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Where Is the Trust?

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So I did something today that I think may have hurt my relationship a bit, but I may be making more of it than I should since I’m not accustomed to things like this. My boyfriend gave me access to his email account and I check it about once a month for him (He doesn’t read a lot of important emails and I sort of keep him on his toes). I did so last night and found a single email welcoming him to Adult Friend Finder. WHAT? I cannot explain how I began to shake and my stomach took a nosedive. The email was sent ten days before and was unopened. I calmly opened the email and went to the site. His account was VERY bare. There were no lists, messages, pictures, contacts—nothing. Just his education level, and two general lines about himself.

And I flipped.

Was I not good enough? I wasn’t adventurous? Did he want me and some excitement on the side? Why was he brought into my life? Does he really love me? We have a trip to go on … what should I do? I was so scared—because there was now the possibility that he was doing things on the side and I have no desire to be made a fool of while catching an STD.

Then my heart broke.

I was still shaking, and my stomach was feeling sick. I will admit that I visited the bathroom three times last night, twice more this morning and I had no appetite, I did not sleep and cried a lot. But I did call a close male friend who of course was outraged, but told me to talk to him and hear what he had to say. Give him that much. I did call my boyfriend and tell him to meet me the next day. He called back because of the tone of my voice and was terribly concerned. But I’d only discuss it face-to-face.

He picked me up and we went to a park and sat in the car. I had printed out the email and dropped it in his lap and I explained what happened. He looked relieved. Relief from what? His explanation was that he thought that something really terrible had happened or that he had done something wrong. He went on to explain that he had signed up at the site one night months before he met me, just to see what kind of hits he’d get (I too have done this on Yahoo Personals with no intent to actually meet someone but to see who I’d be matched with … so I can’t judge), but he never did anything with the site. Which is what the account reflects—there has never been any activity. He said that ever so often the site sends him emails like that and he ignores and eventually deletes them (I assume because he never activated the account they keep sending welcome messages.)  

He looked genuinely confused and was very sorry that I’d had such a hard night and gave the reassuring “I love you and this is the best thing I’ve ever had, you are my world and I would not hurt you like that. I can’t predict the future, but I don’t want THIS to be the reason we end a relationship. My life isn’t perfect and you know that, but cheating on you in any way is not in the cards”

I gave him enough hard stares and reiterated that I’m not stupid and so forth, just to hone it home that I won’t take anything like that sitting down. But I believed him. He was sorry that there was a misunderstanding, he held me and said it was okay and that he loved me and the usual.

Now, I know what just happened is not the end of the relationship, I know it’s not the WORST thing that could happen and I know couples that have gone through worse and made it—even got stronger, he appears okay and as he is older than me he admitted that things like this happens and he’s not angry about it (that maybe when he was younger he would have been), just relieved that we weren’t breaking up.

Good for him.

But I feel terrible. NOT for the fact that I was protecting myself because I thought I had a right to, not because I showed him another side of me to not mess with, but because I realize that I put a bit of what I think is a dent in our trust. I may be the only one feeling that way.  I apologized a few times and he kept saying it was “okay” and we even laughed a bit. But I feel like I have trust issues and I have to work harder than ever to make things okay but at the same time because he may be monitoring me now and have his own quiet doubts, I have to work on ME, without bugging him about it. I want to grow in this relationship and I want to be better and I want to be confident enough to not bring it up all the time, but work quietly on what I need to. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to turn my head when things go wrong or if I have good evidence that he may be cheating that I’ll ignore it. But I don’t want to sit around and wallow in insecurity and fear and not be able to trust. It’s just NOT a way to live. But I have been trained by society that men cheat and hurt you and stray away. Which is not true. But it’s hard to get that out of my head.

I want the freedom of being in a loving relationship based on respect, communication, trust, and care. I want to be able to give my partner all of me without reservation and without him wondering if I’m not. I just need to get there.

How?

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