Dear Neil: My boyfriend of seven months said when we met said he was a doctor. My mother decided to see on-line where he went to school. She never found him. So she did a background report to make sure I was safe, and lo and behold, there was no information on his job, but we discovered that he is married. I confronted him about that. He said he is in a nasty divorce and it’s almost over. He said he didn’t tell me because he didn’t see the point. Two months later he tells me he isn’t a doctor and he never went to West Point like he said he had when we first dated. He now tells me that he will lie to me for the rest of my life because he can’t tell me what he does for a living (classified). What do I do?
I would love to know why he lies.
Confounded in Colorado
Dear Confounded: The problem with being in a relationship with a liar is that you never know when you are being told the truth. Is he being truthful about saying he has a classified career, or is that another lie? Even if he is being truthful about his profession (which I seriously doubt), that never excuses forgetting to tell you that he is married, or lying about having his MD degree or where he went to college.
You are in a relationship with a con—perhaps even a pathological liar. Is he in the middle of a nasty divorce, or is that a lie also? Is that divorce almost over, or it that a lie? He didn’t see the point of telling you he was in the middle of the divorce? Do you think that’s information you’re entitled to when you’re trying to decide on a relationship with someone? And what will he misrepresent or lie about next?
To be in a relationship with this man is brain damage. If you can’t trust him, you can’t afford to stay in a relationship with him.
Dear Neil: I am having really bad problems with my husband to be. We are in a five year relationship, and sometimes we’re good, but for the most part we haven’t been so good. He doesn’t know about communicating with a woman. He doesn’t know how to be romantic. He has very bad anger problems. He always looks at younger women. I was never a real jealous or negative person until I met him, but now I am angry and jealous all the time. I don’t want to leave him—I want us to make it work before I we married—but he hurts my feelings just about every day, and we have financial problems. What can I do before this goes any further? How do I get him to understand what a relationship is all about? I am 40 and he is 45.
Rocky Relationship in North Carolina
Dear Rocky Relationship: If a 45-year-old man doesn’t know how to be romantic, looks at younger women, doesn’t communicate, has an anger problem and doesn’t understand what an intimate relationship is all about, when did you think he was going to learn?
This scenario is not going to change. That means that if you choose to marry him, you choose the relationship the way it is now. If the relationship isn’t acceptable to you now, don’t marry him.
In order for this to change, he would have to be motivated to learn a different way of communicating, relating and resolving conflicts, and he would have to be interested in being close and intimate in a completely different way. And if would have to be evident by his actions, not just his words.