A Matter Of Trust

I’ve been pondering trust lately, seeing as my trust was pretty well ripped up and thrown back in my face not that long ago. This seems to be a recurring theme in my life. Let’s enumerate:

High school boyfriend – verbally abusive and cheated on me many times.

Dad – cheated on my mother many times, I found out later, but the one I knew about was the one he tried to get me to be friends with, the one who took me clothes shopping and bought me tickets to the J. Geils concert. And then fucked my dad in the car while her son and I attended the concert. Because that won’t mess with your head at all. No.

College boyfriend – didn’t cheat on me. Pretty decent guy, actually, things just didn’t work out.

First husband – drank like a fish, lied like a rug (any more cliches I want to pull out of my ass?) and tried to pick up my newly out-of-the-closet sister. A week before we got married. Which I didn’t find out until after we’d split up. Controlling, manipulative douchebag.  Abandoned our daughter and has had no contact with her in over four years.

Second husband – cheated on me emotionally a couple of times that I found out about, one when I was about 8 months pregnant with our first child. Carried on several online “things” with various women after that, culminating in him leaving this past April for someone he met online. After telling me there wasn’t anyone else for months and swearing to me that if he did ever meet anyone, that he’d let me know.

This is leaving out a few other men I went out with, not all of whom were cheating scum bags but who otherwise messed with my head by dating me for six months and then suddenly never returning phone calls. I was never that invested in those guys and even though I’m sure the not returning phone calls thing was their way of saying they’d met someone else, it didn’t hurt like those listed above. Especially the last one. That one has left me feeling like a fool, like everything we did for the last ten years was a lie. I feel like I can’t trust that anything he told me was true now. Logically, some of it has to be but it makes me obsess over what was true, what wasn’t and why I didn’t run for the hills the first time I caught him in one of his online dalliances. I excused it because a.) I was pregnant and b.) it was only online, they’d never met (as far as I could tell, since one was in Detroit, the other in another country). But the intent was there, the predilection was there. Why did I allow myself to be made a fool of for so long? These are the things that swarm around in my brain when I’m trying to fall asleep at night.

So yeah. I have trust issues. Lots of them. And I’m not sure how to get past them or over them or if I should even bother trying any more. I feel like every time I let someone in romantically, they turn around and kick me in the teeth. Hard.

I know I am not an easy person to live with. I get depressed. I get moody. I’m very, very impatient.  But if the person I chose to give my heart to can’t handle those things, then why do they stay with me? I don’t make any bones about my issues, I put them out there from the get go. Why is that what got thrown in my face, especially with M? He knew. He knew what I was like, knew how I worked and he took advantage of that to tell me I was paranoid and crazy for doubting him when all along, he was playing me.

So here I am, ten years older, even more fucked up than before, not wanting to even think about dating (and as a total aside, how the fuck do you walk out of a ten year marriage into another relationship? How do you not need a little time to figure out who you are? I don’t get that. The last thing in the world I want to do right now is get involved with anyone). What’s the point? Why should I risk it? It’s not worth it, it’s never been worth it. Wait, I take that back. I have four great kids, even if they do drive me slightly mad at times, but other than them, no. Not worth the risk, not worth the heartache.

Do I want to live like this for the rest of my life? On one hand, it certainly would be easier not trying to mold my life and all my fuckedupedness into someone else’s fuckedupedness. But on the other hand, do I really want to be alone forever  and ever? Pluses – I can watch/eat/read/do what I want without clearing it with anyone else. Minuses – I’m alone.

Honestly? I don’t know why that second option sounds so bad right now.

And sorry if I put that Billy Joel song in your head…..trust me.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christina
    Jul 24, 2010 @ 21:56:30

    Oh, I understand the trust issue. I struggle with it all the time. I’ve been cheated on in nearly every relationship, including my current one. (In the last case, we have both agreed we want to make things work and have gone thru therapy.)

    Wish I had some good advice for you. It takes time to let yourself trust again. Sometimes lots of time. You’re (naturally) still very hurt by the latest events, so time away from relationships might be a good thing.

    My mother was in an emotionally abusive and controlling marriage until she managed to get away when I was a toddler. She only dabbled at dating a couple of times (with poor outcomes) before choosing to focus on herself and her interests (and me) for many years. She then found someone she was an equal with, and they’ve been married happily for 14 years, together for more than 20.

    There’s always a chance for a happy relationship again. Don’t give up hope for it, but don’t go out of your way seeking it out, either. Enjoy the time with your kids and on being a strong role model for them. I know the right person will find you at the right time.

    Reply

  2. LauraJ
    Jul 25, 2010 @ 06:53:02

    Thank you Christina for your wonderful words of wisdom! I needed to read that as well. I was coming here to say a piece or two for Major Bedhead but well there’s nothing I can’t say to top what you’ve said!
    I’m 5 years post relationship with my ex. I’ve been single all that time. It was long and lonely but I feel so good deep down inside of the woman I’ve become and the mom I am.
    I understand though that it feels like men will never be interested in you or I considering all the “baggage” we have. I’ve all but given up on men and I’m just living my life for me and my boy. I try to solidify the other relationships in my life.

    Reply

  3. auntie_jenn
    Jul 25, 2010 @ 07:56:43

    There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely.

    Embrace being alone right now. It’s giving you the time and space you need to figure these other issues out.

    Being lonely….even people in relationships can be lonely if both parties aren’t checked in.

    Appreciate being alone right now so you can get it right…and hopefully be lonely no more. All the best.

    Reply

  4. Suebob
    Jul 25, 2010 @ 15:43:29

    I’m alone but not lonely. My last relationship was so hard on me that it might well be my last. I figure that I dated for 30 years and I sucked at it pretty much the whole time. I had good months, but never good years. I have discovered that I really enjoy the hell out of living alone, making all my decisions for myself.

    On the other hand, I fear that I may have this attitude because I am afraid to try again – I kind of figure as a 49-year-old, overweight person who is quirky and odd, the chances of me finding someone to fall in love with are approaching zero.

    I’m really not trying and don’t know how long that will continue.

    I agree that going from a marriage straight to another relationship is a recipe for disaster (your sister in cliches, here). Dr. Joy Browne used to have a rule – no dating for one year after a divorce is final. Makes sense to me.

    Reply

  5. flutter
    Jul 25, 2010 @ 22:03:37

    Alone. We are so afraid of this, as a matter of what it means about this. Are we undesirable, are we horrible, are we worthless?

    No. The lengths of alone time are simply meant to be our times of self study. To find what it is in us that we don’t love and to find a way to love it. To find our simple code of what we will and won’t accept and fine tune it. It is a time to be uncompromising, unapologetic and most of all, to know, even the best of us attract a fucking asshole…or 12.
    and you?
    are one of the best of us.

    Reply

  6. apathy lounge
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 10:32:11

    I find that I’ve learned more from the times I was alone than most of the times I was with other people. Helps me hear the voices in my head better.

    Reply

  7. Kelly @ Student of the Year
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 12:25:17

    Um….wow. You have quite a wise chorus of voices here, love.

    I agree with them all. You have value as a person, and certainly your children do as well. Perhaps, then, this is where the focus should be for a while.

    On getting well, you and the kids. And then you’ll find the bullshit you’ll put up with is minimal. Because you’ll know what you deserve, and you’ll believe it.

    Reply

  8. Txtingmrdarcy
    Jul 26, 2010 @ 13:21:42

    @Flutter-
    “No. The lengths of alone time are simply meant to be our times of self study. To find what it is in us that we don’t love and to find a way to love it. To find our simple code of what we will and won’t accept and fine tune it. It is a time to be uncompromising, unapologetic and most of all, to know, even the best of us attract a fucking asshole…or 12.”

    YES. That’s it, in a nutshell. And when you decide to stop being alone, it’s your choice, and you bring your uncompromising self with you.
    They’re not all assholes. There are alot of men out there who would LOVE to take on you, and your baggage, and your girls.

    Reply

  9. Diana Lee
    Jul 29, 2010 @ 00:58:11

    If I was you before I went into another serious relationship I think I’d want to carefully examine what was attractive to me about guys who ended up hurting me so badly and what was attractive to them about me. I bet there is a lot to learn about yourself in all that. There truly are good ones out there. You just have to know how to pick them out. That can be really, really hard.

    Reply

  10. mapsgirl
    Jul 29, 2010 @ 09:19:34

    I love that you are being so open. Don’t look back tho. You need to look forward. Look at yourself; find what makes you happy. And heck, you never know what else you might find in the process.

    Reply

  11. Stephi
    Aug 01, 2010 @ 12:25:09

    I went through a similar phase during my separation and divorce from my ex–a 3.5 year process.

    Everyone has given sound advice. Use this time to concentrate on improving on yourself and your kidlets. The loneliness does suck — BAD — but you can combat it by occupying yourself with trying out new things, expanding your social network, and building on the healthy relationships you do have.

    Hang in there, it will get better. *hugs*

    Reply

  12. Amanda
    Jan 12, 2011 @ 01:18:57

    Its not your fault you married an ass – I’ve found in my life that MOST men are – sadly enough.

    Its easy to say “I should have” about things like this but I think that we have all been in situations where we could say that, it does not make you a fool or anything else.

    Try to look at it this way… He cheated (more than once) and the last one he actually did run off with. If I have learned anything in my relationships its this: Once a cheater, ALWAYS a cheater. Eventually, he will do it again and give her the same line he gave you and just maybe then SHE will understand what her invasiveness caused for you and your kids because he will have done the same thing to her. If it were me I’d be pretty happy about that

    I won’t argue that the whole situation is shit. It is, break ups are never easy or fun but you are better than that. You aren’t the one who cheated, you aren’t the one that lied, you also aren’t the one that ran off with some twit you picked up online. Even if that were it, that alone makes you better than him. Cheaters are shit, and women that enable them (the ones that they are cheating with) are even worse than shit if they know the other person is married – and it sounds like this one knew.

    If it were me (and okay I will admit that once upon a time it WAS me), I would gather up every ounce of information about the whole thing and keep it all in a file for your divorce attorney and file the petition and the paperwork to have the court costs and filing fees diverted to him – that will cut a huge chunk out of your attorney fees. Also make sure you have any records of support received (or NOT received if that is the case) and nail him to the wall by filing for divorce on the grounds of adultery instead of a standard no-fault. That way the court nails him hard – especially since there are kids involved. When it was me, as soon as I had everything together I filed immediately. Getting it all over and done with as quickly as possible allowed me to get beyond the ugliness of the situation and begin to heal and give myself the attention I deserved. It also helped me learn to love who I am because of my flaws and imperfections and eventually learn to trust again.

    You are more important than the shit he has and is putting you through.

    Take care of yourself and your kids, that is what matters the most.

    A

    Reply

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