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Love Letters

Caught him on dating sites

Q. I have been with this guy for six years and I moved with him across the country. We were about to break up our first year — because I found him on an online dating service — but then we worked things out. Then I moved a year later. Things were going great, but then I was pressuring him about getting married. He took me to a bar and told me he didn’t want to get married right now. He said, “When I’m ready I’ll let you know.” I said OK but I was hurt.

Things were going well again, but then I found him on another dating site. We argued about it and then he deleted it. I’ve found out that when he’s out, he tells girls that he is single. He would get text messages from girls and I would see them, and they would be simple messages, but when I asked him about them, he told me he has known them for years. I don’t believe him.

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I just recently caught him having a sexual conversation with a friend who is married. I still have a screen shot of the message. He apologized to me. Again, I thought things would be OK. Then, on Saturday, I turned my back and saw that he was messaging her — but then he claimed he was calling his son. I know he wasn’t. He erased her messages. I have not talked to him about this because every time I try, he makes these sounds and avoids everything, and I tell him that he put himself in the situation and that he needs to deal with it. I love him very much and care for him, but the trust is kind of gone. We laugh all the time and hang out all the time. We are pretty much joined at the hip. I am really confused about what to do. I think I know what to do but scared. HELP!!

Confused, Daytona

A. “I have not talked to him about this because every time I try, he makes these sounds.”

I would love to hear these sounds. I would love to make them my ringtone.

This guy sounds awful. Yes, you’ve had some good times and laugh a lot, but he’s been texting a married woman and has lied to you about being on dating sites. He refuses to change his behavior, and your life has become a race to catch him in the act. Leaving a long-term relationship is scary, but you can’t continue on like this. If there is no trust, you can’t grow as a couple.

My advice? Start reaching out to friends who can help you make plans for a move. You need community support as you decide what’s next. Remind yourself that you’re not really joined at the hip with your boyfriend — because sometimes his hip is signing up for dating sites or texting other women.

If you want to be in a great relationship — the kind that could become a marriage — you need to let this one go.

Meredith

READERS RESPOND:

You claim “the trust is kind of gone.” KIND of gone?!!! Lady, wake up. What’s it going to take for you to figure out he’s a lying cheater? Catching him in bed with another woman? One of your friends, even? You ought to have kicked him to the curb the second time you caught him online.

OUTDOORCHICK

When does he have time to go to bars and meet chicks, if you are joined at the hip? Please elaborate. Otherwise, I think he might not be a good fit for you, even if the sex is amazing. The End.

MSENIGMA

I agree with Meredith; this guy does sound awful. I don’t think there’s anything to be confused about. You don’t trust him because he’s untrustworthy. I think you should break things off now.

CHAZZ508

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me 47 times, what are you waiting for, ma’am?

Anything’s better than not having a boyfriend, right? That’s why you live with this garbage relationship. He is shoveling garbage onto you and you have turned into a toxic waste dump. End this relationship and take a long cleansing meditative retreat.

ELEKKTRA

You’re not joined at the hip with him while he’s joining hips with other women, are you?

MIKELT

This guy isn’t going to change. Maybe he isn’t actually sleeping with these women or even meeting them, but he sure does like the attention he is getting from them. You don’t seem to be OK with this sort of behavior, so I would say that after six years of him doing this, it is time for you to end things.

ZEEOFF

Alternate theory: This guy has never cheated on her, the online flirting and stuff does for him what porn does for other guys, and while it’s more personal than porn (and feels more like cheating than porn does) this is what excites him and it’s not going to change. And the likelihood that it will result in actual cheating is very low.

JACKIE_ TREEHORN

You say you know what you should do, I’m assuming you mean leave him, and that’s what you should do. It can be hard after you break up but then things start getting good again and you’ll realize how great it is to not have to deal with him.

MEGS2

Six years. You don’t trust him. You don’t love him. But yet there you are stuck again. Get unstuck and never, ever again settle for a man who does not respect you. Inertia is a powerful thing but it must be overcome. Move back home if you have to but get out of this relationship as soon as you can and resolve not to be a doormat anymore.

BZZNINMYAUTO

Propose to him. He’ll tell you no. then move on. Hey, he’s still looking because you aren’t the one. Get it?

SOFTPATINA

You’re in Daytona? Sorry, letter writer, there’s no hope for you.

Column and comments are edited and reprinted from boston.com/loveletters. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com.
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