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Back - Trust Questions

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 TheBest (original poster member #50759) posted at 3:39 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

It's been a long couple or few years since I was here last. I've been with the same woman for going on three years in February and we have a 1 year old together. He's great and my other two are great.

Living together, starting a shared family, and generally being in a long term relationship has had it's ups and downs.

I'm dealing with triggers, and I freaking hate it. I'm just going to be completely vulnerable here and say that I instantly think about infidelity. Working late, working weekends, etc. The first thing I think of when she tells me this, is that there may be a chance she's cheating.

After the initial knee jerk reaction, I calm down a little and rationalize that it's probably not the case, and that I have been through that before. I survived and I would survive again, but I feel frustrated that I have that as an initial reaction.

New partner, never cheated on me to my knowledge. Never cheated with anyone to my knowledge, but the ex-WW used work to cheat on me. Said work dinner and work trips were necessary for her job, all the while she was cheating while leaving me home with the kids.

I'm 6 years out. I was hoping these thoughts would be in the past, but they're not. For those that are much longer out from DDay and moving on with another partner, do these feelings/thoughts/reactions ever totally go away? This is new for me since the gf's job changed recently and now she has more work away from the office at strange times. One coming up is this Friday evening. Strange time to do work but I have no proof and no way to even look.

Financially, I'm the best I've ever been. I just have this terrible feeling I won't ever trust anyone ever again.

BS: me
WS: her
2 DDs
Trying to figure out my next move. Probably some alcohol.

posts: 747   ·   registered: Dec. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8701633
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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 7:47 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

You're out longer than I am. I'm going to be 5 yrs out next March. But whether its short or long, Infidelity changes you. What you're feeling is normal. After all that's happened, you still have your guards up, and you're more aware of things that someone that hasn't gone through this wouldn't. Let it work for you, and keep you more aware.

Don't beat yourself up about it. You know what to look for, and if there aren't red flags, just be mindful that its your past and things that you've learned that are keeping you vigilante. If you need some reassurance, have a conversation with the lady about her work, and those strange times and how it makes you feel.

Good luck with the new lady and enjoy your child this holiday season.

posts: 1234   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8701655
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Fablegirl ( member #56784) posted at 8:21 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

I think it's betrayal PTSD. Just like a veteran who can't be around fireworks or a burn victim near fire. Context matters. You are hearing the same excuses and even though there's no fact or evidence to indicate that she's cheating it's just the words that stimulate a response that the biology of your body remembers. We carry all that trauma inside us.

I am six years out from D day and saw a smear of lipstick on the door of my SO's bathroom and felt my heart race thinking it was from another woman and had to resist the impulse to look through his things. Sometimes I see a coat flung over a chair and I want to go through the pockets to see if there's a phone number there. He's given me no reason to indicate he's cheated. It's me.

I also think there's a lack of trust in our own happiness, as if it's borrowed and will be snatched away by another trauma. I have no answers here, just processing with you.

posts: 226   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8701659
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Fablegirl ( member #56784) posted at 8:22 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

I think it's betrayal PTSD. Just like a veteran who can't be around fireworks or a burn victim near fire. Context matters. You are hearing the same excuses and even though there's no fact or evidence to indicate that she's cheating it's just the words that stimulate a response that the biology of your body remembers. We carry all that trauma inside us.

I am six years out from D day and saw a smear of lipstick on the door of my SO's bathroom and felt my heart race thinking it was from another woman and had to resist the impulse to look through his things. Sometimes I see a coat flung over a chair and I want to go through the pockets to see if there's a phone number there. He's given me no reason to indicate he's cheated. It's me.

I also think there's a lack of trust in our own happiness, as if it's borrowed and will be snatched away by another trauma. I have no answers here, just processing with you.

posts: 226   ·   registered: Jan. 9th, 2017   ·   location: Mid Atlantic
id 8701660
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 9:49 PM on Monday, November 29th, 2021

I just have this terrible feeling I won't ever trust anyone ever again

You can't un-ring that bell. You'll never trust as much as you did before the betrayal, that's probably not a bad thing. That's not saying your current level of mistrust is reasonable. It may also be reasonable in this case as you wouldn't be the first person to be cheated on by two different people. How much IC have you had?

I'm over ten years out. Been re-married for seven years. Triggers still happen. One of which led me here. Triggers will cause anxiety for which you need reassurance. You can't just rug sweep that anxiety away. The question for you is how you get the reassurance you need. Does your SO know your history? Including that your Ex used work as an excuse. Does she know of your current struggles? What really sucks is that history has taught us that when someone cheats they have no problem flat out lying about it when confronted. That doesn't change that maybe working together there may be ways for you to get some assurance that helps you to unwind your anxiety when triggered.

[This message edited by grubs at 9:50 PM, Monday, November 29th]

posts: 900   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8701678
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 TheBest (original poster member #50759) posted at 12:13 AM on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

I was afraid I knew the answer already. Totally fine I guess, but I was hoping it would fade.

The triggers absolutely never stop. It didn't matter before we lived together. Now we do and a lot has changed.

I know I'm in a much better place than 6 years ago, but it still doesn't make those thoughts go away. I don't want to force myself to trust, but I also don't want to be in this place where I'm thinking I'm getting cheated on either.

I have talked with her about it and I was basically told that I was going to have to trust her. I flat out told her I was unable to trust her. That would go for anyone. I even said that it's a gift of being cheated on. She didn't like it and really makes no decision to change her behaviors either. This one is falling on deaf ears.

I journal, though not nearly as often as I used to a few years ago. It still does not make this any easier, but I fear I recognize some habits and traits that are similar to my ex-WW. That's probably what worries me the most.

BS: me
WS: her
2 DDs
Trying to figure out my next move. Probably some alcohol.

posts: 747   ·   registered: Dec. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8703569
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messyleslie ( member #58177) posted at 4:13 PM on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

I don’t think I will ever fully trust and I think the right partner for me will know my history, understand it and not take it personally. When I share that their behavior or some activity triggers me they will do what they can to minimize that for me.

Whether that’s calling or being in communication a ton when they work late, being a completely open book with their phone and devices, whatever.

I read this story a long time ago about a woman who has been married to an alcoholic. After they divorced she remarried (or maybe it was long term dating, I don’t remember) and her new partner was not a big drinker and would usually only drink when they went out. So they went out to dinner one night and he had a drink while out and then they came home and as they were relaxing he poured himself some whiskey. She had a huge reaction to it because it was out of character for him and it triggered a lot of thoughts for it. She was having a huge internal reaction but assumed he would get upset if she commented on it because that’s what her ex would do. But finally she just told him that she knew it was not a big deal but that she was just having a lot of feelings about him having another drink because of her history - I think more to be like this is why I am acting weird - and without even a second thought or comment he was like "oh sorry it’s not a big deal, I don’t need it." And poured it out.

I think that is what I am going to need in a future partner.

posts: 268   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8703670
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Tallgirl ( member #64088) posted at 11:14 PM on Saturday, December 11th, 2021

For those of you who are in a new relationship, you have done the work, and you are ready. Be proud of you. Triggers or not. Entrusting your fragile heart to someone is so much harder than entrusting a heart that hasn’t been broken. It really is a gift to your new partner. Underlying fear of getting hurt makes our heads go to that ‘don’t trust zone’. That is ok as long as it doesn’t stay there.

your triggers and difficulty trusting are absolutely normal. And I think maybe a counsellor or a good friend can give you a coping mechanism for those bumpy times. You are very self aware, and I think you have this, don’t be so hard on yourself.

[This message edited by Tallgirl at 2:58 AM, Sunday, December 12th]

Legally separated, one more step.

posts: 1787   ·   registered: Jun. 11th, 2018
id 8703717
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Repossessed ( member #79544) posted at 9:45 PM on Sunday, December 12th, 2021

I have talked with her about it and I was basically told that I was going to have to trust her. I flat out told her I was unable to trust her. That would go for anyone. I even said that it's a gift of being cheated on. She didn't like it and really makes no decision to change her behaviors either. This one is falling on deaf ears.


Ouch... gotta say that I didn't like reading this.

I think more to be like this is why I am acting weird - and without even a second thought or comment he was like "oh sorry it’s not a big deal, I don’t need it." And poured it out.


^^^Now that's a keeper of a partner.

Anyway, since she's taken the 'deaf ears' approach, I wouldn't risk looking too needy and desperate by pursuing the conversation. Like someone above said, you know how to be quietly observant and vigilant.

Remember:
- overly affectionate upon coming home
- uncharacteristically distant when coming home
- over-talking a story or person (positive or negative)
- and then the obvious ones like phone guarding, getting gussied up, etc.

Here to keep myself mindful that I don't always see what actually is. I certainly didn't when I married her.

posts: 124   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Chicagoland
id 8703798
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 11:07 AM on Monday, December 13th, 2021

I’m more bothered by her "deaf ears" approach.

It is hard to trust again after a betrayal. No one wants to go through that ordeal a second time. But we all take that risk if we R or D and date again.

It’s hard not to analyze everything — behavior, words, lack of affection at times or being preoccupied— because it is ingrained in us as a betrayed.

But overcoming it can be possible. It takes time and hard work.

Here’s an example. We had friends for dinner last night and they went to a music venue. As soon as they said where they went it was an immediate trigger. It was almost 9 years ago my H was taking the OW on a date to this place.

I heard it. I felt the reaction. But I distracted myself and very quickly put it out of my mind. I made a conscious effort not to over react and let it consume me. It took me years to get here.

I decided my life was not going to be lived under the infidelity cloud about 3 years after Dday. I deserved better and I didn’t want the A to impact my life any further.

I made the choice to not live in the past. It’s not easy. I know that. But it can be done.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 11183   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8703857
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 3:30 PM on Monday, December 13th, 2021

I was basically told that I was going to have to trust her. I flat out told her I was unable to trust her. That would go for anyone. I even said that it's a gift of being cheated on.

So your current partner pays for the sins of your former partner? How do you think that feels for her?

At some point, we need to own our fears and insecurities and not force them upon another partner. Do I have issues? Yes. Do I make my partner responsible for them? No. He hasn't displayed any behaviors that make me think he would deceive me. Is trust a leap of faith? Yes. If we can't make that leap, should we even be in a relationship? Something to consider.

Don't wear infidelity as a mantle. It's not becoming. Heal and be able to be in a real relationship. If you don't trust someone, is that a real relationship?

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 32989   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8703878
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CuriousObserver ( member #78743) posted at 12:01 AM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

I have talked with her about it and I was basically told that I was going to have to trust her. I flat out told her I was unable to trust her. That would go for anyone. I even said that it's a gift of being cheated on. She didn't like it and really makes no decision to change her behaviors either. This one is falling on deaf ears.

My hackles went up reading this. So I read her part again in both a positive and negative voice. And I suppose you know what attitude she displayed to you when she relayed that to you. Follow that. However, from my perspective it seemed a little callous for your feelings, and if that is true, I see that as a red flag.

Listen to their words but believe their actions.
The power of a lie is that it is believed to be truth.

posts: 141   ·   registered: May. 3rd, 2021   ·   location: USA
id 8703936
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messyleslie ( member #58177) posted at 12:09 AM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

So your current partner pays for the sins of your former partner? How do you think that feels for her?

I think there is a lot of room between asking someone to be away of your own triggers and making them pay for the sins of a former partner.

If I dated someone who had been in a horrible car accident and they asked me to always drive in the slow lane and never go above the speed limit, I wouldn’t complain and say they needed to get over it because I am not going to change because of my partners past traumas and I shouldn’t have to suffer because of what they went through.

There are a ton of things a future partner could do to help me feel safe in the relationship thay maybe I wouldn’t have needed or asked prior to my marriage ending due to infidelity. The point is that if they care about me they want me to feel safe and are willing to change their behavior or do something extra to help me feel that way.

I can definitely see where it would go too far and you would be asking them to change something they don’t want to change and then that’s okay but then it’s not a good fit probably.

I agree that never being able to trust again blanket statement is not a way to be in a relationship but here are a handful of things that you could do to help me feel safer and reduce the triggers that my past bring up seems like something that people should be asking for in relationships. I know I would rather my future partner tell me something like that than feel scared or crappy because I just didn’t know.

posts: 268   ·   registered: Apr. 6th, 2017
id 8703938
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 TheBest (original poster member #50759) posted at 2:26 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

So your current partner pays for the sins of your former partner? How do you think that feels for her?

Whether we like it or not, we always pay for the sins of our former partners. I pay for the sins of her former partners, she pays for mine. Every relationship we had previously that was good or bad, we build a database of what we liked and didn't like. Things we went through and the things we put others through. That's dating.

I don't say this to be a dick. She knows my past. She knows details of what I went through. When I bring things up, things that trigger me, she listens, but there is no change. I don't know if there is much empathy there. There doesn't have to be, but certainly it doesn't help out with me triggers when I am told I need to deal with it essentially.

I can also tell that she's not going to change her behaviors. I have called out some things she does and there is no change. So I'm at this point where I'm with a great person but I have to deal with the parts that I don't like as much. 80/20 rule right?

BS: me
WS: her
2 DDs
Trying to figure out my next move. Probably some alcohol.

posts: 747   ·   registered: Dec. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8704044
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twicefooled ( member #42976) posted at 6:23 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

What is it that you want her to change? Are they specifics like "please text me an ETA" or big things like "my ex cheated on business trips so I don't want you going on any?"

The fact that you can't trust doesn't make that her issue, kwim? Yes, our past can define us but we don't have to be held hostage to things that we weren't responsible for causing.

I'm 1 yr into a new relationship. I was alone for almost 7yrs previous because I KNEW that I wasn't ready to hand anyone my heart. Once I felt ready to do so, we communicate about things but I would never ask him to change something he's doing just because it reminds me of my ex.

But kudos to you for communicating your needs. What she does with that is up to her, but it's always her choice.

May 29 2021 ***reclaimed myself and decided to delete my story with my ex because I'm now 7 years free from him and mentally healthier than I've been in years.

*********When you know better, you can do better*************

posts: 432   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2014
id 8704100
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 TheBest (original poster member #50759) posted at 7:45 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

I don't ever ask her to check-in or give me an eta, other than for timing dinner. I am the main cook in the house. Normally when I'm watching our son and she's out with friends, I make her hang up fast so she can hang out. I expect the same in return when I go out - which is way less than her!

What I do get on her about is the amount that she's on her phone. She is constantly texting and she will stop mid-sentence to text someone back. It's annoying. That doesn't cause mistrust, but there are some elements of her job that absolutely trigger the hell of out me. No work travel yet but she's angling for that. I told her previously that I had no intention of being in a relationship with someone who has to travel for work. That is a trigger for me. I told her this upfront so there are no surprises when it comes to that.

She does that sneaky thing with the phone where she angles it just to where I cannot see or flip the phone over where you can't see the notifications. Phones are a trigger.

There is a lot more but a lot of starts getting into her job, which has changed a lot in the past couple of months. This is a whole different can of worms I haven't even delved into with her. She called me a couple of hours ago and I called her back but her phone was off and has been now for over a couple of hours. I'm not a big fan of that.

I hid nothing from her about my past and what I dealt with so none of this is a surprise to her. I've been pretty clear on what triggers me and mostly a lot of that is not being present. I have to just deal with some things, and I get that.

The whole point of this was to see if any of the triggers ever fully go away and from what I've read and heard is that it really doesn't. I'm stuck with this for the rest of my days if I want to be in a relationship.

BS: me
WS: her
2 DDs
Trying to figure out my next move. Probably some alcohol.

posts: 747   ·   registered: Dec. 10th, 2015   ·   location: Somewhere
id 8704113
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Repossessed ( member #79544) posted at 10:10 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

Remember:

- overly affectionate upon coming home

- uncharacteristically distant when coming home

- over-talking a story or person (positive or negative)

- and then the obvious ones like phone guarding, getting gussied up, etc.

And now you say...

She does that sneaky thing with the phone where she angles it just to where I cannot see or flip the phone over where you can't see the notifications.

and I called her back but her phone was off and has been now for over a couple of hours.

Sorry, man, this isn't just trigger inducing behavior, it's effing shady. It's "I don't answer to you, and my privacy is mine. Fuck off."

Fuck that. If I'm in any kind of committed relationship, I don't want shit hidden from me. I'd hold myself to the same standard so as not to create mental discomfort for her. It's really just transparency, consideration, and a vested interest in my partner's healthy psyche.

Edit: And I'll just add that one doesn't have to have been betrayed to be put on high alert by the behavior that you just described.

[This message edited by Repossessed at 10:46 PM, Tuesday, December 14th]

Here to keep myself mindful that I don't always see what actually is. I certainly didn't when I married her.

posts: 124   ·   registered: Nov. 1st, 2021   ·   location: Chicagoland
id 8704145
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twicefooled ( member #42976) posted at 11:23 PM on Tuesday, December 14th, 2021

I have to agree with Repossessed on this one. The behaviour you are describing is shady as hell. When you love someone, you don't make them guess your whereabouts or what you are doing.

Triggers may never go away, but the right partner won't behave in suspicious ways.

May 29 2021 ***reclaimed myself and decided to delete my story with my ex because I'm now 7 years free from him and mentally healthier than I've been in years.

*********When you know better, you can do better*************

posts: 432   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2014
id 8704155
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Alonelyagain ( member #32820) posted at 2:52 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

I’m sorry, but I have to agree that your partner’s phone behavior is a lot more than just triggering on your part, it is a valid red flag. I think that her phone behavior is a red flag for cheating or that she wants you to be fearful of her cheating as payback for you telling her that you couldn’t trust her due to you being cheated on in the past. F’d up behavior either way.

posts: 393   ·   registered: Jul. 18th, 2011   ·   location: New Jersey
id 8704254
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 7:03 PM on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021

You mentioned 80/20. The thing is what's in the 80/20 is more important than the %. You need someone especially transparent just like someone with history of being with an alcoholic isn't going to be able to be with a heavy drinker. The phone thing means she's doing things she doesn't want you to see. That's a Red Flag in any committed relationship that escalates to a deal breaker for most betrayed.

posts: 900   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8704312
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