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Live Intentionally, Die Empty

Dear David:

I am in a relationship with this man for about 6 months and we have really gotten very close. The other day he accidentally sent me a text message that was supposed to be for his baby’s mother but came to me. That wouldn’t be a problem except he never told me that he had kids. I am hurt by the fact that he would hide something. He said he hid it from me because he said if he had told me earlier that he thought I would never have given him a chance or continued to date him. Could he be hiding more. Should that be a deal breaker?

M (Atlanta)

Dear M –

Call me old fashioned but that seems like something that should have been mentioned on the first, second, third or fourth date. The fact that you define it as “being in a relationship” is worse because it sounds like the two of you are exclusive. You say that he felt that you would not have dated him had he told you. That was not his decision to make for you. We can’t decide for others what they are able to handle. He robbed you of that opportunity to make that decision on your own. My question is, after 6 months… how long did he think he had to keep this information from you? I don’t know whether he is holding back any more information and don’t want to jump to the conclusion that he might be. But what I will say is that perhaps he has demonstrated a pattern that he will lack openness with you as long as he feels that you would be objectionable to it. That is not a real good quality to have in a relationhip. Whether it should be a dealbreaker is not my call to make — it’s yours but consider carefully that even if he has not lied about anything else, he has helped to taint the trust that he had developed in you over 6 months and potentially caused you to have that in the back of your mind.

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