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New member and need help with my boyfriend with trust issues.


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Hi everyone,


I just signed up, and this is my first time posting so I'm not really sure how this all works but the reason why I am here is because I'm having some relationship problems with my long time boyfriend of 11 years.


Here is a bit of backstory. My bf, John and I met in high-school and we started dating the year after we graduared, inconveniently I was still recovering from a traumatic breakup with a previous relationship. This caused a lot of problems, and had a turbulent start to our relationship. Eventually, it got too much for the both of us and we ended it less than a year later. I fell into a depression and sought out counselling, it was advised that I build on my friendships and spend time outside of the house and get a job. So being in my early 20's, I did just that. Since I had just started Uni, I started doing Temp work and on my days off I spent time with, what I know now, wasn't the best crowd but at the time I didn't have many choices since a lot of my "friends" cut me off after the breakup. I attended a house party with my new friends, and a very good and old friend named Carlo was also in attendance. I trusted him, and often spoke to him about my problems with recovering from the breakup because he had also gone through a breakup. It was comforting to know I wasn't alone. At this party, we both got pretty drunk. I'm a friendly drunk and I tend to hug people. Carlo was the opposite, he crawled into a ball and lay on the grass, clutching his head. I thought I needed to keep an eye on him. When he was resting in one of the bedrooms, I came to check on him and he was quiet and motionless facing the wall. I lay next to him and started talking to him about something silly and he had turned around to listen, I honestly did not think anything would happen but he started to make moves on me and then touched me inappropriately. He was bigger than I was and I felt shocked and confused, paralyzed by fear before I pushed him off and rolled off the bed and crawled to the door. I was too drunk and confused to realise what had happened, and so I sat on the couch with my other friends. I wasn't sure what to make of it until days later. Carlo had told mutual friends a different account of what happened, one where I gave permission and even initiated the assault. The sad thing was I found out the truth from my then ex-boyfriend, John who had heard it from someone else. I was bullied from anonymous email trolls and there was judgement within my 'new group'. I was furious and embarrassed so I confronted the friend who defamed me. He cried and apologized, admitted what he had done was wrong and we went our separate ways. I went through therapy for the assault, as well as the trauma and grief I was going through because of the breakup and other things. Luckily for me, I recovered and healed and John and I resumed our relationship a little over a year later, it was rocky but we pulled through to last till today. Carlo and I began speaking again a few years later, it was unavoidable since we were in the same circle of friends but I did notice that he had changed significantly, something I credited it to his new and healthy relationship with Tammy. We discussed what happened and then we put it all behind us and moved on. John however could not, we discussed the issue of me being friends with Carlo several times and confessed he wasn't comfortable with him being around. He asked me to cut ties with him and delete him from my Facebook, so I did. What I didn't do was delete him from my Instagram, which I barely used so I didn't think to delete from there too. Something I have come to regret. I distanced myself from the rest of our mutual circle of friends to limit the chance of ever crossing paths with Carlo and then things got complicated really fast.


Everyone goes through the difficult phase of making new friends and losing some, and some of those loses hit me harder than I expected. I wasn't dealing with it well, and I developed social anxiety. This affected my job and I have now been in-between temp work for a few years. I began to feel sad and lonely, and I would spiral back into depression intermittently. I tried to talk to John about it several times but it was always a temporary fix, and I would spiral back down into despair. I was back in counselling. So, I decided to reach out to old friends that I lost contact with, rather than make new ones to boost my confidence again. It just seemed easier and it worked before. I started being more active on social media, I commented on people's stories and photos and one of those people happened to be Carlo. Short comments about which restaurant people were eating at, where did people buy things, or comments on someone's trip overseas. I didn't think about it at all, I didn't think it was so harmful. The problem was, I never told John and he happened to stumble upon a reply Carlo had sent to a recent question on my phone. He instantly felt betrayed and now is considering breaking up with me because he can't understand why I would talk to someone who assaulted me, he then compared me to his cheating father, and questions the validity of what I say now and in everything else in the past.


I understand he is hurt and angry, because he has trust issues. I also understand how this looks, especially when I said I would cut Carlo off years ago, but then stupidly reached out to him again recently, but what I don't understand is how these exchanged I made sporadically would escalate to being compared to someone who committed adultery and domestic abuse. He kept reiterating his disbelief of why I would even want to talk to someone who abused me, and deduced that there must me more to my story than I let on. Maybe I did initiate what happened, maybe there's something I'm not telling him or I've lied about the whole thing. He started victim blaming. I know in my heart he doesn't mean to say any of these hurtful things because he is hurt and angry but he is not fighting fair. I was the victim and the attack happened to me, how is ho I deal with it up to him? I did the time to recover, heal and let go so why should I hold onto what happened if all it does is damage me more? I chose to let go, it never crossed my mind when I commented on Carlo's stories or if he commented on mine. The fault I had was omission, I did not tell John there was any conversation but I did not lie about them. I never deleted the messages, they were in plain sight along with all the other comments and replies I have exchanged with people. I feel like there is more to this than John lets on, because no matter how I explain how I felt or what lead me to message Carlo - feeling lonely, depressed, no romantic intention towards Carlo, commenting other people etc all he acknowledged out of it all was how I did not tell him about the messages and how he feels instantly betrayed. He does not know how to get past it, so the relationship is on hiatus till he decides if it's even worth it to forgive me and work through it. At the same time, if he is harbouring issues from his parents and projecting them onto me, I don't think I can fix that at all. I cannot fix his parent's broken relationship, I can only fix ours. I did not cheat, nor have I ever.


I have invested so much in this relationship, sacrificed so much because this was it for me. I'm one month shy away from 30 and I was ready to commit forever to him but because of this one mistake, it could all go away. I'm ready and willing to fight for us, but I don't know how.


Has someone ever gone through something like this? Or is there any advice you can give me on how to proceed?

I don't want this relationship to end. Please! I need help.


(Sorry if the above does not make sense, feel free to ask me to clarify if needed)


Thank you for any/all responses.

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Ideally you would have a different bunch of friends and wouldn't need to maintain contact with someone who'd abused you in the past, but that's a separate issue...


John is an abuser. He is punishing you for something which happened before you two were together, and is nothing to do with him. It isn't even as if you'd cheated on him, but he's dumping a whole pile of his **** on you as if you'd grievously wronged him.

He does not know how to get past it, so the relationship is on hiatus till he decides if it's even worth it to forgive me and work through it.


What a pompous, arrogant ****.


If I were you, I'd agree with him that it's not worth working through these issues... then run, don't walk, to the nearest exit. If you do work through this, you are sending him a very clear message that all he has to do is hold the relationship to ransom, and you'll do his bidding. This is very dangerous for you. It sounds as though he's come from a dysfunctional background himself, but, to borrow a phrase from Alanon: "You didn't cause it, you can't control it, and you can't cure it."


I get that you've put a lot of time and effort into this relationship, but a relationship you have to fight for really isn't one you should be in. In a way, you are in the same position as a gambler who's spent a fortune already, but is unable to stop simply because so much has already been lost. You can't fix a relationship unilaterally; you both have to want to work at it and there's no way this guy has the humility or compassion needed to do so.


As to how to proceed... you might have a look at internet resources on codependency, and if this fits for you - try attending CoDependents Anonymous Meetings. You need to take proper care of yourself, and let the relationship take care of itself. At the very least, get back into counselling and build up your self-esteem to the point that guys like John, and all the associated drama, no longer appeal to you.

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I don't think John is "abusive" ---


It is not abusive to have a problem with a girlfriend keeping in touch with a man who raped her! You told John you were cutting social media contact with him ---- but you didn't. And that's why John feels betrayed. He feels betrayed because you didn't do as you said you would _ and he is probably worried for your safety or just plain can't imagine why a woman would do that.


If you said "i want to keep in touch with Carlo" and John's feelings didn't matter -- then it was up to John to break up with you if he didn't like it or you choose. But you had to push it by STILL being connected with him.


And yes, rape is in the same league as domestic violence or abuse.


It doesn't matter if you 'patched things up later"


Also, if this were a different scenario and you walked into the room nude and had conscensual sex with Carlos -- why would a guy be happy with you being in touch with him?


Am i on a different planet from everyone else - since everyone is giving opposite advice -- what am i missing here?

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I have to agree with abitbroken in that I understand why John is having trouble getting past the fact that you are still in touch with a guy that tried to rape you and ruined your reputation by lying to people about it to boot. I can understand you wanting to forgive and forget but that doesn't mean you have to keep that person in your life in ANY capacity. You did tell him that you had given up all contact and then he sees that you haven't so its understandable that he needs time to figure out things.


Now.. that being said, since the success of any relationship depends on two people working to keep it happy and functioning, I'm not sure there is anything you can do at this point but to wait and see if he can forgive and forget.


In the meantime you would do well to continue on in your therapy. You say your relationship before John ended traumatically, which you were not over when you got with John, which ended due to that, then you got back together and now we have this. I hope it doesn't happen but if you and John break up again, please consider it the last time you attempt a union with him. Do heal completely from him before you set out dating again. Being free in heart and mind of him will be where you should start your next adventure in dating.


Good luck, I hope it works out for you.

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Well, "trust issues" usually implies baggage from previous relationships that are unfairly applied to the current relationship. In other word, the problem lies on the person with "trust issues," not the person being distrusted. This is not that, imo.


Look, I personally don't care that you contacted Carlo, you're not my girlfriend, but I can ABSOLUTELY see why John was upset with this. In my opinion, it's not about him having "trust issues." You did something he viewed as inappropriate and now he doesn't trust you. Period.

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