How Do We Build Trust Again?


#1

Hello,

I am new to this site but I thought I’d give it a try. My boyfriend and I have been in a committed relationship for almost 8 months, and we recently gave each other “promise rings” to symbolize our commitment to each other. We consider it a step before engagement.

About a month ago I came clean about lying to him a few times. In the beginning there were some things I did not tell him. One example is: I had found two old childhood friends [girl and boy who are brother and sister] on myspace. Let’s just call them Maria & Don. My sister and I considered them family. We use to call them our “cousins.” I was excited to speak to them again and I kept in contact w/ them via myspace and cell phone. One weekend when I came to visit my family in my hometown, I had nothing to do one night and Don contacted me and said he was bored as well, and he’d like to catch up on the years and would like to show me this cool cafe that was open 24 hours. So he picked me up and took me there…and the whole time we caught up on the years we hadn’t seen each other. It felt nice in a platonic way…in no way romantic and I still considered him my cousin. His sister couldn’t join us, she was at work, so we spent that night hanging out for a REALLY long time. He even showed me his new apt and I met his roomates [and I knew one of them - he was also a childhood friend]. I thought our time together was a great time in which we caught up. A week or so after that, his birthday was coming up on a Saturday and he invited me to the celebration, but I had to cancel because I already had plans with my boyfriend, who at the time was not my boyfriend but we were getting to know each other again and that Saturday was going to be part of our first date. When I cancelled Don started acting weird…saying no body was coming and I talked to Maria, his sister, and she told me that Don liked me and that she tried to tell him I didn’t feel the same way…that it was WEIRD since we all thought of each other like family. So I guess Don didn’t take the news well and I felt awkward after Maria told me…

I decided not to talk to Don for awhile to let the awkwardness blow off…and then I resumed talking to him via myspace after a few weeks or something. But I kept my convos/comments short. When my boyfriend and I got into a relationship and he asked about different male friends in my life I didn’t tell him that I had found out Don had liked me. I just told him that he was a childhood friend. Then, a few months into our relationship I felt awkward for even having Don as a myspace firend so I erased him. About a month ago I came clean and told my boyfriend about him. Now, my boyfriend doesn’t trust me and thinks I hid info about Don because maybe I wanted to keep him as a “plan b” type of thing. WHich is NOT true. I do not and never did like Don like that.

My boyfriend basically thinks I have cheated on him since I kept something like the Don situation from him…and I’ve been completely honest after coming clean about my lies…and I keep my word and try to show him that I am trust worthy…but we still argue alot because he can’t beleive me. I need help…how can I gain his trust back? I pray like crazy…trust me. But I need help…

Thanks.


#2

You haven’t cheated on him. Sheesh. I would be really worried about continuing a relationship with someone who was so jealous and possessive. I would consider his reaction a huge red flag.


#3

I agree, him holding this against you does not sound good at all. To me it sounds like he doesn’t have trust for you, and not solely due to this situation. If he had trusted you before this, he should know that he can trust you and he wouldn’t hold it against you.

To me it sounds like he’s insecure and perhaps even jealous.

I think if you had actually cheated then he would have the right to not trust you, but given that you didn’t, and there wasn’t even really a need for you to tell him about it since you never did have feelings for this other guy, there’s no reason for him to not trust you.

I really don’t think it’s a healthy relationship…

Just think of it this way, in the future, is he ever going to trust you? Will you be able to have any male friends without him suspecting that you’re cheating? That is not a healthy way of living. I don’t know that you should stay with him.


#4

It doesn’t look like a lie to me, but it would all depend on what exactly your boyfriend was asking when he was “asking about your male friends”.

I can’t tell from your post how reasonable or unreasonable your boyfriend is. You say the situation with Don is just one example of how you “lied” to him. So did you really lie about other things? That could affect the way he sees everything now.

You don’t say in what way your boyfriend asked about male friends in your life. I can’t tell whether he tactfully asked if there were any other significant men in your life, or rudely pulled information from you, being insistent and not very polite about it. The former would be more or less okay, the latter would be controlling and a red flag. Whether you did actually lie to him (by omission) also depends on what and how he asked. Say, if he asked whether you loved any of those guys romantically, then he wasn’t asking if they made moves on you in the first place. If you said Don was just a friend and you considered Don just a friend, then you weren’t lying. And you definitely didn’t cheat. Are there any good reasons why your boyfriend feels bad about this situation?


#5

*When people keep things from each other in a relationship, most likely it’s because they fear the reaction of the other person. Fear is what motivates a lie, in general. If you are fearful of telling your bf the truth about male friends, it’s because you fear his reaction, and from the sounds of it, seems like you had good reason. I wouldn’t continue dating someone you feel that you can’t be completely honest with…it’s not really your ‘fault,’ it is more that the relationship you’re in, isn’t healthy. We’re all responsible for our actions, but if you fear being honest with someone (and frankly, having male friends isn’t that big of a ‘confession,’ if you ask me) then that’s the wrong person for you. Unless you personally have a history of not being completely truthful, which it doesn’t sound like. Sounds like he probably isn’t the right person to be having a relationship with.

Plus, he holds grudges, it sounds like. *


#6

:eek:

Grownups have friends, grownups know that the fact that someone “likes you” is not cheating. To get jealous of someone who “liked you” and is a childhood friend is flat out crazy.

This guy has a world of growing up to do before he is ready for a relationship. It is a big red flag, time to step away from this relationship.

Find a mature person to decide to marry.


#7

Plus, and I don’t want to leap to the pulling out the abusive card, but this COULD be a sign of an abusive personality, in your bf. I dated a guy back in college who I was always apologizing to, proving myself to, having to explain something or other…he was always angry about something. If you find that you are jumping through hoops a lot with this guy, say goodbye. Not saying he is abusive, I certainly can’t make that assumption based off this thread, BUT…I am just saying that it starts like this, often times. Always having to ‘earn’ the person’s trust back, when really, what you did wasn’t even worth what he’s angry over. Just beware of that aspect of things…if it keeps happening, you should leave him. Personally, I think this is a red flag, like kage states.


#8

Flashing red lights!

Proceed with extreme caution, or maybe run in the other direction.

You answered a question of someone you were just getting to know. You eventually, as your trust in him built up, told him more of the truth. He is now holding you responsible for someone else’s emotions toward you!

:eek:

He is acting like you are not trustworthy.

And he is jealous and super possessive… and you haven’t known him that long. 8 months is about when the creepy crawlies start coming out from under the rocks.

People who act like you are hiding something and are never satisfied with your version of the truth often have truth issues themselves and project their own behavior and motives on you. Not always, but enough that when someone accuses YOU all the time of lying, even though there is no reason for them to distrust you, THEY often are the people with integrity issues.

You may never gain his trust back. But maybe you learned a lesson about people who ask prying questions, people who read too much into what you say or look for hidden meanings, people who attribute Plan B motives to others and the need to always be honest in a relationship.

Early in the relationship was too soon for you to be telling this guy all the details of your life. 8 months in and you clarified this non-relationship with “Don” and bf wigs out?

Not a good sign.

Nor is the fact that you will probably have that same argument about “Don” word for word from now till doomsday. If my thoughts on your bf are correct.


#9

(1) You didn’t lie about anything
(2) You didn’t cheat on anyone
(3) You have nothing to feel guilty about, to prove, or to earn

This guy sounds like he has problems, and you are taking on blame for things that he is imagining. This is so inconsequential as to be absurd.

Now you say you came clean about “a few things” you lied about. The example you gave wasn’t a lie. It wasn’t anything. If the other things are also non-lies he thinks are lies I would definitely re-evaluate the relationship.

The fact that he made up a bunch of nonsense in his mind and then accused you of it, and that here you are a month later and he is still hurling accusations at you and you seem to be basically begging him to believe you-- uh, I’d kick him to the curb in a heartbeat. He sounds like an immature, insecure, and possibly abusive person.

No good will come of your protesting your innocence if he has created a fabrication in his mind where you are bad and are not trustworthy.

I think you need some objective perspective on this. I don’t see where you did anything at all to be distrusted.


#10

Exactly. And as a matter of fact, you’re concentrating on the wrong person to be trusted. You tried to clarify to increase trust. HIS reaction is such that for the rest of your relationship (hopefully it will be short) you will consider and filter what you tell him so that you won’t find yourself being interrogated and accused. Which will decrease trust, and make him think you are holding back, and then you will hold back more… it’s a vicious cycle. Get off this not-so-merry-go-round now.


#11

I think you need a new boyfriend. His reaction is abnormal to the point of scary. You didn’t tell him that some other guy you had no feelings for liked you before you were even in a relationship, and he thinks you cheated?!

Find it in you to leave this guy and find someone sane. Is he an abusive man, do you come from an abusive relationship? Why are you writing thins like “after coming clean about my lies”?!

I am worried about you, your boyfriend seems crazy and you seem like you have a very low self esteem not only to put up with it but to speak so poorly about yourself.

You did absolutely nothing wrong. Please believe this. And sometimes you just have to put your feelings aside and make decisions with your head. This guy your dating sounds like a big mess, sounds like someone who is potentially dangerous to you. He is not worth the risk. You might think you love him, but given time and no contact those feelings disappear.


#12

I think the big problem is the fact it sounds like he keeps bringing it up. I can understand that this info might make him feel insecure. You have a very good male friend who likes you, that you lied about (lying by omission is lying people). You knew it would make him uncomfortable which is why you didn’t tell him in the first place. The fact that it’s been a month and he’s not getting over it is the problem.


#13

She did no such thing.

There was no omission.


#14

He asked about male friends (obviously because he was concerned) and she left it out because she knew it was something he’d be concerned about. I wouldn’t say it is a serious lie, but I can understand why it upset him some. But he is taking it too far.


#15

If my girlfriend told me that story about herself, I wouldn’t blink an eye. She’s an amazing girl, frankly I wouldn’t be surprised if more of her ‘platonic’ guy friends have crushes on her than she even knows.

You’re not obligated to tell him about random guys that crush on you. His faulting you for it is simply immature.


#16

Exactly.

Immature at best, but possibly really sinister and an indication that his intentions are not good.


#17

Ladies, I’m afraid the issue can’t be resolved without additional information. Whether there was omission depends on what the question was and in what form the answer was given. We don’t have full information here. What we have tends to indicate that the guy is way out of bounds, but we can’t make a reliable conclusion with missing facts. What also turns my attention here is that the Opening Poster said it was one example out of a couple of things she (thinks she) lied about. We would need to know the other things in order to be able to tell for sure whether and how much the guy is overreacting. It wouldn’t be fair to label a guy as a psycho and suggest his girlfriend dumped him on the basis of incomplete facts where there is some chance (if maybe less probable than the alternative) that his overreaction might be justified by the rest of what happened between the two.

Fact: She did not cheat.
Probable fact: The boyfriend’s mind went on a creative spree and went on the “plan B” path without any good basis (just being paranoid).
Probable fact: She did not lie about Don by omission (subject to detailed facts) - omission doesn’t mean lie by omission yet, but some omissions can be quite a lie, especially when it’s asserted the information given is complete.
Unknown: Other situations where the OP thinks she lied (they might affect their trust - “ambulance factor”).

Most likely the OP is being scrupulous and the boyfriend has some serious issues to deal with, but we don’t have 100% certainty and can’t have with these facts. Well, we know for sure he’s insecure and somewhat immature, and likely controlling (from the fact he asked about other male friends in the OP’s life), but we don’t know to what exactly extent and so we don’t know if it’s a huge red flag or a small one that doesn’t eliminate him as boyfriend material.

Sigh. Enough of criminal defence for tonight. And, Laticana, I’m not trying to get more information from you if you don’t want to give (it and I’m not asking, either), and trying to avoid blaming your boyfriend without being certain doesn’t mean I’m trying to shift the blame on you. Simply put, you mention that you “lied to him about a couple of things” - if those examples are like the one with Don, then they are most likely not lies at all, but if you really lied about something (e.g. you told him you had 2 boyfriends before but you liked 4, you told him you didn’t know someone but you did, you told him you were home but you were out with friends, you were 19 but told him you were 21, don’t know… some real lie), which I see as somewhat unlikely, then he might have had some reasons to distrust you to a certain extent, thus justifying him somewhat in his flying off the handle. All in all, it does appear like he’s prone prying and to making unfound accusations, even if he had reasons to doubt some of what you say (i.e. if you really lied to him about those other things).


#18

To clarify, I’m no expert in moral theology or moral philosophy, but for a lie by omission, you would need to be silent in a deceptive way about information someone had the right to know. Adding “this is all” is a direct lie to my mind; not saying something you’re obliged to keep secret without disclosing the fact you’re keeping a secret - such as when cops don’t tell the press confidential details of an investigation but they don’t tell them that the confidential details exist at all - is not a lie the way I see it. In your case, you simply said a guy was just a friend when he was just a friend, but you didn’t add the fact that that friend had a crush on you. I really doubt your boyfriend was specifically asking about friends who had crushes on you. He would need to have structured his question in a very prying way for a lie of omission to be possible (and that would make him a proper nut) - unless Don’s crush on you was such an important problem in your life that your boyfriend deserved to know (which is what Arwen seems to be suggesting), but I fail to see how it was such a big factor if you say you never liked him that way and you never led him on, either.

Your chief problem with your boyfriend seems to be communication. You don’t feel comfortable telling him things - you seem afraid of his reactions. The fear seems justified. That’s a problem. You can’t be with someone you can’t talk openly with or whom you fear. If you can’t get this solved, you’ll need to break up. Whether you can get it solved with reasonable effort and in reasonable time depends on how off base his reactions are. If he’s merely exaggerating (for example you really lied to him about some other things and now he trusts nothing you say), you can probably sort it out by being honest (not saying you aren’t) and establishing better communication between you two. If he simply is like that normally, i.e. he terrorises you with his jealousy in normal situations or makes unfounded accusations against you in normal situations and you have to keep justifying yourself to him all the time, then he’s a special case that requires much more work (which would make him poor boyfriend material, too). Hope this helps. I can’t make it any clearer than this. Hope other folks can agree with me.


#19

A week or so after that, his birthday was coming up on a Saturday and he invited me to the celebration, but I had to cancel because I already had plans with my boyfriend, who at the time was not my boyfriend but we were getting to know each other again and that Saturday was going to be part of our first date. When I cancelled Don started acting weird…saying no body was coming and I talked to Maria, his sister, and she told me that Don liked me and that she tried to tell him I didn’t feel the same way…that it was WEIRD since we all thought of each other like family. So I guess Don didn’t take the news well and I felt awkward after Maria told me…

I decided not to talk to Don for awhile to let the awkwardness blow off…and then I resumed talking to him via myspace after a few weeks or something. But I kept my convos/comments short. When my boyfriend and I got into a relationship and he asked about different male friends in my life I didn’t tell him that I had found out Don had liked me. I just told him that he was a childhood friend. Then, a few months into our relationship I felt awkward for even having Don as a myspace firend so I erased him. About a month ago

Counselor, the witness already gave a timeline that answers (at least for me) this issue.

She has been going with this guy almost 8 months. One month ago she told BF about Don’s crus. So that’s about 6.5 months of knowing him, she finally told him some guy she felt uncomfortable enough to unfriend him on Myspace had a crush. Give about 2 months for things to begin to get serious… and she went 4.5 whole months not telling him Don liked her? Wow. He’s upset over THAT? There was no “relationship” other than old friends. At least on her side. This all started at the beginning of her relationship with this BF. He was not owed all the details of this girl’s life and friends until he had earned her trust enough to tell him anything. I think she has it backwards. She’s acting like she finally came clean as if she was keeping some truth from him. I see it as he had finally become serious enough to her that he had earned the whole story (what little there was) and when she told it, he proved once and for all why he didn’t deserve the whole story. Because he made her responsible for HIS mistrust, for the emotions of an old childhood friend and then badgers her about it.

She’s obviously kind of new at relationships and reading guys. Or she would have figured Don liked her much more quickly. She seems very innocent. The relationship with BF was too new for her to have to tell him about every boy who crushed on her, even one she didn’t find out about immediately. Her behavior has never been anything but up front with everyone involved. She didn’t lead on the one guy as the other new relationship became more serious.

I say to the OP beware of people who after 8 months should trust you better than to accuse you of things when your behavior has given them no reason to distrust you.


#20

And I think that after a couple months of a close friend hitting on you while you have a bf, but specifically leaving that information out when he asks, is basis for a guy to get a little nervous. If my bf told me some girl he’s been friends with for quite some time had been hitting on him for a couple months, I’d be uncomfortable too at first. I tell my bf every time anyone hits on me. I don’t hide that. I just don’t get why she hid it in the first place.

His gf hides this info, then tells him about it. She said nothing happened, but she never told you about this guy either.

I’m not saying her boyfriend is doing everything right, but I can understand his nervousness. BTW nervous doesn’t mean jealous.


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