Yup, he was lying; now what?

OK, it’s been a long time since I posted anything in this forum, and I’ve never posted anything quite so personal before… but I could really use some feedback now.

Earlier this year, I decided to end a 9-year relationship for a bunch of reasons, but largely because it felt like we were going nowhere & had been for a while. The ex and I had a long discussion, made an amicable break, and still talk to each other every few weeks or so.

After the breakup, I went traveling on business, and was away from home for a while. I met Mr. X while away, and we really hit it off well. We kept in touch after I got home, and started to talk about really getting a relationship underway once it became clear that he was going to be moving to here to NYC. I wasn’t expecting him to blossom into the new love of my life, but I’ll admit that as time went by I found myself looking more and more forward to his arrival here, and I was hopeful for a cheerful break from the depressing condition I’d been in with the ex.

Finally he gets here, and for the first couple of months, everything is great. Quite suddenly, though, over the span of about ten days, I could tell that something was not quite right. A week ago I did finally ask him what was up, and he told me, that with great regret on his part, he didn’t see any way that he would be able to be more than just friends with me. I don’t want to get into a ton of details here, but essentially it had to do with a family obligation (which he had previously discussed with me an a bunch of occasions) requiring too much of his time and energy for the foreseeable future.

By now, y’all are saying, “Jesus, didn’t she see this one coming from a mile away?” The answer is no, I didn’t. (Call me a sucker when it comes to taking people at their word, but it’s just too debilitating for me to be suspicious of everyone that crosses my path.) A couple of days ago, my boss (who is also a good friend) noticed my less-than-cheerful state and dragged me out for a few beers to find out what was wrong. I gave him the above story, fleshed out with all the details. I added that I thought Mr. X seemed to be genuinely bothered by the situation himself, which was why I believed his story.

My boss/friend looked at me with great pity and said, “Nope, he’s bullshitting you. It’s a guy thing. He may actually feel sorry that he’s upset you, but he’s basically fed you a line of bull, and I would walk away from him and not look back. If he didn’t need you for anything right now, you wouldn’t even be hearing from him anymore.”

Now, it’s true that I have been helping get in touch with a few colleagues of mine, as a favor. And although my boss/friend’s commentary stung enough to make me wonder about Mr. X’s motives, I agreed to meet Mr. X yesterday anyway (in a cafe) to discuss a few things. While we were there, he borrowed my laptop to check some info that had been emailed to him before, and it so happened that he just closed the window instead of logging out of his email account. I didn’t realize this until after I got home.

I’m not real proud of what I did next… but yes, while I was able to access his inbox, I had a good look around. There were some from a few of his guy friends, asking about me and about how our relationship was going (on the order of, “gee, I hope all is going well with you two”); a response to a personal ad that he’d placed about a week after arriving here; and an acknowledgment of his signing up with an internet dating service the day before he told me we couldn’t continue as a couple. In short, it seemed that my boss/friend was right, and Mr. X was indeed not being honest with me, but apparently his own friends were not even aware of it.

Now, finally, to the IMHO part of this long-winded post: Do I let him know that I know he lied? Or do I just walk away, without saying a word? Part of me is angry enough to want to really let him have it (verbally, not physically), but part of me is just feeling low enough (i.e., stupid enough) to just want to crawl into a corner and hide for a while. :frowning:

Thoughts? Comments?

I would advise you to treat him the way you would wish him to treat you if he found out you accessed his email.


My view on romantic relationships is that, like it or not, either person has an absolute right to leave the relationship at any time. This is not to say that people shouldn’t make serious efforts to keep together if a long-term relationship is going through a rough patch. However, if either person wants out, ultimately he or she will get out, and there’s nothing the other person can do about it. To try to force someone to stay in a relationship is simply cruel to both people.

That being said, it seems like he decided – for whatever reason, good, bad or indifferent – that he didn’t want to stay in the relationship. He made up a story as to why he couldn’t continue (and the story may not have been entirely false, even if it did not tell the whole story). Whether he made up the story to make it easy on himself or to attempt to spare you pain or some other reason is irrelevant.

The thing to do is just drop it. Bringing it up won’t help you get back together (indeed, just the opposite), nor will it help you get over the real hurt of being dumped.

I hate it when people lie to me too, but the relationship is over. There’s just no point in it.

I met a guy and we dated for a couple of months. Something wasn’t ringing true on his age. His memories, taste in music, etc. would be from someone older than he said he was. One night, he left me in his car to go into the store and I went through his console. There’s his driver’s license and he is a whopping eight years older than he said he was. I was twenty and he was not twenty-eight, he was thirty-six.

I was pissed and told him what I had found. I kept seeing him and the lies just kept getting bigger all the time. I couldn’t keep carrying on a relationship when I couldn’t even believe him when he told me what he had for lunch.

I wouldn’t waste any more time or emotion on this guy. I’d just be glad if he doesn’t turn up again.

I always ask myself, what’s the ROI? I see none here. It won’t make you feel better. Give it up, forget about him and move on.

It depends. If you think that you are not going to see him again, you might want to let him have it. On the other hand, if you wish to depart on friendly terms, let it slide…

What you did was wrong. You know that. But there is no real reason to tell him that you checked his email. He lied, but you acted dishonestly too.

There is really no sense in “letting him have it.” What good would it do? Just walk away. That way, if and when you ever meet him or his friends again, you’re just the guy’s ex, rather than the psycho sneak who checked his email and then went ballistic on him.

I’d just walk away. Stop introducing him to your colleagues, and if any of them should ask about him, just say “I wouldn’t know.” If this jerk asks why you aren’t having any contact with him, tell him you’re not interested in being friends.

Don’t under any circumstances tell him or anyone else what you found in his e-mail. Reading it doesn’t exactly show you in the most complimentary light. If you never tell him you’ve read his personal correspondance, he never gets a chance to put a spin on either his behavior or yours.

He decided that you and he weren t going anywhere (like you did with your ex) and told you a white lie so as not to piss you off and hurt your feelings. His crime seems to be not telling you in a straightforward and frank fashion that he found you not to his taste as a romantic SO, which as well all know works wonderfully in promoting civil post-relationship friendships.

People often make noises about desiring absolutely frank honesty in personal relationships, but when they get it, the poo hits the fan. Many honest, caring and responsible people have learned through bitter, real world experience that being absolutely frank with a person about why you are breaking off a relationship is often a recipe for a scorched earth response that lasts long after the relationship is over. In some ways the way he broke it off with you might even be considered kind, as it mitigates the emotional impact of a direct rejection of you as a potential SO by blaming it on external circumstances.

If you are uncomfortable dealing with him socially and/or professionally (re the intros) break it off, but don’t stew over it and feel that you have to “call him out”, it’s a waste of emotional energy and what would it get you anyway, a self-esteem enhancing laundry list of why your bowl of oatmeal wasn’t to his taste? Move on, it’s not worth the turmoil.

I agree with most others,walk and keep your thoughts to yourself.

What were his options? 1. Make up a story like he did. 2. Tell you straight out he found you boring/unattractive/weird/uninspiring/whatever (in other words, insult you to your face).

If I were on the receiving end (and I have been in just about every relationship I’ve been in), I’d much prefer option 1.

Yeah, this seems like a very benign lie that was intended to hurt you less. If he’s not into you, he’s not into you, and he probably thought that giving it a better-sounding depersonalizing reason than “I dunno. . . I’m just not really into you anymore” was nicer.

I think your ability to call him on the fact that he lied is completely trashed by the fact that you got the information from reading his email without permission.

If I had been broken up with, and I got accidental access to the guy’s account, and found out he’d been lying…I would be soooooooo temped to call him and let him know that I knew what a blivet he had been…but I wouldn’t do it. “How do you know I did that?” “I uhhh…IT DOESN’T MATTER! I have the moral high ground because my feelings were hurt!”

Nuh uh.

I guess you could say he’s bullshiiteing you but I don’t see why it has to be “you lied to me” based on the post. His “reason” had something to do with “family obligations” which is an awfully broad area and in any event his breaking up with you was probably something that he’d pondered for a time and setting up an account with a dating service, etc., are normal moves for someone that anticipates being single. I’m sorry. Its not your fault. Some things just don’t work out. YOU’RE FREE, FREE I SAY!!

I’m sorry, on a scale of 1 to 10, this lie rates maybe 1.5… just above pretending to like your mother-in-law’s mashed potatoes. For whatever reason, he didn’t want a relationship with you, perhaps he DOES want to still be friends, it happens, you know. You guys were going out for only 2 months, and he got up the courage to say he didn’t want to continue the relationship. Sure, he fabricated the reason, but the reason would be irrelevant anyway, the fact he doesn’t want a relationship is what is important.

You violated his privacy and didn’t really find anything damning. He discussed you with his friends, which means (to me) that he was serious about having a relationship. He placed a personal as soon as he arrived, which isn’t great, but you two had hardly started going out. He joined a dating service one day before breaking up with you, not a problem IMHO, it’s not like he was dating someone while dating you, right?

If it was me breaking up with you, I might do something similar. I don’t like hurting peoples feelings and might want to be friends with you after, so I’d try to be nice about it, if not 100% “truthful”. His excuse is pretty lousy because he will suddenly find time if he meets someone else, and sets up the expectation that if his time clears up, you might then have a relationship. People do pretty stupid things sometimes when romance is involved, it doesn’t make him a jerk or a liar.

BTW, it also doesn’t make you gullible or stupid to accept his excuse. Whether or not you accept it, the relationship is over. If you like the guy as a friend, I don’t think there is any harm in being friends.

Thanks all for your comments so far. Just a few of my own, in response to some of the points raised (and now that I’ve had some sleep):

No, it’s not as if I’m going through a marriage breakup here - just about six months or so, given that part of this relationship was a long-distance deal. Having just ended things with my ex, I was not keen on getting serious again so soon - Mr. X was considerably more enthusiastic about the situation. I will admit that he is very charming, and it was pretty hard to keep the ol’ defenses up… so, yeah, I was pretty taken aback at the about-face last weekend. (If I may use a car analogy to compare the splits between my ex & me, and Mr. X and me - the former was like having the car coast to a stop after the engine died, and the latter was like driving into a brick wall while the car was still accelerating.) And I do think that he was being less than truthful by making preparations to look elsewhere while telling me how glad he was to finally be here with me, etc.

As for the family excuse… I think that Cheesesteak is closest to the mark. I know a great deal about the family obligations, have known about them almost from the beginning, and I know that there is no way that Mr. X can actually do any more about it right now (or in the foreseeable future) than he could six months ago. He may have leaned on this reason so as not to hurt my feelings, but it was a poor choice that left me scratching my head. I know some people say they want the truth & then freak when they get it, but maybe I’m just one of the few who really does want the no-bullshit answer. Yeah, sometimes it hurts to be told something unflattering, but if it’s something I can improve upon, then I’d rather know. (If it’s not, well then, the heck with it.)

It doesn’t help the situation for me that I got a lot of flak from friends when I first told them about Mr. X. You see, he came here from overseas, and happens to be of an ethnic group & religion that most of my other friends have little experience with. I heard all sorts of dire warnings about how he was only going to take advantage of me, that I was “terminally trusting,” etc. As I said, I’m not proud of having read his email, but the poor excuse, plus boss/friend’s lecture, left me wondering whether I really was that naive, and in a real moment of weakness, I looked. Mea culpa. The Man Upstairs and I will have to work this out between us.

As for I will actually do… the answer is, I’ll let it go.

He chose to end the relationship. Only after you snooped on his privacy did you find out the reasons for ending the relationship were not the same as what he said to you.

The relationship is already over. Whatever you say or do will not change that fact.

OTOH, call him on his lie?

  1. You won’t get him back if there is any intent on your part. The relationship is already over.

  2. Confirm he lied to you? Yes, you will but what will that prove? The relationship is already over.

  3. It will confirm to him that his decision to end the relationship was a good one for another reason beyond what he told you and why he really ended it - you cannot be trusted. As much empathy as he may have that he hurt you to end it will vanish in an instant. You won’t be known in his circle as the one that just didn’t work out – you will be known in his circle as “I’m glad it ended when it did because I since found out she could not be trusted.” What if in the future you find out you have mutual friends? Would you like to be known you cannot be trusted (regardless that they will never know the whole story)? What if those friends turn out to be a potential employer? A potential lover? You lose again.

  4. The relationship is already over. Move on.

Count me with the ‘drop it’ vote. Godd luck.


Sod it, I meant Good luck **Fillet[/B.]

Tonya Harding would call him on his lie. Is acting like Tonya Harding a step up or a step down for you?

That’s what I thought (after reading the intelligence and sensibility inherent to your post).

Walk on by and , Fillet, good luck.

This is going to sound corney but, you’re better off without him. He’s lied to you, when there was no reason to. It wasn’t to protect your feelings, which is what he’ll tell you if you confront him. It was to protect himself from getting bitched at.

Don’t feel guilty about checking his email. He’s an idiot for leaving it open on somebody else’s computer. Who knows, maybe he wanted you to see it, so he wouldn’t have to deal with it.