- This topic has 10 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 8 months, 3 weeks ago by ron.
ChrissyMarch 12, 2023 at 9:26 am #1119116
Right now my boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship, we have plans for living together in the coming year. As a little background info: we had been very close friends for years, so we knew all the good & bad things we had both done in previous relationships. I have cheated once, he has cheated on every girlfriend. I know that he would tell these girls that he loved them, meanwhile he’d make out with someone at a bar or sleep with a coworker as a one off, that type of thing. In his defense he really has matured over the years in a multitude of ways, he’s calmed down, he’s less all over the place, he’s in a better place mentally and emotionally, he thinks previous ways of thinking of behavior were stupid (even unrelated to bad relationship behavior), and he’s more focused on life in general.
Anyways, he tells me he loves me and I do believe him, and he goes on and on about wanting to marry me and he has all these future plans for us. I don’t think he had future plans / talked about wanting to marry the other girls in the past all the time. So I do think this is different, he’s older, has probably calmed down & realized what he wants, etc. Buuuuut, every single time he goes out with his friends I completely have a meltdown. I don’t know how to change this. I talk about it with him and he does everything to reassure me but I just FREAK out. He doesn’t go out often, or do much with his friends, but every 2 or 3 months he gets together with some of them at a bar / restaurant and they’ll get there at about 6pm and he doesn’t come home until 3am or 4am. I’ve never really gone out in that way with my friends so I wouldn’t know but I’ve been told by others that this is a normal amount of time to go out with friends. He will text me every hour and a half or so, with just oh so and so said this, oh we’re here now, really random short texts. Anyways, I just always freak out. I start getting super anxious that he’s lying to me and that he’s cheating on me or if he’s not cheating on me that he’s making out with someone (so sort of in a way?), or that there’s some girl there that he didn’t mention was going to be there, or that someone is looking at him all googly eyed and he’s drunk so he’s just like haha about it. I don’t like the amount of alcohol that’s consumed whenever he goes out. I don’t trust the alcohol either.
I get so worked up anxiety wise, that I almost start having a panic attack. And I’ll cry and cry, and it’s this whole big crazy ordeal. And at some point I break and I text him and at first in our relationship he would just reassure me that nothing was happening, he was just with his friends and that he will never hurt me or cheat on me, none of that. But now because I wind up doing this every time he’ll still reassure me but he gets annoyed because he just wants to be able to hang out with his friends once and not be worried that I’m worried or freaking out, and he’s starting to get annoyed that he’s feeling like he shouldn’t even go out but that he needs to go spend time with his friends on occasion and he doesn’t even do it that often. And I feel really bad because I know that he should be able to spend time with his friends sometimes, that that’s healthy and normal, and I just wish I wouldn’t flip out every time. Or at least only flip out in my head and not get to the point where it builds so much that I freak out on him. It’s not really fair, what I keep doing. He says again and again that he loves me so much, he wants to be in this relationship, that he wants to marry me, he makes up plans for us in the future without me even coaxing him, I’m not even the wedding type but he’s like nooooo we have to have a wedding, etc, he talks about what we could do ten years from now, he talks about when we’re old. He goes on and on about these things and I do think I’m special to him / not like his exes where he “loved” them but they were sort of “I’m young and eh whatever” types of relationships.
Despite this though I can’t get it in my head that he won’t cheat on me. I don’t know how to trust him. When it comes down to it, I just don’t trust him. And I know that’s essential for a healthy relationship. I don’t know what to do though, because I want to be in this relationship, I love him so much, and I can forsee a future with too, I just have to be able to calm down and trust him, but I can’t figure out how. My therapist said I should just focus on myself more, do more self care. But that hasn’t been helping me in regards to this. Believe me, I’ve been doing a lot of it & trying to do whatever to stop freaking out on these days he goes out. Oh, also? I’m fine in the 2 or 3 months between times. Like, on a daily basis I’m fine and not anxious about him cheating on me. Anyways, any advice would be helpful, thank you!
You said it yourself, you don’t trust him. And I think you have a very good reason not to, he’s cheated in every relationship prior to you, so yeah, the chances are pretty good he would cheat on you too. And you also know that words are just words, and guys go on and on about marriage and kids and houses and then they cheat.
You’re asking how to get over your lack of trust but that just isn’t a thing. It also sounds like if he never went out without you, you’d be fine, but that’s not a thing either. If you always had trust issues because of past trauma, that’s something you could work on in therapy, but it sounds like you’re in a relationship with a serial cheater, who you don’t trust not to cheat on you. I suppose you could do some soul searching about what he could do to earn your trust and then communicate that to him. But if it comes down to “please don’t go out without me,” then that’s not reasonable.
Definitely don’t move in with someone you don’t trust.
Actually two other thoughts.
First, “meanwhile he’d make out with someone at a bar or sleep with a coworker as a one off, that type of thing.” So he could potentially cheat anywhere at any time. Even if he agreed not to go out drinking with the bros, you’d worry.
Second, this: “I do think this is different, he’s older, has probably calmed down & realized what he wants, etc.”. Has HE assured you that all this is true, and told you what he’s learned from past mistakes and that he’s moved on and won’t cheat again? It sounds like you’re trying to read tea leaves here. It’s even more concerning to me if he hasn’t proactively told you why things are different.
Anyway, having a full blown panic attack when your boyfriend goes out is a huge red flag you’re in the wrong relationship.ronMarch 12, 2023 at 11:53 am #1119122
I doubt he cheats on you when he says he is out with his friends. That leaves an awful lot of time when he is alone and can cheat whenever he chooses. His history is against him, but not impossible he has changed. I don’t know if it’s just him as a partner, but it seems that you are not wired to survive a long-distance relationship. You talk of a long friend history together, but how long were you an in-person couple, before you went LDR. Did you have a mutual commitment to exclusivity while you were a couple or did that come with the imminent start of the LDR.
I’d MOA if I were you. This is tearing you apart in a way that you and your therapist haven’t been able to fix. Either you can trust your relationship or you can’t.
Listen, life is hard. You move in with someone, maybe get married, spend a life together and shit is gonna be hard at some points. You’re going to have work stress, family crises, loss and grief. Those are pretty much given and don’t even account for unexpected traumas. You want someone by your side you can TRUST. Someone you can depend on and lean on and know will have your back. What you don’t want is someone who adds to life challenges on a consistent basis, and that’s what this guy does. And you don’t even live together yet! You’re still long distance. It’s not supposed to be this hard at this point. This is the easy part of the relationship – the beginning, while you’re still in the honeymoon period. Your honeymoon period sounds terrible. All the anxiety and stress! Good, healthy relationships with partners who are the right match for you don’t feel like this. They feel good and safe and affirming.
I know it’s hard to fathom, but you can be a lot happier without this guy than you are with him. I promise.AnonymousseMarch 12, 2023 at 6:08 pm #1119126
How much time have you spent in person?
Why are you in a relationship with someone who is unworthy of trust? Who has cheated on every girlfriend he’s ever had? What makes you think this is different? Why are you long distance and how in the world spdoes him texting you that he’s at home chilling alone make you feel better? He could be doing anything, at anytime, with anyone.
You don’t trust him. You never will. His entire relationship history isn’t something anyone can unlearn or choose to ignore. It’s pertinent information for you. And you know that he will cheat if he hasn’t, most likely. And when it happens he’ll say, “well I never lied about the kind of guy I am.”AnonymousseMarch 12, 2023 at 6:09 pm #1119127
A good bf and relationship make you feel at ease, and safe. This isn’t it,LisforLeslieMarch 13, 2023 at 4:15 am #1119129
Yeah, this is going to kill you. You need to MOA.
The level of anxiety you experience when your boyfriend goes out is not normal, healthy, or sustainable. You cannot self-care your way into trusting someone and moving in together shouldn’t be viewed as a solution to your relationship problems. Not to mention that someone who wants to cheat on you can/will do so even if it’s not when he’s going out with his friends. I don’t believe “once a cheater, always a cheater,” but I know I’d have issues with a serial cheater, so I don’t blame you for not trusting this guy. I agree with the others that this relationship sounds like a bad fit.DaisyMarch 16, 2023 at 3:41 pm #1119187
You say you can see a future with this man, and he likes to talk about all the things he is going to do with you in the future. But the thing about the future is it doesn’t actually exist, and so you can make it into anything you want in your mind. You are imagining a future in which you trust him. One in which he is committed to you. And sure, in that made-up world, you would be happy. But that isn’t the world you live in and it probably never will be.
So look at what does exist — the present and the past. In the past, this guy has cheated on literally everyone he dates. In the present, you don’t trust him, and his behavior (which may or may not be completely innocent) sends you into panic attacks. You are going to GREAT lengths to convince us why THIS relationship is different for him, but nothing you say here makes it sound different. Honestly it sounds like you’re trying to convince yourself more than us. So what if he talks about the future? It’s really really easy to talk about the future, and most untrustworthy people are skilled at spinning a good tale about how great things are going to be “some day.” It’s how they keep you hanging on without actually doing the work to become trustworthy people.
I once heard a great piece of advice. “If things stayed exactly the same as they are now, how long would you stay in this? Five years? 10 years?” Stop waiting for a future that may never happen and look at yourself now. You are dating someone you don’t trust and you are utterly miserable whenever he goes out, to the point of freaking out and panicking. That is not a healthy relationship. Is this what you want for the rest of your life? Because as it stands, that seems the most likely scenario for the future.ronMarch 16, 2023 at 5:54 pm #1119188
To marry someone, you have to both like and love them exactly the way they are today. You can’t marry someone expecting to change or fix them — that rarely works. Nor does marriage generally cause relationship problems to disappear. I had multiple friends who were relatively satisfied in their relationships, married, and were divorced within a year or two. The reason seems to be that people marry with expectations, maybe simply that the good will become permanent, but often that problems of separation or work taking away from the relationship will be fixed by marriage. In one couple, the woman worked a couple miles away and they had a weekend relationship. He assumed she would live where he did post-marriage. Didn’t happen. Split. Another couple assumed marriage would lead to children. It didn’t. Split. In another, marriage did not make finances simpler. The desire for larger quarters caused financial stress and antagonism, which led to a whole lot of problems and divorced.