Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Once Betrayed, Twice Shy: Is It Safe to Trust Again?

Hindsight is a bitch.
It's easy now to look back and see what a fool I was. The late-night dinners with the female assistant that were necessary for work. The sense of entitlement she seemed to feel regarding my husband's time.
But I was the good wife. I thought I was being supportive by taking care of things at home so he could concentrate on his career. I thought I was helping build our future by ensuring that he was free 24/7 for "client meetings". I thought I was just secure in my marriage by believing that my husband was completely immune to the advances of other women. He loved me? Why would he be interested in anyone else?
In the days following D-Day #1, the pendulum swung far the other way. I needed to know where my husband was constantly. In fact, I needed him home constantly and, knowing his marriage likely depended on it, he took a couple of weeks off work to simply be home. Slowly, very, very slowly, we rebuild trust.
At first, he knew that not answering his cell phone wasn't an option. He had to be available to me whenever I felt the need to check up on him.
And, as time worked its magic, he earned back my trust by proving – consistently and over time – that he wasn't cheating and wasn't lying.
It will never be the same.
That was made abundantly clear about two years following D-Day when I tried to reach my husband at the grocery store to add one more thing to the list I'd given him. No answer. I tried again. Still no answer.
I counted the rings. Three rings. A 31-second message from him asking me to leave a voicemail. Just like the night I called him over and over and over...only to find out later that he was in a hotel room with her.
The knot in my stomach tightened and I was right back at the moment when I suddenly knew – absolutely, unequivocally knew – that he'd been lying to me.
By the time my husband arrived home and I fell apart, I was deaf to his explanation that he'd been talking to his sister, who was upset about blah blah blah. He thought the crisis was over. Two years had passed. He thought it was safe to go back to the way things were when I trusted him completely.
Those days, however, are over.
Now? I trust...but with a healthy skepticism. I believe...but sometimes verify. The thing about complete trust is that earning it the first time is easy. Earning it back after you've lost it? Impossible. I'm just not the same person I was...and I never will be.

What do you think? Is it possible to completely trust an unfaithful husband again?


  1. I'm sure it's possible, just not sure it's prudent.

  2. Once you were walking through a beautiful field of wild flowers. Then you stepped on a land mine. Your whole world exploded. I think taking the path again you are always wondering if it will have the same outcome. One of my books calls it a type of PTSD. I agree.

  3. I am only one month in from D-Day....but I had one of those "moments" yesterday.....his phone died and he didn't have a way to recharge it (at least that's what he told me......who knows, right?). I actually started having an anxiety attack at work (I have NEVER in my life had these until this last month!)....I hope to God these lessen up in the days/years to come.......nope, I will never truly trust him again. This did truly change how I view life and people now......

  4. Marni,

    I assure you, the panic attacks will lessen. I rarely have them any more. And like you, I had never had them in the past, but began to experience them in the weeks and months following D-Day.
    You might always wonder. You can't unknow what you now know...that your husband might well be cheating. But I suspect it's something I would carry forward with me even into a new relationship. The sense that what I'm being told isn't necessarily the truth.
    In the short-term, I think it's really wise to verify. Every time you have an anxiety attack or a feeling that something isn't right...and you check it out (phone records, computer log, whatever...) and it turns out he was telling the truth, you can slowly rebuild trust.
    Similarly, if you panic, have a gut feeling, etc. and it turns out you were right to question him because he was lying, you learn to trust yourself.
    Short answer: trust, but verify. If he won't let you...well, then...people with nothing to hide, hide nothing.

  5. Posted by Janice

    I can totally relate... Never in a million years did I think I would react so violently within myself. Outwardly I am calm but inside there is a world war raging. I have decided that I don't want passwords and phone logs nor verification. It would just drive me madder because there are unlimited ways to cheat and communication technology is so broad that there is no way to know if you are verifying everything there is to verify, or just what you have access to. The gut is as it turns out the best judge... But I have this horrible conflicted feeling sometimes, what if he IS telling the truth and I don't believe him? That would be horrible for both of us. I remember how awful it felt when my parents would not believe something I would say when it was pure truth. I hated that and it drove a wdge in our relationship. I want to believe when truth is told but now with him it is not any longer innocent til proven guilty or truthful until caught in a lie... It is the other way around and that is much harder to maanage for both of us.



Related Posts with Thumbnails