He Lies, She Hurts
Q: I've been dating this guy for a while. When he gets mad at me, he says he's seeing someone else and then he denies it. He's lied to me twice. He said his female roommate was just a friend, but I find out she's his ex! He's hurt me a lot emotionally. I'm lost. Please help! -- Sandy, 26
Dr. Susan: Both of these types of lies your boyfriend has told you are serious ones. When he is angry at you, he uses emotional blackmail to get you to toe the line. By threatening to withhold his affection, by coming right out and saying he's seeing someone else, he knows he is messing with your mind. When someone does that, it's nearly impossible to trust them or to know what the real truth is. Also, by not telling you about his history with his roommate, he's trying to fool you into trusting him. But trust doesn't work that way. Quite the opposite! I'm not hearing any good reason for you to continue to allow him to hurt you. You've had fair warning. If he doesn't change his dishonest and manipulative ways, why stick around?
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.