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You Asked: Is My Live-In Boyfriend Telling the Truth or Is She?

DearSugar --

So, last night two random girls decided to tell me that my live-in boyfriend of 2 years has been cheating on me the entire time we've been together. They said some awful things, and knew a lot of details. When I talked to my boyfriend he also had explanations about everything and told me that the one girl is crazy and that she stalks him. I want so badly to believe him, but my stomach is in knots and I don't want to be that stupid girl who believes anything that comes out of her boyfriend's mouth. Help please. -- Frantic Annie

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Dear Frantic Annie --

There aren't many of us who don't know that feeling you're describing, Annie: the knot in your stomach, the scratchy pain in your chest. I wish this weren't happening, and I wish I could tell you something definitive. But I can only tell you what I gather from your note, and it won't be as illuminating as your own better judgement or your instincts.

Still, it is very, very unlikely that 2 girls would seek to hurt you or your boyfriend like this, randomly and willfully. Mostly, that sort of thing happens on television. If they told you details that sync up with circumstances, the odds they're being malicious are even less likely. If your boyfriend never before mentioned a girl who's been 'stalking' him or behaving strangely, it's likely he's making that up to discredit her or to distract you from his own secrets.

I'm so sorry, Frantic Annie, but his response to the situation feels cliched and suspicious to me. Until you can better evaluate the situation or learn more about the accusations, I hope you'll do everything in your power to create a safe emotional space for yourself. I would suggest asking your boyfriend to move out immediately -- borrow money for next month's rent if you have to -- and tell him you'll be available for conversation (if that's what you need) about the last two years, and these 2 girls, on your own time line.

Call your friends and keep them near. Keep to a routine, Annie, and have faith in yourself and in your future. It is not stupid to love or to trust, but there are people who will take advantage of both. And wanting to believe someone is not a good reason to believe them, I'm afraid. We should believe a person because they have consistently demonstrated trustworthiness, sincerity, and integrity. This is a terrible storm in your life, I know; just hold on, hold on to the good and true things around you, and know that you will weather this. And please email me within the next two weeks, Frantic Annie, and let me know how you are.

Ladies, I think Annie would appreciate your help, too, or any other points of view you might have about her situation.


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