Relationship question.
August 7, 2006 7:42 AM   Subscribe

Salvaging trust in a relationship?

This is kind of involved. I'm a few years older than my gf, and I met her through the 'club scene'. I spent a few years doing the whole pharmacopia of things available in the scene, and was still partaking when we started dating, and she was basically sober. After one night of indulgence, she got really upset with me, and we agreed that we wouldn't do anything on impulse, that anything we did at a club, we'd talk about and plan for in advance. Since then I haven't done anything at all. Now, I've gradually become less interested in going to clubs for various (mostly) unrelated reasons and I'm well comfortable with living mostly sober at this point. The problem is that she still likes going out.

After one night, when she went out in the middle of the night with her best friend while I was sleeping and didn't tell me where she was going, I asked her to please wake me up and tell me if she goes somewhere so I wouldn't worry about her, which I didn't think an unreasonable request.

Fast forward a few months, she tells me (a week afterwards) that she did something in the bathroom with a friend at a club that we were at, and I tell her in no uncertain terms (after she finally told me about it) that I'm done with that scene and that I wasn't all that upset about her trying it, but if she keeps doing it, I don't think I can stay with her.

The next night, she goes to a party, I nap for a while before going (not telling her whether I would go later or not, because I didn't know). I get there a few hours later, and she's gone off with the friend that she did something in the bathroom the week before, not telling me or even calling or leaving a voicemail, or even texting me. I actually go to the club they went to, and she has the nerve to ask me what i'm doing there.

I'm of the opinion that the relationship is pretty much over at this point. Does anyone see anyway I can fix this? I really don't want to moralize about things, but I just don't have any interest in going back to doing what I was doing before I started dating her. I was okay with her going out and doing her thing, but now I can't trust her to do what she says she was going to do.

She hasn't 'cheated' on me, so I'm worried that I might be over-reacting...
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why is she hiding this behaviour from you? Is she trying to find some romance / action at the club, or is it the drugs? Or does she just like to be out on the town?

I'm trying to get my head around why she needs / wants to be out at the clubs secretly, without you.

Can she not get high at the apartment, rather than out at the clubs? Bring her friends over, have a little house party.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:55 AM on August 7, 2006

When the trust leaves, so does the love many times. Losing trust in someone can and usually will gut a relationship. If you can't trust her to tell you where she's going, how can you trust her to be honest when she says she loves you?

No, I can't see a way to fix it unless she makes reparations QUICKLY and stops the double standard shit.
posted by SpecialK at 8:00 AM on August 7, 2006

I think you are putting her in an awkward position. Why are you sleeping all of the time? Why not go out elsewhere with her instead of clubs? There are other things to do in life but if you insist on being a shut-in, then yeah, the relationship would be over. I'd say the responsibility and problem is yours and that you'll have to overcome this depression or whatever is killing your relationship. If you continue to live a separate life from her, then what is the point of even being in a relationship?
posted by JJ86 at 8:08 AM on August 7, 2006

Does anyone see anyway I can fix this?

I don't think so. You've already said that you don't want to continue the relationship if she keeps doing it. It's her position to stop it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:09 AM on August 7, 2006

I don't really think it's (at least just) a trust issue here. If she told you every single time she was planning to go to the club and get drugged up, would it still be OK with you? From the tone of your post, I don't think so. I actually think "opinion about drug use" is a fairly important issue in a relationship if the opinions are different. You're not responsible for what behavior she decides to engage in. There isn't any way to make her stop doing this unless she wants to -- kind of like the way you were initially. It sounds to me like you're heading in two different life directions right now. You've already talked to her about it in serious terms about your relationship, and rather than drop that behavior, she elected to be more subversive about it. I don't think she's going to stop doing this until she's taken her own sweet time and come to the conclusion (as you did) that it's boring and there's better things to be doing. If you're not willing to allow that scene to become part of your life until she figures that out, simple move on.
posted by theantikitty at 8:09 AM on August 7, 2006

I kind of feel like "Wake me up before you go out" and "Call me any time you change venues" are different requests. You made the first one, not the second one (and I'd probably label the second one as slightly unreasonably coming from anyone other than the parent of a minor). I'm not sure that leaving a party that you did know she was going to is the same as leaving you alone in the house when you didn't know she was going out.

It also sounds like the "no drugs on impulse" rule was set up to keep *you* under control, and I could easily see how she might not hold up her part of it when you're not around. I mean, it sounds like she was curbing her use as a favor to you, not that you were both concerned about each other, and like it's not something she's required to follow even if you're not around.

So I don't think the individual instances are really that big a deal. I do think you might be hitting different stages in life -- I'm in the midst of a group of friends who are coming to the same realizations, and it's starting to feel a bit ugly. I think you can hold together a partyer-homebody relationship, but I think it takes more ability to give up control of her life when you're not there (within reason, of course -- she still shouldn't cheat, or break whatever big relationship rules you have) than you've shown. And you have to decide if that's something you're willing to put up with.
posted by occhiblu at 8:22 AM on August 7, 2006

JJ86, the poster mentioned that he was sleeping twice in his question, once during the middle of the night and another time taking a nap before a party. That's not excessive, as you made it sound, and it has little to do with the issue at hand. I don't think it's helpful or even correct to point the finger at him with this problem.
Anonymous, this is a tough situation, and a lot of my friends are going through the transitional "The bar scene is BORING" phase now too. Not to sound hokey but I think things like getting a new hobby together, like swing dancing lessons or starting a "Game Night" with other likeminded friends might be helpful. Have you tried talking to her about everything yet? I couldn't tell from the post if you've approached her about not being sure you can trust her, etc. If you do say something to her about it and she gets really defensive, argumentative or isn't willing to change, then yeah, I'd say the relationship is over and you should cut your losses. Which, if that were the case, wouldn't be too many. But if/when you discuss it with her, she should be able to meet you halfway if she has vested interest in keeping the relationship going too.
Best of luck to you! Just be honest and open. Those are the most important components of any relationship.
posted by slyboots421 at 8:53 AM on August 7, 2006

I think you have plenty of information now to predict the future of the relationship. My own decision would be to drop this relationship and seek someone whose interests and commitment better matched my own. She is showing you pretty clearly what her priorities and her plans are. Don't ignore the message.
posted by LeisureGuy at 9:16 AM on August 7, 2006

On a random note, has anyone else noticed that the OP is pretty much a loose paraphrase of a certain Wham song?
posted by idontlikewords at 9:47 AM on August 7, 2006

slyboots421, yet he mentions it happening in both instances of problems with the GF. This can't be coincidence and must have some meaning relating to the problem if the OP mentions it. No detail should be disregarded when anonymous includes it over and over. It's like he also mentions drugs over and over in his story, therefore drugs are a contributing factor to the problem. Re-read his story a few more times and pay attention to the details.

First he mentions, "After one night, when she went out in the middle of the night with her best friend while I was sleeping and didn't tell me where she was going, I asked her to please wake me up and tell me if she goes somewhere so I wouldn't worry about her, which I didn't think an unreasonable request." I'm missing the logical progression here. Did he ask her to tell him where she would be going while he was sleeping? Did he ask at all or just assume she would tell him? Have they ever communicated on this level? It would be a huge assumption to believe that they do. But besides that mystery, if two people are living together, and hopefully know each other well, why would he be sleeping rather than going out with her? Some important information is missing here to explain this phenomena because he suddenly fast forwards a month and doesn't relate why this was a problem at all...

He then says, "The next night, she goes to a party, I nap for a while before going (not telling her whether I would go later or not, because I didn't know)." I don't know about you, but I consider that extremely strange and maybe even manipulative on his part to not go with her but show up afterwards somewhere else looking for her. He doesn't tell her that he is going at all and is surprised that he follows her to a different club! What kind of communication do they have? There is something seriously wrong with both of them that needs some major fixing.
posted by JJ86 at 9:53 AM on August 7, 2006

I don't believe you can fix it.

I do believe that the two of you can sit down, have a good long, hard discussion and work it out and come to an agreement.

It seems from a cursory read that you haven't done that yet. Just act - react - act - react kind of skirmishes. Right now it seems like a lot of the 'agreements' are very grey, you need to make them black and white.
posted by willmize at 11:04 AM on August 7, 2006

Her going out in the middle of the night without telling you is a bit weird and is not taking your feelings into consideration (she should have at least left a note). But if she hasn't done it since you talked about it, it shouldn't be an issue.

This, to me, is the one thing that raises a red flag:
Fast forward a few months, she tells me (a week afterwards) that she did something in the bathroom with a friend at a club that we were at,
If I'm getting this right, you both were at the club, and she (without telling you) went into the bathroom and got high. This was after you both had established a ground rule for your relationship back when you were the one doing the drugs and she was the sober one ("we agreed that we wouldn't do anything on impulse, that anything we did at a club, we'd talk about and plan for in advance"). I think that's the only incident that you've related here that can be considered breach of trust. You both had an agreement, at her instigation it sounds like, and now that she's starting to party, she wants to change the rules.

I think that is the trust issue that needs to be discussed.

The other issue that has to be faced--whether you can be in a relationship while you're abstaining and they're partaking--is not a trust issue, it's a compatibility issue.
posted by witchstone at 11:37 AM on August 7, 2006

Well, I don't want to make this a snippy little fight between you and me, JJ86, but I did read the story and do know the details.
If I were living with someone and "hopefully know them well enough," I would think it would be OK to sleep when I wanted to, and not feel like I always had to be "on."
It seems like the consensus you and I have is that open and frequent communication is a must. That seems to be the answer that most people are giving.
Anonymous, that's really the only way you'll find answers to your questions - talk to the source. Along with her being honest with you, you need to be honest with her (and yourself) as well. Make sure this is what you want, or if you guys should take a break so that while you abstain from that kind of partying, it isn't causing problems for the relationship while she's still partaking.
posted by slyboots421 at 1:01 PM on August 7, 2006

JJ86, I think you may be reading too much into the sleeping. For instance, I work evenings and my boyfriend works days. I might not get home till midnight, then head out with guys from work. If he was already asleep, I might think 'there's no point waking him, he'll figure out where I've gone/I'll be back before he wakes up'. Recently, in fact, I stayed out all night, which is unusual for me, and when I arrived home in the morning he said he'd been worried (although he knew I had gone out). Next time, if I'm not going to be home at the usual time after going out, I'll message him or something. No big deal.

Therefore, anonymous, I think that this first incident is harnless and unrelated to the others. The one where she headed off to a club also seems pretty ok - she didn't think you were going to be there, they kicked on. You don't need to know exactly where she is (or shouldn't - that might annoy me, if my boyfriend required constant updates).

As with witchstone, that leaves the 'doing something in a bathroom' one. So this is one incident, and it has to do with your different attitudes to drugs and whether she's allowed to do them, if you want her to let you know, etc.
posted by jacalata at 6:44 PM on August 7, 2006

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