My roommate, Eddie, is decently cool. He’s a 40s-something NYPD sergeant who doesn’t drink and has a thing for keeping things really clean. He met his girlfriend at the laundromat down the street, and she’s cute. A bit cross-eyed and too flat-chested for his tastes, he says, but cute anyway. She has two daughters by her estranged husband, one 7-ish and one nearly 1 (or just barely 1, I’m not sure which). Eddie has a daughter, 18, by his first wife, and a son, 16, by his second wife (who he’s in the process of divorcing). Eddie’s girlfriend is 24. But you know what? That’s fine. Whatever floats your boat, man. I’m not one to judge. At least not out loud…. heh. ^_^;;;
Anyway, his girlfriend is sweet. She loves the color pink so much that I’ve never seen either of her daughters wearing anything but pink clothing. Eh. Not my thing, but whatever. She’s nice and sometimes we gab about Eddie when he’s not in earshot. She’s a jealous one, though, and Eddie has lied to her on numerous occasions about where he’s been or what he’s been doing just so that he doesn’t have to deal with the possible (probable) repercussions. For the record, he’s never done anything I would consider to be wrong or jealous-worthy, though I must admit I have a pretty liberal and situation-oriented view of what “wrong” is. We’re JUST ROOMMATES, believe it or not, and though he’s taken me out to dinner a few times, it’s been made clear that it’s on a friends-only basis.
For example, this conversation has been had more than once, usually over the phone:
GF: Where are you?
Eddie: At the laundromat/grocery store/diner/pizzeria/Ikea/whatever.
More conversation is had, then it returns to his whereabouts.
GF: Who are you with?
Eddie: [if he decides to tell the truth] Viannah.
GF: Why didn’t you tell me that before? Why is she with you?
Eddie: She’s just doing her laundry/getting food/eating dinner/whatever.
GF: Yeah, but why did you have to take her with you?
Eddie: I didn’t. She just—
GF: Then why is she with you?
If he decides not to tell the truth, the girlfriend is quite literally left of out loop and then I get the short end of the stick later because I said something (like, “Yeah, when we were at Ikea the other day… blah blah blah”) that she didn’t know. So, she gives him the evil eye (for not telling her), and he gives me the evil eye (for telling her by accident)—as if I was supposed to know what he did or did not tell her.
The way I see it, there are two things wrong with this. First and most obviously, he’s lying to her. Since I came clean about my troubled (or not) past, I’ve seriously and constantly clung to the idea that full disclosure* is important. I’m all about full disclosure. I love it and want everyone to do it as much as possible. Seriously. I’ve been converted. Lying sucks. Heaven knows people don’t agree with me (coughBennettcough), but I truly believe that full disclosure is the answer to most of the world’s problems. And, yes, I’d really go that far: when people know, they are much more likely to be responsible, not to mention more well-adjusted and concerned citizens. I despise the notion that “what I don’t know won’t hurt me”—that in itself is a lie!!! Anyway, full disclosure is important in personal relationships, too. Maybe more important. So, the first thing is that Eddie’s lying to his girlfriend.
* “Full disclosure” is the idea that a person should tell the whole truth in an effort to create an atmosphere of honesty and allow the other person(s) involved to make better-informed decisions. It’s also known as “information disclosure” and is most often used in legal documents and in regards to security issues.
I understand that he doesn’t want to have to deal with her jealousy issues and it’s just easier for everyone if she thinks that everything is the way she wants it to be, but what if she finds out? Lying just compounds the problem; not only do you have to deal with the jealousy thing, you also have to deal with no longer being trusted—or trustworthy. Plus, anyone smart enough to realize that you’re lying to your own girlfriend will realize that you’re probably lying to them, too. So, the “being trusted” thing goes out the window, and not just for one person. Everyone who watched you lie and knows you’re lying won’t trust you, either. Plus, lying implies that you have something to hide. If the situation is innocent, as ours is, why are you lying? It’s a totally no-win situation.
The second thing is less obvious. To keep things running smoothly in Eddie’s relationship with his girlfriend, he lies to her about where he’s been and what he’s done (particularly in relation to me, his roommate). But that means that when I don’t lie (about where he’s been and what he’s done—all of which, I repeat, is innocent, so I don’t know what the big deal is, anyway), I’m creating problems. So, I can either  go along with Eddie’s lies to make everything easier, or  not go along with them and get reprimanded every time I make things harder for him. If I do #1, I have to [a] keep tabs on everything he has or has not told her so that my story will stay in sync, [b] perpetuate his lies by lying myself, and [c] cover for him when she asks me about him. That is not making “everything easier” for me. If I do #2, Eddie chides me for creating problems between him and his girlfriend and he strongly implies that I’ve let him down and I’m less of a friend for doing so.
The underlying problem here is, essentially, that his girlfriend is unreasonably jealous. Let me say, though: jealously in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. It’s a bad thing only when it unduly interferes with one’s personal relationships… which, in this case, it is. So, she’s jealous of the time we (Eddie and I) spend together… the complete ridiculousness of which she would understand if she knew what went on when we’re alone or at the grocery store or diner or whatever. But, instead of trying to fix or otherwise work on the problem, Eddie seems to just ignore it and lies instead, which makes things easier for him (so long as  I don’t mess things up and  his girlfriend doesn’t find out in some other way).
That leaves me in a bind. I don’t want to lie anymore, for any reason; seriously, lying has totally lost its flavor for me. But, I also don’t want to create more tension between Eddie and me—I do have to live with him, after all, at least for the next three or four months (more on this later). Any advice you all have would be greatly appreciated.