This Week - Judgment Call
My boyfriend and I have been together two years and known each other for seven. How can you know someone for so long but suddenly feel you don't know them at all?
A year ago he moved in but our problem only surfaced recently. We had just returned from a romantic Caribbean vacation when he began behaving secretly. When I tried to open up the lines of communication, he grew defensive and nervous. Up to that point we had shared everything.
I justified breaking into his email account to protect myself. To make a long story short, I found emails to four different women. Girl A is a woman he used to date, Girl B is a woman he currently works with, and Girl C is the mother of one of his students! Girl D is a girl from Craigslist.
When I confronted him, he swore nothing happened with any of these women. He admitted he has a problem with boundaries and knowing when flirting has gone too far. At that point I believed him. We had a long talk and decided a fresh start was in order. We got dressed up and went out to dinner to affirm our new start. It was behind us. Or was it?
A month later I logged into his email because to be honest it never left my mind. I found an intimate email to Girl B dated a day after our dinner. I also found emails answering ads for threesomes.
Since then I have confronted him two more times. We have had deep talks about intimacy and our own personal fantasies. I assured him that I would never judge him, but he had to let me know and not seek a relationship behind my back. At that point he said he never wanted to lose me and he wants the same things I do--marriage and kids.
I'm trying to be as understanding as possible, but I am supposed to go away for the weekend, and it appears he has plans to meet up with Girl B. Even after we talked, I still don't know who he is. Help me stop breaking into his email because I know that's not helping matters.
Tabitha, the Greek philosopher Pyrrho believed we can't know right from wrong, truth from fiction, or wisdom from folly. Pyrrho refused to make judgments of any kind, even whether it was safe for him to cross the street. Fortunately Pyrrho had friends who kept him from being run over by wagons or falling off cliffs. Many of us are not so lucky.
The idea that we can't judge others is rubbish. Every day we judge. We judge the depth of the water, the speed and distance of approaching cars, and what we can afford to buy. Claiming you won't judge your boyfriend is an excuse not to do what you know is right.
Your boyfriend doesn't hold intimacy as a value, and you don't want to tell him that. Every day you don't send him packing gives him another opportunity to weaken your resolve.
When people don't put their foot down, it lets others think they can push and push and push until they get what they want. What you communicate by not breaking up is that your boyfriend can have you and other women. You are showing him you don't have self-esteem and self-respect.
The one smart thing you've done is break into his email. That shows you still have enough of the mental defense mechanisms needed to protect yourself. But if you stay, you know your future. He's shown he wants to have sex with other women, and you are signing up to be part of that.
If you want intimacy that matters, if you want monogamy and love, he's not the one. There's no guesswork here. Even Pyrrho could see, he's not the one.
Wayne & Tamara
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