I am nineteen years old. A few years ago, I met a man on Facebook…. At that time, I was communicating, not only with him, but with many other men too. I went out with them, got their hopes up, lied to them, and used them….

I made the decision to leave my family (lying to them that I was going to study and work) so that I could be with this man…. Now that I’m living with him, my mom told him everything about my past because she wanted to make sure that he would still accept me with all my faults!

Even now… I continue looking for ex-boyfriends and communicating with them…. Please help me to be different and… be happy.

Dear Friend,

We congratulate you on recognizing that you have been dishonest and that you have used men for your own purposes. You are right that, to be happy, you will need to live differently.

However, to live differently you must first think differently. We believe that your unhappiness and your dishonesty are based upon flawed thinking. You obviously believe that men will make you happy, and the more men, the happier you will be. Because you believe this, you had multiple concurrent relationships in the past, and you are now looking for ex-boyfriends in addition to your live-in boyfriend.

When there are multiple men, you hide them from one another. That usually requires lying and manipulating. It also requires hiding your true self and keeping any man from really knowing you. This avoidance of emotional intimacy prevents you from forming satisfying relationships, which contributes to your unhappiness.

When God created the first man and woman, He determined that marriage would be the ideal relationship for emotional and physical intimacy. Since then, every man and woman who promise fidelity to one another through their marriage vows, and then keep those vows and promises, have unlimited potential for working toward happiness and satisfaction.

God’s Word, the Bible, teaches us how to live in a way that leads to happiness and contentment. In the Ten Commandments there are some basic rules. But because none of us is perfect, we have all broken those rules, just as you have. Fortunately, God loves us so much that He is willing to forgive us. Please read Case 569 to find out how you can be forgiven and how to start over with regard to your beliefs and decisions.

We highly recommend that you seek professional help. A counselor can help you identify patterns of faulty thinking. In the meantime, we believe that you should separate from your boyfriend and from all the other men with whom you are communicating. Take a break from all men so that you can have time to pursue your studies, or your work, or relationships with your family and friends. Work on being authentic and honest with each person. If you lie without realizing it, apologize and correct the error. Become the kind of woman who has nothing to hide and who can recognize and value honesty and integrity in others.

We wish you the best,