DEAR HARRIETTE: How can you tell if someone is telling the truth?
I am in a relationship where I believe my boyfriend is continually lying to me about everything, including dumb stuff. He denies that he is lying every time I question him. As I consider whether he is telling me the truth, I wonder if I am losing my mind. For instance, he'll say he’s going to meet me, but he doesn’t show up and doesn’t call; I can’t believe that there is always a family crisis. After a while, I feel like he’s blowing me off. That’s when he goes in hard, telling me that I don’t trust him and I should be more thoughtful because he is going through a lot. I can’t see what he’s going through, though. It seems like smoke and mirrors. Every now and then, he will trot out somebody who corroborates his story, which makes me question my instincts.
I’m not sure what to do. I can’t prove my suspicions, but I don’t feel like I can trust him now, which is a major problem. -- Regaining Trust
DEAR REGAINING TRUST: Ask yourself what type of relationship you want and deserve. Does it feature doubt, mistrust, disappearances and random proof of corroboration? Seriously, think about what you have been accepting. Is this what you want for your life? If not, stop accepting it. Whether or not he is telling the truth, if you feel uncomfortable, shaken and lied to, that counts for something.
You need to decide what quality of life you want to experience. Then evaluate whether your boyfriend is living up to your baseline for that life. If not, you don’t need to have proof of anything other than what you already know -- he does not live up to your standards. Then you have to muster the courage to walk away.