QUESTION: Hi Laura,
First I'd like to explain why I have no peace. I met a man 4 years ago and fell deeply in love with him. I later found out he was married, engaged to another woman and had several other women he was seeing. I ended the relationship but he manipulated me into believing all his lies about why and how things came to pass in his situations. His ex wife did confirm some of his story as to why he cheated for so many years but the rest are probably lies. He got divorced, broke things off with the fiance and exited the other relationships as well. He had my name tattooed on his chest, asked me to marry him and we have a wedding date planned for July 12 of this year (a few weeks from now). Things have been really great between us and he has promised that his past is all in the past and he wants only me with a life as we have talked about and dreamed of. He swears he is a changed man. I have accepted it, believed it and have been quite happy with our new life, until last night. I was sitting on the sofa when his phone went off and we were looking at his notification settings to turn off a game update when I saw a app on his phone called, HUSHED. I asked him what it was and he said it was used to block telemarketers. I looked in the app store today and see it's a private numbers and text app to use different numbers without giving out your real number. I confronted him about it and he showed me that it had never been used or opened but it still bothers me as to why he really sought this hidden app out and downloaded it to his phone. He didn't use it but for some reason it's there so he had to think about or plan to use it. I feel so sick inside and wonder if his old pattern of living is still there and he's just done a much better job of hiding it for the past year. Please help.
ANSWER: Hi Jamie,
You tell me the story without asking any particular question, so I am unsure of where to start. I can say this though. DO NOT MARRY THIS MAN.
I am sure I am not saying anything you haven't thought. You describe him as "manipulating" you into believing his lies. You describe a story that is horrifying to anyone who believes in honesty, fidelity, and integrity. And now you have caught him, yet again, in a lie that appears to show that he's ready to start his old patterns again. I am not sure what you want me to say, so I will just ask you to really look at what you've written and ask yourself what would you say to someone in your situation? Honestly.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
The ball is in your court.
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QUESTION: I guess my question is this:
Do men really change? Am I being unrealistic and just looking for red flags and signs because of his past? He often says I never acknowledge the changes he has made and won't let go of the past, although I feel I have. Can trust ever truly be restored once broken so many times? Am I crazy to want to believe he is being real this time?
Yes, anyone can change. We see examples of that all the time; however, the most common thing that we see is past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Most people do not take the opportunity to change.
Yes, you are ignoring red flags. The best thing for you to do is ask yourself why. What do you want so badly that you are willing to accept mistrust, lies, and doubt to get it? If this is what you want, embrace it. Fighting against it will just make you miserable. If you want a man who is trustworthy, than don't accept anything less. It doesn't seem like you can have that with this man. His past indicates that. His current behavior indicates that.
Trust CAN be restored by someone who is willing to do what it takes to make that happen. Secrets are not the way to do that. I don't think this guy is going to do that.
Yes, you are crazy to believe he's being true. He's showing you that he's not.
I think you want me to tell you to go ahead and believe in him. I cannot do that. That is not what my eyes and ears tell me. If you want to love him anyway, do that, but don't delude yourself in the process. He's shown you who he is.
If you really love him, love him for who he is and not who you want him to be. This guy is a liar and cheater.