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Author Topic: Can I trust her?
Cadence350
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- I'm 26, she is 18. First relationship for both of us
- We've been together for almost 9 months
- 2 months ago, she got drunk at a wedding and made out with another guy. I forgave her thinking it would be a one time thing
- 2 weeks after I forgave her, I told her I wanted a break from our relationship for a few years. We never took a break, we just had a rough week after I said I wanted one. I felt she wasn't ready to be in a serious relationship. She mentioned on 5 separate occasions that she sometimes felt this way. 3 of those were occasions were in a week and one of those occasions lead to her kissing the other guy. She claims, as soon as they started kissing, she realized it was wrong and put an end to it.

Anyway, after the kiss and after the 'break', things had been going smoothly for the past 2 months. I recently saw on her Facebook that she messaged a guy she hooked up with a few times in the past. She sorta told me about it right when it happened. She said that he messaged her out of the blue and they just had a short, meaningless conversation. What I saw was that she messaged him out of the blue, and he didn't really seem interested in talking, so their conversation was short and meaningless.

I haven't confronted her about it. The one lie, to me, isn't a huge deal, but it makes me wonder if she would lie about other guys in the future or has lied in the past. I feel like, when I asked for a break, it really crushed her and, since then, she's told me that she's afraid that I may leave her sometime in the future. She's terrified of being old and alone, and I feel that she doesn't intend to be unfaithful to me with this guy, but she just feels better keeping tabs on him in case I end up actually leaving her.

I really REALLY want this to work, but I feel stupid trusting someone who has already been unfaithful (keep in mind that she called me tons of times to tell me immediately after it happened. I could have gone on not knowing about it), and I just found out she randomly messaged an old buddy out of the blue. I should also note that two other guys had messaged her on her Facebook sorta creepin on her, and she made it very clear to both of them that she was taken and wasn't interested, so it's not like she is going around talking to any and all men.

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Cadence... I'm sorry that you've been feeling so rough about this. At the same time I honestly don't think she's doing anything wrong, or that the issue here is whether you can trust this person!

Maybe the kissing someone 2 months ago was overstepping a non-verbal agreement between you two about what you were aloud to do. But calling you after and realizing she didn't want to be doing that seems to indicate to me that it was a mistake and isn't something she really wants to be a part of your relationship.

I don't think she needed to tell you about a private conversation with anyone. And that this again was her investing something in your relationship.

What seems more worrying is that you would read her private messages with an aim to making an interpretation on it.

I not only feel that you can trust this person, but I also think it might be worth thinking about where you should draw the line here.

You can't stop her kissing other fellas by investigating her, it can happen anyway without you knowing... but as you've seen she's been persistently honest, and brought things up to you un-prompted, that she thought might have been troubling to you. So why do the investigating?

I think your active role in suspecting her, and mistrusting her, is likely a much greater risk to your relationship and the happiness of the pair of you in it. Respecting our partners is vitally important and I don't think the age difference between you warrants any suspicion on your part either.

I also don't think her being flirty, casually having conversations with guys, or even hypothetically wanting to kiss other people (which she doesn't actually seem to want) would be an inherent character flaw or immaturity... all it might do is highlight an incompatibility between the pair of you, wanting different things.

Mutual incompatibility is the only way to think about what comes from wanting different things from a relationship... If you don't feel you can be happy in a relationship with her... this is it's own fact. It seems that the risk of break up for her is something she is taking very personally. In which case, if you do care for her, it is the time when you need to be most caring.

I'm also not hearing anything that she's asking of you in this relationship, like privacy, or anything like that... I don't think there's any relationship where we don't have cause to ask things of each-other. For this to be a healthy thing I really think you need to consider if there is an imbalance here, and what you can be doing about it.

I'm sorry for coming at this from something of a different perspective to you, but it seems to me there are some really serious things to be thinking about when it comes to your relationship with your girlfriend.

Do think it through. And I hope it can help you, and that you might feel it getting you on the way to feeling more ok.

[ 06-21-2012, 01:26 PM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

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Cadence350
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Thanks for your post.

It definitely was not right of me to see that conversation, I know that. I guess, after the kiss, it's taking me some time to trust her again. I told her it would take time.

She didn't have to share the fact that she had a conversation with an ex of hers. I suppose the conversation itself was not bad. I know she talks to other guys she's been physical with before, and that doesn't bother me. What bothered me was that she specifically said he initiated the conversation, when, in fact, she messaged him.

She actually gave me access to her Facebook yesterday because some random guy was messaging her, she started messing with him, and she wanted me to see it. Once I logged in, we talked about the conversation with her ex. Before I logged in, she had deleted that conversation and a few others.

I confronted her about the conversation, about deleting the conversation, and one other minor thing I suspected she was lying about. She continued to lie for quite a while, even though I kept insisting she was lying. She started to try and make me feel bad for accusing her of lying, but I knew she was, so I kept insisting. She eventually admitted to lying, but, for me, it took her too long to do so.

I do need to be more trusting of her, and I can't see myself being this intrusive any more. I just needed to make it clear that honesty is very important to me. I don't believe she lied to try and be unfaithful or hurt me behind my back. She just absolutely hates any sort of disagreement or confrontation, so, I believe, she thought it would be easier to just lie about her conversation, rather than tell the truth and it be an issue.

We did talk a lot today, and I believe she understands now how important honesty is, even if it is something minor. To me, it's not really about the lie itself, but it's the fact that it just makes it harder for me to trust her again.

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Cadence350
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Maybe I should add that she is good family friends with one of my buddies. He knew her really well when she was a teenager, and she lied profusely to him to get attention. The worst lie was that she made him believe some 19 year old guy got her drunk and raped her. The truth was that she had just been talking to this guy and nothing had really happened.

When I started talking to her, she made seemed as though she wanted to start fresh with me and not be that person any more. I believe she truly has changed, and I know that people do change. She was about 14-15 when these lies were going on, so I didn't want to hold that against her. I never really did. I confronted her about the rape story when we first started talking, she continued the lie, but I didn't make a big deal about it. A few months in, she knew we were going to be serious, and I guess she felt the need to fess up. She brought up that lie on her own. It was in the past, so I wasn't mad or didn't hold it against her, I was just glad she had the courage to tell the truth and it made me feel better that she was being honest with me. I guess these few small lies I found out just made me question whether or not she has really changed.

I do need to be more trusting, and I think over time, she can prove that to me. I can usually tell when she is lying, without investigating, so I actually just had a suspicion recently, and I decided to look into it.

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thumb tack
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Hi Cadence,

I hope you dont mind if I chime in here for a moment. I wanted to draw your attention to a few things I noticed in your posts.

Trusting someone is a bit like taking a leap of faith, you can never know for sure if a person is trustworthy, but either you chose to trust them, or you don't, and until you take that leap, you're not trusting them. And while the person's behaviour will come into play for your decision, ultimately it's your decision. I'm concerned when you say she can prove to you over time that she is trustworthy: how? what does she have to do? for how long? how will you (and she) know when she's done proving it? I can assure you that if you pass her entire life (or anybody's for that matter) under the microscope by pulling up all her past mistakes and analyzing them, she will never pass the test, and it's not okay to put her through that. I think it's important to acknowledge that she cant do anything to MAKE you trust her, because trust is a decision you have to take, not her.

Reading over your posts here, I feel like you are making a sort of list of evidence against her, but like Jacob pointed out, you dont seem to be paying much attention to the evidence that she is trustworthy and openly communicating with you. Can I ask you why you think that is?

I also want to say that I'm uncomfortable with how you are approaching her "rape story". The number one rule in sexual assault counselling is to trust the victim is telling the truth. As a survivor of sexual assault who has disclosed my assaults to people I trusted, only to have them "confront" me about "lying", I find it a bit hard to swallow that you add a lie about rape to the evidence against her. Most people dont lie about sexual assault. If she did lie, I would be much more concerned about WHY she lied than about the fact that she did.

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Cadence350
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I did take a leap of faith, even though I knew she had a history of telling some big lies. I wanted to believe that she had changed, and she definitely seems to have changed.

It was only recently I suspected she was lying to me. I can definitely tell when something is off, so that is why I investigated further. I think she can prove her trustworthyness, over time, by continuing to act as she has the past 8 months and that is to be completely honest with me. I did not ever investigate her life during that time, because I knew she was being honest. I suppose I know her so well, and can tell when she isn't being honest with me, so as long as I don't suspect that she is lying, I believe I can trust her.

I'm not trying to make a list. I never bring these up and hold it against her, just wanted to add some backstory as to why this recent lie affected me so much and that it wasn't just an isolated incident.

I probably didn't phrase the rape story incident correctly. It was clear as day that she lied about it, but I never accused her of lying about it. She told my friend that some guy got her drunk and raped her. After that, she gave him the impression that she might be pregnant. Well that's obviously not something you can fake. My friend took her word and was there for her, but I guess he eventually figured out that she wasn't being honest. When I say I 'confronted' her about it, I asked her why my friend thought she was pregnant, and that was it. She continued the lie, and I didn't ever accuse her of lying or bring it up again. She said she did it because she liked the attention and liked that it made her feel wanted.

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Heather
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Hope you don't mind if I step in here for a little bit, Cadence.

Can I kind of roll this way back and ask you to share how well you think this relationship has been going for both of you -- especially with the trust issues and with the fact that at some point, you obviously wanted some SERIOUS time away (and a "break of a few years," isn't very realistic, really, especially in a relationship which hadn't even gone on yet for the same amount of time, that's pretty much a breakup, so)? What about her saying several times she didn't feel ready for a serious relationship?

Can you fill me in on what you think are the positives you get from this relationship, and what she feels hers are besides perhaps feeling less afraid of being "old and alone?"

Lastly, can you give me some feedback about if you feel able to build trust with this person by extending some, which certainly includes not monitoring or looking to control her social interactions or outside friendships? Those things actually get in the WAY of building trust and healthy relationships, which is why I'm asking.

[ 06-22-2012, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Cadence, you really should take what we're saying here to heart.

"Can I trust her?" is not the question here. You clearly do not trust her. You can see that.

But part of you obviously knows there's something wrong here, BETWEEN you. Not just something wrong with her but this relationship as a whole. Otherwise I don't imagine you'd have come here asking the question.

I'm sorry, but from what I'm reading she sounds like a very unhappy person, and you do too.

Her dishonesty has not been manipulative, it has been desperate and whether she has been raped (I imagine some trauma HAS been part of her life) or was in such an emotional state for it to seem like the appropriate thing to say, it means she's in a great deal of pain, and as thumb tack pointed out, you're not asking why, or how you can help, only trying to change her behaviour.

Distrust and anger towards her, cadence, isn't something that you react to by investigating or policing her... it's NOT justfied by your distrust. You want to be this person's boyfriend, not their prosecutor. To me it should only show that your relationship is not working. And to do something about that you have to analyse your self more, and her less.

She seems to put an extreme amount of faith in you, to allow you to read her messages and so on. I think it's vitally important that you understand how very much her well-being hinges on you right now. This is an imbalance of empowerment that simply can't be good for either of you.

I'm not sure how much further we can move on, unless you can accept that such an imbalance exists, that plenty of the responsibility lies with you, accepting how important it might be to completely lay off. And if a break up has to happen, it will be a whole lot better to do it FOR each-other rather than out of purely a negative judgement on your part of her.

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Cadence350
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quote:
Can I kind of roll this way back and ask you to share how well you think this relationship has been going for both of you -- especially with the trust issues and with the fact that at some point, you obviously wanted some SERIOUS time away (and a "break of a few years," isn't very realistic, really, especially in a relationship which hadn't even gone on yet for the same amount of time, that's pretty much a breakup, so)? What about her saying several times she didn't feel ready for a serious relationship?
At the time, I really wanted the break because I felt she wasn't ready and would end up hurting me again. I should have been more vocal about expressing how I feel, but I had already been hurt and couldn't stand to do it again. I'm very confident that she would never even think of doing such a thing again, and, because of that, things have been going great. She has not really felt the need to be single and not committed in for some time either, and seems just as committed as I am to our relationship.

quote:
Can you fill me in on what you think are the positives you get from this relationship, and what she feels hers are besides perhaps feeling less afraid of being "old and alone?"
There are a ton of positives. I suppose our relationship doesn't sound all that great, because I made the topic while angry, and the subsequent posts are me just defending myself. Our relationship isn't perfect, but we talk on the phone for hours a day and it is beyond great. After having time to cool down and reflect, I believe people in this topic are right and I do need to be more trusting. I have been for the majority of this relationship, and I believe I can continue to be. I want to be, for the sake of us. We're both extremely compatible and we make each other happy. Part of the complications we've had are because of our age gap. She and I have no problem with it, but her parents don't approve at all, and it has caused quite a bit of issues. While it is not great, we both feel these complications will pass with time as she gets older and people realize how serious we are.

quote:
Lastly, can you give me some feedback about if you feel able to build trust with this person by extending some, which certainly includes not monitoring or looking to control her social interactions or outside friendships? Those things actually get in the WAY of building trust and healthy relationships, which is why I'm asking. [/QB]
Most definitely. I don't want to continually monitor her. After she kissed the other guy, my friends advised me to forgive her but put restrictions on her. I did so at first, and she obliged, but then a few days later I realized that if I have to set rules on her, then I shouldn't be with her. Yes, she violated my trust, but I have to trust she won't hurt me again, and just leave it up to her. I truly do believe she cares about me enough not to do it again, and, I guess I wanted her to know that any sort of lie, even a small one, isn't something I appreciate. I went about it the wrong way, though, but I definitely don't have the need to do it any more. If I do start doing it again, then maybe it is time to evaluate myself and whether or not it is right for us to be together.
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Cadence350
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quote:
Originally posted by Jacob at Scarleteen:
Cadence, you really should take what we're saying here to heart.

"Can I trust her?" is not the question here. You clearly do not trust her. You can see that.

But part of you obviously knows there's something wrong here, BETWEEN you. Not just something wrong with her but this relationship as a whole. Otherwise I don't imagine you'd have come here asking the question.

I'm sorry, but from what I'm reading she sounds like a very unhappy person, and you do too.

Her dishonesty has not been manipulative, it has been desperate and whether she has been raped (I imagine some trauma HAS been part of her life) or was in such an emotional state for it to seem like the appropriate thing to say, it means she's in a great deal of pain, and as thumb tack pointed out, you're not asking why, or how you can help, only trying to change her behaviour.

Distrust and anger towards her, cadence, isn't something that you react to by investigating or policing her... it's NOT justfied by your distrust. You want to be this person's boyfriend, not their prosecutor. To me it should only show that your relationship is not working. And to do something about that you have to analyse your self more, and her less.

She seems to put an extreme amount of faith in you, to allow you to read her messages and so on. I think it's vitally important that you understand how very much her well-being hinges on you right now. This is an imbalance of empowerment that simply can't be good for either of you.

I'm not sure how much further we can move on, unless you can accept that such an imbalance exists, that plenty of the responsibility lies with you, accepting how important it might be to completely lay off. And if a break up has to happen, it will be a whole lot better to do it FOR each-other rather than out of purely a negative judgement on your part of her.

You're completely right. As I said in my last post, a lot of what I wrote was out of anger. I mean, I was telling the truth about how I felt, and what I did was true. I know now it was not right, and I did violate her trust. I've had time to cool down and reflect. I don't expect this to be a regular occurrence. If it is, then, yes, I will have to evaluate our relationship. I do know that I am happy to be with her and lucky that she cares about me so much. The lies she told were minor, and I blew them out of proportion. My reasoning for that was that I feared she may lie about bigger things in the future, but, she has been very honest and forthcoming to me about stuff that was important in the past, and I do trust that she will continue to do so.

Thank you all for your posts. Most of you might think it's pretty obvious that I'm too controlling to be with her. You might be right, but it helped that I was able to vent here and take time to cool down and realize my mistake. I obviously haven't told everyone the entire story of our relationship (it would take too long), so my decision to stay with her might concern some of you after what I've said, but I believe this was an isolated incident of me blowing a few lies way out of proportion, and it won't occur again.

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Heather
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You know, I think most of what you've said in these last two responses is what to stick with.

And obviously, if you haven't talked all of this out and just said the things you have said here already, I think you two need to invest some time and energy doing that.

I also think clearly expressing that you are NOT going to monitor her or try and control her -- and should you feel the need to, you're going to talk about that and rethink if this is a right relationship for you, instead of doing those things -- would go a really long way. Making clear you want to build trust instead of control because you don't trust is a really important thing, and I'd say making that intention clear is important.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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