Author Topic: NG and Trust  (Read 2569 times)

SemperFidelis

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NG and Trust
« on: October 13, 2016, 05:16:09 PM »
 If you want to cut the details and get to the point, start reading below the line of astrixes.

So I am the person in a relationship who especially in the beginning asks a TON of questions getting to know the other person. I basically try to build a detailed life history of a person. That's what makes me feel close to someone long term. If I don't have that detailed background understanding of what has made someone who they are, I have a difficult time appreciating who they are today. If I don't know what someone's struggles have been in life, I can't really understand why/how they are responding to a current situation the way they are.
It also is a trust building tool for me. I make mental note of what someone has told me, and I know they are being truthful when what they say many months later lines up with what they said many months earlier. My ability to trust was seriously damaged at a young age  and I am learning how to move forward in spite of that. LH was a good fit for me in the trust department because he was honest to a flaw. Nothing got candycoated and I got the truth no matter how vile itwas. I could trust that what I saw was what I got. We both connected partly because both of us had our trusting natures manipulated and deceived in life, and both made conscious decisions to pursue honestly in all circumstances.

Now I am with this NG. We've been together one year today. He has done a lot of good for me......I've experienced things with him I could have never experienced with LH.....it's been a radically new experience to be with someone who says nice things and makes me feel good inside and out. But to be frank those exact traits put me on full alert to deception because of my young experiences. I know this about myself now and try my best to stay rational and give the benefit of the doubt.  I remind myself that at some point I just have to take risks and TRUST whether I feel the trust or not.  So I look for actions that support his presented good nature. And he has many good actions to speak of :-)

I also use my method of checking current statements with past statements.
He's one of those people who feels like "the past is the past and I don't let the past affect me"
which I see as at best wishful thinking if not outright denial....and at worst, a tool of concealment.

I definitely don't have full genuine trust in him. I had found compromising things online featuring him and he blamed his craziest ex.... And based on what he has said about her, it is a plausible explanation. This happened two months after we started dating.... And it has come up multiple times. It may ultimately lead to our demise because of the wedge in trust it created. The most recent time it came up, his responses indicated concealment. Anyway at the time this came up I basically decided I would give things more time and see more of who he is and gather more information on his character. I decided that I liked enough of what I experienced with him that if he was being truthful, the risk would be worth it.

**********************************


So fast forward to now. To my knowledge this 40yr old man has had two serious five year cohabiting relationships.....and has not otherwise dated basically on account of being a very busy work driven young man and father(fitting with his character and upbringing).


Well I had inquired a few months ago about a public FB post mentioning an unfamiliar woman's name we will refer to as Z.  I don't recall his exact response but it was minimizing and conveyed that he knew her from youth and tried to make it work again but she changed.   I was envisioning this as a couple of dates or something.
Well then I find condom boxes in his truck consol. Thankfully the manufacture codes can be dated and the dates of the boxes lined up with his past relationships....except one, which is how I found out Z was more than a few dates. They dated five months. Recently I asked more about that relationship, remarking I didn't realize how long it was and wondered more about how it ended. He gave scant details but said it was mutual and she started doing fitness(bikini) modeling and it just changed who/how she was.... I pressed for him to explain more how she changed and he said she was tired all the time and exhausted.   I'm sure that's true but in my mind that's just not reason enough to break up with someone after five months....and as I came to find out later, someone he had talked marriage with.

So I'm left feeling like something is missing. Why in our initial conversations would he leave her out of his relationship history? I learned via her FB that they dated through her HS years when he was just out of HS. Maybe it's because she was 14-18 while he was 19-23 the first time they dated? Maybe he expected jealousy because of her being a bikini model the 2nd time? He also later said it was a messy breakup.....which to me says it wasn't mutual like he earlier said. Outside this topic he has also told me a lot about a Vegas trip he took with his sister....which seemed odd, what man takes a trip to Vegas with his sister lol! Well I found out Z went with him too....he conveniently left her out tho.
He has also explicitly told me in the timeframe Z was around, he had no interest in women whatsoever because of his crazy ex.


I guess I am frustrated because this is just one more thing that pushes the "distrust" button in me. Why all of the evasiveness and concealment about this particular ex???? What is it he is hiding? When I ask for more details on the breakup he just jumps to "I told you all there is to tell you. She changed." and "the past is the past"

Just a couple weeks ago I was feeling smitten with this man and had felt enough consistency from him that I was clearing some trust hurdles.....I was ready for the next step in our relationship.  And then all of this happens. I feel like I am back at square one with him.  I am now at the point where I feel like I am with him against my better judgement. BUT knowing I have trust issues, I am trying not to let those sabotage an otherwise great relationship over something I may be blowing way out of proportion.

Sorry to take up time on something that isn't explicitly related to being a widow.....it's just the whole process of trying to date for the first time really. I miss the ease of trust I had with LH. What I saw was what I got, whether I liked it or not

Any feedback on this subject is welcome. I am all ears. And if no one replies, I am just glad to vent and get this off my chest. Lol. Thanks if you made it all the way through this.

SemperFidelis

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2016, 05:22:17 PM »
I want to add.... I am 28 and this is my first time dating. LH and I went from 0-60 with marriage.

Portside

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2016, 06:18:56 PM »
If you would ask me intimate details of my life (I'm 60) repeatedly you would get multiple answers on a variety of events. Not on everything of course, but more than once I am sure. Not because I want to hide something from you but because I don't remember exactly what happened for each of those events. I don't care to. 

Ages, dates, exact events, times, who, what, where - they can become a bit jumbled. A bit, not dementia level - that is something else entirely.

At some point you simply have to take what you know about a person and trust them - or not. There never is some magic accumulation of items that you believe or don't for any one person. It is always what you are comfortable with. As you stated, you have a much higher standard of checking out stories than some others would. And truly, some of us just want to forget what is past - it isn't important to get all the details correct. To us is it done, gone, and just better forgotten. Sleeping dogs and all that.

ps - I would be very annoyed with the level of scrutiny however. I understand you have a history that leads you to be distrustful. I am sorry about that but this very high level of checking everything under the sun doesn't seem to provide the solid base of understanding and care for another that successful relationships are built upon.

Good luck - Mike 
The war is over for me now. But those of us who did make it have an obligation to build again, to teach to others what we know, and to try with what's left of our lives to find a goodness and a meaning to this life.

SimiRed

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2016, 06:27:08 PM »
SemperFidelis,

I hear you on the trust issues and I don't believe you are being out of line with the way you feel.  Take away the emotional attachment to the NG, what do you really see?  How do you really feel? 

I may not be the best to give advice, you can go back and read my story/posts from May 2015-July2015 and see where I got into a relationship and it was very difficult to leave.  He was such a habitual storyteller (liar) that I believed what he said as "truths".  I also dismissed so much, because "He loved me".  Thing is, he didn't love me, I was an object, a possession, something he had.  He was very good with his stories, I just fell deeper into them.

I was in love with the "idea of him", not him.  I dismissed so many things and it turned my world upside down for a long time. 

Here is where I wrote about the "red flags/signs" I missed.  I'm not sure if this link will work, but, I'll try.
http://widda.org/index.php/topic,1353.msg16945.html#msg16945

If you just want someone to talk to, PM me and I'll give you my number. 

Don't dismiss what you are feeling, don't dismiss your instincts.  Take some time and write down a list of things that bother you and things you like about him.  Sometimes the good doesn't out way the bad.  And sometimes you have to let go of the good, because the bad is too much to handle.

The person I left always, always had a crazy ex in his past, a girlfriend that wasn't good enough, etc.  It was never him, always them.  Of course, now I'm the crazy ex and the bad person. 

It's all okay though, and letting go and getting out of that situation has brought me to so much more happiness than I could have ever imagined.  Even though I spend a little over 3 years with him, I don't regret one single day of leaving.  I wish I'd had the strength to do it sooner than I did, because I too have serious trust issues with others. 

After being 17 months out of the deepest darkest hole, and having trust issues that were bigger than you can imagine, I am dating someone.  He is a remarkable man, a caring, honest, trusting man.  He knows my past and he has nothing to hide either.  It's amazing how it feels to be with someone when all those trust issues are non existent.  It took time, a long time, and I'm still struggling with some inner demons. 

I guess I'm just saying be careful, and if you need an ear, I'll listen. 

Virtual Hugs, I know it's not easy, especially since you have been together a while and I know how bad it feels when someone breaks that trust.


~Tracey~
My wonderful husband Rick of 19 years, 12/11/67 - 9/20/09 Neuroendocrine cancer.
I still miss you everyday, I go forward, but my mind stands still.

SimiRed

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2016, 06:37:13 PM »

ps - I would be very annoyed with the level of scrutiny however. I understand you have a history that leads you to be distrustful. I am sorry about that but this very high level of checking everything under the sun doesn't seem to provide the solid base of understanding and care for another that successful relationships are built upon.

Good luck - Mike 

I agree with this!  When you trust someone, this level of scrutiny doesn't exist.  It doesn't for me now with the person I'm currently dating, not at all, I trust him completely.  But, it did when I was with ex, it was his actions and my instincts that led me to that level of scrutiny.  I guess it's a way I tried to convince my instincts that they were wrong, when all along they were right. 

Finding condoms in the truck console?  I got a bit lost on that, but I'm not sure I'd be happy that he'd be saving condoms from over a year ago, since the "manufacture" dates are consistent with his relationships...why does he still carry them around with him in his truck?
~Tracey~
My wonderful husband Rick of 19 years, 12/11/67 - 9/20/09 Neuroendocrine cancer.
I still miss you everyday, I go forward, but my mind stands still.

SemperFidelis

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2016, 01:02:15 AM »
Thank you both for your detailed responses. It is sooooo very useful to have outside unbiased feedback. I don't have anyone IRL that I can consult with on these things. 
After posting I was able to go spend a couple hours with him and have a very delightful relaxed time without feeling like I had all this mess on my mind. Before leaving the house I was able to rehearse aloud the conversation I need to have with him at some point, and to simultaneously make peace with the relationship ending if it comes to that. I don't think it will come to that, but if he can't get put his big boy pants on and get on the honesty train in the present then that's a big red flag. I am waiting until next week to talk to him about anything, because it needs to be when his young son is out of earshot.

SimiRed, on the condom issue, most of the boxes were empty....I think one had a single ancient condom in it....from the relationship that ended in 2009/2010. It would have shattered probably if he tried to use it. The more recent relationship(Z) was in 2013. His truck console had papers going back to 2005....so I have no reason to suspect foul play. I also don't peg him as the cheating type. It wouldn't be congruent with anything else I've seen in him.
I am thrilled to hear that after your incredibly sad and sick experience you were able to find a good man. I can only imagine the struggles you had moving forward after MrWacko. Congrats on pushing through and making it to the other side.
I did look through the warning signs you posted. Thankfully he doesn't fit any of those...I think I am not dealing with pathological or manipulative lying. I think this is a much more mundane and benign variety.....if lying has benign varieties.   Lying about things that he regrets or is embarrassed about, or that he thinks I would reject him for the truth of. I think ordinary otherwise good people lie about these things regularly.
I hear you on trusting gut instincts.... Mine tend to be dead accurate....I have refined and perfected what to look for, and over and over I see where my hunches are right. Because this is a relationship I am invested in.....I think I am influenced in ways I am not with acquaintances. So I am treading more cautioualy and not getting too carried away in the direction of self protection or the direction of blind trust.

Portside, as far as memory/detail lapses are concerned..... This guy was a police officer for five years. So he is great at keeping facts straight and in order. He hasn't had any inconsistent memory issues in other areas.

Quote
And truly, some of us just want to forget what is past -
I completely get that. I have parts of my life I don't care to ever think about again or speak about.... I wish I could bury parts of the past as much as anyone else does.  But if NG asked about those times, I would be honest and take ownership.

Quote
  At some point you simply have to take what you know about a person and trust them - or not. There never is some magic accumulation of items that you believe or don't for any one person.
Yes, I have come to this exact realization and I have to remind myself of it more than I would like. The risk factor can never be completely eliminated. So I am glad to hear those words. And I like them too because it puts responsibility squarely back on me.

And as far as the solid base of a relationship and fact checking.... I basically agree. And the first two months of our relationship I have to pat myself on the back for how well I was with just trusting him from the get-go.... I took him exactly as he presented himself and didn't have a mind full of paranoia or distrust. I never got the hunch or impression that he was anything other than what he presented.
However, when I googled his email handle on a whim, I found numerous sex websites he had profiles on....including pictures of his faceless torso in various states of undress. The height and weight matched and so did the DOB and location. The more graphic photo he outright denied was him; the other he didn't deny but did deny making the profiles and insisted he had no idea how they came to be but it was plausible his ex could have made them.
I am basically at the point where I think okay, he was single, curious, lonely....whatever...fine.... I can deal with that past. And I understand him being embarrassed by them and not wanting to take ownership..... As unjustifiable as lying is, I fundamentally understand why he's still denying the profiles. So I have moved forward with this understanding and the small hope that perhaps it is all an exgirlfriend scheme or related to his email addresses being hacked(his prior email addresses come up on spammer lists when googled). So I move forward here not by trusting  but more by a sense of "hey I get it, but I like you anyway". If everyone gets one free "bullshit card" he has used his. His character compensates in a multitude of other areas to warrant the forgiveness.

I think without that prior incident, I would not be reacting the way I am to the commotion surrounding Z.  I might have noticed the discrepancies but not given them anywhere near the same attention. He used his "bullshit card" already.

arneal

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2016, 12:00:53 PM »
Semper - firstly, thank you for sharing. Trust is a difficult issue for many of us, particularly if we have been through a rough relationship in the past. Add on to that a lack of dating history and widowhood and this could easily be a near nightmare. I was glad to read your post just here, that you had a good conversation and were able to step back and think through next steps. Be good to yourself, honor your gut, and be strong. That is the best way to maintain your own sanity through this weird world of dating. {{{hugs}}}
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

Mizpah

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2016, 01:16:22 PM »
I'm usually in the minority on this one, but I want to be with someone who can be open with me about their past, in that they have confronted it sufficiently to be able to discuss it without it being a fraught issue, and that they are truly able to share not just their life with me, but themselves - who they are, their story.  I find "leave the past in the past" to be an evasion.  I wouldn't refuse the person with whom I am most intimate knowledge of who I am and what my life has been, no matter how difficult to face. 

That being said, it's different for all of us, and I'm glad you know what you need, how you're going to proceed, and what you will or will not accept.  That's really the most important thing.
widowed 2011 (DH 28)

SemperFidelis

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 03:53:56 PM »
Well it's been an intense and exhausting week. But nothing I can't handle.

I breached the subject again with NG and was initially quite disappointed and discouraged by the conversation.  He insists he had told me about Z before and blamed my memory for not remembering. But that's not in the category of things I have memory lapses on......period.  He did later acknowledge indirectly that he had given two conflicting statements (1- that he didn't date in that timeframe 2-he maintains that he told me about her). So.... My hunch is that he truly does believe he told me about her. This has happened with other unimportant things where he swears he told me something but he did not.....so that past behavior works in his favor here.

He remained quite evasive about Z and really didn't provide any new information other than clarifying that a mutual breakup can be messy because two people can say "fuck you" at the same time. He does not say one person broke up with the other....He won't allocate that responsibility to either person.

 He still refused to elaborate on specifically WHAT changed about her. He remained very evasive about any kind of details and was highly aggravated by requests for concrete examples. As I have mentioned before, he doesn't have this behavior about the other exes.....he's open and highly detailed about them.
To me this is all just pointing toward something that he doesn't have resolution to or something he doesn't want to face.....probably some shortcoming about himself. I basically think at this point that he is not capable of much introspection.....his way of moving forward is to deny deny deny, even to himself. So I don't think all his denial is malicious in nature, I think to a certain extent he is not able or willing to reflect on his own shortcomings from that relationship.  So I am cutting him some slack and am accepting that he is someone who isn't very emotionally aware and is troubled by looking at his past. I get that, I denied my own shortcomings in life for a long time but still managed to make better choices without coming eye to eye with my demons. Only in the past year have I been able to closely examine my darkest hours. So I believe that he can still make good choices today without addressing his past head on. You can't ask a 1yr old to use a fork and knife to eat, it's just beyond their ability or developmental stage. So it is with NG I think.

So Monday night my initial perception was that he seriously cannot be trusted, and that his failure to take ownership of keeping her a weird secret from me and his attachment to evasive behavior would not be conducive to a relationship. I basically reached close to the end of my rope and was very close to calling it quits. As a last ditch effort to fill in blanks(having already resolved in my mind that the relationship was coming to an end), I broke an unspoken social rule and I realize I might be frowned on for it. I emailed Z and requested details. My attitude was that the worst was already going to happen, so no further harm could come. And I'm glad I did it. She replied late last night (after I already came to the aforementioned conclusions)and she was short and sweet. Her perspective is that she broke up with him for many reasons but mostly because he was very controlling. So it is confirmation of my hunches that this is probably a touchy subject for him because he fucked up. For whatever reason he can't consciously face his role in it. And it explains why he can't seem to bring himself to provide an example of HOW she changed. Also he points the finger at her "changing" as the reason for the breakup(which he says is mutual but consequent to her changes), but she flat out owns the decision to end it. So again, there's some denial going on....rejection hurts and obviously still hurts for him to think about. Understood.

So I feel no need to revisit the subject with him. I had already made peace with everything yesterday and then Z's response only reinforced the conclusions I had been strongly leaning toward.
Another breakthrough yesterday was that he could actually speak about her like a person and tell me regular details about her(like his other exes). Granted, this came about not by me asking questions but by  me making statements where he would feel the need to explain how I didn't have the whole picture. So I am learning what key fits and allows him to comfortably open up.

All right. Problem resolved. Now I can focus my attention on school better; and NG and I can resume our normal peaceful state of things.
 

arneal

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 04:22:59 PM »
Semper - thank you for sharing your journey about this. I know it can't be easy. I imagine many of us have had those moments of not trusting, of needing to find closure in some way. But what a relief it is to get to a point where we can close that chapter and move on. As you said, now you can concentrate on the more important aspects of your life. I pray that things go well for you and NG and I imagine that it will now that you are both moving forward {{{hugs}}}
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

SemperFidelis

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2016, 04:35:31 PM »
Thanks Arneal :-)

SemperFidelis

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2016, 04:54:49 PM »
Ugh, great. This pot is about to get stirred again.

NG asked me if I would be a reference on his job application for a police position....something he has done in the past and wants to return to. Without hesitation I said yes. But I should have said no, or rather asked him if he was sure about including me.

I fully support him getting back into law enforcement, I can see how he would be great at it.....And I know it would be good for him. I want him to get the position, no question there.
 
However I am not about to lie if I am asked if I have any reason to question his honesty. I don't know what questions will be asked but I have a hunch matters of honesty and character will come up. I'm not sure also if it will be a phone call or a form I get in the mail and fill out.

Part of me wants to tell him I am concerned about this coming up, and give him the opportunity he deserves to clear himself with me in that arena......then I can give a reference that is both honest and 100% positive. But as things stand, I think he may not get the position with how I would answer the questions....even though I think he is fully capable of doing the job well in spite of his failure to take responsibility for certain things in his past.

Yugh....I am non-confrontational and I don't like drama..... We've been comfortably moving forward and the last thing I want to do is bring this shit up again. I have no desire to rock the boat.  Not to mention I really don't want to hold his potential job hostage.  So the path of least resistance sounds extremely appealing to me; I would loooove to lie out my ass but that's just not how I operate.  I will always take the more difficult path if it is the right thing to do. So right now I guess I am just hating being in this position....I feel like I am being tested somehow, and I don't like it.

It's a lesson I learned from LH.....always tell the truth whether it's convenient or not. Unless of course it's a modern day Gestapo asking if you have any Jews in your attic....in that case, lie. Lol.

LH was the most respectable person I have met, because of his honesty.....even when he behaved in profoundly unrespectable ways, he never denied it.  It left an enduring impression on me, of how and who I want to be.....minus the unrespectable actions. 

Anyway.

arneal

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2016, 05:01:52 PM »
Semper -- I am so with you on this! I posted about my stepdaughter putting me as a reference (didn't tell them I was her stepmom though) and it caused an issue when I mentioned the honest factor (not to mention that she told me after she'd done it ... as if I would just go along). NG put me on his last job app but we were discussing it and I was helping him fill it out. I've had no issues with him on this front and appreciated that we discussed it. Also, he put me as the first reference (over his friend who recommended him for the job - giggle).
Andree'

Seek peace, and pursue it - Psalm 34:14b

SemperFidelis

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2016, 05:32:05 PM »
Semper -- I am so with you on this! I posted about my stepdaughter putting me as a reference (didn't tell them I was her stepmom though) and it caused an issue when I mentioned the honest factor (not to mention that she told me after she'd done it ... as if I would just go along). NG put me on his last job app but we were discussing it and I was helping him fill it out. I've had no issues with him on this front and appreciated that we discussed it. Also, he put me as the first reference (over his friend who recommended him for the job - giggle).

Yeah, that's a pickle of a situation for your stepdaughter to put you in. Not very smart on her end, not to mention.
Kudos to your guy though for smartly putting you above his friend on the list, lol. It's the little things, right?

Wheelerswife

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Re: NG and Trust
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2016, 08:00:10 PM »
I think I would tell him that after thinking about it, you have come to the realization that being a reference for a family member or significant other isn't considered professional.  You can remain neutral and think about it generally from an ethics perspective.

Best wishes,

Maureen
Life is short.  Love with all you've got. 

Barry 11/29/55-9/22/09       John  1/16/57-1/11/14

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