Dear Dr. Archer,
I've been living with my boyfriend for a year and have three children who are very fond of him. Sometimes I think I've given him so many chances because I don't want my children to be hurt. The divorce from their dad was bad enough.
My story starts with Facebook. Very early on I became suspicious when he wouldn't friend me on Facebook. He said he had other relationship problems because of Facebook and didn't want to go through that again. One night he was acting strange; it was a weekend when we had the children.
He said his 62 year old dad wanted to go have drinks with him at a club. I was suspicious because of the way he had been acting, so after he left I got on the computer and figured out his Facebook password. What I found sent my heart plummeting.
Not only did his relationship status say single six months after we had been living together, but the entire time we had been seeing each other he never stopped talking to his ex girlfriends. Also, he was trying to engage in conversation with new beautiful women. Dozens of them!
When he got home I confronted him, and he admitted he had been unfaithful in his past relationships, that he was sorry, and that it would never happen again.
He changed his password again shortly after that, but I was able to get in, again. I know what you're thinking, and you're right -- he's not very good at picking passwords!! Anyway, I saw more of the same -- compliments, asking them out on lunch dates and chit chat.
To keep from dragging this out, I've also seen texts from previous girlfriends. You can tell some parts have been deleted because some parts of the conversations are still there. This has happened repeatedly over the last year. Now he lies all the time as to where he's going. He's also a gambler and knows I don't want him to do that.
I can always tell when he lies, but I haven't always been able to find out what the truth is, so I don't have proof of infidelity. I have no idea if I'll ever be able to trust him, because he seems to break any trust he's been able to earn.
Dump this loser - NOW! Do you really think your kids are better off with a liar and a cheat in their home? Is this what you deserve after going through a terrible divorce? Why, why, why would you put up with this, Kay?
Open your eyes and look at what you have. You have a man who lies to you while only halfway covering his tracks; he's either cheating on you already or at least trying really hard to do so. He won't even friend you on Facebook, for heaven's sake, and doesn't even take the time to make breaking his password a challenge.
I'm sure you love your children, but there's more going on than just not wanting to hurt them with a breakup. Are you afraid to be alone? Do you think that little of yourself to put up with this demeaning behavior? Being single would be much more appealing than knowing your boyfriend was busy asking other girls out online.
This guy is a loser and a cheater, Kay, and the longer you stay with him, the greater you and your children will be hurt. It's just a matter of time. I repeat: End. It. Now.
His actions have spoken much louder than whatever words he may have mumbled to you. His words mean nothing! Start working on yourself, because a woman who feels good about herself would never put up with this behavior.
The sooner you get out of this mess and start improving your self esteem, the better. If you really want to protect your children, Kay, get a place of your own.
You will be setting a better example for them, shielding them from more pain and teaching them right from wrong. Your children should be getting the attention and energies you're wasting on this guy.
Face it, Kay. The way he's acting now is the way he's going to act in the future. This is it; this is what you have and this is what your life is going to be like unless YOU change it. It's time to move on. Good luck.