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Can you trust anyone these days?

(31 Posts)
tedsmam Mon 21-Jan-13 09:45:38

Feeling a bit despondent today.

Help me see the light, if there is any?

DH recently went through a "I don't know if I love you anymore" crisis...seems to have blown over now, but shook me all the same.

Best mate has been seeing one of her DH's friends on the sly for FOUR years I have just discovered. Kids involved on both sides. Neither intends to leave partner but just carry on with the affair and see what happens / what carnage ensues....

Colleague / Good friend at work is dropping me right in it by taking a "holiday" at short notice -leaving me with tons of extra work and short staffed - I have since worked out that he is off for a dirty short break with someone HE is playing away with - four kids between them and 2 partners who are none the wiser. He admits this, and is just a bit pissed off that snow may bugger their plans up, but shows no guilt whatsoever about what he's doing ........

None of which is any of my business - apart from DH of course - but all of which impact on me by playing on my mind..

Can you trust anyone to just be honest anymore? Or am I just unlucky and a bad judge of people I choose to call my friends.......

jessjessjess Mon 21-Jan-13 09:56:58

I think it's just bad luck. But I also think people aren't perfect and every one of your friends will have a few skeletons in their closer. If I expected all my friends to be angels, well, I don't think I would have any.

Battlefront Mon 21-Jan-13 10:19:13

I've been thinking similar recently having discovered that 2 colleagues I always thought of truly decent committed family men are playing away and that a man a worked for and really respected for 20 years was defrauding the company. There was a thought provoking section under "To be or not to be" in the Sunday Times Mag yesterday:

"Is Trust No-one a Good Rule?

Friends talk behind your back, colleagues stab you in the back - but trusting no-one means you can't relax and your relationships will be circumscribed. So trust 100% of the people 100% of the time. Just know you'll never be 100% right"

I also think it's important to remember we never know exactly what's going on in other people's lives. Your colleague could be under loads of stress at home, could be mentally ill, his wife could have told him to go, or be doing the same thing. None it makes it right, but we can't be sure we wouldn't do the same thing faced with the same set of circumstances. I don't think taking holiday at short notice is unreasonable TBH, presumably it had to be agreed and you could do the same if you wanted to.

tedsmam Mon 21-Jan-13 10:30:46

I will look that article up - it sounds good.

I know you're right and noone is perfect - including me - but there just seems to be so much of it about. Maybe it's always been so I just haven't been touched by it.

I suppose what I want to know is, can you trust someone as a friend ( a best friend, who knows everything about you), when you know they're lying to their partner? Is it unreasonable to ask that of them or should you be on your guard with them after that?

I don't know?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jan-13 10:39:02

I don't know about not trusting people but I have to say that, the older I get, the less surprised I am at anything. smile Anyone is capable of anything in my experience and the resulting cynicism (rather than mistrust) means top priority goes to protecting my own backside rather than worrying too much about other people's the way I might have done in the past. Then again, having made some horrible mistakes myself, I may condemn but I am a little less inclined to judge.

Battlefront Mon 21-Jan-13 10:43:24

Yes Cogito, 20 years ago I would have said being unfaithful made you an awful person full-stop. Now I know everyone has secrets and makes mistakes and there's always at least 2 sides to a story. I do still believe that the vast majority of people are basically decent though smile

VoiceofUnreason Mon 21-Jan-13 10:46:48

I do wonder if someone should do a PhD into whether technology has made people less trustworthy - ie, it's now easier to cheat due to mobile phones and the internet, so is cheating more widespread than it once was. Maybe someone already has done this PhD.

For what it's worth, I think generally society has become more throwaway and superficial and inevitably this has to have some result on at least some people's personalities.

I remember watching a Miss Marple with Joan Hickson years ago when she said "It's very dangerous to trust people; I haven't for years" and I must admit sometimes I can see why people subscribe to the "never trust anyone, you can then never be disappointed and only pleasantly surprised". But it's a very pessimistic view of our fellow creatures.

tedsmam Mon 21-Jan-13 10:50:41

Good points all - though sad,

I love Miss Marple - and that sounds like sound advice from Ms Hickson.

Note to self - stop being so bloody soft and idealistic.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 21-Jan-13 10:55:33

I guess once your faith in someone you previously trusted has been shaken, you are alert to any sign of the same recurring. If this happens with more than one person you thought you knew well, you start to doubt your radar is working properly.

Integrity is an old fashioned word but I guess if someone turns out to be devious or two faced at work, I'm not likely to depend on them as a good friend outside work.

I know we can't always be Little Miss Sunshine but like Battlefront I'd rather think most people are fundamentally good unless proved otherwise.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jan-13 10:55:39

It's just part of the maturation process isn't it? Learning from experience? Don't beat yourself up. We mostly start out as wide-eyed little Polyannas wanting to see the good in people and believing everyone 'deep down' is a decent person. But if the evidence of a lifetime is that some people are two-faced, deceitful or downright nasty to the core and you ignored that completely and plunged on regardless, you'd be a naive fool. I don't think that makes anyone pessimistic... just realistic. smile

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Mon 21-Jan-13 10:58:05

Part of it is due to the fact that monogamhy simply isn't natural yet, because of really rather unpleasant, woman-hating cultural myths, everyone is sold the idea that it's essential. So cognitive dissonance occurs and people make themselves and each other unhappy.

Chaoscarriesonagain Mon 21-Jan-13 10:58:59

Hi OP, I totally see where you're coming from. People let you down! It's hard when it's a collective bunch, and the time of year is so tough too


Dahlen Mon 21-Jan-13 11:04:38

It's a balance, isn't it. I trust certain people in my life to behave in a certain way and I don''t waste valuable mental energy worrying about whether that trust is misplaced. However, I always know that if I'm let down at any point, there is a plan B (myself) who I can rely on, even if that's more difficult for me. Despite trusting a select few quite freely, I never allow myself to be dependent on someone's good behaviour, if that makes sense.

I am also a lot pickier about who I choose to trust these days (learned the hard way), which probably has an effect too.

Dahlen Mon 21-Jan-13 11:10:09

It's possible to be a lousy partner and a great friend. You can't always allow how people behave in their romantic relationships to colour how you view that individual as a friend and whether they are generally trustworthy.

That said, entitled behaviour tends to pervade all of someone's behaviour, so an abuser, for example, may be a great friend but only until such time as he or she comes into conflict with you over something (which could take years for you to see their true colours). Likewise, an adulterer who has no qualms about sucking you into an affair as an alibi, or making you cover their workload, etc., is not a nice person and not someone you should trust.

None of us are perfect, but some faults are discrete and others all-pervasive.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 21-Jan-13 11:20:42

I may know there are lots of untrustworthy people out there, but as I also know myself I know at least one person who is reasonably trustworthy. Presumably you can say the same about yourself, so there's at least two of us, take heart from that!

I have to say, as a human being myself (if the rumours are to be believed), I'd be a little worried at someone trusting me 100% because I know I am not perfect and may let them down - and I do hate letting people down. What I want from them is to trust me to try my best for them; to trust me to have good intent, and to give me a chance to make up for it if I fail.

Anniegetyourgun Mon 21-Jan-13 11:21:52

ps Dahlen, take a gold star for appropriate use of the word "discrete". Most people seem to use it as a posh spelling of "discreet"!

maleview70 Mon 21-Jan-13 12:44:27

I trust my friends 100%.....knowing what I do about some of them though, I wouldn't if I were their wife.

Nowadays it seems much easier to cheat. How did people do it before mobile phones. Virtually limited to people you came across.
Now with mobiles can have an affair with virtually anyone and many do.

Dahlen Mon 21-Jan-13 12:47:32

<twirls around with gold star>

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 21-Jan-13 12:56:34

I think there have always been people who are 'up for it' and people who aren't. They will always find a way even if takes a little more effort in the past to keep it all hidden. I remember my first boss way back in 1986 (when the office I worked in still had a Telex machine -you won't know what those were kids!) had been having a torrid affair with a colleague at his previous job. She moved to the same company, bought a little house locally with a view to him leaving the DW and DCs and, on the day he was meant to move in, his DW announced she was pregnant with DC3 so it was all off. Oh the scandal...the scandal...!!! The fact that DH (Dick Head) and the OW carried on working together, sexual tension between them like a violin string, was a constant source of amusement to the rest of us.

tedsmam Mon 21-Jan-13 13:55:33

Wow - there's a tale.
It feels better when you know that sometimes they get found out....

My first DH was a tosser - he had a long affair with his secretary (cliche or what) - took her to Hawaii on "business".
I went to meet him, unexpectedly as a surprise, at the airport - he didn't appear. I was frantic with worry.
Turned out he had got the shuttle back to Edinburgh (where she lived and they both worked, him Mon to Fri) with her as she developed a sudden fear of flying. (Aaahh) He then drove back to the North West (where we lived)
He turned up at our house a few hours later having no idea that I'd been there to meet him .......

She had no idea about me either. Thought he was a single bloke with no ties (but a need to drive to Manchester every weekend to see his poor old Mum)

So that perhaps explains some of my insecurities and trust ishooos...

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Mon 21-Jan-13 14:03:09

I think it's because my X cheated and I threw him out only a few months ago but I don't feel as if I could trust again. It's made me open my eyes to how people are and I'm surprised at just how common cheating is. I used to be;ieve everyone was decent if given a chance, now I'm not so sure sad

DontmindifIdo Mon 21-Jan-13 14:19:48

It does seem to go through waves, so you get the waves of house buying in suburbs, waves of engagement annoucements and weddings, then waves of first DCs being born, then it seems about 5-10 years later, waves of affairs and divorces. sad It could just be your circle are in the midst of a 'wave' of relationship breakdowns.

Andthentherewere5 Mon 21-Jan-13 14:24:45

I think everyone has the potential for deceit. I have a friend from uni days who I trust with my life. He's the guy I begged to sleep with me just to piss of my then boyfriend (I was very young and foolish and by the way he wouldn't but did take my contacts out for me!), he's the guy who would insit on walking me home if I was pissed or even not pissed, he's just a great all round great guy. Every married friend who has always sworn their DH would never cheat had no more faith in their DH than I did in my friend.

Roll on 20 years and out of the blue he tells me he has been having an affair for 4 years from the time his DP got pregnant. He has now left DP and child (2 dys previously) and can I advise him as she is being soooooo unreasonable by not falling into place with his plans. He rang me as my (D)H had done the same to me so I "must be able to tell her how to be sensible"! I literally didn't know how to respond other than "You bastard!" given I knew how it felt to have your world completely destroyed overnight.

In answer to your post, no I don't think you can ever REALLY trust someone for ever. For now, maybe, just make sure you have your back covered. This is the reason I will never get married again. No-one gets the power to shake my world to the core again. Cynical, perhaps but content!

tedsmam Mon 21-Jan-13 15:15:04

The "waves" theory makes a lot of sense - as do all of you.

You've ultimately just got to trust yourself - cause that's the only person you really, really know. Sad but true.

tedsmam Mon 21-Jan-13 15:16:15

and men can be real bare faced lying arses, can't they?

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