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No trust after 9 years?


Stupidvolvo
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I have been with my partner for 9 years. Prior to dating he was my best friend, practically family. His parents went to highschool with my uncle and have been friends ever since, so we’ve basically known each other our whole lives. When we started dating it was difficult for people (our family’s) to get behind us, just because we were like family and ...sometimes relationships don’t end well. We started dating when I was 17 and he was 19. He pursued me, really courted me came to every play and soccer game; was always there if I needed him. We told each other everything.

We finally admitted we had feelings for each other and it was; amazing. And then he went away to college (4 hour drive). We’d been together 4 years. Had some arguments nothing serious, never any reason to distrust each other- and I am not an optimist. But the long distance was hard. We would fight constantly. Admittedly I was very distrusting and insecure. I was quick to question relationships with females - throughout our entire relationship if I’m being honest- he’s very friendly and handsome. And has a tendency to be extremely kind, which can be misconstrued as flirting. Anyways, while he was at school I got this message on Facebook. It was from a fake account saying something to the effect of he was cheating on me and had been cheating on me for years, always out at bars, talking to girls, he had a tinder and the person who messaged me “just thought I should know”. 
 

Now. My cousin also went to the same school as him they hung out all the time, and it wasn’t a large school. We’d been social media official for 4 years at this point, and if he had really been doing any of these things. He would be hurting not only me but his family and my family as well. Which honestly, I don’t think he would do. After this incident I gave him the benefit of the doubt. He came clean and told me there was a girl who was a friend of a friend that came onto him and he shut it down. And he thought it could have been her, trying to get back at him for rejecting her. (Of course I only find out about this after he the Facebook message, he did kind of allude to it before and we laughed it off) 

 

We later agreed it also could have been his friend who had recently broken up with his girlfriend and was upset that he wouldn’t go out with him to try to pick up girls.

 

When he was at school we had virtual movie dates like 3 times a week. Talked on the phone at leas 4 hours a day, most nights we would stay on FaceTime while we slept- like seriously at least 5 nights a week,  and he came home every other weekend. If he was really cheating... it would be difficult.
 

I was hurt for sure after this. We were each other’s first EVERYTHING.  And even if he hadn’t done anything I felt betrayed that he put us in this situation. And hurt that there were things he wasn’t telling me. But I loved him and he has been insanely devoted to me I just couldn’t see him doing those things. He went into a deep depression and made himself insanely sick, wound up in the hospital for a few night for dehydration, his parents had to go stay with him.  I’d never seen him so upset. We got through it and things were good again. 

Fast forward to earlier this year. We’ve been talking about getting married. We’ve been together 9 years. I have no one to talk to about this because... I don’t want anyone to think less of him... or me.

He used my computer and logged into his email. He forgot to log out. I couldn’t help but snoop. I found pictures of breasts that he’d emailed to himself around the time the person accused him of cheating. I was devastated. If this was true what else was? I also found a picture of his close friend in black lacy underwear- it didn’t really give off a sexual vibe and was mostly her leg. Keep in mind both of these images were from 5 years ago. 
 

when I asked him about the boobs and the under wear pick of his friend. He said that the breasts were something he did with his friend (the one who we thought could have sent the Facebook message) they’d talk to random girls and see if they could get them to send them nudes. Supposedly this was to cheer his friend up. He claims he never let it go further than that... 

 

As for the pic of his friend he says that it was for a tattoo. He is an amazing artist, and he was helping her design a piece for he thigh. Believable. Except... somehow texts between them would occasionally get deleted. They didn’t talk often, and honestly I think he deleted them mostly because he didn’t want to argue with me. Not because there was something going on. 
 

It’s hard to trust him. 
 

I am self aware enough to realise that a lot of the mistrust started with me. Like I mentioned, I’m a pessimist. I don’t trust easily, I have a poor opinion of men, and insecurity issues. A lot of this I could be over thinking, and I know that most of the sketchy things he lies about he does because he doesn’t want me to doubt him anymore than I do. 
 

I go through his phone and it’s not healthy. He’s patient with me though. Shares all his passwords, social media, bank passwords, he has been doing this ever since the weird Facebook message. In the nearly 10 years we’ve been together these are the only red flags. We’re in love. He is good to me, and my family- almost closer to my sister than I am and has been for most of their lives. I can’t imagine him doing anything to hurt them. 
 

Everything I’ve asked him to do to make me feel more comfortable he has done. We’re really close to getting engaged (we’ve looked at rings) 

I’m just scared. He is my best friend. If he was anyone else it wouldn’t be worth it. But I want to believe him. 
 

Am I being naive for wanting to believe him? For wanting this to work? 

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28 minutes ago, Stupidvolvo said:

Am I being naive for wanting to believe him? For wanting this to work? 

For wanting it to work? No, you are together for 9 years after all.

For believing him? Yes, you are naive, the guy is full of it. I dunno, maybe I am an overthinker when it comes to stuff like that. But he only disclosed it to you after the messages and after he was caught. And somehow always had convenient excuse. "Oh, its not me honey, its just some crazy chick that is getting back at me after being rejected" isnt really a good excuse. There are some crazy people out there. But those are the actions of former lover or mistress. Not just some random girl that he didnt want anything with. Also "I wanted to cheer my friend so some random girl send me nudes" along with "No, no, girl in lace underwear just wanted the tatoo". He is creative I would give him that. But yes, you are naive if you believe excuses like that. I dont blame you, you are together for 9 years and no matter what, you want to believe him. But wake up, he probably did something there. Its up to you if you want to overlook or forgive stuff like that because you didnt mentioned any other problems and it seems that happened years ago. Just that, at the very least, you should be careful there.

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I think you should listen to your gut. Why do you immediately dismiss yourself as irrational and unreasonable? And don't say, "Because I am," because that's just a circular argument and you're gas lighting yourself. I guarantee that you're not biologically defective and prone to irrational bouts of anxiety and mistrust. There is a reason that you feel this way. Something is making you anxious. You just have to get honest with yourself about it.

I grew up terribly mistrustful, and I have since come to realize that my mistrust was always justified: in most cases, people did something to create that mistrust. It wasn't me being delusional; it was me ignoring and minimizing things that I shouldn't have. Once I got into a relationship with a trustworthy person, there was no looking back except to wonder what the difference was (he is trustworthy!!). I literally have zero mistrust in my relationship, no explaining things away, no self-criticism.... and that's how it should be. So, trust yourself.

Are you hell bent on marriage? Does a future exist for you without him being a part of it? It seems like you are forcing yourself into an uncomfortable position to satisfy family expectations and to keep up appearances. That doesn't mean that the two of you don't love each other; it just means that maybe it's time for some serious thinking about where this relationship can actually go. There is more to a relationship than affection. 

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Ugh. I would 100% agree. Except neither of our families want us to be together lol. Neither of us have been in relationships with other people so it’s been a learning experience for both of us. 
 

It’s definitely not just affection. I can’t imagine my life without him. And him either. Both of our parents could care less if we get married to anyone... ever! It’s all us. I just have trouble letting go of this. And I don’t want any of this toxicity to follow us in the future. 

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7 minutes ago, Stupidvolvo said:

Except neither of our families want us to be together lol.

Yes, and I think that's a big deal. If you guys break up, it will feel like they've been right for the past 9 years.

Edited by Jibralta
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4 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Oh, I know. And if you guys break up, it will feel like they've been right for the past 9 years.

Yep. 
 

I feel stupid. I would never advise any of my friends or siblings to stay in this situation.

I just... know him better than I know myself. He’s a giant flirt and people pleaser. But I just don’t see him doing anything to intentionally hurt me. 
 

We’ve talked about his issues and worked through it. The one guy friend I’ve talked to about this, who know my partner quite well, also believes that he was just being a dumb kid. 
 

He says he talks about me constantly and has never been in love the way that he’s seen us in love. 
 

But trust is EVERYTHING to me. And I hate that I feel like I can’t trust him 100 percent. 

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2 hours ago, Stupidvolvo said:

  I  go through his phone and it’s not healthy. I can’t imagine him doing anything to hurt them. 

we’ve looked at rings 

But you are imaging the worst. So much so that you use this as an excuse to treat him like a prisoner and act in controlling invasive ways.

Was he a monk in college?  Doubtful.

But you either let go of that or you let go of him.

You can look at rings but somehow you think rifling through his stuff will make you happy and secure?

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Sounds to me like you enjoy a lot of drama. no one wants you two to be together,  he's insanely loyal, you know him better than you know yourself....

but yet you don't trust him? 

maybe you need to break up and see what happens. nine years is a long time, especially starting so young. 

You also mentioned everyone will be proved right if you break up.  Think about that statement. That is not a healthy reason to want to marry someone.  Especially if there are any doubts.

Maybe this relationship lasted longer than it should have because you have romantic notions of what it "should or could".

Marriage is a serious commitment and the two people going into it should be happy and excited to make it. Some little doubt would be normal, as with any big decision. 

But you're snooping his phone and finding evidence.

What is there to decide? Slow down. Look at things more logically. It's pretty clear.

 

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1 hour ago, Stupidvolvo said:

I just don’t see him doing anything to intentionally hurt me. 

Affairs are rarely attempts to hurt a partner.

If you read around sites like this, you'll find that sooooo many people say "it just happened." Meanwhile, their behavior was borderline inappropriate all along.

Maybe it was just hours on the phone chit-chatting, maybe it was spending a lot of time together voluntarily, maybe it was exchanging racy pics.... they spend a lot of time rationalizing their behavior and very very little time holding themselves accountable.

2 hours ago, Stupidvolvo said:
2 hours ago, Jibralta said:

Oh, I know. And if you guys break up, it will feel like they've been right for the past 9 years.

Yep. 

The fact is, your break up has nothing to do with them. It doesn't prove them right. It just means things didn't work out. 

Do you want feel insane for the rest of your life just so that you can be 'right?' It doesn't seem like that will give you high quality of life, but it's your choice to make.

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You might be right. I feel like a do get a kick out of the dramatics. 

I wouldn’t say that any of the things I mentioned about our parents approving of our relationship, or his loyalty is wrong though.

 

We’ve talked about breaking up several times over the course of our relationship, but it’s never felt right. 
 

I would say this is the only point you got wrong “You also mentioned everyone will be proved right if you break up.  Think about that statement. That is not a healthy reason to want to marry someone.  Especially if there are any doubts.”

 

I replied to another comment that they would be proved right. Not that that is the reason I want to marry him. Neither of us take marriage lightly. Which is why we haven’t rushed it. 
 

And even now are working through these trust issues before we move any further. I’ve gone through his phone twice. I feel like any number of times is unhealthy. But mostly it’s in my very few moments of weakness and doubt. 
 

His parents got pregnant with him right out of high school. And divorced soon after, and mine have been together since highschool and married for nearly 30 years. 
 

So going into this we had different expectations of what marriage could be like. 
 

Logically. When I lay it out, I see myself as the source of the problem. I was controlling, selfish and not understanding at the beginning of the relationship. Before he ever left for school. 
 

So when he was away, he didn’t feel like he could be honest with me about. When I think back he told me-though perhaps- not in explicit detail about everything I’d ever found— before I found it. 
 

We’ve talked endlessly about how being more transparent with each other protects us from being hurt by any surprises. And it’s something that has really worked, ok both sides.
 

I’ve realised if I’m feeling insecure about something I should just say it. And he understands that if there’s ever an issue that he thinks I may be uncomfortable with, telling me upfront is always better than me happening upon it later.

 

It’s hard to lay out what we mean to each other like this. Our the ins and outs of our relationship. But we have had no reason to stay together this long.

 

He could left the relationship and had a “college experience”, we could date other people who share more in common, our family relationship makes ***, so complicated. 
 

But we choose each other every time. The spark we had at the begginning of the relationship has never left us. Neither of us are perfect. But the moments that are good are so perfect and so plentiful make the stuff I’m talking about seem silly. 
 

I’m ready to put this past us. It’s not even who we are anymore. I just made the mistake of dredging up the past in a moment I’m not proud of. 

28 minutes ago, Lambert said:

Sounds to me like you enjoy a lot of drama. no one wants you two to be together,  he's insanely loyal, you know him better than you know yourself....

but yet you don't trust him? 

maybe you need to break up and see what happens. nine years is a long time, especially starting so young. 

You also mentioned everyone will be proved right if you break up.  Think about that statement. That is not a healthy reason to want to marry someone.  Especially if there are any doubts.

Maybe this relationship lasted longer than it should have because you have romantic notions of what it "should or could".

Marriage is a serious commitment and the two people going into it should be happy and excited to make it. Some little doubt would be normal, as with any big decision. 

But you're snooping his phone and finding evidence.

What is there to decide? Slow down. Look at things more logically. It's pretty clear.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Stupidvolvo said:

He’s a giant flirt and people pleaser. But I just don’t see him doing anything to intentionally hurt me. 

So? Someone doesn't need to do anything intentionally to be a turn off. Decide whether you enjoy being with a "giant flirt and people pleaser". This is a character trait he has so it's unreasonable to expect him to flip a switch and be any different. The onus and responsibility is really with you to determine what's acceptable in a relationship. 

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11 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Affairs are rarely attempts to hurt a partner.

If you read around sites like this, you'll find that sooooo many people say "it just happened." Meanwhile, their behavior was borderline inappropriate all along.

Maybe it was just hours on the phone chit-chatting, maybe it was spending a lot of time together voluntarily, maybe it was exchanging racy pics.... they spend a lot of time rationalizing their behavior and very very little time holding themselves accountable.

The fact is, your break up has nothing to do with them. It doesn't prove them right. It just means things didn't work out. 

Do you want feel insane for the rest of your life just so that you can be 'right?' It doesn't seem like that will give you high quality of life, but it's your choice to make.

I love this. I don’t want to make excuses for him. 
 

He has admitted his inadequacies. He was immature for sure, and definitely inappropriate. 
 

I don’t feel bad for believing I deserve better. I feel bad for invading his privacy. 
 

I don’t want to feel insane for the rest of my life. But staying with him would be about more than proving a point. 

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1 minute ago, Stupidvolvo said:

I don’t want to feel insane for the rest of my life. But staying with him would be about more than proving a point. 

Fair enough. Just be careful about assuming too much responsibility for the situations you find yourself in with him, and from taking too much blame upon yourself. He is an adult, and your emotional and intellectual equal. He does not get to blame you for his behavior. 

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3 minutes ago, Rose Mosse said:

So? Someone doesn't need to do anything intentionally to be a turn off. Decide whether you enjoy being with a "giant flirt and people pleaser". This is a character trait he has so it's unreasonable to expect him to flip a switch and be any different. The onus and responsibility is really with you to determine what's acceptable in a relationship. 

Agreed. In retrospect, we should have been more honest with each other about expectations.

In the beginning I was insecure about him having girls that were friends, mostly because of the way the we fell in love- friends first. And this was dumb and something that makes me really embarrassed.

I see so many problems stemming from like the first fight we ever had when I was 17 and insanely immature. 
 

He talks about me all the time. Brings me up random conversation has me in every profile pic for all of his social media, on his phone etc. And always has.

I sat this just to explain that he’s never hid our relationship. 
 

I just think that- especially when we were younger- people didn’t care. They would have pursued him anyways. And he’s had to learn to be overly explicit about letting people know he wasn’t interested. Which I think was hard for him. He’s a well liked person, and he doesn’t like to hurt people’s feelings. 

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13 minutes ago, Jibralta said:

Fair enough. Just be careful about assuming too much responsibility for the situations you find yourself in with him, and from taking too much blame upon yourself. He is an adult, and your emotional and intellectual equal. He does not get to blame you for his behavior. 

This is what I needed to hear. 
 

He’s my best friend before he’s my boyfriend. But, Even though I can empathise with him doesn’t mean I should allow him to discount, or disregard my feelings.

 

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6 hours ago, Stupidvolvo said:

I go through his phone and it’s not healthy. He’s patient with me though. Shares all his passwords, social media, bank passwords, he has been doing this ever since the weird Facebook message. In the nearly 10 years we’ve been together these are the only red flags. We’re in love. He is good to me, and my family- almost closer to my sister than I am and has been for most of their lives. I can’t imagine him doing anything to hurt them. 

Yeah, you know a lot you do & think is not healthy...

Your 'red flags', I don't see as much concern. I have never needed all that info from anyone I dated.. only once did i check an ex's phone after 5 yrs, due to my assumptions of cheating & was correct.

As for your repeated words of "I can’t imagine him doing anything to hurt them. ".  I think this needs to stop.  Sure, you two have known each other for many years.. sure family/friends history is there between the families.. BUT, this is your own separate life & experiences.  has nothing to do with your parents, uncle, etc.

You chose to date this guy and should things fall out, has nothing to do with how well family know him or anything.. So, try to put this fact aside.

Is common for people to 'know people'.  But our relationships have nothing to do with this.

I suggest you consider some prof help with your insecurities, as it's affecting this relationship.  Sounds like he is trying & that's all he can do... But, may get to the point, he's feeling overwhelmed & it will affect him, to the point he loses himself & feels he needs to give in & give up. ( this, due to the effects of your distrust).  

So, is maybe time to act?  To work on yourself and find your trust in someone you do 'love'.

 

6 hours ago, Stupidvolvo said:

Am I being naive for wanting to believe him? For wanting this to work? 

To me, he sounds believable.. but you are so insecure.  He's a young male and soo many do these things.  Look at women, it's normal.  does not mean he's a cheater.

But, I feel you just can't trust him & this is damaging.

 

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3 hours ago, Stupidvolvo said:

His parents got pregnant with him right out of high school. And divorced soon after, and mine have been together since highschool and married for nearly 30 years. 
 

So going into this we had different expectations of what marriage could be like. 

You can't really mean that your view of marriage is this focused on your parents' marriages??  I think the trust issue is a dealbreaker unless you do the work so you don't react to your  feelings by invading someone's privacy or insisting that the person share their passwords.

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Sounds to me you feel you would be throwing away something special...I agree with that. Sure he may have had a few flirtations, but being young in college, that's gonna happen. He was young dumb and full of hormones. He looked a lot but probably didn't touch. The reality is, men fantasize about other women. They are very physical creatures, they like looking at body parts, boobs, etc. They like the variety of women. It's just how they are. Most of that they keep in their head, and what goes on in one's head is no one's business.

So even if you toss him aside and move on, you will be faced with the same dilemma with any other guy you decide to date. If he was such a shady guy or wanted some strange, he would have dumped you ages ago.

You are a grown woman now, you have knowledge and maturity to help you work through this. Getting all his pass words, snooping, etc is not the solution. All that does is enable your insecurity. I say start fresh, and go forward with him. Leave the past behind. 

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2 hours ago, Stupidvolvo said:

He’s my best friend before he’s my boyfriend. But, Even though I can empathise with him doesn’t mean I should allow him to discount, or disregard my feelings.

Why is the friendship different than the boyfriend? Aren't the part of the same exact relationship? And yes empathy should be reciprocal, that is obvious.

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