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Can I ever regain his trust?

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Hi all,


This is my first time posting on these forums...I have lurked for a couple of weeks, read many posts and learned quite a bit.


I still find myself in a tough situation at home with my boyfriend. I'll try to outline the situation.

1) I am 38, he is 30. We have been dating for 14 months; we met online. We are both divorced, with 1 son each.

2) We moved in together 5 months ago.

3) We have been exclusive since we started dating.

4) From the start of our relationship, he has professed that he has trust issues. He always asks who is texting/calling me, who I had lunch with, etc...

5) About 1 month into our relationship, I told him about a man that is an ex-coworker that I have an email friendship with. I have never been with this man physically nor have desires to be.

6) At the time, my boyfriend expressed some concerns about this friendship, but stated he doesn't want to tell me what to do.

7) About a month ago, my boyfriend went searching around on my phone and found some emails between me and my man friend from 6 months previous. He thought they were suspicious (e.g. we talked about having coffee, complimented eachother on losing weight, etc). He searched around my phone and found a text message that I sent an ex, as well.

8) He confronted me about both issues. I see my fault in both situations...I should have never texted an ex boyfriend, even if I had good intentions. Additionally, I should have done a better job drawing the line with my man friend.

9) After some arguments, I decided to see a therapist to get an outside view of the situation. I also told my man friend that I wanted to work on my relationship with my boyfriend and that I wouldn't contact him anymore and would appreciate if he didn't contact me. I haven't spoken with him since.

10) My boyfriend's lack of trust continues to come back. He went searching on my phone again last week and thought it was odd that I downloaded Skype...he said he thinks I am still cheating and just trying to cover it up.

11) I have no intentions of ever cheating - physically or emotionally - on my boyfriend. I know that I have hurt him, I have apologized over and over again.

12) My boyfriend is now saying he doesn't think he'll ever be able to trust me again. I have suggested we go to therapy, but he has refused. He says he thinks he should move out.


Do I have any other options to help regain his trust? I am being open and honest with him and it doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere.


Any advice/opinions...no matter how harsh...are appreciated!


Thank you =)

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I don't think you ever did anything to break his trust. What did you say to your ex? Was it inappropriate? I don't think you crossed any lines with your male friend either. If you are both trying to lose weight, you're being supportive by noticing progress. It's not like you professed your love for him or vice versa.


The thing is, you absolutely can't gain your boyfriend's trust because he doesn't have it to give. And that's not your fault. That was there before you even came along. It's up to him to work on that issue so that he is able to trust you. There is nothing you can do except decide if you want this type of relationship.

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Thank you for your quick reply, Daligal, and your reassuring words. I never meant to hurt anyone and didn't realize that I was doing anything wrong, which is why I am so confused!


To answer your questions

My ex texted me and I replied to him. I think he asked me how I was and I answered that I was happy and had just lost 10 lbs. My boyfriend says he is upset because I never mentioned that I texted my ex. It only happened once.


I have never professed my love or even my desire for my male friend...We have been close for 4 years and he has helped me through a lot of personal issues; providing me with a male perspective.

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It would have been a good idea to mention the text to the ex in theory, but I can understand not doing it because it was meaningless and your boyfriend doesn't react rationally. With your friend, I totally get that. I have male friends too. Your boyfriend is being irrational. He shouldn't be snooping or accusing you of cheating. You didn't cheat. He needs some counseling to work on these issues.

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Tell your boyfriend to man up and stop invading your privacy because he's the one with the insecurity and trust issues and if he keeps at it he's going to sabatoge the relationship and get exactly what he deserves.


If you had asked what to do about your email friend before you cut him off for no good reason, and answering innocent texts from an ex, guess what I would have said?

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He clearly has some pretty severe trust issues and I think it would be extremely difficult if not impossible to regain his trust unless he is working on it through therapy. Honestly, I don't see any disrespectful behavior on your part. Exes can be a touchy subject, but one text is not a big deal as long as it wasn't inappropriate. I think his reaction is way out of proportion to the events that transpired and things will probably continue to get worse until you put your foot down.

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tresqua...Thanks for your advice. That is exactly how I feel - like he constantly invades my privacy, hacks into my accounts, and snoops around to find something....ANYTHING to prove that I am cheating.


Please, tell me what you would have said...dump my bf and date my email friend??

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Thank you, Glowguy. He has outright declined therapy - both individual and couples. He sees therapy as admitting weakness and that we can't solve our own problems.


It may seem clear to you, but HOW do I put my foot down? As we 'speak', he is driving to a casino to clear his head and decide whether or not he wants to move out. In his mind, I am completely wrong and cannot be trusted. I don't know if I can ever talk him out of that...

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I meant break up with him when I said putting your foot down. His behavior is way out of line to the point of being delusional. He refused to work on it and continues to invade your privacy every chance he gets. What else can you do if he won't even acknowledge that he has a problem?

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calblondie, therapy for him is the only solution. Talk to your therapist and ask her what the solution is when he is so against therapy and sees it as a weakness. Maybe you could say that the therapist really needs to get his input to assist her/him in helping YOU. I suspect that your therapist encounters this problem frequently; one party to the relationship willing to get therapy while the other party is resisting therapy. Pose the question to your therapist is my suggestion

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tresqua...Thanks for your advice. That is exactly how I feel - like he constantly invades my privacy, hacks into my accounts, and snoops around to find something....ANYTHING to prove that I am cheating.


Please, tell me what you would have said...dump my bf and date my email friend??


I would have said that you are not going to end your online friendship and you will not tolerate him going through your phone and the response to your ex was innocent and if he can't handle that then he knows where the door is.


he is driving to a casino to clear his head and decide whether or not he wants to move out. In his mind, I am completely wrong and cannot be trusted. I don't know if I can ever talk him out of that...


I wouldn't even try talking him out of it. I would say "sorry you feel that way" and "can I help you pack".


My guess is he isn't going anywhere, it's just a manipulative tactic.

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he has jealousy and control issues. the only thing you did wrong was let him get away with it for so long and allow him to control who you speak to. you are not a pet. who does he think he is? do not go along with this behaviour unless you want a future full of it and worse. i would tell him that i will not be in a relationship with someone who obviously does KNOW me well enough or TRUST me, who snoops at my personal belongings, and demands i cut friends from life. you insult me by your suspicions and paranoia and it ends NOW.

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tresqua, charity...WOW! Thank you for your support. I know that I have been weak and too forgiving in this relationship.


I am glad that I am going to therapy because I know that I need the tools to start standing up for myself!! I doubt that my boyfriend will stick around once he sees my true thoughts and feelings released...

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I still say get him into therapy by hook or crook. If you can do that the therapist will bring out his issues for sure. (Could be that that is exactly what he is afraid of.) The sucess of this relationship is contingent upon his getting professional help. Therapy is only helping you in that you are getting help learning how to deal with him! People are saying that he is snooping and that is a violation of your privacy etc., but you have to look at this from his perspective. He has low self-esteem and he is insecure. This is what drives him to be doing these things. In turn, instead, it tends to drive you away. A therapist would be a huge help with the dynamics of all of this. I just hope it happens . ....chi

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. My therapy appt is this afternoon, so I will let you know how it goes. I agree that getting him into therapy is crucial to the survival of our relationship.


Chi - to answer your question...I never strive to be "right". I want to be in this relationship with him. I think there is compromise in every relationship, and I am able to admit when I have done something wrong even if it was unintentional. I'm not trying to prove that I am right in this matter, but I don't think that I can live with his constant prying and jealousy. If he is able to work on that, I am happy to stay in the relationship.


To complicate matters, his grandfather fell ill yesterday so he is leaving tomorrow morning for 3 days to visit with him. I'm sure that any progress in our relationship will stall until he returns...

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  • 1 month later...

Hi all,


Sorry for the huge lapse in time since my last post.


So, I was unable to get my boyfriend into therapy. He also felt that me going to therapy was threatening our relationship -- it seems like I had a different attitude towards him when I got out of therapy. It is true, I felt empowered...like he can't control me and that I am going to stand up for myself.


Unfortunately, he told me that continuing therapy was a detriment to our relationship so I stopped going. I know our relationship is going to end any day now...he continues bringing up my man friend, continues to go through my phone and I am at the end of my rope.


I feel like there is this huge chasm between us and neither one can possibly cross to the other side or even meet in the middle...

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so if you stay in therapy, you feel empowered?...... and if you stay with him you are 'at the end of your rope'?.

why are YOU making this choice?

i know its easy for me to ask that, its different doing it, i know that.

but its the difference between being happy and empowered or unhappy and at your wits end. si its really important that you think about it. you have come here because you know that.

so WHY?

are you afraid to be single? do you feel that you have done something wrong that makes him act this way?

you need to figure out why you have allowed this to get so far advanced and also why now that you have taken a huge positive step anf started to feel strong and healthy again, why you have chosen to go back.

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charity...thanks for your post.


I know that I have made a bad decision. I want to be in a relationship with him AND be empowered AND be trusted. But I am being unrealistic...


I am not afraid to be alone. I love him and am attached to him. Although his trust issues are a huge cancer in our relationship, I can't seem to realize that eventually the cancer will turn everything bad...even the good stuff that the relationship holds.


Before yesterday, I thought he was over this issue...he hadn't mentioned anything about my man friend for weeks and we seemed to be doing quite well. Then his distrust reared its ugly head again last night. He admitted to not being over it - he accused me of doing more than just emailing my friend, said it would be easier for me to just admit that I cheated (but I never did!!).


This stuff eats me alive - I become consumed about it and can't even focus at work. I know it is unhealthy and I think I just need the courage to leave.

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