June 17, 2014 at 7:08 pm #59057
I have been with my boyfriend for8 months but before we were together he was still seeing his ex and me at the same time. He is still in contact with her which I do not like. He says they are just friends but I cant help but feel uncomfortable about it. I want to trust him with her but I am struggling. I have cheated and been cheated on before and I now have issues with it happening again. When I confront him about it, he gets very annoyed with me because he says he wants to marry me and he is doing nothing wrong by being friends with the ex.
How do I trust him and believe there is nothing wrong. For all I know, they are just friends. I want to be able to be ok with it and not feel like I am being disrepected. I want to work on myself instead of accusing him of being a cheater as this is damaging our relationship.
Thanks in advanceJune 18, 2014 at 4:32 am #59073BobParticipant
Lady Carly ~~~
Trust issues can do a lot of damage not only in your present day but also in the days ahead. These under the skin issues can actually become like an ugly boil. You can waste a lot of time bouncing the ball of ‘trust’ back and forth but it may not solve anything. Especially when they choose to deny it.
If you can arrange a face to face meeting with the two of them, I would bring an ally with you. Just to make it an even playing field. Start it out with perhaps a beer or two and some light conversation. Then it is time to ‘flip over the garbage cans’ and confront your trust issue. Their reaction and words will ultimately tell you all of the truth you are looking for. Then if he does not measure up to your expectations, do yourself a favor and drop him on the spot. There is no reason to continue to be miserable any longer. A face to face meeting with the ex girlfriend lover and him would be most ideal to get straight answers.
If he cannot be totally honest with you now, then perhaps he never will. You are a precious person, a lady nonetheless and you do not have to be treated like anything less. He can only continue to harm you, if you continue to allow him to do so. Be strong and if the shoe of your relationship does not fit, quit struggling and leave barefooted.
Have a most splendid day.June 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm #59135
Thank you for your reply Bob. I cried reading your response as your words are so kind.
I don’t think we would be able to meet together to discuss. I have tried to discuss how I feel with my partner alone and he gets very annoyed with me because he can’t believe I don’t trust him. I am very suspicious and I feel as though I need to know everything that he does, who he talks to, sees etc.
When I ‘accuse’ him of playing up, it usually ends with me in tears. I haven’t seen spoken to him or seen him for 2 days now. I am scared he will pack his bags while I am work. I pray so hard that he God will lead and guide me but I am struggling with the pain. How do you make a man talk to you and reconnect in the relationship?
A similar occurrence happened in the very early stages of our relationship as well. I was upset with him as he called me his ex’s name and he didn’t talk to me for a week. He came back to me and we rekindled and have been inseparable ever since.
I fear he may ignore me for a week and I cant take the pain. When we are good we are perfect but when something like this happens it destroys my soul. I don’t know whether I should just trust him and believe he is doing right by me or whether I should, like you said, leave bare footed.
Please help me. please.June 19, 2014 at 8:41 am #59157JohnParticipant
Hi Carly, I don’t claim to have a resolution for your situation, mainly because I can’t possibly know everything that’s involved.
Though I think I can offer some insight.
Based on what you’ve said, I see one glaring issue. Your BF was with his ex and you during a same time period. Can I assume that the ex did not know about this relationship with you during this time? That he was cheating on her with you?
If it was cheating, then you know without a doubt that he has cheated in a relationship. Not to mention that you have stated that you have cheated in a relationship as well. It would not surprise me if this is the reason (or at least a main one) for your being suspicious of his intentions.
Let’s say he never sees his ex again. Ask yourself if you’re still suspicious of him in other situations. While you’re at it, ask yourself if you trust yourself in other situations as well. You may be at a point in your life where it’s a good idea to take a step back and evaluate what kind of romantic relationship you want to have. Do you want a relationship where you don’t have to worry about him sleeping with someone behind your back?
If you routinely have these feelings about him cheating, I have to say it would do you well to take a step back and consider these things. How much of a step back you need is only for you to measure. Maybe take a few days to yourself. Tell him this, rather than disappear from him. Communication is the key. If he doesn’t like the idea of you taking some space for yourself, then ask yourself if you want to be with someone who doesn’t allow you your own space.
My point is that each of us is free to pursue the kind of relationships which we feel comfortable with. This does not mean attempting to change the other person. Though it may mean changing yourself, in the ways you see fit. You set your own standards/boundaries, though it may take some time to work those things out on your own, discover what those are.
Accept the possibility that things might not work out between you two. I can tell you really don’t want the relationship to end, and yeah it’s a heart breaking experience. But it’s not the end, and you know it.
Hope this offers you a new and beneficial perspective.June 19, 2014 at 8:50 am #59160ChloéParticipant
Carly, the answer is you have to trust and love yourself. You are insecure about him because you are not completely happy with yourself. If he hasnt given you a reason to not trust him, then there really isnt a problem. By confronting him with this problem you are only pushing him away more – “If you love something, set them free. If they come back to you, they are yours, if they don’t they never were.
HOWEVER; if you sincerely have a problem with him talking to her (and not only because you don’t trust their relationship) but if it’s just a principle of yours not wanting your bf to talk to an ex – then give him an ultimatum, either it’s her or YOU. Don’t be afraid of doing this – it can be, because what if he chooses her? But if he really respects your words he will step up and do as you said, if he doesnt, then you shouldnt waste more time on a man who is not responding to your needs.
Love, ChloéJune 19, 2014 at 6:38 pm #59205
Thank you all for your advice. I will be taking bits and pieces from everyone. Iv’e never been on a forum before and I can’t believe the love and support I feel from complete strangers. You have helped me so so much.
I think I will be taking a step back and taking some time to reflect on what I want and who I want to be in this relationship. I don’t want to be the controlling girlfriend who decides who my partner can and cannot speak with, this has never been who I am. How do I discover what my own standards and boundaries are?
Chloe, you are right. If you love something, set it free. Perhaps I need to give my partner room to move and trust him to respect our relationship. If I make him feel trapped he will be sure to leave and I wouldn’t blame him.
John, before my partner and I were ‘official’ he was seeing her but they were not officially dating either. They had broken up months before and were spending time together but they were not ‘back together’ as such. I believe she found out about me quite early on and whether she was naive and thought he was only seeing her or she was ok with him seeing the both of us, I don’t know. I would suspect the first scenario. She was surprised to find out that he had made me his girlfriend.
Sometimes when he goes out girls will come up to him and I feel as though he should be pushing them away a little more than what he does. I know he likes the attention and I knew he was like that when I first met him. However, I don’t really feel suspicious of these girls, it’s only his ex as I know she used to hold his heart.
Any advice on how I go about letting go and having faith in my relationship? Easy to say, but what do I need to do to put into practice.
Thank you my friends, I feel like I’m growing already.June 20, 2014 at 9:24 am #59260JohnParticipant
Faith/trust in the relationship (my take)
I see relationships as connections which are out of our control. Sure, each of us has some measure of control over ourselves. But it takes two people for a relationship to exist. Since you are not controlling (and should not be) the other half of the relationship, then relationships takes their own course. Consider another relationship like a friendship. Surely your friendships don’t all feel the same. I think it’s simply because each friendship involves a unique combination of personalities. How those two personalities react to each other gives rise to the type of friendship which emerges. We don’t choose what kind of friendship we’re going to have with someone, and then make it happen. It just happens naturally. We can probably think of that one friend who we can go years without speaking, meet up again out of the blue, and pick up right where we left off. Then there are friends who we can’t go as far with, for whatever the reason. Maybe just not enough common interests, sense of humor, compassion, whatever. My point is that relationships are very much out of our control. And that is healthy.
My advice is to let go of having faith in the relationship. Let it happen naturally, if it is to happen. Attempting to make yourself trust in it is not good. It can’t be. It would be like you’re simply commanding yourself to feel confident in something without enough evidence. I think it’s good to have experiences to draw on, over time, to develop trust.
On that note, what you can do for yourself is be attentive to your experience. For example, if you’re bothered about him not pushing girls away enough, take note of it. But give it some thought, if you haven’t already. Ask yourself how you behave when you talk to attractive guys. Do you harmlessly flirt? Do you get excited? Do you behave like he does when he talks to other girls? Maybe you’ve already considered this and are still bothered by how he acts around other girls. Are you specific to him/yourself about what about it bothers you? I’m exploring ways in which you can be more in tune with what you’re experiencing, and avoiding a rushed judgment.
I’m trying not to come off as a know-it-all, with solutions to problems. I don’t know the best answers to people’s dilemas. But I have invested a LOT of time in sorting things out on my own, struggling to connect the dots, making sense of life as I see it. And one person’s perspective is all I can offer. What I do know is that humans are amazingly good at fooling themselves and others. It often takes effort to pull back the curtain and see what’s going on inside our minds. And it takes routine effort to turn it into a healthy habit, hopefully increasing our wisdom. Also, the more I work on myself, it seems the less needy I become to be in a romantic relationship. It becomes more of a ‘nice to have’ than a ‘must have’. And that has brought me a lot of peace, and an increased appreciation for life.
Pardon my rambling. Hopefully there is some tidbits you can draw from. The points I try to stress are to let trust and relationships happen naturally, consider specifically what bothers you and why, and lastly, setting boundaries. I did a quick search on the internets for it, and there is an intereting one on this very site. http://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-set-healthy-boundaries-3-crucial-first-steps/June 21, 2014 at 5:13 am #59298
My trust issues are a direct result of my own level of trust for myself.
Can I trust myself to accept that today I made a choice to be with this person and then act like it?
Or will I traumatize myself with my thoughts and feelings of mistrust that are directly related to my own past.
Today is a new day. Everyone has a clean slate. Bringing past or present thoughts into our now is the act of stealing serenity from ourselves IMO.
Trust begins with me. If I behave in ways that allow me to trust myself, mind – body – soul, I will not obsess on ‘if’ I can trust others so much. My happiness and contentment with myself will be enough – having a relationship is the cherry on top the cake – but I provide my peace, happiness and serenity by behaving in ways that contribute to those things.
For me this wasn’t easy. There were a lot of choices I made that were out of the ordinary for me when I started on a spiritual path. One was exactly related to this topic. Trusting my husband. As far as I knew (for sure) he was trustworthy. I was sabotaging our relationship with my jabs toward his trustworthiness – and ultimately it was all in my head. I needed to see the thoughts come, and let them pass – not follow the thought trail. Especially not act on it. This took practice – I was compelled to do things like check his phone or email and ask questions which were directly related to the negativity of my obsession.
It was simply that – an obsession. A way to distract me from me – and all of the feelings I had around my own untrustworthy past. I worked toward resolving those personal issues. I rooted out some of the reasons why I continually betrayed myself in life. Why I acted in ways that did not allow me to trust myself. For one, I was brought up believing I was fairly worthless – so as a result, I did not honor the being that I am. I did not find myself worthy of decent behavior.
The changes started with me. I had to discover my own set of morals and values, and then live up to them for my own sake – not for others. I had to prove to me that I could trust me to behave in those ways so I could begin to feel some self esteem and self worth. When I continually showed up for myself emotionally and spiritually, and started living a more spiritual and principle based life, I began trusting myself to not harm me emotionally.
Beyond that, I realized that trusting others was not so important. I didn’t need anyone to prove anything to me… if they were trustworthy or not no longer affected me so acutely… as I was already providing for myself through self love and growth. If they behaved ‘badly’ or not trustworthy or whatever… I didn’t take it personally. It wasn’t about me – just like my own issues were never about external things or people. They were about me. Nothing people did was AT me – and it didn’t/doesn’t DEFINE me as worthy of love or someone being committed to me etc. I already know that I am those things… because I act like it… like myself… and trust myself.
Ironically – my obsessions in all forms have ceased to exist as I got more in tune with my true nature which was to be kind, loving, honest, trustworthy, compassionate, passionate etc etc.
I no longer shop, eat, drink or clean impulsively – chew my nails or obsess about my husband or other people ‘misdoings’ to me. I focus on my life and my self and what I can do to make it peaceful.
I try to stay in the moment, focus on things that will bring out the best in me and others… and leave the results of all my efforts up to the Universe. By accepting things as they are, and myself as I am as I grow – I find peace and joy in being alive.
Best wishes on your journey
TashJune 21, 2014 at 6:19 am #59301The RuminantParticipant
@tash I adore your post. It reflects the same realizations I’ve found in my own life, even though I do still get lost and forget what I should be doing. By the way, have you ever read any of David Richo’s books? I think you might enjoy them, as he writes about finding trust in oneself after a difficult childhood and how to be an adult in relationships.June 21, 2014 at 6:48 am #59302
Hello Rumi –
I have not read any books on spirituality – self help – or (gasp Buddhism… woops, did I just disclose that I am here on a whim and a hope lol). I do read books for ACA’s – children of dysfunction and participate in a group for support with that.
Most of the books I enjoy are either science fiction or books about people’s adventures living in nature – such as Jane Goodall’s books.
I appreciate your tip – though, I am sometimes reluctant to read other people’s ‘versions’ of spirituality or enlightenment etc – as I am trying to define myself and my own beliefs – I am not inclined to be swayed by ‘others’ and do not want to put myself in that position.
I prefer to ‘learn’ or be guided by people that I actually know – like you… now.
Thanks for being here 🙂June 21, 2014 at 6:50 am #59303
(Rumi – if I got to know YOU… I would then read YOUR book) 😉June 21, 2014 at 7:16 am #59304The RuminantParticipant
@tash That is funny, because I also want to form my own view of the world and not be swayed by others’ beliefs 🙂 Then again, there are a lot of similarities in ACAs. The reason I like David Richo is that he is very gentle in his explanations of what might a healthy relationship look like. It’s not a doctrine forced upon you.
I am very suspicious of anyone who claims to have access to some sort of ultimate truth. I pick up different pieces here and there and see what is a good fit for me in that particular time in my life. That is the same approach I take to my posts here: I do not claim to know everything, but I want to share what has helped me. If it might offer a missing piece to someone in that moment, then great! If not, then that’s OK. I also find that there are some basic principles that seem to be universal, but how we perceive them and how we understand them, differs. So I keep preaching my own view of what I think unconditional love is, not because I believe that my version is the whole truth, but because there might be someone out there who can understand my point of view easier than someone else’s. Ultimately, the most important thing is that people will find peace in themselves.
…and so that I would not completely derail this thread, I’ll respond to the OP as well 🙂
@carlsbarkley Like others have pointed out, you need to trust yourself in order to trust others. Even if you had access to knowledge of everything that your partner does, it would not take away the underlying problem of fear of losing him. I don’t think that you can force yourself to let go and allow him to be. It happens naturally when you find the fulfillment in yourself. There is no need to grab onto another person when you are content in who you are. It becomes easier to allow others to be who they are.
Another thing that happens with self-love and fulfillment is that since you view yourself as a worthy human being, you’ll naturally gravitate towards people who see you the same way, and you’ll naturally let go of the people who don’t share your feeling of contentment and love. When you are looking for a fix from outside of yourself, someone to fill the void, it’s much easier to accept all kinds of behavior from others, even when they hurt you and treat you poorly. You can’t let them go, because you need them for a feeling of fulfillment. But if you are fulfilled already, the poor treatment becomes a repellant. Why stay with those who try to hold you down?
But the prerequisite is self-love, self-respect, self-nurturing…June 21, 2014 at 7:19 am #59305
Well said – I agree completely (today) hehe.June 24, 2014 at 3:52 am #59451AnyoneParticipant
It’s pretty simple, if the person wants to be with you, he will be true to you.
Your case is similar to what I had gone through. My ex used to start shouting on me and be angry whenever he sensed he was at fault. The night I caught him cheating on me, the next day he was charging me for not sleeping beside him….:-) looking back, now I laugh at it! I was blindly in love with him, and scared of losing him (just like you’re supposedly feeling); and then he used to take undue advantage by manipulating me.
Please be a strong person, we can’t be depending on someone else’s acceptance for our own existence.
Lots of positivity to you dear….