Bookmark and Share

My boyfriend is a compulsive liar. It makes me get so depressed. He says he wants to change, but it’s going nowhere. I feel stuck. Help.

Imagine if you came over my house and saw me in the kitchen, sitting on the stove. As I sizzle from the heat and cringe in pain, I say to you, “I am having so much trouble with this stove. It’s sooo hot. It’s the most painful thing I’ve had to experience. It’s making me burn myself. I want it to cool down but it won’t. What can I do?” Odds are, you’d have some pretty straightforward advice to offer me. You’d probably say, “I think it’s time you get off the stove. That’s what the stove does. It burned you 10 seconds ago, and will keep burning you as long as you as you remain connected to it. It’s going to take a long time for the stove to change its temperature, and you’re only going to get more hurt if you sit around waiting for that to happen. Take care of your body and get up.”

I think you get the point. The best indication of the future of a relationship is the past. If a guy cheated on you in the past, he’ll probably do the same in the future. The same goes with dishonesty, abuse, sexual pressure, disrespect, etc. But his behavior really isn’t the core issue, here. You’ve been locked in on the idea of changing him, hoping that he’s going to have a miraculous personality change and become the sweet guy you’re dreaming of. Focusing on that mission has distracted you from the most important matter, which is this: Why are you desperate for the affection of a boy who treats you with such contempt? Why do you not realize that you deserve so much better? I know you see the good in him, but take the advice of a teenage girl who said to me in an email, “I can’t always cater to what I want because I have to remember what I deserve.”