When you don’t trust your man

How to move on in your re­la­tion­ship af­ter your part­ner has bro­ken your trust

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Mo and Phindi Groot­boom

IHAVE been with my man and fa­ther of my two chil­dren for al­most five years, but I don’t trust him. He has cheated on me so many times and I keep for­giv­ing him, but with­out ac­tu­ally trust­ing him again. As a re­sult of this, I am in­se­cure in the re­la­tion­ship. When he goes out with his friends, I gen­uinely worry that he might be ly­ing and ac­tu­ally go­ing to his ny­at­sis. How do I over­come my trust is­sues? He earned my trust when we started dat­ing, but the trust is gone and this can­not be healthy for our re­la­tion­ship. Why is trust so im­por­tant in a re­la­tion­ship and how can we work around the is­sue as a cou­ple so that I don’t ever feel in­se­cure?

IN­SE­CURE PART­NER

THE ques­tion of what to do when your part­ner has been un­faith­ful is a tough one. It’s very easy to de­cide what to do in the ab­stract, like many peo­ple who ad­vise that you drop him like a bad habit or that you for­give and for­get. It’s quite easy to arm­chair coach other peo­ple’s re­la­tion­ships on some­thing you may not have ex­pe­ri­enced. When it’s your re­la­tion­ship, what seems sim­ple is com­pli­cated. But if you both de­cide to give the re­la­tion­ship an­other chance, it’s im­por­tant to be all in.

TRUST AND HON­ESTY

If your man truly wants to save your re­la­tion­ship, he will have to opt for rig­or­ous hon­esty and com­mit to a path of trust and restora­tion.

Trust is not au­to­mat­i­cally re­stored sim­ply be­cause he says the in­fi­delity has stopped. Trust is re­gained through con­sis­tent and some­times emo­tion­ally painful truth-telling and ac­count­abil­ity. He must make a com­mit­ment to live dif­fer­ently and abide by cer­tain bound­aries, the most im­por­tant of which is on­go­ing hon­esty about ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing. He

needs to start to fear­lessly tell the truth no mat­ter what, even when he KNOWS IT MIGHT BE UP­SET­TING.

DE­CIDE IF YOU WANT TO REC­ON­CILE

Forgiveness is a choice. It doesn’t MEAN WHAT HE DID IS FINE, NOR DOES IT MEAN YOU ARE FINE WITH IT.

How much you trust your part­ner is partly about what your part­ner does and a func­tion of whether you have THE CON­FI­DENCE TO HAN­DLE IT IF THEY dis­ap­point you again. Ul­ti­mately it’s about how much you trust your­self.

The sober­ing re­al­ity of forgiveness is re­al­is­ing that you’re ac­tu­ally for­giv­ing an im­per­fect per­son. There are no guar­an­tees that they won’t do it again. There are no guar­an­tees that THEY WON’T FIND MORE CUN­NING AND de­ceiv­ing ways of cheat­ing.

Even if you were to leave your part­ner, there’s still no guar­an­tee that you’ll meet some­one who won’t cheat on you.

The fact is, our im­per­fect na­ture makes all of us sus­cep­ti­ble to cheat­ing. The only way to de­ter­mine if you’re ready to trust again is to hon­estly as­sess if YOU WILL BE ABLE TO HAN­DLE IT IF YOU FIND OUT THAT YOUR part­ner is cheat­ing on you again.

If you both de­cide to rec­on­cile, the process will de­mand that he co­op­er­ates with what­ever mea­sures YOU AGREE TO PUT IN PLACE TO MAKE IT DIF­FI­CULT FOR HIM to cheat on you again. If there’s a dis­agree­ment IN THIS RE­GARD, NOT ONLY WILL IT BE DIF­FI­CULT OR NEAR im­pos­si­ble to risk your vul­ner­a­bil­ity and trust again, but a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion will not take place.

And if this is the case, there comes a point where you may have to draw a line and say, “This is it, I’m done. I’m not mad at you. I just with­draw my feel­ings and emo­tions. You can do what­ever you want to do with your life. But I won’t be part of it. I’m not go­ing to live like this any­more.”

MAKE YOUR MOVE

Be hon­est about whether you re­ally want to put this BE­HIND YOU OR IF THERE IS A PAY-Off YOU ARE RE­CEIV­ING from the sit­u­a­tion by let­ting it drag on with in­de­ci­sion.

Do you en­joy play­ing the vic­tim or sub­ject­ing your part­ner to a life sen­tence of guilt even if he sin­cerely came out, is gen­uinely apolo­getic and has made pos­i­tive and re­al­is­tic sug­ges­tions to rec­on­cile and re­build trust?

It’s un­fair to claim to have for­given your man and have there­fore opted to con­tinue with the re­la­tion­ship, but con­tin­u­ously throw the cheat­ing in his face. You have no right to do so, af­ter you claim to have for­given him and de­cided to con­tinue with the re­la­tion­ship.

You need to take your time to heal be­fore you em­bark on the process of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, other­wise you will even­tu­ally run your part­ner away and would in­ter­pret that as un­fair.

Ask your­self if this is go­ing to be a life sen­tence for your part­ner. What will it take for you to for­give this and heal? Have you com­mu­ni­cated it to him and does he oblige? It’s not fair on both of you to con­tinue to live un­der cir­cum­stances where your gen­uinely re­pen­tant part­ner is re­minded of their mis­take all the time, but you also con­tinue to hold on to some­thing that you should do ev­ery­thing to get rid of.

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