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Dear Bossip,

So, I’ve been in a relationship for the past 3 ½ years with a man that is 25 years old and I am 28 years old.

We started out as friends and then one night he stayed the night and basically never left. We moved in together. During this time we’ve overcome a lot of tough times together that would normally rip people apart. From financial hardships to one year of long distance living. And, since we’re both attractive people other parties try to interfere on both sides.

Currently, we are in the best place we have ever been financially. We have a beautiful home in Chicago, money in the bank, and good jobs. My boyfriend also helps financially and provides for my son from a previous marriage, as well as helps babysit if my work schedule gets crazy. He is a good man in a lot of ways.

So, here is where the problem lies: In November I discovered that he has carried on a “friendship” with his ex-girlfriend (he left her for me) throughout our entire relationship. And, he spent his birthday in New York with her (she lives in Manhattan, but he did stay in a hotel by himself and did visit other friends). In the beginning of our relationship, this would have been a deal breaker, until I actually met with the ex and she promised and confirmed there was really never a sexual relationship and that they just grew up together and are strictly platonic now. Which is believable, she is a very conservative feminist, although I wouldn’t put it past anyone. She doesn’t seem like the type to interfere with a relationship for her own self-respect.

However, I’m still very hurt that he would be willing to lie to me, not invite me to New York, and push back the birthday plans I had made for him. He has since apologized and blocked her from calling or texting. I just felt that the fact that he lied to me over this was a red flag. I told him I was no longer accepting their relationship.

It has been about three months and I’m still having trust issues with him. He has other female friends whom he’s known before me, and, for some reason always want to just hang out with him when they’re in the city. I guess I just feel left out and suspicious. I have never caught him cheating or exchanging sexual texts or making plans (I’m psycho enough to have signed into his imessage from my phone for a month until he found out).

I just want to make things better between us and move forward and be stronger than ever. But, I can’t get past the hurt from his birthday. I’ve been working really hard on not bringing up the past, but the fact that he keeps other females around and although I’ve met them and their boyfriends, I’m not invited. Do I forgive but not forget? Do I just trust his “friendships” with women even though they seem to have no interest in befriending me? Should I keep quiet since he is there for my son and I? – On The Sidelines

Dear Ms. On The Sidelines,

Chile, no ma’am! I’ll be damned if my partner tells me to cancel their birthday plans I made for them, and then they travel to another state without inviting me, and then I learn they hung out with their ex for their birthday. They will have hell to pay!

Clearly your relationship has trust issues, and the dishonesty is floating all throughout it. Honey, it is the center of your relationship, and, yet, you won’t even recognize it, or acknowledge why it is sitting perched in the center between you and your boyfriend.

Whew! Girl, I’m going to give you one possible scenario of what’s going on, and then I will explain another. But, first, I suspect that his friends, and the women who are his friends do not want you around is because they probably feel you broke up him and his ex, and you are the evil vile woman who came in between him and his ex. They were probably friends with her, and loved them as a couple, and then he cheated with you, left her for you, and they are feeling some type of way about it. They don’t want to get to know you because they feel you are a horrible and conniving woman. So, instead of inviting you to come along, he leaves you at home. He knows the animosity they have for you, but he is too afraid to tell you the truth because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings. Hell, they probably feel he dated down, and you were a step backward, and you’re not good enough for him. Who knows what’s going on, and why he doesn’t bring you along, but I am pretty sure that this is partially the reason, or the full reason. Besides, you don’t know what he told them, and what conversations they have had about you behind your back. But, that is one of my speculations. I could be wrong.

Now, on the other hand, he has multiple female friends. Really?!?! Multiple female friends he knew before you, but, they are just “friends?” Uhm, no ma’am, nip that –ish right now. A man keeping and maintaining friendships with that many women, something is not right. And, he never invites you to hang out with them? Uhm, what is he hiding? Something is not settling about this. How would he feel if you kept male friends around, and you were going out and hanging with these male friends without him? I’m sure he wouldn’t like it or appreciate it. So, why is he keeping his female friends? Don’t be naïve and stupid. He needs to either end these relationships, or you become an invited guest every time he goes out with them.

On the other other hand, your man is a liar. He is deceptive. He kept his relationship with his ex from you for 3 ½ years. Ma’am, he kept that secret from you for that long, the entire time you have been together, so, I’m sure if he was able to keep that from you, then, he is an expert cheater, and knows how to cover his tracks. Think about it, he went to New York for his birthday, canceled his plans with you, left you at home, and went and hung out with his ex. (Giving you the side eye). Why did he lie to you, make you cancel your birthday plans for him, and he didn’t tell you about his trip to New York or who he was going to see? Your man is the problem. He is not to be trusted. Sneaky is as sneaky does. You believe all you want that he slept in a hotel alone. And, you may be right that he didn’t sleep with his ex, but some other woman could have been comfy cozy in his bed! Don’t sleep, boo boo.

I don’t put anything past anyone. I don’t care if his ex-girlfriend is a conservative feminist who would not allow herself to be objectified due to her self-respect. Chile, turn a blind eye if you want to. Some feminists still need d**k, and especially some good and familiar d**k. Don’t get it twisted. Trust no one!

So, get to the root of your issue and problem around trust and dishonesty – YOUR BOYFRIEND. Why did he lie to you about his trip to New York? Why did he not tell you that he has been keeping in contact with his ex for all these years? What secrets is he holding? Why does he leave you at home while he hangs out with his female friends? Why does he feel it’s okay to have female friends? Is there something he is not telling you that you should know, and why is he holding it back from you?

Before you commit to another month, week, or day with your boyfriend, you and he have to sit down and discuss his lies, lying, and deception. You explain to him how it makes you uncomfortable that he has lied to you, and carried on a relationship with his ex for your entire relationship. You need to get to the root of his lies, and deception. Seriously, ma’am, if he left his ex-girlfriend for you, then what is it to prevent him from doing the same thing to you? If he was cheating on her with you, then why wouldn’t he cheat on you with another woman? You can sit up there and claim you have this great relationship and you’re in a good place, and he cares for your son, and you live together and are building this solid relationship. However, he has kept it a secret from you for your entire relationship about his friendship with his ex. Then, he made you cancel your birthday plans for him, he flew to New York and hung out with her for his birthday, and didn’t even tell you about it, nor, did he invite you. (Still giving you the side eye).

Sneaky is as sneaky does.

He has other secrets he is keeping from you. He also is lying about his relationship with other females. And, he is not telling you why he doesn’t invite you out with him and his friends. There is something going on, and you have and are being played. Stop lying to yourself, and giving him that much autonomy and freedom in your relationship. You can GPS tract him on his phone all you want, but, he is one step ahead of you. And, that is obviously and plainly clear.

So, you share with him how it makes you uncomfortable that he maintains and carries on relationships with other females, and he hangs out with them and doesn’t include you. Ask him why? Why doesn’t he include you in the activities, and leaves you out? What discussions are said about you, and what has he told them about you? Let him know that he should not be entertaining other women, and having friendships with them. Yes, he will have to choose between you and them. And, if you listen to him, watch his actions, and how his body shifts while you are discussing this with him, then you will get your answer. – Terrance Dean

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Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15); Hiding In Hip Hop (Atria Books – June 2008); and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!


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