I lied about my past with other men; need help

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I lied about my past with other men; need help was created by matcha

When I met my boyfriend, we quickly developed feelings for one another. Unfortunately, early on in our relationship, I lied to him about my past sexual history with other men before I had met him -- all of whom I had met online and, for personal reasons, felt ashamed about. I wanted to hide that past from him, but instead of having the courage to admit that I was uncomfortable talking about the subject, I instead decided to lie.

My boyfriend felt that I was not being completely honest, and eventually he discovered my dishonesty in multiple episodes. Upon being discovered the first several times, I denied, denied, denied, and then apologized and promised not to lie ever again. But I still lacked the courage to confess to everything. Deep down inside I desperately wanted to be honest and to own up to my past, but I also felt scared of his judgment. I was afraid of how he would think of me. While I don't justify my poor decisions with any excuse, the reason why I kept lying was because I did not feel safe telling him everything.

But finally, when confronted for the umpteenth time, I no longer could bear to hide my past and admitted everything to him. To say the least, he was very shocked. Ever since, my multiple incidents of dishonesty have completely eradicated his trust in me. Since my confession, I have vowed -- for the final time -- to honor my promise to be honest and to work hard to fix the issues in our relationship. Unfortunately, while I understand how much I have hurt him and can only begin to imagine his pain, occasionally he has behaved in ways that some have claimed are abusive.

He has put me down with degrading names, looked through my social media and phone, told me that I do not deserve anything and that no one will love me more than he does, repeatedly asked questions regarding my sexual past with other men, downloaded dating apps onto his phone, joked about being with another girl, threatened to go back to his ex, insisted that we are in an open relationship (while treating me essentially like a girlfriend), stonewalled me during arguments, accused me of lying again (but will not tell me about what, and expecting me to know what he is thinking), refused to apologize when he was wrong or acting hurtful, etc.

I suggested that we seek relationship counseling, but he is unwilling and uninterested. However, at the same time, he has expressed that he wants things to work out, wants me to keep trying, but ultimately it is up to me to fix everything. I know that in relationships, the person who breaks trust is responsible for working towards regaining that trust. I also know that my multiple counts of dishonesty have made it even harder for him to ever forgive me. The articles on this website indicate that it will takes much longer than I expect to regain someone's trust, and that it will be incredibly difficult. But at one point do I put my foot on the ground and refuse to put up with his hurtful behavior? Are his actions justified? Do I deserve it? Or are his actions abusive, and is he solely to be held responsible for his actions? On another note, if regaining his trust is possible, what can I do to show him how sorry I am and that I am working on change? Additionally, is it truly up to only one person to work on things?

I have set up appointments to speak with a therapist on my own. I have sought help from close friends for input. I have dedicated all of my free time to him, in an effort to show that he is my priority. But most importantly, I have not lied to him since my confession, and I plan to never lie again. Sometimes he and I are extremely happy and so much in love... and the next moment, he is despondent, moody, and cynical. Is there hope in our relationship? Please help.
4 years 3 weeks ago #90063

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Replied by Betrayed Wife on topic I lied about my past with other men; need help

He has put me down with degrading names, looked through my social media and phone, told me that I do not deserve anything and that no one will love me more than he does, repeatedly asked questions regarding my sexual past with other men, downloaded dating apps onto his phone, joked about being with another girl, threatened to go back to his ex, insisted that we are in an open relationship (while treating me essentially like a girlfriend), stonewalled me during arguments, accused me of lying again (but will not tell me about what, and expecting me to know what he is thinking), refused to apologize when he was wrong or acting hurtful, etc.

while I understand how much I have hurt him and can only begin to imagine his pain, occasionally he has behaved in ways that some have claimed are abusive.


He is absolutely abusive. His behavior is nothing but sadistic. I think the only reason he kept pressing you about your past is so that he could find some reason to degrade you. He’s trying to bring you down low by calling you degrading names and he’s trying to suck all of your self esteem from you. This is not how a mature person reacts to a situation. Even if he is hurt by your lies, a reasonable, sane person does not respond with this type of abuse. If you continue in this relationship, this is going to be the way he deals with you every time there is an issue. EVERY TIME.

But at one point do I put my foot on the ground and refuse to put up with his hurtful behavior? Are his actions justified? Do I deserve it? Or are his actions abusive, and is he solely to be held responsible for his actions?

Do you see what he’s done to you? He has you questioning whether his mental and verbal abuse is justified, and wondering if you deserve it. No one deserves to be treated like this by someone who clams to love them. Yes, his actions are the height of abuse, and no person should have to put up with it. You put your foot on the ground THIS INSTANT and tell him you aren’t going to put up with it any more.

I suggested that we seek relationship counseling, but he is unwilling and uninterested. However, at the same time, he has expressed that he wants things to work out, wants me to keep trying, but ultimately it is up to me to fix everything.

He’s done things just as bad as you’ve done (downloaded dating apps onto his phone, joked about being with another girl, threatened to go back to his ex, insisted that we are in an open relationship, stonewalled me during arguments, accused me of lying again). He needs relationship counseling just as much as you do, maybe even more. A person who wants to repair a relationship doesn’t trash it and make it worse by treating you like something he scrapes off of his shoe. You repair a relationship with communication, and his only way of communication amounts to verbal abuse.

I have set up appointments to speak with a therapist on my own. I have sought help from close friends for input.

Please listen to your friends. They care about you. And definitely speak to a therapist. Let him/her know what abuse your boyfriend who claims to love you has heaped on you.
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness -- ancient proverb.
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4 years 2 weeks ago #90065

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Replied by matcha on topic I lied about my past with other men; need help

I think the only reason he kept pressing you about your past is so that he could find some reason to degrade you. He’s trying to bring you down low by calling you degrading names and he’s trying to suck all of your self esteem from you.


I am not entirely sure if that is the reason why he asks me about my past so often. I am more convinced that he does so to see if my answers are consistent. He has said before that he tries to understand me, and the best way for him to do that is to ask me questions. Many questions. Sometimes the same ones. I don't enjoy answering these questions, as most of them dig into a past with other men that I just want to move on from and forget completely... But ever since I've confessed my whole history to him, it's as if nothing is allowed to be a secret anymore. I don't feel as though it is my inherent right as a human being to keep certain things to myself, but that my partner has the right to know everything about me. Because to him it isn't a matter of privacy at this point, it is a matter of "hiding" things or keeping secrets with the intention to use him, manipulate him into caring for me, etc. Therefore, whenever he asks, I just answer as best as I can.

The other problem is that even when I do answer, I can't remember every single detail with every single other guy I've ever encountered in my life. I sometimes have to give estimates, or best guesses as to what happened. But he will rarely be convinced that I am trying my best to be honest. He will then usually accuse me of lying again, and after I try to defend myself, he typically ends the conversation, forcing me into silence. No matter what I tell him, he is hardly satisfied. I know that I have made it difficult for him to believe anything I say, even if it is the truth, because I'd lied to him multiple times before (not just about my past, but also about complaining about him to friends, issues of emotional cheating with an ex, as well as "white lies"). But at this point, even the truth does not satisfy him.

He needs relationship counseling just as much as you do, maybe even more. A person who wants to repair a relationship doesn’t trash it and make it worse by treating you like something he scrapes off of his shoe. You repair a relationship with communication, and his only way of communication amounts to verbal abuse.


The only time he wants to communicate is when he wants to ask me questions about my past. "Are you sure you and him only did that? Nothing more? Are you sure? What about Guy B? How about Guy C? I don't think you're telling the truth. Why are you lying? Don't tell me you're being honest. That only pisses me off. You say you understand but you never will."

I find myself dreading it every time he asks me a question, because more often than not it's a rehashed question, and I'm tired of explaining myself when doing so doesn't seem to produce any benefit. In fact, going over these questions repeatedly seems to do more harm than good. He gets stuck on my past and the things I've done. I keep feeling guilty, disgusted with myself, and hopeless.

We keep going in circles, in which he will ask questions and become displeased with the answers, and then sink into an emotional funk. He will become quiet, cold, and unaffectionate. He will tell me that I should understand if we don't work out in the end. Sometimes he will say hurtful things ("There's someone better out there for me. You don't deserve me/this/anything," etc.). Then eventually, with enough effort on my end for several days, he will seem to get over it and become happy and loving again. This lovey-doviness lasts for maybe a few days. I hope and pray that it lasts permanently, and that it will be a sign that we are improving... but ultimately, he will ask another question, which leads to another and another, and the whole cycle begins again. We're back at square one.

It's so draining to feel like I'm fighting so hard, not only to earn his trust back and show him my dedication, but also to come to terms with the poor choices I made as a human being concerning my lies, as well as the things I did in my past with other people. People always have suggested to "own up" to my past and accept it as a way of forgiving myself and growing. But how can I when the only way my partner is able to understand me is to ask questions that dig into my painful past? It's apparent to me that he and I both need professional counseling, or at least some willingness from my partner to "take responsibility for his end of the relationship," as my friends have said. I can't fix this relationship on my own, not like this. But it's clear to me that at this point, he wants me to do all the fixing.

To use an example, it almost feels as though I've cheated on him, because that is the extent of how hard his punishment feels. He's like the one who got cheated on, going through a lot of hurt and confusion. That's why I feel as though I owe everything to him, even if it means putting up with abusive behavior. I keep hoping that it's temporary, that it's only because of the "cheating." I keep hoping that with enough time and dedication I'll prove to him I've changed, and that I truly do love him more than anything, and that I'm so incredibly sorry. For anyone whose trust was betrayed due to cheating (or anything as equally as terrible), what did the "cheater/liar" do to improve the situation? What did you do to help begin the process of healing?
4 years 2 weeks ago #90069

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Replied by CrushedLight7 on topic I lied about my past with other men; need help

Matcha,
One thing that has gotten over looked here, that you really need to look at is the thing that stood out immediately to me as I started reading your original post. And that is this: You did something wrong by lying to him about your past. Okay fine, you shouldn’t have lied. But all these “indiscretions” of yours are things in your PAST. Things you did BEFORE you were with this guy. All the horrible things he’s doing, and lets recap the list:

He has put me down with degrading names, looked through my social media and phone, told me that I do not deserve anything and that no one will love me more than he does, repeatedly asked questions regarding my sexual past with other men, downloaded dating apps onto his phone, joked about being with another girl, threatened to go back to his ex, insisted that we are in an open relationship (while treating me essentially like a girlfriend), stonewalled me during arguments, accused me of lying again (but will not tell me about what, and expecting me to know what he is thinking), refused to apologize when he was wrong or acting hurtful, etc.


These are all things he’s doing NOW, while you are together. So this guy your with, his first reaction to who you really are, is to be name-calling? His go-to problem solving mechanism for something that happened BEFORE he ever met you is cruelty, and infidelity? (yeah, him downloading dating apps, and insisting that you two are in an open relationship, when you don’t feel that way, is infidelity. Because guys only do that for one reason, and that’s to bang other chicks.)

So that’s his reaction to your past. What do you think is going to happen when an ACTUAL problem comes up in your relationship? What makes you think that any of this will ever get better? It won’t. He won’t. You only have one life to live, and you are wasting it with this person who will never change.
4 years 2 weeks ago #90070

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Replied by gettingbetter on topic I lied about my past with other men; need help

It’s always best to be completely honest. 
2 years 4 months ago #92730

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Replied by Ithappenedtome on topic I lied about my past with other men; need help

As I started reading your post, I was going to reflect on my own situation as it pertains to something that popped up out of my wife's past, and I was going to point out that, for now, allowing him access to your accounts / phone etc might be a good idea.

Once I went deeper into your post however, it became evident that you need to get out of there pronto. This is no longer about anything in your past. This became about him having power over you and making you feel bad. It became about him being able to treat you like trash and get away with it.

Should you have told the truth from the beginning? Absolutely. Should what you may or may not have done in the past be an excuse for him to be abusive? Absolutely not. You need to seriously evaluate whether being around this guy is going to make things worse for you. You made a mistake, but not one that makes it ok for someone to be abusive.
2 years 4 months ago #92741

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