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I lied to my boyfriend and now he won’t forgive me.

T

Tricky

So a few days ago, my partner and I were looking at pictures on my phone. I don’t mind because I really don’t have anything to hide on my phone, I even showed him my hidden folder where I had some n*des saved. He was looking through them and then asked me if I had sent any of my exes n*des. I got caught so off guard, I didn’t know what to say. So I lied. I was so afraid of his reaction and what he would think of me. Personally when I look back at my past, I feel disgust and wish I could erase it all. I lied really well and kept pushing the narrative that I had never done it. I even swore on Gods name. He became quite distant after that and I kept on asking him what was up. He later told me that he doesn’t believe me and then for the second time I lied again. I started feeling super guilty, and I was contemplating telling him the truth. I don’t lie in our relationship so it felt like I was carrying this huge weight on my chest. I decided to confess to him that I did lie and he became super angry. He said I had betrayed him by lying and that I ruined our relationship. He said that he deserves so much better and I’ve broken his trust. This all had happened in the span of one day. He has told me that I only have 3 chances and this was strike one and if I did two more things wrong, then I’m out. It made me feel really bad because I thought relationships were where you work through your problems and try and stick together no matter what. I haven’t been in many relationships and they haven’t lasted very long either so I’m not sure about what to do here.

Can someone please explain why he feels this way and what I can do to help things get better?
 
I only have 3 chances and this was strike one and if I did two more things wrong, then I’m out.
That’s an impossible standard. We all make mistakes. That’s being human. A person who is unwilling to accept fault from their partner has some issues to work through of their own.
Can someone please explain why he feels this way and what I can do to help things get better?
Have you tried talking to him about the feelings that were going on for you (fear, shame and vulnerability are not easy things to navigate). Is he able to validate what you were experiencing internally, even if the behaviour was something he can’t tolerate?

Because, there will be times when those feelings may come up again.

We all make mistakes. For example, adolescents is very often one long string of mistakes. We aren’t measured by the mistakes we make, but the way we learn from them.
 
That’s an impossible standard. We all make mistakes. That’s being human. A person who is unwilling to accept fault from their partner has some issues to work through of their own.

Have you tried talking to him about the feelings that were going on for you (fear, shame and vulnerability are not easy things to navigate). Is he able to validate what you were experiencing internally, even if the behaviour was something he can’t tolerate?

Because, there will be times when those feelings may come up again.

We all make mistakes. For example, adolescents is very often one long string of mistakes. We aren’t measured by the mistakes we make, but the way we learn from them.
I’ve told him why I did it and he just said that it sounds like I’m justifying my actions. I’ve apologised multiple times and he said that it doesn’t sound like I’m actually sorry. I’m so confused by his response to me lying. I’ve tried looking at it from his point of view but I wouldn’t react the way he reacted. No matter what I say, he reiterates that I don’t sound genuine and I will never understand what his betrayal feels like.

I feel like there might be some underlying issues with him and lies, maybe something that happened in the past? But he hasn’t said anything to me about it. And every time I try to talk to him about the situation he tells me he’s busy or he has had a long day and doesn’t want to waste his time
 
Do you or your boyfriend have PTSD? If he has PTSD, that may be a possible explanation for why he has unreasonable trust standards. That's his issue to deal with in therapy tho, and it shouldn't be your issue or something for you to feel bad about. You need to have firm boundaries for yourself too. If he makes ultimatums like "3 strikes and you're out" I'd think about whether that's the kind of relationship you want. Maybe you need to think about what standards are healthy for you to have regarding his behaviour, too.
 
He has told me that I only have 3 chances and this was strike one and if I did two more things wrong, then I’m out.
This is nonsense. If I were you, I'd get out now. I know it's often easier said than done, and the internet loves to throw that out as advice. So feel free to ignore me, and you don't have to justify anything to me. But that type of comment is a dealbreaker for me, and I just wanted to expose you to that perspective because it's worthwhile for you to really consider what you want out of your relationships with others.

If he can't be kind (and this type of "boundary" is very uncharitable), and expects you to constantly appease him to avoid "doing two more things wrong," that's a ridiculous standard and you don't need to subject yourself to that. People lie when put on the spot sometimes. You admitted to it almost immediately. And it sounds like he is a jealous person, since that's the first thing he demanded to know when going through your phone.

Personally, that's a hard boundary of mine anyway. I don't let anyone go through my phone, and I'm not even in a relationship. That didn't change when I was in one. You are entitled to privacy. I'm going to estimate that you lied because you were put on the spot and feared his reaction. That's something you'll have to work on for yourself, but you deserve someone who can treat you with compassion when you stumble.
 
If I could go back in time in my own life? I would have noticed my own relationship’s red flags 🚩.

To me (now) this is a threat. It is a type of control tactic. His way or the highway. Unfortunately, the chances of this changing are almost zero. Who is to say he won’t change it from just “things“ wrong to 3 chances for each individual ‘thing’ you do ‘wrong’? You are not a child. You are equals. If he thinks he has a right to punish you? That is not ok.

If you think you know him well enough, imagine what his reaction would be if the roles were reversed. What if it was you giving him 3 chances? Would he be feeling like you are right now? Or would he become very angry and leave?

Then there is you. Would you ever do/say that to anyone? Friend, mom, dad, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, etc? Would you feel it was perfectly acceptable to do/say the same thing to him? Or would you be uncomfortable feeling it was wrong? If it is feels wrong for you to do it, then it is wrong for anyone to do it to you.

He said I had betrayed him by lying and that I ruined our relationship.
It is never only one person’s fault completely and entirely.

He said that he deserves so much better and I’ve broken his trust.
Back at him… You deserve better. You may have broken it by lying but he broke yours by threatening you.

Can someone please explain why he feels this way and what I can do to help things get better?

Let’s look a little deeper… Why did he care if you sent them to ex’s before him? Does he know/care you may have slept with any of them? Because if you did then logically you would have sent them pictures as a default in the relationship you had with them at that time. Just like you let him see. Duh!

Him asking was a dumbass, entirely unnecessary question he most likely already knew/guessed the answer to and was jealous. The anger is not just about the lie IMO, and guilt tripping you for lying is a lie or at least not entirely honest. To me is mad they have privately known you just as he has, this doesn’t make him feel special. It is one thing for him to feel that way, entirely different ballgame when he acts on it and takes it out on you… in words or deeds.

Don’t try to make him feel better. If you have already apologized for lying, do not apologize again. You already tried to make it better… now express how that makes you feel and leave the ball in his court.

Sure, you can talk to him. But in that talk you need to express that you do not accept his “3 chances rule”. If he doesn’t like it? Honey, that is completely, thoroughly, and absolutely his problem. Not yours. If you guys do break up? Not on you. If he can’t understand how you felt and also appreciate you came clean of the lie on your own accord? Again his problem… not yours. I personally think this conversation was totally dumb of him to even bring up….

Now could I be wrong? Absolutely. Everything is based on how I feel about your statement of how things went down. Take anything you feel is helpful and leave the rest.
 
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Why is he asking if you sent nudes to ex’s anyways? seems a shaming question.

Apologising for lieing and explaining why you did, should be enough.

his “three strikes and you’re out” is a very emotionally underdeveloped and rigid response. How old is he? He is either very young and doesn’t understand people and relationships. Or he is controlling and emotionally immature.
 
I’ve apologised multiple times and he said that it doesn’t sound like I’m actually sorry.
It only matters if you know you are being honest and genuine. If he can’t accept it.. his problem, not yours.

I’m so confused by his response to me lying. I’ve tried looking at it from his point of view but I wouldn’t react the way he reacted.
If you have tried to be open minded and it still feels wrong, then it isn’t your issue. It is something to consider if you want to deal with this again. If it happens once it can, and most likely will, happen again.

And every time I try to talk to him about the situation he tells me he’s busy or he has had a long day and doesn’t want to waste his time.
If he doesn’t want to talk, that is his prerogative, but if you find equal communication is important for you then you need find someone who shares your values and ideals, especially when it comes to communication compatibility. It is ok to be hurt, upset etc about this, but it is also ok to find someone else.
 
Can someone please explain why he feels this way and what I can do to help things get better?
Because of this?
So I lied.

He said I had betrayed him by lying
He's right. Some people can work and talk through the lies others tell, while others can't. Personally, if a partner lied to me about something that was important to me (and then lied again), he'd be gone. Because for me, trust in the other is essential, and lies betray trust. I mean, if you'd lie about one thing, what else would you lie about?
 
I dated someone a while back and I applied the three strike rule. However, I didn't tell him about it. That would be controlling and icky. It was just something I took note of.

I ended up only giving 2 strikes because he did the same thing twice.

Trust is hard earned with ptsd partners. Once it's lost it's almost impossible to repair.
 
Trust is really hard with PTSD. My ex with CPTSD didn't trust me and told me repeatedly. I've never ever lied to him, but he always doubted me and asked "Are you sure?" He asked me whether I had slept with anyone else (no), if I had gone out on dates with other guys (no). If I did something to upset him and apologized, he would say he didn't believe I was sorry.

If you lied, even if it's just in a panic, I can see why he reacted so badly. However, telling you that three strikes and you're out is controlling. My ex said to me "You are one button push away from me completely deleting you from my life." The button push that tipped him over the edge was me not inviting him over to my place because I hadn't cleaned in 2 weeks due to deadlines, commitments and (get this) taking care of him after his surgery. I was too embarrassed for him to see the mess and the dishes and the clothes and the unswept floor... but his trust in me was so fragile that he said I was hiding something from him (another man?).

I'm sorry you're going through this. Everyone makes mistakes, and acknowledging it is admirable. Lack of trust in PTSD relationships? It's tough.
 
The button push that tipped him over the edge was
I've been in a relationship like this and these ppl are great at making you feel like YOU set off their "button push".

You do realise tho that if you'd said yes in this case, he'd have just found another/ next issue to be the "button push" issue? You're stuck in a no-win and he's LOOKING for reasons to say no. It's a (shitty) game and you're playing into it without realising, imo.
 
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