Trust Broken...and Re-Built
Trust. A tricky concept. There have been a number of recent threads that have made me reconsider and re-evaluate my concept of trust...and the re-building there-of.
I broke the bond of trust with MrS when I behaved as I did with Dude. The fact that this occurred in the face of (what I now recognize as NRE-induced) self-deception and delusion is irrelevant. (You can read the gory details in my “Journey” blog here). From MrS's perspective I broke faith. Now the amazing part, from my perspective, is that we we able to move past this … completely. How did this happen? (Considering at one point he was unsure if he “could” love me anymore and we should get divorced so that I could “be happy” with someone else.)
1.)I admitted that I was COMPLETELY wrong. (I was, and knew it before he did. The scales “fell from my eyes” before my world imploded.)
2.)I committed to do whatever was (reasonably) necessary to correct my mistake. (For instance: No contact with Dude? Check. Endless talking and communication? Sure. Giving MrS access to my phone and email if requested? Okay. Marriage counseling if necessary? No problem.)
(NOTE: this was a commitment I made to myself – and I gave it a time limit. I didn't promise these things to MrS – any promises I would have made at this point would have been suspect. IF in ONE YEAR of giving our marriage my all he STILL wanted to call it quits I would have let him go without a battle.)
3.)We had almost 20 years, TWO DECADES, of a history of good will, communication, and honesty built up. I don't know if we could have weathered the storm of my “betrayal” otherwise. I fucked up...yes. BUT, this was the first major fuck-up in 20 years.
4.)We are/were fundamentally solid. Often people point out that poly shines light in the dark corners of relationships and brings them into relief. We poked into all of those corners (now, then, and previously) and learned...that I have a higher sex drive than MrS...which we have acknowledged since 1992. No surprises. That's it. (We knew that I was poly previously, it had been previously geared towards “girls only.”)
5.)When MrS forgives...he actually FORGIVES. Done. 10 weeks of working through shit...deciding he can trust me again...etc. Now, maybe this stems from the fact that I had seriously “repented” for my mistake. Forgiveness for Dude, his best friend, happened shortly thereafter.
6.)I apologized to both of them for deluding them (and myself) as to what was happening. They both forgave me (fucking AMAZING) and here we are.
Obviously, the story has a lot more to it than that. I could talk (type) for days about all of the emotions that we experienced during this time. I could write about the time that Dude and I ran into each other during the “no contact” time, etc. What is amazing to me is that, we are here, two years later and doing fine.
TL;DR = 8 weeks WRONG, 10 weeks HELL, 2 years HAPPY
I would like to hear others' summaries of how they recovered from “broken trust” issues.
Similar to you-took a bit longer.
But, I made commitments to myself much as you stated. What I didn't do was give it a time frame per se to myself. I did ask Maca to give it 6 months before deciding if he was leaving or not.
At 6 months he decided not, but it took another 2 years for that decision to really be concrete.
I wasn't the first woman to betray him, in fact, every woman in his life has except his daughters. So trust was already an issue for him.
However-we have finally gotten to the point where trust has been built or rebuilt and things are good.
The biggest contributors (imho) are:
A) I took full responsibility for my actions
B) GG took full responsibility for his
C) we both committed to complete honesty and transparency
D) we kept to that (which is sometimes hard)
E) Maca was willing to watch until he could fully trust again
I can toss out the opposite: why trust could not be re-built in my marriage. It's pretty much all exactly the opposite of your post, Jane.
XH cheated and lied.
He's a textbook case in doing everything to NOT rebuild trust.
Thank you for your replies LR and WH!
In the end, though, you can't MAKE someone trust you - I think you can only try to create an environment that fosters the possibility and then BE a trust-worthy person ... every day.
Yes, Maca went off his ADD meds several times and that makes for a nightmare in the trust department. I know it sounds weird, but it's very true.
I think there is definitely a HUGE component in the fact that the person who was hurt MUST be willing to forgive in order for trust to be regained AND they can't be in retaliation or revenge mode either. For a long time, Maca was in retaliation "tit for tat" mode. He would intentionally do and say things intended to "repay" me for hurting him.
There is no healing for the relationship while that is going on. It really was a royal clusterfuck to say the least!
It was critical that I be true about making amends.
But there also came a point where I had to be willing to stand up and say
"ok, time's up, I'm not going to stop being the honest, open, transparent person I have become-but I am done being the doorpost you kick every time you feel anxsty or angry or hurt or whatever."
That forced him to stop and consider, he'd tried to get revenge, he'd vented all he could about the hurt, he'd annihilated my name in our social circles by telling his side of the story (I kept my mouth shut). Now, did he REALLY want to let bygones be bygones and try to build a functional future together; or move on apart.
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