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Trying to gain trust with someone that has trust issues


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So I met this girl last year that I fell in love with pretty quickly. The first thing that I learned about her is that she is very paranoid and protective of her heart. I know she had a man walk out on her in a very cruel way before and she says every since then she has developed walls around her heart. She was bad about breaking things off with me at any slight inconvenience but I was always there when she wanted to come back around and I showed her that I wasn't going anywhere and she finally started to trust me and fell for me it appeared... 

Then things started to get "bad" I suppose. She started appearing uninterested and very distant. Her responses got shorter and without the use of pet words like she used to always use. She told me that she was diagnosed as bipolar but I knew that I would need to accept that and accept that her personality will be hit and miss at times. I was paranoid because I had been cheated on and stuff before and she was being distant and I assumed that she just didn't want to be with me anymore but didn't want to hurt me again so I ended the relationship. After I ended it, she was extremely angry which I could tell was her way of dealing with being hurt and let down. I immediately regretted what I did and I've tried now for about a month to fix it and she just keeps giving me the run around on what she wants... 

At first, she told me she wasn't sure she could get past what I did because me leaving her broke all her trust and the thing she loved the most about me was the security that I gave her. She said she counted on me not to hurt her and walk away because she has abandonment issues. She said the fact that I did so without warning made her uneasy about trusting me again. I bugged and bugged her to work things out and she said I was trying to force what I wanted on her without giving any consideration to what she wants. I asked what she wants and she told me for me to earn her trust back and prove myself again. Now it took months before to get this woman to trust me and she turned me down so so many times before she finally put her guard down. Now I'm sitting here wondering what it's going to take to fix things. I know I made a mistake, but how can I ever fix it by giving her time and in her words "earning her trust from a distance?" 

My ex-wife cheated on me in the cruelest way, so it's hard for me not to wonder if this girl is testing the waters and seeing what else comes along and if nothing better passes by then I'll get another chance. The last time she ended things she blocked all forms of contact with me. Now, she's not saying no but telling me I need to give her time without trying to "snap my fingers and us be back together". She tells me to respect what she's asking for which appears to be right now time. How can I show this girl that I love her and I'm here for her while not trying to force anything? How can I show her that I'm not going anywhere while not talking to her? Any advice? 

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This sounds like a train wreck. You both have trust issues that haven’t been worked through. She has mental health issues that need treatment. 
 

Please sort out major issues before trying to have relationships. You will save yourself a lot of grief. You can’t have a healthy relationship if you’re not in a good headspace. 

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This is toxic and she has her own insecurities to deal with. You are NOT the answer nor solution to get insecurities. She can't put that on you.

I'd say it's best to walk away and move on to healthier choices.

Look, she was already checking out of the relationship here:

6 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

Then things started to get "bad" I suppose. She started appearing uninterested and very distant. Her responses got shorter and without the use of pet words like she used to always use.

 

7 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

Now it took months before to get this woman to trust me and she turned me down so so many times before she finally put her guard down.

That's not how it's supposed to work. When someone turns you down... Turn around and walk away. Have some self respect. Don't allow her to use you or allow yourself to be used like an object over and over.

Again, best to end this, learn from this experience, and move on to healthier choices.

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1 minute ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

This is toxic and she has her own insecurities to deal with. You are NOT the answer nor solution to get insecurities. She can't put that on you.

I'd say it's best to walk away and move on to healthier choices.

Look, she was already checking out of the relationship here:

 

That's not how it's supposed to work. When someone turns you down... Turn around and walk away. Have some self respect. Don't allow her to use you or allow yourself to be used like an object over and over.

Again, best to end this, learn from this experience, and move on to healthier choices.

It's funny that you mention the whole having self-respect thing, because that's exactly what she said to me when turned me down the last time. I assumed she was pushing me away back then because she felt I was going to hurt her. I figured showing her I wasn't willing to give up on her would win her over and according to her, it did.

The thing is... she entered a relationship with another guy not long after that. I left her alone and when they broke up, it didn't take long for her to come back into my life. I stopped chasing her and let her be happy with someone else and she reappeared. She told me being with him made her realize how much better for her I really was. She also made a public post on facebook telling everyone how no one has ever fought for her the way I did and that is what won her over and allowed her to put her guard down. 

I realize I will have a handful of people here telling me walking away is the best option. At the moment, that's not what I'm willing to do nor what I'm asking. I'm asking hypothetically if you will, how you can win back someone's trust while "giving them time"? The back of my mind almost wonders if she knows that I've put extraordinary amounts of effort into her that no one else likely will do, so she she's testing the market for the time being and if there's no winner then she didn't push me away and I'll be here. 

 

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2 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

she's testing the market for the time being and if there's no winner then she didn't push me away and I'll be here. 

This is exceedingly unhealthy.

This relationship will continue to be fraught with drama and uncertainty and one breakup after another. Neither of you is working on trying to conduct a healthy relationship. You're just repeating the same actions over and over.

You may eventually get tired of playing the "pick me!" game. Or, you may find the drama exciting and do this same routine for years. I hope you do choose to walk away and work on getting emotionally healthy and get a better sense of self worth.

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Nope, you can’t win over someone’s insecurities. That is their mental health issues to fix. We can’t fix other people‘s mental health issues, impossible. But you can drive yourself bat crap crazy trying. 

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If you don’t want to leave, always be with her like you said. You give her time, yes, but let her know that you will be there when she no longer needs time. I hope you don’t hurt yourself doing this.

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11 minutes ago, wealthydior said:

If you don’t want to leave, always be with her like you said. You give her time, yes, but let her know that you will be there when she no longer needs time. I hope you don’t hurt yourself doing this.

Finally, someone answered the initial question that I asked. I don't want to leave at this point, no. 

I'm confused on how to give her time, but still be there?

On both instances in the past that she left, she didn't come back until after I stopped trying. I walked away with the mindset that I had exhausted all efforts to show her that I cared. It's surprising to me that she has not blocked me any. I was extremely good to her though and I put forth effort that most people would have never put in, which at some point she may see. She's not ready to close the coffin just yet though for some reason? 

 

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2 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

She's not ready to close the coffin just yet though for some reason? 

That should never IMO be the reason to keep in touch with someone for a potential romantic relationship.  She's got to be 100% ready to be with you in all ways or forget it.  Many people leave the door slightly open and it's not a reason to believe that person wants to be with you in a serious romantic relationship.  Or a close friendship.

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Since you've already decided to let her treat you this way, what exactly are you looking for? You can just sit at home waiting for her to contact you. Then you go back for round four, then it happens again and again until you get sick of it or maybe you let this happen for the rest of your life.

You don't have to "show her" or prove anything. She already knows you'll take whatever treatment she dishes out. Once she figures out no guy with any self respect will take her garbage she'll be back, don't worry.

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Ok, let me explain something before you figure I am talking out my backside. My mom married my dad who had severe mental health issues and spent almost THIRTY YEARS trying to “ fix or help him”. Never worked because he didn’t want it to . What happened to her ? Driven into actual physical poor health due to it. She lost her hair , she mobility challenged etc etc. Her kids ( my brother and I PTSD because my mom stuck with someone with severe issues) 

I married someone with utterly debilitating anxiety and with me having PTSD made me worse and him worse.
 

The difference,  my husband actually wanted to sort himself out and did . We both had extensive therapy and fixed a lot of our issues. Why different result ? We WANTED to succeed. But that has  to come from inside the person. 

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9 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Ok, let me explain something before you figure I am talking out my backside. My mom married my dad who had severe mental health issues and spent almost THIRTY YEARS trying to “ fix or help him”. Never worked because he didn’t want it to . What happened to her ? Driven into actual physical poor health due to it. She lost her hair , she mobility challenged etc etc. Her kids ( my brother and I PTSD because my mom stuck with someone with severe issues) 

I married someone with utterly debilitating anxiety and with me having PTSD made me worse and him worse.
 

The difference,  my husband actually wanted to sort himself out and did . We both had extensive therapy and fixed a lot of our issues. Why different result ? We WANTED to succeed. But that has  to come from inside the person. 

She goes to therapy and so do I. I think everyone falls under the spectrum of these disabilities to a certain degree. 

People assuming I have no self-respect because I have fought for a woman that I love and refuse to let mental illnesses or uncertainty taint our relationship. I guess we should live our lives with one foot out the door. There are risks with everyone; we just choose who we want to take those risks with. 

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2 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

She goes to therapy and so do I. I think everyone falls under the spectrum of these disabilities to a certain degree. 

People assuming I have no self-respect because I have fought for a woman that I love and refuse to let mental illnesses or uncertainty taint our relationship. I guess we should live our lives with one foot out the door. There are risks with everyone; we just choose who we want to take those risks with. 

You are not understanding anything I said. I have been with my husband 33 years and married 28 next Sat. I completely GET devotion. However, my mom’s was entirely displaced and literally almost ended her life literally on many occasions. If you are breaking up and she is running to others and coming back yours could be misplaced as well. 

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6 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

You are not understanding anything I said. I have been with my husband 33 years and married 28 next Sat. I completely GET devotion. However, my mom’s was entirely displaced and literally almost ended her life literally on many occasions. If you are breaking up and she is running to others and coming back yours could be misplaced as well. 

I am not really sure if this is a pattern at this point. The first time we broke up it was after our first date and was a miscommunication and only lasted for about two weeks. The second time it was for six months and she started dating the guy two months after we broke up. She claims he came into the picture long after we broke up, but I remember him drooling over her pictures while her and I were talking.... 

I last asked her if she was talking to someone last week and she said no. I'm not sure if she's talking or seeing someone right now. I have a bad feeling that she is but at the same time it could be my damaged way of thinking since my ex was that way. 

A lot of why we didn't workout this time was that I was still damaged from my divorce. That's why I'm kind of agreeing with the split momentarily. I think it will take me a few months to get right again. I just hope she's putting effort into herself and not someone else in the meantime. 

Does anyone still not have a clue on how to earn someone's trust while not really speaking with them on a daily basis? 

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6 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Why are you stubbornly trying not to accept this is on her to fix her trust issues? 

Because maybe the way you fix someone's trust issues is by showing them you're someone they can trust. 

The other part of me feels like no matter what she will never trust me. She's always accusing me of lying and the thing is I'm really not lying at all. I remember one time my mom kept calling me and I wouldn't answer because I knew it was over some drama going on that I didn't really want her to hear so she questioned whether I had more than one "mom" contact in my phone because her ex used to do that. 

I remember another instance that I went to her house after work and she said I didn't smell like diesel fuel (I'm a heavy equipment operator) and accused me of not working that day stating she had no clue where I've been. It just so happened my company shorted my paycheck that week as well and made her even more delusional. 

What puzzles me the most is the guy she dated after me is a well-known player and she says they broke up because he was an a-hole but she apparently trusted him? I've never cheated in my life and she's constantly accusing me of being dishonest. 

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She is beating down your integrity and confidence. That is NOT love. But if you want to keep at it….

Just know that love is not enough. Love doesn’t fix broken. 

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30 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

She goes to therapy and so do I. I think everyone falls under the spectrum of these disabilities to a certain degree. 

People assuming I have no self-respect because I have fought for a woman that I love and refuse to let mental illnesses or uncertainty taint our relationship. I guess we should live our lives with one foot out the door. There are risks with everyone; we just choose who we want to take those risks with. 

That's a cop out IMHO - all of life is a risk -you get to choose which ones are ok to take and which ones are not.  This is about this specific situation and your specific choices and no, not everyone has a mental disorder.  Everyone is human and all humans have flaws.  Not all humans have mental illnesses nor do all humans with disabilities behave in the same way especially with respect to treatments, therapy, etc.  

You're not some hero or better than anyone else just because you have this romanticized notion that you can "win" someone's trust and that you won't "give up" - right now by behaving as you are you are giving up on yourself if you hope to someday have a healthful relationship.  Right now the right person could be single and available and you would never know that because you're choosing the safety of pining away for someone unavailable in the name of "love."

Loving is giving much more than a feeling.  Give to yourself the proper love and care and you won't chase after unhealthy situations.  You knew from the word go that she had these intense trust issues and yet you pursued her.  That tells me you like to take the easy way out -if you're with someone who is going to keep running away you never have to be vulnerable to being with one person, close to one person "for better or for worse' because you know she'll always have one foot out the door -or two - and you get to live on the thrills of "winning her over" and calling that "love."  It's not. IMHO

 

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8 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

What puzzles me the most is the guy she dated after me is a well-known player and she says they broke up because he was an a-hole but she apparently trusted him? I've never cheated in my life and she's constantly accusing me of being dishonest. 

That's not puzzling.  Since she knew he was a player and treated her badly she could trust him to act consistently with being a jerk and a player - she knew what she was getting into and it was safe because the second she had had enough she could walk away and blame it on him "treating her badly".

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27 minutes ago, StraightShooter said:

Does anyone still not have a clue on how to earn someone's trust while not really speaking with them on a daily basis? 

You cannot earn someone's trust if the someone has trust issues.  If a person asks you not to contact them and they do not have trust issues you maintain a trusting relationship by promising to give space and then making good on your promise. 

For example I have a friend who confided in me two years ago that she has binge eating disorder.  She told me she trusted me not to suggest food-related ideas or dieting ideas as her therapist told her that those sorts of conversations would trigger her disordered thinking.  I have never broken her trust in that regard - I am careful not to talk about dieting or diets (I am not on one, people I know diet so it could come up in conversation).  My making good on my promise continues the trust we already have. 

But if someone was inherently suspicious there would be no reason for me to try to win their trust unless somehow it was a fun challenge.  Is it a fun challenge for you -do you like not knowing where you stand and the thought of "winning" the "prize" that is this person?

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I agree no, everyone doesn’t have mental health issues . People who are abused, genetically inherited disease etc have mental illness. Not every mental illness is a disability. Disability is determined by how much your life is impacted. Some people are non functional. My dad was on disability payments for mental illness. I have a cousin who was very severely abused and the same for her. I am not disabled and neither is my husband. 
 

You can attend therapy and have it not work because you don’t do the necessary work. 
 

Life isn’t a fairytale and love doesn’t fix things. 

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