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After years of not trusting men, is it possible to have a healthy relationship?

(9 Posts)
5mins Wed 05-Oct-11 09:52:58

I am in yet another relationship where I don't trust the man that i'm with. I'm not sure when my trust issues started but I didn't help that "the love of my life' when I was 19 was two timing me during what was technically a break. I guess I have also been exposed to many men who cheat and over the years approached by attached men.

My current boyfriend is a nice guy but very private and secretive and this is not helping matters. He hates that I don't trust and when I tell him it's not personal and it will develop over time he is offended. I really want to trust, mostly because I seem to become paranoid every time he doesn't return calls or disappears for the evening or looks at another woman - this affects my sleep and health. At the back of my mind i'm always wandering if he is looking for someone else or seeing someone else.

I could leave him but as it has happened in many relationships over the years and I enjoy being in a relationship, i'm trying to make this work.

Please help! I want to run and leave, which is what I have always done but I know that I have to address this once and for all.

akaemmafrost Wed 05-Oct-11 10:03:11

Well I used to be like this, ridiculously so but as I got older I just started relaxing about it. You can't do anything about it, if someone is going to cheat, they are going to cheat and thats it. Its a total waste of time and headspace to obsess about it. I don't know how I came to this acceptance, probably because I was with someone for 8 years who did everything it is possible to do to betray someone. The worst happened over and over again, so there was nothing to be scared of in the end.

Ime <<expects flaming>> most men cheat anyway, probably around 70% I would say and there is not a lot you can do about it apart from hope for a good one or just not be hysterical about expecting monogamy. I have found that many men tend to find it easier to separate relationships and sex and it doesn't mean so much to them to have an encounter outside of a relationship.

Oh and his demanding trust the way you have described would be setting alarm bells ringing for me. Unless of course you are being a bit of a PITA and showing your insecurities and this is frustrating him.

Actually my life philosophy now is to expect the worst until proved otherwise but there is no need to show the other person this, its just a matter of being pragmatic, or it WILL fail.

5mins Wed 05-Oct-11 11:04:05

Thanks and I have been trying to use your philosophy. I am showing my insecurities and I guess it has come up a few times. The first time he was fine but the second he just said there was no point us carrying on if I couldn't trust him. He has introduced me to friends and family and except for when he is working is available. He sometimes disappears ( we don't live together) which he puts down to having time alone after a stressful day at work.

He is just VERY private and closed where as I am very open. I'm trying to work out if his need for space is just because he is used to being single or if he is seeing other people.

I've made so many mistakes in the past that I am worried that this is another - i'm not sure I trust myself and my choices.

My female friends keep on saying trust your instinct but I don't know if it is my instinct or my wounds from the past that are causing me to mistrust.

Since we have been seeing each other we spend all our weekend together, he has taken his ex's off facebook and he now at least send me an sms on the evenings that he needs space to say he had a bad day at work. Rationally, I get all of this i just get triggered if he receives messages on his BB last at night or early morning or if he is friendly with other women. I obviously have low self esteem if I am always thinking that he's going to run off with someone else sad

akaemmafrost Wed 05-Oct-11 15:33:49

Again, you have to learn to accept that there is NOTHING you can do to prevent him "running off" with someone else if that is what he decides to do. No amount of worrying or stressing about it will change that, it will only spoil what you have in the present and may actually increase the chances of it happening as he becomes more and more fed up with your insecurities.

From what you have written it sounds as though he is pretty committed to you and I really do think you should be enjoying this not policing his fidelity grin at this stage of the game.

Yes he MAY run off with someone else, You MAY have been squashed by a piece of that satellite that broke up the other week and fell to earth, but you weren't were you? Another thing that I always find comforting when stressing about something is that apparently 80% of what you worry about never happens anyway!

"He is just VERY private and closed where as I am very open" are you trying to "force" him to open up to you and sulking and getting upset when he won't because thats actually not very healthy and who are YOU to judge if he is TOO private or closed, surely thats up to him decide?

5mins Wed 05-Oct-11 18:07:17

You have put your point across beautifully and of course you are right. I don't think he is going to run off, these are my issues and I look out for the signs just so that I can do a runner!

He is very private and closed compared to me. I used to be like that but went through a few pretty rough years which have completely changed me. I respect his privacy, I just don't like the little things he does that make me wonder if he is seeing someone else.

Anyway, I have an intention. let's see what happens. I cannot carry on like this; sleepless night, constant worry, reading men are from mars- women are from venus, looking out for signs or policing his every move - I sound CRAZY!!

Ironically, one of the reasons I really liked him when we first met was that he gave me absolutely no reason to worry at all. I completely trusted him. Then I told him him that one of the reasons I liked him was because I never worried about him and never lost any sleep over him - of course, from that moment it all changed!

Anyway, thanks for the advice! x

akaemmafrost Wed 05-Oct-11 18:17:01

No problem grin. At least you are aware of your issues. Far worse to be one of those scary people that don't even question themselves as they patrol their relationships for the slightest indication of untoward behaviour.

Can I ask what changed then after you told him you liked that he never made you worry? Did he do something that DID make you start to worry?

One thing I would say though is yes you are right to trust your instincts, don't ignore them but learn to differentiate between them and your insecurities. Its not easy, I am only just learning to do that now and I tell you instincts feel very different once you know what you are looking for and should be listened to.

5mins Wed 05-Oct-11 20:11:52

Did he do something that DID make you start to worry? - To be honest, i just remembered him looking uncomfortable when i was talking about people cheating, he would disappear one night a week, he would claim not to use facebook but then i could see he had used it, he stopped talking to me on skype and would say he had gone to bed but I cold see him online, I met him online and could see that he has logged on after we had been dating for 4 weeks and when i asked him about it he said that he was cancelling his subscription, he didn't tell his family about me for 3 months (but he did take me to work do and introduced me to work colleagues). I met him online and so all this stuff started to worry me because i had head such awful stories about men lieing, scamming, being married. These could all be about privacy and freedom but because of my past, i am very suspicious. My ex used sex site before he met me and so I know what men can do and get away with.

The problem is I am having trouble distinguishing between my instinct and silly things that make me suspicious and trigger me - i think i'm a body language expert and ask him questions to see how he reacts smile!! He has told me that he feels as though im always trying to catch him out - and he is right!! But I honestly started out completely trusting him until he started to disappear and tell white lies. Every time i get to a stage when i trust him he does something weird...they are little things but they scare me. He makes comments about my weight in jest and told me that he think i'm super confident and so can handle it!!

I know i sound mad and sometimes i feel this is too much and i want to leave. But I also know that this is not new news for me and it will crop up with other men unless i address it. He adores his mum and she has my number, she asked for it. I can't imagine that he would allow that to happen unless he was fairly serious about me.

akaemmafrost Wed 05-Oct-11 20:21:20

Right comments about your weight because you can take it? Plus all you have said in your last post. Scrap my previous posts. I think are some red flags here, I think your instincts are steering you right, he has lied about things he did not need to lie about ie FB etc. Knowing what I know now in my own relationship history, I would dump this man, I really would, sorry sad.

5mins Thu 06-Oct-11 01:26:47

i'm really confused because on one hand he is really supportive, i see him every weekend, we do things alone and with his family, he supports my work, we have lots in common BUT he is weird about the things i've listed above. He has since removed his ex's from fb (and given me his password), no longer makes comments about my weight, he no longer disappears and has given me the password to his work and personal laptop but not his bb. I don't want all his passwords, it's not my way to check up on him, I would rather just trust him and feel secure. The last few weeks we have seen each other but he has been really stressed with work and moving. He seems to be distant and seems to lost interest.

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