're unsure how seriously committed he is to you. The problem is: You don't know who he is. You're unsure about your future together. You're afraid of breaking up with him, as then what happens to you? You feel guilty for looking at his private messages. Maybe he'll attack you and say you shouldn't be looking at his private messages. Then you'll counter attack with Well you shouldn't be flirting with other women! (And now we're off to war. This would be a really good time to say, "I'm sorry for hurting your feelings, I should not have said that," followed by, "can we take a 30 second time out," followed by some conscious breathing, to get the rational brain back online, because when we become angry the rational brain shuts down and we begin to think emotionally rather than calmly and rationally, so we need to take a brief time out and breathe to get our rational brain back online again.

So figure out what your real fears are. Drag them out in the open, examine them. Are you afraid of losing him? Are you afraid of being single again? Are you afraid of continuing the relationship with him? Are you afraid of having a good time on the trip with him? (He sounds like the type of guy who knows how to have a good time. Have a good time with him and make a happy memory!)

So let's say you tell him, "I feel <something> when you <something>"

as in, "I feel a loss of trust in our relationship, when you flirt with other women, and then aren't honest about it with me." followed by, "How can we...?"

I'll let you fill in the rest.

Remember, never start a sentence with "Why...", as in "Why did you...".

Oh and one last tip about wording. Notice how above I worded it as "aren't honest" when I could have said "lied". See how both phrases say the same thing, but the first phrase is still much softer, whereas the second phrase, "lied" is much harsher? That's because the first phrase still contains the very nice word "honest", even though I preface it with the word "not". That's a good little trick that's good to learn. If you want to say something mean in a nice way, use a nice word and throw in the word "not" in front of it. Likewise, if you want to say something nice in a mean way, use a mean word and preface it with the word "not", as in "I am not a crook." (Used to be a favorite phrase of president Nixon. Not a very good catch phrase, as it contained the word "crook", which made everyone think "crook", which made everyone think he was a crook, even though the phrase insisted he was not a crook. He would have been much better off saying, "I am an honest man.") So, "not honest" vs. "liar".

Best wishes!

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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
Garyl Offline
What's next, little man?

Jeez, get a life!
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Re: Please help! Don't know what to do or think - May 30th 2017, 02:48 AM

Welcome to TeenHelp!

I'm aware this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but, I call them like I see them.

So, I'm most likely going to burst your bubble here, but I think it's important to note: being "territorial and protective" is the same exact thing as being jealous. No one likes to think of themselves as "the jealous type" because that's projected as a "bad" quality in a partner, but if you're treating your relationship like it's something that needs guarding from other females, that's exactly what you're doing. You're being jealous, and being jealous is probably what got you into this situation in the first place.

Your boyfriend is not without fault here. He lied to you. He said he wasn't going to do something and he did it behind your back. That's not okay, and he's in the wrong on that one. But truth be told, you probably set this in motion when you asked him to let you know if he'd be studying alone with another girl. It's normal to study with people of the opposite sex. It's normal to be friends with them. It's normal to joke with them. That's all normal behavior, but from the get-go you set up the expectation that it was not okay, or that at least he had to check with you before doing it. I don't know what he was feeling that made him go behind your back. Maybe he really does want to be with more than one girl. Maybe he resented the level of control you tried to exert. You can't really know until you ask him, which I think you should- after some introspection.

I think it's worth asking yourself what you're so afraid of. What are you threatened by? WHY does him studying with another girl warrant extra attention from you? Are you afraid to not be a part of his life in every way? Are you scared she'll "steal" him away from you? Is it something else? This is an important question to ask yourself and find the answer to, because only then can you really resolve this situation.

Take some time to think it over. Go on your trip. Afterwards, have a frank talk with him about what you discovered and about jealousy. He will probably be mad you read his messages, which you shouldn't have done; it proves you didn't trust him, and as someone else said, relationships are built on trust. It sounds like both of you have been lacking in that department. I suggest, instead of accusing, you open the floor to talk about your feelings safely, responsibly, and without judgment. Use "I" statements ("I feel"..."I think...") and own your own feelings without projecting them onto him.

I believe that, if you're both willing to do the work, you can get through this. But it's going to take some reflection on both of your parts.

Good luck and PM me if you need anything else.

Let's eat some spectral oats!
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