I love my boyfriend (but, we are in a toxic relationship)

I am with a partner that I love to the fullest, see myself marrying in the future and have children with. He has expressed the same feelings towards me and was the one to do so first. We’ve been dating for 1.5 years and this is the first real relationship for both of us. We’re both the same age, 22, and have been living together practically since we started dating. He is a musician and is very talented. This was my first attraction towards him and his charming, flirty personality. We live in a big city together, I’m currently studying and he is working on his music with his new band. They aren’t very successful yet, but I know they will pretty soon after releasing their first EP. I wanted to state the facts before going into detail.

About a month ago I discovered something very disturbing on his Facebook account. He’s been having a conversation with a girl, including nude pictures of her and him telling her how he wants to be with her and not with me. I know they’ve Skyped on several occasions. I already know of her because she’s included with previous drama in our relationship. The first month of our relationship I discovered Skype conversations and calls between them on his computer. I confronted him about it because we were really getting serious at this point and I felt deeply betrayed. I should also let you know that we’re both Swedish and live in Sweden and she’s Canadian and they’ve never met. He told me their story—that they met online and have been chatting since 2011. Our relationship started in august 2013.

The nature of their conversations have primarily been very friendly and romantic on occasion, depending on their current relationship status. The conversations I found included messages such as "I wonder how our first kiss will be" and such.

This first confrontation made him feel deeply sorry for what he did and he told me that he had a hard time not talking to her because they’ve been in contact for so long. He promised me he would delete her as a friend on Facebook, and followed through, and that he wouldn’t speak to her again.

This brings me to another incident. I discovered lyrics on his computer, about their story, about him dreaming of being with her. I confronted him about this as well and he told me he had written it before we started dating. He also told me that he wasn’t in love with her and that when he writes music it’s rarely ever true and often just a story. He felt inspired of what he felt for her and wrote the song, but didn’t feel those feelings because their "relationship" had always just been a silly fantasy. These incidents did not stop me from falling more in love with him, as he did with me; he was very truthful and upfront about it all and kept reassuring that our relationship was the most important thing. And I actually believe it to be true. I would not criticize him for writing a song long before we met and to be truthful the song is very good.

Our new relationship bliss did not fade and we moved to another city together. Deeply in love we promised to always be together and he actually asked me if I would consider marrying him in the future. It may not have been a proposal, but we’ve nevertheless made these promises towards each other. Then I discovered another thing. A (girl) friend of his told me over Facebook that they’ve been having inappropriate chats. She sent me some examples and they where very sexual. Things like how would she f*ck him if they ever did and so on. She also sent me conversations of him proclaiming his love for me and that I was the love of his life. She was also in a relationship and the majority of their conversations where friendly. So they talked about love, sex and many other things. Her guilt finally caught up with her and she told me about it. I was extremely sad when I found out and considered breaking up with him. He told me that he was very sorry for what he did and that he has problems with boundaries and admitted being a thrill seeker.

Considering this was his first real relationship he had a hard time adjusting from previous single behaviors, amongst them sexual conversations with girls. He promised never to do it again. Eventually I forgave him because I knew that our love was real and he came clean about it all. But all of this made me a very jealous person.

A few months went by and he told me that they where going to record the song (about the Canadian girl). He reassured me that it didn’t mean anything to him anymore, but it was still a song he was very proud of and wanted to make public. This was extremely hard for me to deal with and at first I didn’t want him to go through with it. After long considerations I came to terms with it and gave him my blessing. I didn’t want to be a person to hinder him creatively and so I let him record the song. I felt that I had to be the bigger person in this situation.

When I discovered that she had posted a comment on the YouTube link of the song I felt devastated. I knew that he’d broken his promise about not being in contact with her and I confronted him about it. He confessed and told me he’d sent the song to her, partly being pressured into it by his band mates. She is a musical artist and has a lot of contacts at radio stations in Toronto and it seemed a good idea to let her help.

This "good idea" was extremely disrespectful to me and yet again I felt betrayed. He told me that he was so sorry for hurting me, but couldn’t resist the temptation of possibly getting gigs abroad. He said that charming her with a song was a part of winning her soft spot for him back and eventually getting access to her connections. His music life became clear to me at this point—it was more important than our relationship.

I was upset with him going behind my back and sending the song to her, even though it might’ve helped his music career. The problem was actually not sending it, rather lying about it. Especially since he promised never to talk to her again. If he would’ve been honest to begin with and told me the circumstances I wouldn’t have stopped him. I know it wouldn’t please me, but at least it would’ve been truthful. And also I felt it to be very dishonest of him leading her on, making it look like a love song for her just for the sake of his benefit.

I feel the need to tell you about our relationship at that time as well. I’d become a very jealous person due to all the things he’d put me through. He was always very secretive about his computer and that didn’t make me feel at ease. He’s been extremely jealous as well and it’s been that way since we started dating. Aside from all of that we were very much in love. I do not doubt it a bit, writing all of this down makes me think maybe I should’ve doubted. I’ve never felt so appreciated, loved, jealous and betrayed in my entire life. It was a roller coaster of emotions.

This brings me back to the current issue. The discovering of conversations between my beloved and the Canadian girl. The naked pictures that she sent him, them talking about their future together, him telling her that our relationship has an expiration date (when I have to study abroad). All of this maybe 6 months after he released the song.

So they’d been talking since he sent her the song.

It doesn’t end here. I found other messages with other girls, all of them very sexual. If words would suffice for my heartbreak I would write them down. But they don’t. The love of my life has betrayed me yet again, but this time so much worse. I knew that my gut feeling was right. He was doing things behind my back; I just didn’t know how bad they were.

So you’re probably thinking why I would want to stay with him? He’s clearly not a respectful towards our relationship and I definitely shouldn’t trust him with my whole heart. Right?

Yet I do. I know I’m young and the first love is always really special, but this happens to be my one and only love. I will never be able to feel as strongly for a person as I do with him. We’re dangerously passionate together. I owe it to myself to give this one last chance. I don’t want to look back and think of him as the one that got away.

This particular confrontation was brutal. I held nothing back. He was stunned. I’ve never seen him so powerless ever. He apologized, knowing it wouldn’t help. He told me a lot of things that he fucked up in the past. He has ADD and dyslexia and has never been successful in school. His parents split when he was young and his father beat him during his entire childhood, which I already knew. His brother never got that treatment, being a good student and all. His mother and brother turned a blind eye to everything. He started stealing money from people he knew. He stole from his job once. He’s done a lot of drugs and experimented with sex. Once he tried to kill himself. The list goes on and on.

I knew about many of these things before. He actually told me about it a long time ago. The one thing he didn’t tell me, or has told anyone for that matter, is that he seeks attention from girls online and has been doing so since he started using the Internet. He’s never had to deal with it because it’s never been more than a virtual thing. He says he needs to feel that he is the desire of many and hasn’t ever considered other peoples’ emotions. He knows now that it’s a problem.

All of his friends have told me that since we met, he’s changed. That I made him a better person and that his love for me keeps him going in the right direction. All of this is very flattering of course, but fact remains that he’s betrayed me once again. He’s actually booked an appointment with a counselor to talk about his issues. He’s given me full access to his accounts and phone. Everything is out in the open.

This last month he’s been as open that I wished he ‘d been when I first had my suspicions. I feel that now, I have everything that I need to be able to trust him fully. He says he want’s to spend the rest of his life with me, that our relationship, the love that we both feel has never been untrue. And I do believe him. Maybe I’m foolish, but I do. If he’s faking all of this he must be a sociopath.

I’m sorry for writing a novel about our relationship, but I felt you had to know all the details before you could help me. How can I ever trust this person again?


There are multiple red flags everywhere, which you identify on your own. Your boyfriend repeatedly engages in the same behavior, is a risk taker, and when gets caught he promises NEVER to do it again. He has repeatedly lied to you and betrayed your trust. Without knowing more about the situation, it is possible that your boyfriend may have a personality disorder. If this is the case, starting therapy can be a very wise move on his part.

As for you, it sounds like you may have an anxious style of attachment. People, who have an anxious style of attachment, experience intense feelings of love, jealousy, and they put tremendous effort into their relationships, which often leads to frustration and disappointment (see truth about attachment and anxious attachment).

Intense feelings of love can overwhelm rational thinking. True love involves mutual respect, consideration and empathy (see healthy relationships). This is not the situation you describe. Rather than being in a loving relationship, it sounds like you are in a toxic relationship. Again, people with an anxious style of attachment are more likely to end up in unhealthy relationships. If this describes your situation, rather than help your boyfriend work through his issues, you should strongly consider going to therapy on your own. Until you work on your issues and he works out his, it will probably lead to more heartache and disappointment. And by the time you both get done with therapy, there is a chance that the dynamic that holds you together will no longer be there.

One of the most important things in life is learning how to love someone in a way that is healthy. The sooner you start this process, the better off you will be.

 anxious attachment | lying boyfriend | my jealousy

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