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'Found out my BF's been lying about where he disappears to every weekend for years.' UPDATED + CONCLUDED

'Found out my BF's been lying about where he disappears to every weekend for years.' UPDATED + CONCLUDED

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'My (24F) boyfriend (27M) has disappeared every weekend for the past three years and I just found out he's been lying to me about where he goes.'

My boyfriend (27M) and I (24F) have been together for 3 years. We don't live together but are close enough to spend a lot of time together. However, it is very rare for us to spend a whole day together. When we have, it's been a weekday where our schedules have just happened to lineup (i.e., no work and no class). We have never spent a day on the weekend together.

He works as a research assistant while getting his PhD. Every single weekend for the 3 years we've been together he insists he has work. I realize how stupid I've been now, but foolishly I trusted him. I trusted that he had work every single weekend for 3 years! That was, until today.

I've been studying for finals and it's the toughest it's ever been, so I was craving some time with him. Just a day where we could kick back and relax with each other. Of course, he says he can't because he's working and I shut up about it. So, today I'm getting antsy anyway and hoping we could at least spend the evening together. I end up texting him, asking when he thinks he'll be back and we can spend the night.

I've done this plenty of times before and he always responds fairly quick. This time I'm waiting for a while. After 2 hours I decide to text a workfriend of his who's also a research assistant with him. Wouldn't you know it, it turns out they don't have work today. In fact, he informs me in that same text that they rarely ever have work on weekends. RARELY EVER!

So now, I'm sitting here wondering wtf is going on. I have no idea how to confront him about this. I mean, this has been going on for THREE YEARS!!! If he's cheating on me, he basically has a second family at this point! But obviously that's where my mind goes and I have no clue what else it could possible be. Like, is there any possible explanation for this besides cheating??

How in the world do I confront him about something he's been doing for 3 years??? Since he's doing whatever it is tomorrow, do I just drive over to his place in the morning and wait and then follow him? Has anyone had anything like this happen to them before??

TLDR: My BF of 3 years has been and continues to disappear every weekend for "work" but when I asked his coworker, it turns out he's been lying about it and I have no idea how to confront him.

Update #1:

So I logged into this account for the first time since making my original post and find that there are a LOT of messages. I haven't read them all but I will. The recent ones all ask for an update so here it is. When I logged off, things seemed to be pretty split on what I should do. Most people just decided to call him a cheater or say that I'm the side chick.

Frankly, I wasn't sure I could wait another day to confront him, so I confronted him the night of that post - no games or stalking or anything. Anyway, I had texted him telling him to come over when his work was done and he did. I waited about 5 minutes (if that) for him to settle in before telling him that we needed to talk about something important.

He immediately responded with "uh oh" which was a bit demeaning but that sarcastic response honestly matches his personality. I tell him everything that happened, how hurt I was, how I didn't feel like I could trust him about anything considering he's been doing this for three years, and then asked if he had anything to say.

He told me he wasn't cheating on me or anything like that, he was just embarrassed about what he had been doing. I asked him what he could possibly be so embarrased about as to hide it and lie to me about it for 3 years. He takes like a minute to compose himself and then mutters something. He CLEARLY feels guilty but I obviously don't hear it so I ask him what he said cause I didn't hear.

He tells me that he volunteers at a homeless shelter every weekend since coming here for his PhD. VOLUNTEERING AT A HOMELESS SHELTER??? I swear to you, whatever emotions are coming across here were multiplied 10x in the moment. I could not comprehend what he was saying. Like, he was embarrassed for volunteering at a homeless shelter??? It didn't (still doesn't) make ANY sense.

So I asked him what he meant and he repeated that he volunteers at a homeless shelter for 6 hours on Saturday and 6 hours on Sunday, every weekend. Of course I ask him why he would be embarrassed about that and he asks if we can talk about this more tomorrow (Sunday) and he can instead show me that he isn't lying by taking me to volunteer.

I don't know what I was really thinking, I think my mind was just blank so I agreed with a sure and asked him to leave. He apologized for the whole thing and left and then sent a text that he'd pick me up in the morning so he can prove to me that he's not lying. Of course my mind races all night and I tossed and turned all night but Sunday came anyway, he wasn't lying.

He takes me to a homeless shelter/soup kitchen place (I don't really know the difference) and we make food, clean, and pack daily necessities for 6 hours. It clearly isn't the place to have the conversation,

so I spend most of my time doing the work and chatting with other people and they were really nice but of course the whole thing was still weighing on my mind the entire time so I start asking them about my boyfriend and they confirm that he's been working there as long as they remember and is there every weekend (he's been there longer than most of them it seems).

Finally our volunteering ends and we head back to his car and I try to start the conversation but he shuts me down and asks me to wait until we get back to his place. I say fine (maybe I'm being a doormat here but I was just so confused and lost) and we head to his apartment. Once there, the talking begins.

He asks if I believe that he's telling the truth about working at the homeless shelter every weekend and I say that I do since I confirmed it with a LOT of people while there, but I also said that I don't understand the lying, especially for as long as he did. He apologizes again and asks if I really want to know why he kept it a secret. I say of course (DUH).

He sighs and then tells me that he doesn't like people knowing that he likes helping people. Obviously I'm going wtf because this is so weird and I ask him to explain. He tells me that when he was an undergrad student he would always try to help his class behind the scenes by discussing problems they had or negotiating for curves or extensions on their assignments even when he didn't personally need it.

He said he enjoyed doing it and kept doing it as a Masters student but then started to do so before/after classes publicly. Apparently most of his classmates were still happy with him but a few basically hated him for it because he was babying them or something (???), so he went back to doing things behind the scenes and no longer tries to associate himself with any of the things he does to help others.

Hopefully I'm not the only one who finds this so dang weird. Like the homeless shelter stuff and assisting your classmates aren't remotely the same?? I say as such and he tells me it does the same thing, it helps people so he doesn't like people to know about it because then they might misinterpret his intent and think he's masquerading as a good person.

Then he assures me that he's NOT a good person at all but he still wants to do what he can for people so this is what he does (WTF). So I ask if he really thinks I would get mad that he's helping homeless people in his free time. He tells me he wasn't sure at first, especially since I wanted to spend weekends together when we were first going out (duh, every couple does),

so he just lied to hide it at first but he knows I wouldn't do that now but kept the lie going because he thought it would be too weird to suddenly say that he's volunteering at a homeless shelter.

I feel like I've come to the conclusion that he's just really, really weird. His way of thinking has always been odd, but this in particular is just so weird. Like, he seems to understand the situation and where I'm coming from but didn't think to tell me the truth on his own???

We started going in circles so I ended the conversation and had him drive me home in silence. Since then he's sent a number of texts and has tried to call me a few times. I didn't pick up on Monday or Tuesday because I felt like I needed time to think, but I finally picked up today and we had a talk in which we both reiterated what we had said.

I know a LOT of people (literally all of them at this time) were telling me to breakup with him but I'm still thinking things through. I'm going to try and get him to hangout this weekend and make my decision after that I think some more. This whole thing has been so weird. I'm sorry that I've repeated that so much but my brain is still rather scrambled.

I don't think there will be any more updates to this because we either stay together or breakup, but if there are, they won't be posted here. TLDR: Boyfriend volunteers at a homeless shelter every weekend and was too embarrassed to tell me.

EDIT: Reading through a lot of the comments on the previous post now. To answer the most common questions - I haven't met his parents but I have met a few of his friends, he doesn't have social media, he's met my family since I'm local, and we do spend holidays together if they aren't on weekends.

Relevant Comments:

kindLemon: Honestly it is strange that he felt the need to lie about it but at the same time it does seem he has good intentions. A lot of people like to do volunteer/charity work, donations, etc.

and keep it quiet because they don’t want to seem like they’re trying to be a good person, they just want to help those in need and keep it quiet, just like your boyfriend said. I understand your confusion and being upset about the lies and that’s completely valid,

but in this situation I do hope you give him another chance. It’s very possible the embarrassment comes from past trauma in his life. Personally, I’ve been in some bad situations and been on hard times, especially as a child with my single mom, and now that I’m grown and have the ability to help those that are in the situation I was once in, I basically feel obligated to help.

Again, it’s your relationship and not being honest with you because of embarrassment is one thing, but I hope you two can discuss this more and figure it all out because you’re both valid here IMO. I commend you for bringing it up to him and I commend him for helping those in need. Good luck!!

OP: Thank you!!! I'm going to talk with him some more and see. Obviously we've been together for 3 years and I really do love him, but this is just so strange to me. Like, I get having a past trauma and that affecting behavior and whatever, but making a few enemies in your cohort translates to hiding volunteer work for 3 years?? The whole thing is confuddling

Commentator asked about the boyfriend’s parents and if he had bad childhood years such as abuse or manipulation from parents or family and if this affected his behaviors to be the people pleaser.

OP: Both of his parents are in his life. He's from out of state and the last time he visited them in person was 2 years ago I think. I've never met them, though I have talked to his mom over facetime a handful of times. He's never mentioned having any trouble with his family, so I'm not yet at the point where I'm going to assume the worst

Commentator asked OOP about the possible volunteering services being mandated by the courts and if the boyfriend has done something illegally and asked the volunteers to lie for him on his whereabouts.

OP: There have been quite a few comments about it possibly being court-ordered. I don't want to identify his field completely or anything because it's pretty niche, but if he had a criminal record, it would be incredibly difficult to work in his field so I don't think he has one.

I haven't looked at his messages or anything of the sort. Maybe people are going to call me naive for this, but getting every single volunteer I talked to over that 6 hour period in addition to some people who were making use of the services to lie for him seems really unlikely.

I think I underplayed the seriousness with which he explained the conflict with his classmates. I didn't follow it completely, but he really did seem very affected by the whole thing. Maybe he's acting, but it didn't look that way to me.

Update #2:

So I asked him to come over so we could talk and he did. I then asked him some of the questions people had on here that I had written down. Volunteering for 6 hours but still not having time for me - he said he would get there a little early and leave late, but would then spend the remaining hours running errands and and actually working on PhD/assistant stuff.

I asked if he could give me details, he gave some details about academic articles that I don't remember. I asked why he couldn't spend more weekend evenings with me if this was the case. He said that he was really busy with work and that I would distract him (ouch). Out of all the things said, I think this is the one that bothers me the most.

I asked if the volunteering was court-ordered. He laughed at that and was clearly confused by the question but answered that given the special population he works with doing his PhD, he doubts he'd be able to work with them if he had a record that required so many hours.

I asked if he was ever going to tell me about the volunteering. He initially says he doesn't know, then replies that he probably wouldn't have. He apologized for lying but then said that whether he was working or volunteering doesn't make a difference to how much time he spent with me.

Obviously I pushed back on this and he got defensive and we had an argument that basically reiterated how I felt like I couldn't trust him because he was lying about this while he kept apologizing for the lying/"making me feel that way" but that it wouldn't have changed how we spend time together.

Ultimately I asked him to explain to me again why he hid it in the first place. Like he's said previously, he used to talk to professors during undergrad about extensions and questions others had behind closed doors and then make sure those things were stated to the rest of the class. He did the same thing in his Masters program. This is where I got lost before.

One of his professors was a hardass and some of his classmates were scared to talk to him about their grades, so he thought he could show them that he was willing to discuss grades and he made a joke about his own grade in class. The professor didn't find it funny and went on a tirade about respect and showing him up and apparently the class ended shortly thereafter because it was so tense.

He said that some of the other students felt like they needed to cut ties with him to show the professor they weren't in on the joke and that a few of them made a show of hating him from that point forward. Hearing it more in-depth at least makes this make a little more sense to me. I stated again that helping homeless and helping classmates seemed like entirely different things altogether.

He said that they felt like the same to him but that I was probably right and he was wrong. I asked him why he said he's a bad person. He replied asking if he said that and I said yes. He said that he didn't want the volunteering to make him seem like a good person because he's not. I asked what he meant and he replied that I know him. I said I'm not sure I do.

He said that I know what he means. I don't, you do, etc. in circles. Personally, I think he has low self-esteem, but this is a weird way to express it and I'm not sure what else it could be. I told him I wasn't sure I wanted to continue the relationship because of the lying. He seemed hurt but then just said okay and that it's my decision.

I told him that he should at least get therapy for the classmate thing because it's clearly affected him negatively. He replied that he probably should but he won't. After that I gave him an ultimatum - either spend more time with me on weekends and go to therapy or we break up. I told him to think about it and that he has until Saturday. He said he would and he went on his way.

Final Update:

This will probably be my last post here. Saturday came and he asked me to compromise - he would take a day off from volunteering if I volunteered with him the other day and he wouldn't have to go to therapy. I said I needed to think about it. I told him later that night that I'd accept the compromise if he was willing to go to ONE therapy session.

On Sunday morning, he told me he wouldn't be willing to go to therapy and asked that we go out to dinner. We went to a local diner and basically talked about ending things. He apologized for ending things this way and said that he knew he wasn't exactly being reasonable but he's doing what he feels like he needs to do. I basically said that that's up to him.

We wished each other the best, he gave me a parting hug, and I went on my way. So yeah. 3 years of commitment for this. Kind of sucks. Have a good day.

Sources: Reddit
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