I had early trust issues with my boyfriend of two and a half years. He has a lot of girlfriends, or girls in general, that he constantly texts and calls
He even complained that after nine-plus years with his last girlfriend, that she still didn’t trust him. I’ve started to sympathize with her.
During our relationship we’d have disagreements about my inability to trust him. I began to feel crazy just for feeling that way.
Then, early this year, I discovered he’d cheated on me. He said the girl was upset on her father's death anniversary and he went over to see if she's okay and they both got drunk.
But I know that she’d texted him that she was drunk and tipsy and he’d replied, "Do you get naughty when you're tipsy?" He was asking for trouble and won’t admit it.
He said he worried because she was constantly suicidal. Yet they barely knew each other, having only worked together for a couple of months.
When I learned he’d just had surgery, I stayed and helped him with everything and didn’t raise this until later.
He’s apologized. We decided to work things out and have been more honest with each other than before.
But months later, I still feel so hurt. He knows I’m uncomfortable about a girl on his sports team, but he messages her constantly. Meanwhile, I know he’s uncomfortable with certain guy friends of mine so I've distanced from them.
His best friend has said that he likes to be the centre of attention, the good guy. With girls, he keeps a wide-open net and likes to have them close.
He's very good with my family and does many great things for me (cooks for me after a long day’s work, picks me up from the subway station).
But I don't know how to solve the problem anymore. Do I cut my losses and walk away? How do we solve the trust issues when they’re so broken?
He loves attention from many sources. That’s unlikely to change. For you to trust him, you’d have to believe that he understands that he can’t always be “the good guy” to other women.
The line has to be drawn between you and your two families, and perhaps a few old female friends whom you know and trust.
Just as he must believe that you’re only caring of other close male relatives and a few friends he knows and trusts.
If he can’t accept that line, you won’t be comfortable. There’ll always be women he meets at work, sports, neighbours, etc. And you’ll keep being uncomfortable as he gets friendlier with them.
Let him know clearly that you’re not “crazy,” and that his need for female attention can end what you two have together. Given his “wide net,” this one more chance should be the last one.
Do you think my relationship can survive infidelity, if he's also done it in his past relationship? He wants to seek counselling.
If he goes through a full process of counselling, and doesn’t just promise it, he may be sincere.
If he tells you what he’s learning about himself, and agrees to one joint session where you can ask questions of the therapist, he’s making an honest effort.
But he does have two strikes - the past infidelity and the one while with you.
He should be told firmly by you, that a third strike means OUT.
Repeated infidelity can bring you heartache for years.
Comment - I’m 65. My wife of 43 years died last year unexpectedly. We were a loving, sexual couple.
We met when I was a graduate student and she was a psychiatric/public health nurse. She went on birth control and then we became lovers, later married. I was 22, she was 23.
When I got a university faculty position, we decided to have a baby. She went off the pill, greatly relieved because it disrupted her seriously, both hormonally and mood-wise.
After she gave birth, she used an intra-uterine device (IUD). As parents of an amazing child we decided not to have any more birth children, but rather to adopt.
I had my vasectomy at 32. We adopted an 18-month old girl a year later.
If a man’s worried about the effects of a vasectomy on his virility, I assure him that my wife and I were amazing lovers for three decades after I had a vasectomy.
Tip of the day:
Reasonable distrust doesn’t go away unless the reason no longer exists.