Hello, world. My name's Stephen LaConte, I'm a writer here at BuzzFeed, and sometimes I give our readers advice.
So I've invited you to message me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places) with your biggest problems — and I'm solving 'em right here on BuzzFeed, one DM at a time. Let's get right to it.
Today, we've got this person, whose boyfriend recently set up a catfishing trap in an attempt to catch them cheating. Here's what they wrote to me via Instagram:
Y'know, it's funny how people often accuse others of the things they're actually guilty of doing themselves. The outgoing president of the United States is a perfect example of this: No one cries "fraud" more than Donald Trump, perhaps because his own life has been so full of it.
And indeed, if there's one thing I've learned from doing this advice column and reading thousands of your DMs, it's that nobody obsesses over whether their partner is cheating on them more than cheaters do.
When you think about it, this actually makes some sense. Serial cheaters* are people who put their own desires above all else, and who will jump at a chance for instant gratification even if it hurts their partner down the road. It logically follows that someone who operates in such a selfish, me-first kind of way might also have a hard time trusting people. When you're incapable of making sacrifices for others, it becomes much harder to believe that others will make sacrifices for you.
Of course, it's normal for anyone to feel insecure about their relationship sometimes, and it's human to occasionally worry about a partner being unfaithful. But compulsive, habitual cheaters have a tendency to get particularly paranoid about this stuff, and they'll often do something drastic and alarming with that paranoia, for example...setting up a trap to catch their partner in the act.
I hope the irony of your boyfriend's attempted sexting trap isn't lost on you, by the way. You caught him sending nudes to others at the start of your relationship, and now he's trying to trick you into committing that same violation. You need to ask yourself: Why?
Maybe it's a sign that he's still cheating. Or maybe he's trying to alleviate his guilt for his past indiscretions by proving that you're a cheater, too. Or maybe he's just fundamentally incapable of trusting his partner — perhaps he can't fathom why you wouldn't take the bait and cheat, like he did to you for the first six months of your relationship.
I don't know which of those options it is, but it almost doesn't matter, because here's the one thing I do know: You should dump this guy. Period.
Catfishing your partner in an attempt to catch them cheating on you is incredibly fucked up, deceitful, and toxic. It's also, frankly, scary. I worry that if this guy is capable of pulling such a violating stunt like this, he's capable of even worse forms of manipulation and emotional abuse down the road.
I'm so sorry that your boyfriend has put you through his cheating, and then his catfishing, and then his lies about the catfishing. Please dump him before he can put you through anything else. You deserve better.
TL;DR: Untrustworthy people have a hard time trusting others. Dump him.
That's all the advice I'm giving today, folks, but if you've got any words of wisdom for our DMer, share them in the comments! I'll be reading...
Want more advice and updates on previous DMers? Follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places). And if you want to submit a question to be featured in the column, DM me — just be sure to read the rules below first.
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