Dear Kelly: Recently someone on ask.fm asked me if I thought my boyfriend (and they used his name) would ever cheat on me, and I said no. Then they asked if I thought I knew him very well, if I believe everything he says and if I was stupid. I got angry and stopped answering their questions, but now I’m totally freaked out.
When I asked my boyfriend he said it was just someone messing with me, and I shouldn’t overreact to someone being childish. I believe him, but I wonder if I’m being stupid and naïve. I was so happy in our relationship and never thought he would cheat on me before this, but now I’m starting to find holes in everything he tells me and question him about everything. I haven’t caught him in a direct lie yet, but I’m not sure if he just lies so well that I can’t see it when he lies.
He’s getting mad (like really mad!), and he says he’s never given me a reason to act like this and that he’s not a liar. He’s doubting if he wants to be together anymore. It’s causing a ton of drama in our relationship, and I really think we might break up over this because I no longer trust him, even though I don’t know why. Does that sound so silly?
I’m so confused and I can’t sleep anymore because of this. It’s serious, and I don’t know what to do. I need help.
– Train Wreck
Dear Train Wreck: My answer might not help you on this exact subject, but it can help you for future issues. It’s a simple answer and you may not like it, but you did ask for help. Here goes: Stop using ask.fm. Delete the app and move on.
I know that sounds harsh and adultlike. Why teenagers use ask.fm is a mystery to me. It encourages mean behavior, cruel words and thoughtless comments. It allows people to anonymously ask controversial questions that they might never ask if you knew who was asking it. It has created quite a stir in the social networking area because people have been bullied, threatened and harassed through their ask.fm accounts. In simple terms, it can be very dangerous to the emotional welfare of people who use it.
You are a perfect example of one of the many dangers it poses. You trusted your boyfriend. He never did anything to make you doubt him. He has been a good guy up until someone planted the seed in your mind that he was cheating. From there, you took off and you let their comments grow into doubt, insecurity or distrust. Guess what? You let whoever asked you those questions win. If their mission was to cause drama, distrust or suspicion in your relationship, it worked.
Think of how easy that was for them to wreak so much havoc in your relationship simply by planting a seed of doubt.
If you insist on using that app, please go on and turn off anonymous questions in your privacy settings. This way nobody will be able to ask you anonymously, and you’ll have better control over content you receive in your Inbox. You can also block whoever was asking you those questions so they can’t ask you to have a connection with you. That, however, does not stop other people from doing the same thing. The only way to stop this from happening all together is to delete the app.
My guess is you have an Instagram account. Or are on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Kik or Snapchat. Shouldn’t that be enough? If you continue to use ask.fm, you are inviting drama into your life and creating the train wreck you are trying to sift through right now. Like I always tell my readers, life is one big fat choice, and you have to choose wisely.
Stop driving yourself crazy with your boyfriend. Decide if you can trust him anymore. If you are going to be a mess and never trust him again (even though he has done nothing to warrant that), then break up and move on. Spare both of you the agony of your insecurities and cut the ties.
If you chose to believe your boyfriend over some lame person who used ask.fm to ignite all kinds of doubt in you, then you let go of what was said and move on and stop questioning everything he says. Trust your boyfriend until he gives you a reason to not trust him. If someone wants to tell you face-to-face that he is cheating or gives you evidence to support their concerns, then you should listen to what that person has to say.
Other than that, stop letting others run your life and your relationship. Don’t push him away because you got tricked into believing someone who can’t even talk to you in person about their concerns. Trust and believe someone you care about instead of someone hiding behind a screen.
Kelly Richardson, a Folsom therapist, works with adolescents.