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reconciliation with trust issues


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Hi enotalone. Was wondering what your opinions are on this.


My ex and I lived together for about 1-2 yrs when we were dating (it was long distance so we'd go for periods without seeing each-other). We were very in love, basically best friends. We were very in love and crazy about eachother and discussed future plans, marriage, kids, everything. We were in our early-mid 20s.


I did not know how to handle problems, that weren't minor but definitely manageable, and announced that I needed a break from the relationship 2yrs in. I wanted to see other people without damaging the relationship to get some perspective. I always knew I wanted to end up with him, that was never a doubt in my mind really. He reacted badly, and to make a long story short, from 2012 we basically had an on-off relationship over 3-5 years, terrible behavior on both of our parts, the immaturity revealing itself to a maximum.


He hurt by my wanting a break/distancing myself/treating him badly. He also has difficulty with empathy (he is not a "narcissist" per se but has may qualities of one, he has trouble with understanding other people's feelings if it's not spelled out for him), so when I would apologize or explain the "growth" that had to take place I think he had trouble relating or understanding. He was so angry with me and it would come out in all our interactions. He said he didn't like me/hate me, couldn't trust me, he would also look for things to judge that weren't necessarily there. I felt guilty and ashamed and angry at myself for screwing up a relationship with my soulmate, so I tried over and over, for years, to make it up to him, forgiving his bad behavior. I suggested therapy but he wouldn't go regualry. What repeatedly happened is we would start to see eachother, he would get angry at something, say mean things, then I would get upset, we'd get into a fight, and ultimately he wouldn't commit to solving things and moving forward, and he would tell me we are not dating yet. So, I would date others while he was not officially my boyfriend and refusing to commit and do boyfriend things like we once did. However I never loved any of them. I was just trying to be happy and to not be sulking and waiting around. On one hand, I wanted to just wait around, but it was torture and my self-esteem was so low bc of the whole thing.


Long story short - years later - I have been in therapy for a long time, educated myself on self-improvement and growth, and I do have an understanding of why it happened. By the end of it all, he had tons of growing up to do, and I was light years ahead. We would talk and I would say very clearly that while I regret everything that happened, we could turn it into a good story. He was ambivalent, saying many times if he wondered if we were just incompatible or if it was something that happened in our 20s that we could get over. He ultimately "walked away" from trying to solve it, but never said "never." He always hinted that he needed 2-5 years to heal and that if there was ANY chance for us to make it work he would need tons of time and space to heal and that he didn't trust me. He said he will never love anyone as much as he loved me and for me that has held true for him too. Actually, the only times he said never was when I pressured him into answering if we truly are never going to get married or have kids??


My question is this: lots of times on successful reconciliation stories it says that it is possible if trust wasn't as issue. My ex said he couldnt trust me because of dishonesty/other people stuff that happened while the relationship was already super rocky and unstable and dramatic, and I understand that. But, cheating, lying was never an issue while we were really together (even during long distance.) In a way, I don't truly believe he is unable to trust me but I think it was easier for him to access those feelings of distrust, dislike rather than really take a look at what happened and re-establish trust and intimacy.


As of now, I just feel like I'm a better person than I ever have been. I have grown so much from the whole experience. I just get so sad when I think we lost eachother forever because one or both of us is unable to forgive.


Before you jump on me and say we were incompatible, there is a lot about the relationship and friendship that I haven't included. Not emotionally, but humor, interests, adventures, friends-wise, and intellectually, we were compatible.


Anyway - what do you think? Do you think with that time and space there is a chance to reconcile down the road? Last time we talked was June but I've done all the calling the past few years, basically. And I just want to be clear, by reconciling I don't mean getting back to the same relationship, I mean starting an entirely new one where we are better at respecting and loving eachother.

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I think maybe you would’ve been better off as friends from the bedinjng. I’m not sure of your age but I can tell you what I e learned with my life experience. No relationship will ever be perfect however, you will need a mate that can empathize with you. Life is messy things will happen and if you ha e to explain to someone why you feel as you do to gain their understanding this will get old and whither away the love you have for him.


Having children is wonderful and hard. I battled with severe depression and found myself with a soouse I couldn’t talk to. He’s ignore my feelings and I was on a back burner. If he didn’t think my feelings were valid towards any situation what I said flat out didn’t matter. We had fun we joked and when things were good they were great. You’ll want someone that will take you at your best and be able to be your soft place when things are hard.


Also he says he doesn’t trust you. I too have been in your position. You don’t want a partner who is triggered and will be some accusatory. I promise you it’s inevitable. Take all the experience you’ve had and all you’ve learned to good use with someone new. You mentioned you’re better than ever! You’ll meet someone when the time is right. Also I have to say the whole thing that he needs up to 5 YEARS to recover is disgusting. He is cowardly and doesn’t have the backbone to just say it’s over. His actions show he’s done. You mentioned you initiate contact... Its time to put him on a paper boat and let him sail down the river. You are valuable and deserve to be trusted and loved thee way YOU want to be loved. Find a mate who is willing to be what you need in that regard someone with your love language.

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Hmm you sound like me lol. I lost my "soul mate" three years ago and since then hes moved on with someone else. Meanwhile. I am still single and lonely. Don't be like me, move on. I know it's incredibly difficult and painful but there is no promise he will ever be back so don't dwell on it. Once people break up it is a rarity they get back together unless they just take a break and work on self growth without either person holding any anger or resentment over it. Given the initial break up seemed to hurt so bad and he's made it clear he resents you for it, he might never want to get back together honestly. Maybe he holds grudges forever. Maybe the vibes have now forever shifted in his perspective.


Ultimately, here is what I'd do: Stop initiating communication, if a man cares he will eventually reach out whether it is weeks or months he'll come back around but let HIM make the move. Also, date other people and do your best to forget him until that circumstance possibly happens because you owe it to yourself to not wait around and definitely not chase him. Good luck. I've been in your shoes and it sucks so I get it.

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Well I must agree that it seems over.


Relationships don't ever get a completely fresh restart.


I will also say that if he was your "soulmate" you would not have wanted to go date other people after 2 years of dating. Which is what originally ended it.


You realized at 2 years that something was missing and ended it.


Now you have gotten all addicted and tied up with this unhealthy relationship and all the toxic emotions linked to it. There is no way you are going to get a fresh start.

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Thank you all for your input.


@Babbsi, you are totally right. One of the original problems was this. His intentions were never bad but he was childish and hard to talk to about feelings sometimes, and even more so during the drama-fighting-terrible period. I would try to be vulnerable in order to solve things, but ended up getting burned instead of recognized, or protected. I lost self-respect and self-esteem bc of it. Of course, I should have known better than to try to solve things with an unwilling partner. I actually would not consider dating him again if he wasn't going to address this, and I understand how unlikely that is.


@thealchemist. The fact that its dead and done is a good and bad thing. Along with the good stuff ending, the bad stuff did too. However the thing I am struggling with is that when the toxic emotions and memories subside and I'm calm and happy, that is when I miss him the most. I don't miss the bad stuff, I miss him. I should mention that we were friends in high school and were fond of eachother and had great fun before we dated. So unfortunately I know him too well to just dismiss him and dismiss the bad parts of the relationship. I have never had this much trouble getting over someone (granted I dated him the longest). I know a fresh start would be impossible, but at least a start where we sort of unearthed our foundation and started from there. But you're probably right, that this is impossible.


@xcookie7x@ - doesnt it suck? He does hold grudges. Learned that from his parents. He had a rebound that he broke up with since and I have tried desperately to move on with amazing guys. I have a great boyfriend now actually. But the problem is that I still have this love for my ex that doesnt friggin go anywhere. I address this with my therapist all the time...I'm not immoral for loving two people. I would never cheat and never lie. I refuse to sabotage a good relationship for what could very well be a fantasy of reconciliation.


I don't know what's going to happen. But you are absolutely right. I will never, ever, contact him again. Hopefully something will help me either get over it or help him grow up and contact me. Somethings gotta give, this can't last forever I hope!

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All this energy should be focused on moving on and making the best version of yourself.

If it should have been it wouldn't be that hard or complicated.

Of course there are nice and beautiful moments you had together, that's the reason why you had an relationship in the first place, but he is not someone who soothes you in the long run.

What you did wasn't a good move at all but you learned from it. Some things just happen and not everybody is able to forgive and forget. This is something you have to accept. Maybe some day in the future it all will happen but for now you have to leave him alone and move on, I mean it.

If you do this any longer to yourself it will drain all the energy from you.

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Well in reality, you will possibly never stop loving him. I lost my ex three years ago we were engaged and everything. I will never totally lose the love I had for him. ironically he still stalks my social media lol. but at the same time, I know that people are selfish. and for yourself you need to honestly acknowledge things are how they are and continue to live your life. if its truly meant to be then he will come back around. but soulmates love one another unconditionally and I do not think he is worth it. just how I love my ex still and HE cheated on me and wants nothing to do with me.... unfortunately you lost him. sometimes we lose our first loves. but we still have chances for new love. sometimes it does happen for a reason and work out for the best. love is a rarity and isn't easy to find but it is out there.

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If that last time you talked was June, I think you need to realize he's not interested anymore, OP.


Sometimes two people really do just grow up and grow apart. Forgiveness doesn't necessarily mean reconciliation anyway. You seem to be equating him forgiving you or "growing up" with getting back together. But it could be exactly the opposite. You assume he hasn't been in touch because he's holding grudge or being immature, but perhaps he's realized that it's just not a relationship that was healthy for him and thus he needed to move on. This extended silence could be his version of growing up now, and leaving the past in the past. He might still forgive you or lose any lingering resentment, but have lost interest in a romantic relationship.


No, it's not a crime to love two people at once. But you seem to be channeling a lot of emotional energy into wondering about your ex and hoping you could have another chance, when you've got a great boyfriend right in front of you. How much of your heart can you really give your current guy when your ex is taking up so much space in there? Just something to think about moving forward.

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Thanks everyone.


There is a lot I am leaving out for the sake of brevity @ MissCanuck. I think the decision to break up was healthy. Our interactions were messy and had no integrity to our connection. However, his choice to break up instead of working on it wasn't a healthy decision. I know that sounds overconfident but trust me. He was doing drugs and partying, hanging out with whoever just wanted to party, living like frat boy in his thirties. He was detached from himself, and that is never healthy. This is why I have trouble with the break-up. He wasn't being a good version of himself, no where close, he actually became impossible to talk to, he would curse and insult me all the time. I almost didn't recognize him. I was ready to make the relationship healthier but he wasn't ready. In other words; i wanted to be more supportive of eachother, negotiate rules and boundaries, work on communication, figure out where the power struggle came from and address it, work on our initial issues. I feel as if the not forgiving me and resenting me is THE reason why he doesn't want to be in a romantic relationship. I think if he dropped the resentment and anger he would have to love me again and he's scared of that bc hes experienced so much trauma. This is actually what our couples therapist told us.


@ Piccolo - I am here on ENA because I have tried to move on, and I am moving on. I have not put my life on hold. I did not expect to get back together, I was terrified when I took a break but I knew it had to happen. And my "killing it" was obviously for the better because only now am I actually mature enough to be a wife and mother which is what he wanted me to be. If we never reconcile it will be his loss just as much as mine. That's what I'm worried about, bc I personally think that's such a stupid reason for soulmates to break up. If we were going to be forge a life together, surely forgiveness and understanding and an underlying love are essential.


I do have a boyfriend now that I do love and I could see a future with. But it's like, the more time passes I see my relationship with my ex more clearly, the good and bad, and come to the conclusion that the good was worth a fight. I wonder if he will have moments of similar clarity. I'm ok either way. I just miss him.

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Unfortunately there is way too much water under the bridge and you repeatedly pushed him away to date others. Don't hold your breath for him to take "2-5 years to heal". It sounds like he hoping you just go away.


At best this was on/off, long distance and fraught with distrust due to this type of thing:

I wanted to see other people without damaging the relationship
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No, he never contacted me to say that like I wanted. However, he did say I love you and I want it to work out at various points through the years, we would go to therapy once or twice but he didn’t want to be bothered to do what was necessary. Once it became clear that it would not be easy to rebuild, he would say he doesn’t know if he wants a relationship with me. He was also very stressed out in school.

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At best? We had a solid two years with no drama or trust issues. Also he was military and that comes with its own stresses. I said it was messy, not all my fault. My original question was if it’s possible he’s using trust issues as a copout to avoid taking a good hard look at himself and the role he played in his trust of me, instead of actually not capable of trusting me ever again. Successful reunion stories always have to do with two parties growing up separately and maybe if he grows up he’ll be able to see all my efforts to fix or rebuild our relationship in a different light. I know despite meeting amazing people while dating, no one has been able to replace him and that becomes more clear, maybe it will be the same for him.

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