5 Ways To Reclaim Your Power When Your Boyfriend Keeps Lying To You

Photo: Marjan Apostolovic / shutterstock.com
handsome man with mustache and sunglasses reclines on blanket

There is nothing worse than when your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises — even though he says that he won’t ever do it again.

And you know that he will. Because he lies, over and over and over. And you have been there for every one of them.

Are you sick of it? Do you wish, more than anything that, because your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises, there might be something that you can do to change things?

I get it. Who wants to be with someone who won't do what they say they will do?

The good news is, you don't have to sit back and accept it. It is well within your power to do something about it — or to remove yourself from the situation entirely.

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Five things to do if your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises 

1. Don’t take it personally.

First and foremost, I would encourage you to try not to take the fact that your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises personally.

People who are liars tell lies. It's who they are. They lie indiscriminately. They lie about where they have been. They lie about the color of the sky. They lie about what they had for dinner.

People who lie are often people who are very insecure and they lie to protect themselves, their reputation, and their place in the world.

When your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises it has nothing to do with you — it is totally about him.

I have a client whose boyfriend promises her over and over that he will join her and her mother for their Thursday night dinner. And, every week, he has an excuse not to. Eventually, my client started taking it personally, believing that, if he loved her, he would come to dinner with her and her mother.

The reality is that her boyfriend broke his promise not because he disrespected her but because he wasn’t comfortable, for whatever reason, with going out to dinner. Maybe he didn’t like her mom, or was intimidated by her. Maybe he didn’t like the restaurant. Maybe softball always happens on Thursdays.

Whatever the reason for his lie, it was never about her. That I know for sure.

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2. Call him on it.

An important thing to do when your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises is to call him on it.

The key part is how you call him on it.

I would encourage you to talk to your boyfriend after the lie occurs. In the case of my client, when she gets home from another dinner with her mom without her boyfriend.

I would encourage her to not attack but to stay calm and clear. “Last week you promised that you would have dinner with my mother. You broke that promise tonight.”

If you can stay calm and not launch into accusation mode, you are more likely to get through to him. If you attack him, he will just get defensive and make excuses and maybe even blame it on you. If you calmly state a fact, what can he do? After all, he knows that he broke his promise to you.

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3. Don’t get passive-aggressive.

This is very important. It is essential that, if you don't call your boyfriend on his breaking his promises, you can't act hot and cold instead.

Passive aggressiveness is the worst way to make progress in a disagreement with anyone. Why? Because being passive-aggressive only makes you part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Let’s say my client came home from dinner and ignored her husband. Let’s say she got changed and turned on the TV and answered his questions with one-word answers. Let’s say she went off to bed, sleeping in the guest room this time. Let’s say in the morning he got no breakfast.

Sure, my client was showing her boyfriend that, by breaking another promise, he had upset her and that he deserved to be ignored and treated with contempt as a result. But, doing that only gave her boyfriend the upper hand.

When they finally did discuss what happened, the conversation would be as much about her reaction to what happened as to the fact that he had broken another promise. He would be more than happy to deflect what he had done and focus on her bad behavior.

The discussion would dissolve into a fight and nothing would get resolved because both of them would be focused on each other’s bad behavior instead of focusing on the cause of the issue – that her boyfriend keeps breaking his promises.

So, be direct and stay calm.

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4. Accept that things won’t change.

One thing that I hear from my clients is that they just don’t understand why their boyfriends don’t change.

After all, their boyfriends know that they are upsetting my clients and they recognize that they need to do things differently and they promise to do so. So, why can’t they follow through and actually do so?

Because they don’t love you? No!

The reason that their boyfriends can’t follow through is that they are making their promises to make them happy, to stop them from being angry at them. They are breaking their promises because what they have promised is not necessarily something that they want to do. They make the promise at the moment, to keep you happy.

No person will change their behavior unless they actively want to. If your boyfriend is going to change, he is going to have to be the one to want to do it. Until then, no matter how many promises he makes to you to keep you quiet at the moment when the time comes, he will, more likely than not, break that promise. Again.

So, don’t wait around for things to change. Know that they most likely won’t unless he wants them to.

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5. Walk away.

I can’t state it clearly enough — if your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises, it is OK to walk away.

I know that it might seem like some of these broken promises aren’t a big deal and that you can rationalize his behavior but, the truth of the matter is that you just can’t trust or rely on someone who breaks his promises.

And trust is the key to any healthy relationship. Without it, the relationship is doomed.

Can you imagine spending the rest of your life with someone who you can’t believe what they say? How about being with someone who wasn’t there when you needed them because they broke their promise? How about knowing that you can’t count on them to help you when you need help?

That doesn’t sound good, does it? What everyone wants is someone that they can count on, who they know has their back and who will be there when they need them.

So, walk away if you have to. The broken promises might not feel like that big a deal now but if your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises over and over, that does not a good boyfriend make.

If your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises, I am so sorry

I am sure that his breaking his promises has done a number on your self-esteem. I am sure that you feel responsible for his behavior and, if you are being passive-aggressive, that you might not be behaving the way you would like to in response.

So, it’s time to take action. Remember to not take the broken promise personally. Calmly talk to your boyfriend about his breaking his promises and never be passive-aggressive. Know that, unless they want to change, they won’t. And embrace the fact that it’s ok to walk away.

You want to be in a relationship with someone you trust and if your boyfriend keeps breaking his promises you will never trust him again!

RELATED: How To Break Up With Someone Respectfully

Mitzi Bockmann is an NYC-based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. She works with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.

This article was originally published at Let Your Dreams Begin. Reprinted with permission from the author.