Mind Games/My boyfriend lied to me
I have been with my boyfriend for 17 months. Everything has been wonderful and I really love him and want to be with him forever. He has always treated me right and I would never think he was cheating because I am with him every day. However, a few days ago something happened. I was using his phone to send an email and in his inbox I saw an email from facebook regarding a profile he made. I went to the profile and it was a fake name. I actually had to finish making the profile to see it all but there were no pictures or friends or anything. I asked him why he made it and he told me he lied 4 times about it then he finally told me he made it to see if a girl from his past had blocked him. Why would he care? We have been together 17 months and he is still wondering about her. She's not an ex but I'm guessing they used to flirt. He told me her name and she went to his high school and they aren't friends on facebook so that makes sense. But I worry that a part of that story isn't true. He told me he doesn't have feeling for her and he did it out of curiosity. It just doesn't make sense to me why he would do that. What should I do?
Being deceived is a pretty tough thing to deal with. While it may not be tangible, like money, giving someone our trust is something we expect to be treated with respect and care. When it is violated, it can seriously throw us for a loop; how do we trust the person again? Can we? Should we? Why would they violate it in the first place? It makes us question just how much we really know about this person we are intimate with.
You are talking about his deception, but I think the primary issue here is with him and his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. I may be wrong here, but I doubt you would be so confused and distraught if he had lied to you about, for example, his relationship with another guy friend or his mom.
The first thing I think you need to consider is whether or not you can accept that he still maintains a relationship with his ex. Even if you could trust him again, even if you could understand why he would do such a thing, can you accept that he still, apparently, wants to maintain a relationship with his ex? If not, then the trust issue becomes irrelevant; this relationship can't last. If you can, then the trust issue becomes very important.
I think, ironically, a lot of people lie to themselves about how they will deal with betrayal. Some people believe it is unforgivable, until it happens to them and they find a way to forgive it. Others think they can get over it but wind up bearing grudges that last years, even decades. The most important thing to do is make an honest assessment: Can you forgive him and fully trust him again and, if so, what will it take? If you cannot, or even if you just don't know, then you need some space, and possibly redefine this relationship. Believing that you can trust him again may help you abate loneliness and sadness for a little while, but the resentment you hold on to will grow steadily until you begin to project it onto him, and this is not the way to maintain a healthy, happy relationship.
Remember: you did nothing wrong, YOU were betrayed. While this doesn't mean that you have the right to betray him back, of course, you certainly have the right to take some time for yourself or do whatever else you need to do to figure this situation out and decide what is best for you.
As for why he did this, I'll be honest: I can't think of any other reason than petty selfishness. I'm not trying to say he's a bad person, but if he had respected the relationship more I believe he would have taken the risk and been honest with you from the start, or refrained from contacting her altogether. There's obviously no benefit to YOU for him to do such a thing, much less to keep it from you. It seems that either he has not grown up or matured enough to realize the degree of compromise an honest relationship requires and/or that he must let go of some parts of his past to make way for his future. He either needs to find closure on this part of his past WITHOUT DRAGGING YOU INTO IT or learn how to be capable of being interdependent, rather than independent.
Anyway, I hope that cleared some things up for you, and I hope - and feel very certain - that this will work itself out in the end. Take care!