How can I stop being overly emotional and just learn to trust again?
April 18, 2012 3:15 AM Subscribe
I'm still dealing with the aftermath of infidelity and would like some advice.
posted by zinful to human relations (45 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I found picture evidence about 2 months ago that my partner had been in a 6-8 month sexual relationship with someone else. We had discussed polyamory at the beginning of the relationship, since I knew he had been in poly relations in previous partnerships, and we both agreed at neither of us were interested in any kind of open relationship. I'd checked in over the course of the past two years, to ensure that the arrangement was still acceptable, and he claimed that it was. I have been living over 5 hours away for the entirety of this relationship, but am moving close to him in about three weeks. After we talked expansively about my 'discovery', I decided that I was willing to work through this and continue the relationship, and I'm not exactly asking if that was the wrong decision. He tells me that it's over, I'm not willing to end the otherwise best partnership that I've ever been in just yet, and I'm absolutely trying to "move on" and just be excited that we can be around each other any time we want to! According to him, the cheating happened as a result of the distance and his extreme feelings of loneliness. I tried to do all the right things for my sanity: I asked all the questions I felt I wanted or needed an answer to, I let myself be emotional if I had to be, and I talked extensively with a close friend as well as my partner about my feelings of hurt and betrayal. He was totally forthcoming with answers to everything and seems genuinely repentant (he basically kept repeating "I fucked up" and " I dont ever want to hurt you again" between apologies) though it hasn't come up for about a month. I snark about it occasionally, but either he pretends to not understand, or chooses to not go there.
Here's my question as of right now: since I was so open about my feelings etc right after I discovered what had happened, I feel as if belaboring the point now will be read as excessive. By the time I found out what had happened, it had been over for about 8 months, so it was 'old news' in some ways to my partner. I don't feel unhappy, hurt, etc all the time, and I am genuinely trying to trust him, but I just feel like I've reached a statute of limitations on my emotional reactions or mistrust. I'm still far away right now, and every time I can't get a hold of him or if he says he's going out, I get a twinge of worry. How do I move past this? Obviously it won't be an issue once I move there, if his reasons for the cheating were true, but some nights I just feel like I'm being totally irrationally concerned about this and don't feel comfortable bringing it up over the phone with him. I'm also worried that I will continue to not trust him even when I do live close, and that my mistrust will ruin the relationship.
How do I move on and start trusting him again? What can he do to functionally prove a negative: that he isn't cheating on me, even though I "know" that it's pretty unlikely? What do I do to stop feeling like this? I don't want to ruin this because I'm dwelling on something I already made the decision about. Advice from anyone who has dealt with cheating and moved on in the relationship will be most greatly appreciated, but just common sense will help me too, I'm sure.