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Bon Voyage

My boyfriend is a musician. He's been working on cruise ships on and off for the last year, but he quit because he hates being away from me. We've been together two years. I know he loves me, and I very much love him and want nothing more than the future we planned.

However! He is currently away. He told me a group he met on the ship were hosting a weeklong party and asked him to play. They would pay for his flight, food and accommodations, but not for his performance.

Something about this didn't ring true. I asked him many times why he was going away and I outright told him I didn't believe him. But he stuck to his story, and the more details he gave the more plausible it sounded. However, alarm bells went off when I dropped him at the airport without his guitar.

Yesterday I was on the computer and his Facebook was logged in. I never snoop, but I couldn't help myself. Glad I did! He is spending the week with a woman he met on the cruise. She's 15 years older, married and obviously rich—she's paying for everything. The messages between them were hard to read. Very sexual.

I am devastated. I feel like a complete fool. Obviously he doesn't know I know, and he doesn't know when he gets back on Friday his belongings will be packed.

Why would he so blatantly lie to me? Why would he give up his job for me only to jeopardize our relationship? What is he getting from this (except the obvious, which makes me sick)? He is a jealous person. Now I know why.

~ Abby

Abby, a person who wouldn't do this can't understand the why of a person who would. Instead of asking why, ask yourself what you objectively know. He thinks only of himself and his desires. This is what he does when he thinks no one is looking.

Current research tells us, if you forgive a person in a situation like this, it won't make them better. It will make them worse. If he doesn't suffer consequences, he will reason, how could I have done anything wrong?

Once he finds out you know, he will do what narcissists do: use words. Every opportunity to talk to him is not an opportunity for you, but an opportunity for him. Don't let him catch you in a moment of weakness and accept the unacceptable.

With a narcissist, the more beneficial he thinks you are to him, the harder he will try to win you back. The more he has to lose by losing you, the more he will try to get back in. Print out what you've seen on Facebook and retain it to counter his denials.

Don't pick him up at the airport. Put a tag with his belongings outside your door, or better yet, give his possessions to a third party. Text him. "Saw your Facebook posting. This is where your belongings are. We're done."

We doubt he quit his job for you. More likely it was to take advantage of you, and the only person you can ask is a liar. In addition, have yourself checked for STDs.

He's a jealous person. There is a grandiosity and nastiness in jealousy which claims "I am superior." Jealousy is a way to say, "You are no better than me. I'm a cheater. You must be, too." That makes him feel better about himself. Jealousy also says, "I own this. I can do what I want with this." This, in this case, is you.

It's hard, but it's like anything else in dating. When someone shows you they are not compatible with who you are, dating and contact end.

You didn't bring his character into question. He did. He brought everything he ever said to you into question.

~ Wayne & Tamara

Column for the week of May 12, 2014

Send letters to: [email protected] , or Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield MO 65801.

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