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How honest should you be?

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  • How honest should you be?

    My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year and a half. About six months back it was our first year anniversary, the first one ever for me. I was nervous about what kind of anniversary present to get my boyfriend as I wasn't familiar with the proper dating etiquette. So I asked him what kinda gifts he had gotten before from past girlfriends. One gift he mentioned he got was a jar of tiny paper stars from his first relationship. The item sounded familiar as I thought I'd seen something familiar at his place before. I asked him if it was the same one that I see on his shelf every time I come over and he told me no and that the one I saw was one that he made himself. I didn't think much of it at the time.

    Today I went over to his place and I thought I noticed something off about the shelf with the jar on it. So I pointed out one of the items on the shelf and then jokingly mentioned the jar of stars. I was going to tease him about making paper stars but when I asked him where he had gotten it from he said it was a gift from his ex.

    Flashing lights went off for me and I called him out for the lie from six months ago. At first he sad he didn't remember saying such a thing but after a while he said he remembered (and was surprised I didn't call him out on it earlier). At that point I was extremely upset that he had lied to me, even if it was something so small and frankly unimportant. He said that he lied to me because he didn't want to make me mad that he was keeping it since I've been insecure about his past relationships and he thought I was going to ask him to throw it away (Which I'll admit, six months ago I probably would have asked him to do so, as petty as that sounds). I asked him if the item had some sort of sentimental value to it as I just wanted to know since he felt he needed to lie to me about it. He said it didn't and that he thought it was just "pretty" and it's been sitting there so long that he had forgotten about it. He then let me toss it in the trash.

    At the moment I'm torn, I have a hard time trusting people as I've found people in my life to be unreliable. I've only more recently started being more comfortable with opening my life to my boyfriend but this little lie made me take a few steps back. I know it's not a big issue but it's really bothering me that he didn't just tell me the truth. And part of me doesn't really believe that it doesn't mean anything to him now since he had a problem with getting rid of it six months ago.

    I just want to know are little lies like these okay? Should I be less hurt/upset? I'm having a hard time convincing myself that it's not a big deal but I tend to obsess over these kinds of things.

  • I know exactly how you feel, my boyfriend has lied to me about numerous "little" things that aren't "important"... Well they ARE important, a lie is a lie, no matter what it is about.

    Some great advice I got given on this very forum was to try to appreciate what's happening in the present, and not focus so much on the lie that happened 6 months ago. The fact that your boyfriend let you throw the jar in the trash is very important, and is a huge indicator of his commitment to you. I think it's quite likely that he really did just kind of forget about the jar's origins, liked it sitting there where it had been for a long time, and just lied because he didn't want to make a big deal out of something that was not at all important.

    I keep a stuffed animal an ex of mine gave me, not for sentimental reasons or because it reminds me of my ex in some way... but because it's a cute stuffed animal that looks nice in my room.

    I think lies affect people differently, and you and I happen to be the type of person that gets really upset by them. I think for us it's important to look at the big picture, maybe analyze LESS, and try to find positives rather than harping on the negatives.

    If this is the only little wrong your boyfriend has committed, I think he deserves for you to let it go and move on.

    Also for future, if I were you I would resist asking about what kinds of gifts his exes got him. To me that shows you think of yourself as "just another girlfriend" in some long line of chicks this guy is dating. I think you need to give yourself a little bit more credit than that. No comparing yourself to his exes, okay? I'm willing to bet he doesn't, so why should you.
    Last edited by Mes T; 09-25-2011, 12:46 AM.


    • Mes T above makes some good points.

      I think we all lie about little things at some point to avoid a negative situation...it seriously depends on the taboo of the subject.
      - Anything to do with the ex is taboo!

      Question why he lied, rather than focus on the lie itself.
      - If however, the lies continue, that is when you worry.
      I am going to tell you what you don't want to hear!
      Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't


      • I looked at your other thread about a dating newbie and I think that you are highly insecure. This drives your quest to erase your bf's past as well as being concerned about being called the wrong name. It also is the reason for the lack of trust for others although being around untrustworthy people in your past may have increased your insecurity. Have you seen a professional about this? I think over time, if you have a long term relationship, it will become a factor that will trend toward breaking the relationship.

        Your bf may have had a lack of imagination when he suggested something similar to what he got in the past, but he considered it a heartfelt gift. He probably didn't want to get in a fight at that time and he still had attachment to the gifts (note: not attachment to the ex). In the time in between, he has been able to get to the point of letting go, which is why he let you throw the other gift out. By the way, I didn't quite make out the lie as he told you he had replaced the jar of stars with one he made and you were later talking about a different object on the shelf. It sounds like your insecurities are cutting off communications because of your reaction to his responses.
        I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.
        Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

        From a speech by Patrick Henry on March 23, 1775 at St. John's Church, Richmond, Virginia


        • I know this is old but wanted to give my opinion. I would not worry about that. It is not that important, and I would actually emphasize that he did tell you honestly now, and not that he lied before. You admit that 6 months earlier it would have been difficult for you, he probably perceived that. Now, he feels he can tell you. I would think he is just being careful, not that he is trying to deceive you.


          • People will sometimes lie to avoid conflict, even when they haven't done anything wrong. Keeping something to remember an ex is OK - if they were one an important part of your life, should you pretend they never existed? Not all relationships end badly, sometimes people just discover that they aren't right for each other, or have drifted apart, but that doesn't mean that they weren't an important part of each other's lives.

            In this case, when you first asked, he thought you would be upset if he told the truth about the jar of stars, so he lied - it was a spur of the moment decision to avoid conflict.

            I think its important to let your partner always feel that they can tell the truth - and this means to be careful to never get upset unless they really have done something wrong, and to only ask questions where you are willing to accept honest answers.


            • agree with the advice. Sometimes, people do things to protect themselves, not to hurt their partners or Sos. Don't think his intent was to deceive. He just wasn't sure how you would respond.

              More than a year ago, I would've had the same reaction to things but I realize, that there are things from someone's past which are important to them, which they may have difficult letting go, but that it doesn't mean they are intentionally trying to offend, avoid, or hurt their current partners with that information.


              • Lies are dangerous to any relationship. Love makes us extremely vunerable and we choose to put ourself in that position. Once we know that the other person has lied...even about something that seems "insignificant" at the time...we start wondering what else have they lied about to "avoid conflict or spare our feelings". Gifts are just that...gifts.. they are no longer the giver's but the recipient's. Various "girlfriends" have over the years given me some very nice gifts that I still use and like. But I would not lie about where I recieved them. My exwife was on a "crusade"' to eliminate anything I owned that might have been "attached" to any other woman. Her jealousy was part of the reason our marriage "failed". He shouldn't lie to you...but YOU shouldn't be getting him to throw things "out" because you are worried that they came from another woman. Mutual fouls..jump ball. Sit down with him and make it clear that he should NEVER lie to you but that YOU will not be jealous of things from women that are GONE. Lies are generally stupid because the usually (99% of the time) get discovered and kill the "trust" in a relationship. Best of luck..but you both need to talk about this and get things straight.



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