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Does trust ever return? Marriage without trust?


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Old 30th July 2006, 11:54 AM   #1
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Does trust ever return? Marriage without trust?

I've been on this board for maybe 18 months, during which time I've finally gotten quite angry with dh for the garbage that has gone on for most of our 17 year marriage, including lies, but much more.

Just to show how good he is at lying, there was as VERY SERIOUS punctuality problem, and it finally came out ten years after that in addition to picking up groceries (his excuse for being late), he was having a weekly coffee date with a woman I never heard of! There are lots of issues here, but especially the DECEPTION about it. FOR TEN YEARS!

More recently, we've hacked and slogged through the office tramp issue, and despite the fact I don't believe he's come entirely clean about it (he still insists it was 'nothing'), or the strangely flat tires that followed telling her she couldn't e-mail anymore, I believe she's out of the picture.

As more comes out, though, I think we have an even deeper problem with the woman he's been in contact with for thirteen years, and virtually never mentions to me. I hadn't worried about her so much because she lives 1700 miles away. He removed her from his personal yahoo account last November and led me to believe he was no longer in contact with her. It turns out he just moved her to his work account, while swearing he's an open book because he gave me the password to the other.

He promised the counselor he'd send me 'personal' e-mail he gets at his work account, but last night told me he thought it was just e-mail from his family I wanted to see. So that's his excuse for not keeping that promise.

We did take a giant step forward last night in that he finally acknowledged he could see how this could be called an emotional affair (he's previously scoffed at that notion) and he sort of said he'd move her to our joint account. I'm happy with that, except I see clearly that, given his history of lying and deceiving me, I realize I can't believe anything just because he says it.

He has made many changes in the past 18 months. Although I'm not entirely satisfied with the results, he did make the effort to go to Retrouvaille and later to counseling. I have seen some evidence that he's committed to the marriage. I have seen gradual admissions of things he'd previously denied. I have at long lost gotten apologies for some things that really needed them. We made, as I said, another step forward last night, in that he finally admitted this is an emotional affair going on with NS, and sort of agreed to make the necessary changes.

But after all of this: is there ever really trust again? Knowing he's capable of lying and deceiving me for full decades, is there ever a return to trust?

Obviously, this board is full of people who have been deceived and lied to, and I know some (many?) of you have saved your marriages. Did you do it by regaining trust, or by learning somehow to live with a spouse whom you cannot trust? Either way, regaining trust or learning to have a satisfactory marriage without trust (is that possible?) please give me some advice to move forward from here on my own part.
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Old 30th July 2006, 12:00 PM   #2
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Just an additional area of lying: I've been thinking we're living debt free and it turns out he was hiding a $10,000 credit card debt from me. I THINK he's come clean about that, but I wouldn't swear to it. Obviously, lying makes that hard.
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Old 30th July 2006, 12:11 PM   #3
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The best advice I can give is to stop listening to his words, since they are so lie-filled. Instead, pay attention only to his actions. This is a hard change, because we himan beings are rpogrammed to believe what our fellow humans tell us - even if we know intellectually that it's likely BS! And if you WANT to believe, so you can keep your marriage alive, you will be even more tempted to believe his words.

Just try filtering all his behavior according to ACTIONS - like coming home promptly - rather than WORDS - like his explanation of why he wasn't home.

I honestly don't see how one could live in a marriage [permanently devoid of trust. It sounds very empty and sad.
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Old 30th July 2006, 12:13 PM   #4
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I found it difficult in my 20 year marriage to always be worried and wondering about the truth and betrayal...

When - on his second infraction - I said NO MORE! he suddenly thought he could make it all go away... as other than that we had a wonderful life and time together...

I now feel so much relief in not having to worry or wonder anymore. Every time he disappeared for 3-4 hours - or said he was playing golf etc. I wondered what he was up to.

The peace of mind has been liberating, and I don't care if I never marry again. I will take companionship, but will NOT put up with betrayal again, I don't deserve it.
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Old 31st July 2006, 9:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EndoftheRope View Post
Obviously, this board is full of people who have been deceived and lied to, and I know some (many?) of you have saved your marriages. Did you do it by regaining trust, or by learning somehow to live with a spouse whom you cannot trust? Either way, regaining trust or learning to have a satisfactory marriage without trust (is that possible?) please give me some advice to move forward from here on my own part.
Regained trust. There is no way that I could remain in a relationship without trust. Honesty is HUGE to me.

I agree with SoleMate about paying attention to actions. That is, of course, very important. It doesn't take you a long ways towards regaining trust, however, as actions rarely lie - and trust is usually based on verbal communication.

What I've done is talk - and talk - and talk - and talk some more, about what happened. All of the issues. All of the dirty laundry. All of the garbage from the past, in excrutiating detail. Whenever things didn't mesh right in my brain (in other words, if the story on Tuesday the 1st was different from what it was on Thursday the 15th) that bit got discussed again and again and again. If my H wasn't up for this, then sorry, I wasn't up for staying with him. He knew going in to our relationship that there wasn't a single thing as bad to me as lying. The fact that he chose to do that rather than work on the issues that he had, frankly, wasn't my problem. If he wanted me, if he wanted our marriage, then he had to live with the problems that he had brought into it and resolve all of the insecurities and untrust that came with those problems.

What can I say? He showed me by his patience, by his willingness to go through the rathole that I pulled him through that he truly wanted us to be "US" again. He was willing to put himself through hell, and it was indeed hell, to help me be OK with him again.

It was a VERY rough road, for both of us. And, if you are wondering, his was a (mostly online) EA of approximately a year.

The good news is that we have for the most part come out the other side in pretty good shape. I still have an occasional downturn - which means we both do, because I don't go there alone.

So, yes, you can do it. You can regain trust, BUT you cannot do it alone. The only way you can regain trust in someone else is for the other person to be willing to prove that they are trustworthy. (And that's really really tough.)
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Last edited by silktricks; 31st July 2006 at 9:53 PM..
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Old 2nd August 2006, 9:20 AM   #6
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My husband had his fling last summer. I'm still having issues with trust, but most of all I'm having trouble with my own rage that he brought this person into our lives. I don't see any trust coming from me anytime soon, at least not 100% anyway. I'm trying to just deal with each day as it happens. It's a very unsettling feeling to say the least. To be honest, I don't know if I will ever fully return to the place in our relationship where there was complete trust. I sometimes just feel so violated. I wish you the best of luck though. From your post I see alot of things that my H used as being late excuses too and when you put that in about only seeing family email, it rather sounded as though he was sidestepping that issue. Gawd, sometimes....I see things even if it isn't the case!! Hugs.
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