Lying, cheating boyfriend has got to go

All Woman

Dear Counsellor,

I am 38, and an independent working mother of a 13-year-old. I was single for eight years until I got involved with someone. The relationship is only 20 months old and it's taking a toll on me. I now realise that this man has been lying and cheating on me from the start.

I have been nothing but loyal, respectful, supportive and honest with this man. We decided to live together as we planned to do business together. One day I wanted to make a phone call and decided to use his phone. There was a message from a woman. When I confronted him, he admitted that they had been involved and it was over, so I should give him a chance. But I have been nothing but a fool because this woman put a picture of them as a couple as her WhatsApp profile, and I brought it to his attention. I accepted that this woman just wanted to get at us, but I am seeing where he is still reaching out to her.

To make matters worse, there is another woman whom he calls often in the days when I am at work. One night be came home and was in the bathroom when the phone rang. I answered and it was woman number two whom he had texted to inform her that he was now home and so she should wait until the next day to contact him. But she just kept calling and texting the phone continuously.

Now he has started sleeping out at least four times per week and lies when he gets home early in the morning. During this ordeal I found out that I was pregnant and stayed with him because I didn't want to be a single mom again. I had a miscarriage and even when I was being taken to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning he wasn't there to take me.

We talked about his behaviour, but one week it will seem like he is making a change, and the next week he does the same thing again. Each time he tells me that he loves me and that it's me he wants to settle with, but it seems he doesn't know what he wants.

I am so used to his behaviour and lies that I just laugh to myself. He says he wants to see a counsellor, but I don't care. Every time I decide to end this relationship he plays the victim. I have convinced myself to walk away from this manipulator and go back to the days when it was just me and my child. He has hurt me so much that I can't even cry anymore. He blames stress and frustration for what he does. I don't have any forgiveness left in me for him. He has abused me emotionally and mentally and I just can't take it anymore. Please advise.

It is very interesting how glibly people use the word “love” without considering the implications. I just need to remind you what the good book says about love in 1 Corinthians 13 v 4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

There is nothing there that says love continuously hurts others emotionally or otherwise. So when your partner tells you he loves you, he needs to consider what he is saying. His words must match up with his actions. He can't be saying he loves you and continues to do things that he knows hurts you. That is dishonour and disrespect and should not be used in the same sentence as love.

Having said that, let's look more closely at your situation. So you had been managing without a partner for eight years and decided to open your heart to let in a gentleman, or maybe I should say a man. After 20 months you are contemplating going back to single city as couple's highway is much too stressful.

It's just a pity that some men make it so bad for other men. There are women like you who refuse to make themselves available to good men as they feel that they will be treated unkindly. Women like you will have to be able to distinguish between those who are genuine and those who are wolves in sheep's clothing, but that is for another discussion.

There is an old Jamaican proverb that says, “Tek sleep and mark death”, which simply means one must pay attention to the little things that will eventually escalate with time if not addressed urgently. So here it is Mr Mention has been accommodating other women who feel it's OK to call/text him morning, noon and night. What has these women been told for them to feel they have free access to him? Do they also get the “I love you, and want to be with you” line as well?

As you are aware, some women don't have to get that line as they will settle with the “I want you sexually” line only. You could be right, too, one of them could be trying to dethrone you and take your number one spot and will make an enticing offer that some men can't resist.

Sleeping out is definitely a red flag that you should not ignore and the “work late” line does not carry much weight anymore. And by the way, lying and cheating are inseparable twins — you don't see one without the other. Unless his job is one where he works the graveyard shift as a part of the work schedule, a regular nine to five person would have no reason to be walking into his house in the wee hours of the morning.

It does seem that you have enough to make a decision about your life. You must decide if the emotional and mental stress you are experiencing is worth your while. Are you less happy now than when you were single? This should also be a word of caution to women who madly want to leave single city. Sometimes “couples' highway” can make your life miserable, especially if you make a choice out of desperation.

As you contemplate your next move, consider what message you are sending to your child about what to accept in a relationship. The child is no doubt seeing how unhappy you are and will form their own opinions about relationships.

Do what is in your best interest as your mental and emotional health are paramount.

Wayne Powell is a relationship counsellor. Write to agapemft@gmail.com or powellw@seekingshalom.org . Check out his work on w ww.seekingshalom.org and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/MFTCounselor/ .

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