Polyamory.com Forum

Polyamory.com Forum (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/index.php)
-   Poly Relationships Corner (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=4)
-   -   Losing trust (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23382)

WhatHappened 05-01-2012 03:38 AM

Losing trust
I guess I'm what would be called a mono secondary. I've been seeing BF for 4 months. I'm recently (8 months) divorced from a long term marriage as a result of infidelity and lies. BF has told me repeatedly two things: that he'll always tell me the truth and how much I mean to him, how much our relationship means to him.

Friday evening, I talked to BF about something upsetting that had happened in my life. He apologized that he'd already made plans for the evening but said he'd check his schedule and let me know about Saturday, and we could get together then. He never called on Saturday. When I talked to him Sunday, he said he'd been with a friend Saturday, that he'd misunderstood, and thought I was busy Saturday.

I'm at a loss how someone can misunderstand their own promise to check plans and get back to me. Also, given other details of the situation, he made the plans with the friend after talking to me. The best case scenario I can see is that he genuinely forgot and made plans with the friend--in which case, it's hard to believe I'm as important as he keeps saying I am.

Either way, he now wants to together tomorrow, and I'm left feeling that even if this is not outright dishonesty, that if, "I'll check my schedule and get back to you," can be misunderstood, so can anything, so what's the point in talking?

I've done a lot of reading here. I know the answer is communication. But coming from a background of a dysfunctional family and a cheating spouse, I've come to believe that people stick to their stories no matter what and am finding it hard to see a reason to try. On the other hand, I know it's wrong to just ignore his calls and I'll see him at work soon anyway. I don't want to believe my friend lied to me. If he so quickly forgot and made other plans, it seems this isn't really very important to him anyway. Is there another answer? What is the best way to address this with him?

DarayTala 05-01-2012 03:47 AM

I'd say be honest. Let him know that he gave you the impression he was going to check up with you about saturday and why you had expected that to happen. Also let him know how him not doing so made you feel. I think you should iron out with him that you have trust issues because of past relationships, and that you would like him to respect that and put a whole lot of effort into making good on what he says. Remember, he isn't your previous partners, and he deserves the benefit of the doubt, but you also have the right to express your expectations and ask if he can meet them. Hopefully he will understand why that upset you so much and be more considerate in the future.

Also, ignoring him is definitely not a good way to go. Two wrongs don't make a right, and making him feel as slighted as you felt will only make the situation worse.

AnnabelMore 05-01-2012 03:53 AM

If it's an isolated incident, and he's genuinely trying to see you soon and not just continually putting you off, let it go. People really do make mistakes, and when you're juggling a lot of stuff you can't be thinking about even the things and people that are important to you all the time and so you can slip up.

However, if it becomes a pattern, that's a big problem...

If you feel you need to talk to him about it, just tell him that you know mistakes happen but that for you it can be really saddening to be left hanging because you feel disregarded, and ask if there's something you could do to help with scheduling (follow up text to confirm?) in future.

PaperGrace 05-01-2012 03:54 AM

It sounds like you're about to have your first fight in your new relationship. Most (all?) relationships have fights. There's no reason to believe that, because this is a secondary relationship, the fight should look or sound different than a fight in a monogamous relationship.

What I would tell you as a friend is not to paint too broad a brush with your accusations. He screwed up Saturday. I doubt it was deliberate. If he concedes it was, you and he need to have a much deeper discussion. Based on what you posted, it was only this Saturday, not a pattern of Saturdays. Saturday was important to you. He needs to know that - perhaps in the context of a fight or meaningful conversation with appropriate emphasis.

I'm sorry you feel hurt, I'd probably feel the same way. He's not coming at this issue with your same history, so you might have to bring him up to speed about your background and sensitivities.

WhatHappened 05-01-2012 04:01 AM

Thank you, Daray. I already talked to him once, and that was his answer, that he misunderstood. I don't really know where to go from there, as I don't see how he could possibly misunderstand his own words. Do I tell him directly that I don't entirely believe him? Does saying a thing like that ever help the situation? That he's lost some of my trust?

Part of the problem is my fear (I could probably analyze all the places it comes from, but not sure that that matters) that telling him this leaves me feel at worst lied to and at best unimportant will simply be regarded as whiny, needy, demanding, or controlling.

WhatHappened 05-01-2012 04:07 AM

Thank you to all who posted while I was answering Daray. :)

I think it's helpful to me to see your assumptions that this could be a genuine mistake. I know that my two experiences (family of origin and marriage) with the closest possible relationships have left me highly cynical and suspicious. :(

I wouldn't call it a pattern at this point, but it's also not the first time he's said, "I misunderstood."

ETA: Paper Grace, he knows the whole history of the infidelity and lies from my xh. We've worked together for the last four years, during which time I was discovering more lies. Although I only made brief, broad statements at the time, he knew what was happening, and since we've started seeing each other, I've told him more about it.

PaperGrace 05-01-2012 04:41 AM

I wouldn't recommend telling him you don't believe him unless you intend to pull the trigger now and end the relationship.

Assuming you and he work to improve the relationship, I can envision you telling him that he's lost some of your trust as long as you accompany that with ways that he could regain it - keep his appointments with you, start a shared calender, follow through on the statements he makes, whatever would assuage your fears and help you feel recognized and important. That would be productive.

Alleycat 05-01-2012 04:45 AM

Rule of life#345

People close to you will make mistakes. Mistakes are not worth dwelling on.

nycindie 05-01-2012 05:23 AM

I agree that this is not an issue to muck around in and make bigger than it really is. I will say, though, that what struck me was how easily you let such a small transgression throw you into thinking you're not important to him and that he has eroded your trust in him because of it. I think you must let yourself feel hurt very easily.

Let it go and give him the benefit of the doubt. Just make sure you are very clear in your communications from now on. I know SNeacail has said that she has her husband repeat back to her what she tells him just to make sure that he heard her and understood, because they each have very different communication styles. And communication isn't just speaking - it's listening, too. You could try that, and even offer to send him a reminder via text or email, if he is the sort that forgets appointments. The thing is, if we need something from people, sometimes we have to be proactive in making sure we clear the way for it to be given to us. Then, at least, we are not victims.

NovemberRain 05-01-2012 05:26 AM


Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 134498)
And communication isn't just speaking - it's listening, too. You could try that, and even offer to send him a reminder via text or email, if he is the sort that forgets appointments. The thing is, if we need something from people, sometimes we have to be proactive in making sure we clear the way for it to be given to us. Then, at least, we are not victims.

*that* is beautiful, nycindie. QFT. I really like it.

All times are GMT. The time now is 07:56 AM.