Originally Posted by WalksThroughFire35
I just don't know what to make of all of these responses. Thank you all. Its so mixed ... on one hand I feel that some of you are saying it is promising and on the other I feel that you are saying I may never be able to fully trust again. If I can't, then how do I continue in this?
I think what you have is promising because you are willing to look at these issues and work on them. And it doesn't seem like you are allowing yourself to get lost in a lot of melodrama about it. You seem to be looking at things as objectively and lovingly as possible in this kind of circumstance. I don't think anyone said you may never "be able to fully trust again" -- that's on you. And I don't see your situation as darkly as RP does, as far as what your girlfriend did.
I might have a different reaction if I had gleaned from your story a much more treacherous or manipulative motive on your gf's part. But what I got from your telling of it, is... she made a mistake. A big one, nonetheless. However, now comes the challenge of forgiving and making agreements. I personally hate the idea of asking someone I love to "prove" anything to me. I feel like seeing how much they've hurt me should be enough of a motivator for them, rather than extracting a promise and waiting to see if they uphold it. But that's just me - I can't feel like I have one over on anyone, or that I'm a judge and jury and my partner has to prove he is trustworthy. For myself, it should be enough to state what my expectations are, listen to the other person's, come to an agreement on how to manage our relationship, and to keep talking.
Because on some level, where the hurt resides, I don't think anyone could ever prove it enough to me. I would want to feel that our relationship is strong enough to be equal partners and to know what each of us has to work on, and keep checking in with each other on a regular basis. Part of the agreements you make might also be how often you two talk about this, since she doesn't want to keep revisiting it. Maybe if you both compromised on how and when to discuss it, it won't feel so much like the Sword of Damocles over your head.
Learning to trust again is not dependent only upon my partner's behavior, but on how I work through it. Maybe I won't let myself be blind to certain signals anymore, or will speak up more often, or meditate on my contribution to any misunderstandings, look at my past and any left-over hurts I still have -- whatever my process is -- but I have to risk trusting again at some point or else the mistrust and blaming will eat away at me. If I am hurt again by my partner's behavior, down the road, then I have a choice to make. But asking them to prove they can keep promises, isn't how I would do it.
You may well get a few more differing opinions from people here, and you'll have to sift out what rings true for you. I think what most people here might agree on is that it takes time, and compassion for both her and yourself.