By Jody Valley
He said, he said
Q: Three weeks ago, I sent my boyfriend, “Harry,” packing. We had been together for seven years; many of them I thought were pretty good. However, I found out that he was cheating on me for many of the seven years that we were together. He, at first, lied when I confronted him, but later after he realized I had the goods on him, he finally admitted to the infidelities.
He admits his straying behavior to me, but apparently he has another story for others. The other night, when I was at the bar, I found out that Harry is telling people that he left because I was physically abusive to him! I have never even so much as playfully hit or pushed him, let alone really abused him. Not only that, I don’t like to be looked at like I’m an abuser. Hell, I’ll never get another date in my life, let alone a boyfriend.
I did try to get people to hear the truth, but I’m sure people now don’t know who to believe. It’s a “he said, he said.” Though, I think mostly people believe him because he was the first to hit the streets with his story, and I guess he just tells the story so damn well. So well, in fact, that he’s got people defending him and feeling so very sorry for him. In fact, I found out that just the night before, he had been in the bar and peddling such a good story that a guy who felt sorry for him took him home. Now, knowing him like I didn’t know him before, my guess is that this is not the first night he has found a “sympathetic” home. (I won’t go any further with what I think that was all about!)
I have been devastated by Harry’s infidelity. Now I add on his lies and smearing of my name. I just can’t believe it. Anyway, I called him and let him know that I didn’t appreciate what he is saying about me. He denied saying it, said that he just told people that the relationship felt abusive to him, so he had to leave. He said that it was abusive because I was yelling at him. I asked, “when?” (I’m not much of a yeller.) He said when I confronted him about his cheating. Well, I have to admit to that, but you can count on one hand the times I have yelled at him, or at anything. (And, don’t you think that I might be justified in getting upset when I find out that my boyfriend, with whom I’ve had, supposedly, an agreed upon “monogamous” relationship, has been cheating on me for years?)
I also brought up to him that I asked him to leave, not that he had reason to leave me. He said that he was going to leave anyway because I was getting “out-of-control.” That is so far from the truth, I can’t believe he’s saying this stuff to my face. I felt like I was in some kind of crazy land listening to him, like he was talking about someone else’s relationship, not ours.
Jody, doesn’t he have any remorse at all for what he did? Why is he now lying and saying that I’m abusive when that wasn’t what was going on at all? How can I fight his slur campaign against me?
Beaten with Words
A: I can’t know whether or not Harry has remorse for his past behavior. As far as his lying about your being an abusive person, he is trying to make himself the victim so others will feel sorry for him. That way, he doesn’t have to look like the bad guy. As for what you might do, I would suggest that you calmly set the record straight with all your friends, and then let it go. Somehow, I have a feeling that Harry will in time — if not sooner — give himself away. He sounds like bad news.