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He Said She Said: Jumping To Conclusions Can Leave You Flat On Your Face

Dear Sugar
My boyfriend of three years and I moved in together a month ago. At first it was fantastic, but now, all we do is fight. Recently, he's been acting stand off-ish. He acts like we're roommates and not lovers.

The other night, the unthinkable happened. I found a condom in his drawer. The problem is, we haven't used condoms in over a year. And it was a brand we've never ever used before. When I confronted him, he got angry. He didn't act clueless at all. He said he doesn't know where it came from and it probably got mixed in with his stuff when we moved in.

He has never lied to me, and to my knowledge, he has never cheated on me. But now I am scared that he could possibly be sleeping with someone else. I need advice on how to keep a close eye on him, and also to get him to act like we're boyfriend/girlfriend again, not just roommates. Cause For Concern Carly

To see DEARSUGAR and ASTUTE ARTHUR's response

DEARSUGAR: Dear Cause For Concern Carly
Wow, I am with you. How can you help but be a little bit nervous when you find something as blatant as a condom brand you've never ever even used together?

The irrational side of me would want to snoop through every nook and cranny of his things for evidential support of an illicit affair; while the rational side of me would ask why he'd bother to take the next step and move in with me if he doesn't love me and want to be with me.

Now that you've confronted him about it, all you can really do is wait. Somewhere in the middle is the most reasonable way to act moving forward. I think that for the next few weeks, it's OK for you to ask more questions than normal about his whereabouts until your trust level is back to where it was. The key is to set a limit for yourself and then you've got to move past it and trust him. I've said it before and I'll say it again - trust is a deal breaker.

As far as you guys acting more as roomies than lovers, you've got to try and talk to him about this. It is normal to fight when you first move in together. You are both used to your own space and doing things your own way - but don't let the adjustment get in the way of you having fun together.

Have you "christened" each of the rooms yet? Have you tested out your big new bath tub together? Don't forget how you got here in the first place. Make time to do the things together that you used to love to do.

ASTUTE ARTHUR: Dear Cause For Concern Carly
You have two issues here, and I suggest that you deal with them individually.

On the condom, it is conceivable that he got it innocently. A bit of a stretch, but possible. Consider it a warning sign. If nothing else happens to make you suspicious, then it may have just been nothing. But if you get another clue, listen to it.

The more important issue is that you're fighting and the spark isn't there anymore. Now that you live together, it is easy to take each other for granted.

Try asking him out for a date, or making a date to make dinner and eat together at home. You used to go out on dates before you moved in together, you still need to make time to do those kinds of romantic things.

Join The Conversation
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 11 years
ps. i just moved in with my boyfriend of two years and hes been on the computer constantly. the most important thing i remember is that guys need their space and dont want to feel like their being 'monitered' or 'mothered' when their girlfriend moves in with them. from living with past boyfriends it is important to trust them and respect their things even though you now share the same space. also doing something special together every week, like cook dinner. and also do something special for the other every week, like a massage. so thats two somethings that every week that you can look forward to and help you learn to like living together:)
SeptemberLights SeptemberLights 11 years
maybe it is old? have you checked the expiration date on it?
Padraigin Padraigin 11 years
When I got married and moved in with my husnad (after dating for three years), we got through the honeymoon period and then started fight ing a lot and not communicating. Our relationship had changed because we had failed to change. We were each used to having our own space, privacy, time, the ability to leave our socks on the floor and our underwear drying in the bathroom, we could fall asleep with the tv on, talk to our friends in the middle of the night, not have to answer a bunch of questions, have the thermostat set where we wanted it, etc. Now suddenly there was someone else there. Someone else who needed space and time and privacy and heat and cold, and access to the bathroom without all the pantyhose... and we fought. And became sullen with each other. And stopped communicating. And I wanted to run home to mommy. But luckily, we had a friend who was an old hand at married life. He gave us the best advice, which I will paraphrase and add my own to: Stay who you are, because you each fell in love with the person you were in the first place. Spend time apart. Girls night out and boys night out are vital. Don't think that living together means having to be joined at the hip or spending every waking moment together. Give each other time alone in the apartment/house. Give each other space and time. Have your own hobbies as well as shared hobbies. When you fight, fight fair. Don't use "you" terms. If you have a problem, state it as your problem: "It really hurts me that we haven't been communicating well lately" instead of "you're standoffish and you never talk to me." Phrasing comments in the "I" and "We" is less threatening and less accusatory. As for the condom, I would have checked the expiration date. Joey recently found a condom in the bottom of his underwear drawer that he figures had to be from his mid 20's. It expired in 1995 and we didn't hook up until late 1997. Condoms slip out of wallets and get mixed up with socks and stuff very easily. They also have a way of traveling with you unseen until they surface just in time to cause trouble. The fact that it was a brand of condom you had never used with him is actually kind of a good sign. A lot of guys only like specific brands of condoms (Joey was a gold circle guy) and to have one of a different brand could mean someone else's stuff got mixed in with his, especially if he had roommates or was a college before you moved in together. Amd his getting angry could be because he KNEW you would jump to the conclusion that you have and not give him the chance to explain or not believe his explanation, plus you had not been communicating well before finding the condom. Perhaps he feels that he does nothing right. Perhaps he's as frustrated as you are. Perhaps he feels you've been as uncommunicative as you think he has been. Communication is always a two way street. If you have completely lost trust over this incident, then the relationship couldn't have been that solid to begin with and maybe should be kicked to the curb. But if you think it's worth salvaging, it's going to take work and you might have to make the first move. Joey and I got past it. And we're so solid now that even when he's on the road most of the year for work, I trust him.
Ladyinthestreet Ladyinthestreet 11 years
Also, CortneyLynn, you're response was beautifully put, well thought out, and a really good analogy. But the fact remains, if he likes you, he won't be able to get enough of you. Granted, everyone needs some space, but to treat this woman like she's a wall-hanging that he occasionally looks at is just stupid. To move in with someone is making the commitment to spend time with them A LOT. If he can't do that, there is a strong possibility that he's not ready. And if he's not ready, and she is, and she wants someone to treat her like a girlfriend, she should stop wasting her time and find someone better.
Ladyinthestreet Ladyinthestreet 11 years
Ok, excuse me if this sounds insensitive, but i just finished reading "He's Just Not That Into You"....I know. What a cliche thing to do, to start spreading this new gospel I've read when I've been guilty of falling for stupid, mean guys all the time. But listen, if you've been fighting all the time, he's standoffish, and not treating you the way you deserve to be treated....why are you taking it? You deserve a guy who you feel is happy to be with you, not treating you like some roomie he can have sex with at his own convenience. I know it's going to be very hard for you to do this, but you should dump him. The issue here is not even him cheating, it's him being an asshole to you. Regardless of whether or not he's having a hard time at work, zippered up his dick by accident, or gained ten pounds and feels fat, he shouldn't be taking it out on you without explaining himself. And if he can't do that (and he hasn't) guess what, he's an asshole! I agree with curly. Time to be strong and dumb the tumor.
TruJrzyGirl TruJrzyGirl 11 years
He got angry because he knows he's guilty- ditch his lying cheating ass and save yourself for someone who deserves you. Be strong, he does not deserve you.
kixstr8up kixstr8up 11 years
dear i disagree on the point of he moved in with you so he must love you and taking it to the next step. i know plenty of guys who still cheat even after they move in with their gf, or get engaged for that matter.
peepshow peepshow 11 years
If he was moving from a roommate situation with other guys--then yeah, the ex-roommates were probably messing with him. Of course, keep an eye out for any other suspicious behavior. He's probably getting into a rut since you've moved in together. Why go on dates when you see each other all the time- kind of thing. WHICH SUCKS, don't let it happen! On top of the stress of living with someone when you don't know their inner ticks. Like my husband can't seem to throw paper towels away, so I find them rumpled up... he can't also can't replenish any kind of paper product-- toilet paper, paper towels or printer paper!!
jennifer76 jennifer76 11 years
Good advice, guys. I know everytime I move, random things pop up that I haven't seen in a long time. So, its possibly innocent altogether. He may be nervous about this stepping up to the next level and is pushing back on you. I think questioning him at every turn will just make him push harder. I say christen the rooms, go on dates and try to work through this transition!
ishtar ishtar 11 years
I totally understand where you are coming from. I completely wouldnt trust him after that especially if he has been acting standoffish. That is a huge thing to me and usually is a marker that someone is cheating. So when I heard that my ex bf was cheating from his friends, yes I did snoop and yes I did find more incriminating stuff but just let it go which was dumb because it was confirmed shortly after we broke up much later. When one of my friends found a mushy birthday card from another girl, she snooped in his cell phones texts and found disgusting texts (and replies) from other girls saying that he had cheated. I believe that snooping has to be done if you have a reason. Obviously without a reason, its not a good thing to do but in my opinion, finding that condom counts as a good reason combined with the fact that he is standoffish. Plus, he did act angry when you confronted him which is not a great sign..If you cannot find anything or chose not to look, then try spending some more time together. Do you guys still act affectionate? Try doing something fun together to rekindle what you had. Is he maybe having problems with work etc in his life? Then try to be there for him. Hope that helps. Hang in there.
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