Q: I have been with this guy for six years and I moved with him across the US. 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.
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.
Readers? Is there hope here? Is he really seeking out other women or is this just about boredom? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.