Dear Dr. Archer,
I have been with my boyfriend for ten years. I've known him since seventh grade, but we began dating when I was a freshman in college; I was 19 while he was 18. We live in the same town and have the same circle of friends.
About three months ago I found out he has been going to strip clubs frequently. He has pictures of strippers on his phone. He even has pictures of some of his co-workers, too. This has completely shocked my world. We talked it out, and he told me he would not go back, but I have since found out he's gone back once.
I don't know what to think about this. Should I try to work it out because we've been together so long? Or should I just walk away?
If the lying about frequenting strip clubs isn't bad enough, the photos he chooses to carry with him on his phone are. If he had no intention of not stopping at his favorite watering hole, then he should have told you as much. The fact is, he didn't; he went to the strip club again, once that you know of, probably more often.
Whether you've been together 10 days, 10 months, or 10 years, your boyfriend should be someone you trust. He has broken that trust even after a heart to heart talk.
My advice, take a break and tell him why. After 10 years it could be that he has become bored or stagnant or perhaps he has been doing this all along. So, you need to decide if this is the guy for you and some time apart will help. Similarly he needs to do some thinking also.
After time apart, I think your answers will be very clear. Take care.