Friday, December 14, 2012

Ever Elusive Trust

Over the last 24 months, I have put a lot of thought into the question of trust. Will I ever be able to trust a man again? Will I ever be able to trust anyone again?

Here's the issue. My husband is a compulsive liar. With narcissistic tendencies. He will say or do whatever is necessary to accomplish his goals. The damage from years of not knowing what was truth or fiction has left me a little scarred. So I've met a few guys through an online dating service and as we go through the 'getting to know you' phase, I find myself questioning everything they are telling me. A 44 year old who has never been married? And has no kids? This one is particularly hard for me given that this was the same story my ex gave me when I met him. He was 38, unmarried and no kids.... Then I find out he's married for 5 years, with a 4 year old son and 11 year old step-son. And eventually the whole truth: Married for 22 years to his high-school sweetheart and BOTH children are his. Unconscionable, right? What makes it worse is that none of these revelations came from him, and the second one came after 3 years, was divulged by his sister and while I was 5 months pregnant with our first child!!

So you might be asking yourself why I stayed... Yes many have asked that, including myself. I did try to leave. Many times. You can try and tell yourself you would have left, but it wasn't that easy. By then the psychological damage was done. I was convinced I could not manage without him. Ironic coming from someone everyone has always held to be a rock. I never considered myself weak, but when it comes to my self-esteem I am chock full of false bravado. Always seeking reassurance and acceptance, I felt that if I walked away I was failing. Now I know that I failed in staying as long as I did.

I stayed in touch with an old boyfriend, who I'm pretty sure will always be 'the one', but he's marrying someone else soon. It was this boyfriend that somehow showed me my mistakes, although I'm sure that wasn't his intention... It was our later relationship, over the last 5 or 6 years, that I realised my weakness was in allowing myself to be stepped on under the guise of love and caring. Someone who truly cared for me, would not see fit to highlight my every fault as a criticism; they would embrace them as part of who I am. I foolishly continued a psuedo-affair with him, even visiting him across the country while his fiancee was blissfully unaware, and so I have to wonder, why? Why did I continue to see him, when I knew he was committed to another? Why would he commit to another while confessing feelings for me?

So, I apparently have a rotten track record in my choice of men, who then do I have the trust issue with...? Is it my fault for trusting too readily? A girlfriend of mine had similar experiences and now over-analyses every aspect of every relationship, constantly comparing and seeing red flags. I don't want to be that person who misses out because I focused too long on what MIGHT not be true....

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