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#428518 - 03/20/13 05:43 PM Repairing my fiancée's trust
Vineyard Offline

Registered: 03/16/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Detroit, MI.
Hello, everyone. I'm a recently outed survivor trying to put myself into a healthy lifestyle with my fiancée's support. When triggered, I would frequent erotic chat rooms, some webcam websites, and other social apps and envelope myself in long-lasting exposure to familiar traumas.

My fiancée and I have been attempting to address a big concern since she discovered my past abuse. She's having a hard time fully placing her trust in me. My question to you all would have to be how do I show her that I'm in a new mind-set, avoiding my triggers, and avoiding any feelings of relapse?

A few points to mention about my situation:
-I created an "alter ego" of sorts specifically for any online activity. There is plenty of evidence against me, leading her to believe that I had cheated on her. I didn't. I'm trying to help to show her that I can be trusted.
-I've found myself confusing actual events surrounding my abuse for things I may have fabricated online.
-I'm attempting to tell her the full truth, while trying to remember it myself.
-I'm in the process of signing myself up for therapy.

What I have done so far:
-I've tried to tell her as much as possible about my abuse and triggers so that she won't assume any worse.
-I have since deleted any online profiles that I once used. Many of which, I deleted in front of my fiancée.
-I leave my Internet search history, both in my phone and on my laptop, open and searchable in the event that she may want to check up on me.
-We speak often about this.

Does anyone with a similar situation have any advice for a young guy trying to show my fiancée that I can overcome my personal demons for the sake of our relationship?

#428524 - 03/20/13 06:05 PM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Vineyard]
Jemma Offline

Registered: 02/12/13
Posts: 22
Loc: England
Honesty and openness. The perpetrator encouraged secrets, so never keep another secret from your fiancee. Secrets and lies are poison to any relationship.

Don't forget that trust takes time to build after infidelity (I read somewhere it takes 18 months), but it CAN be built up and you'll end up with a better, stronger and more lasting relationship because of it.

You sound as if you're on the right track, well done. I really hope your relationship thrives.


#428526 - 03/20/13 06:06 PM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Vineyard]
Candu Offline

Registered: 07/01/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
I would say have her join here and ask question in this forum.

Most likely she doesn't understand why you have done these things. She will feel betrayed. It will be hard for her to not think that some of it has to do with her. It will be hard for her to trust you without understanding more. (maybe she has done research on CSA)

#428534 - 03/20/13 08:22 PM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Candu]
Vineyard Offline

Registered: 03/16/13
Posts: 3
Loc: Detroit, MI.
Originally Posted By: Candu
It will be hard for her to trust you without understanding more. (maybe she has done research on CSA)

She's the one who referred me to this website, actually. She's done a lot of research, and she knows I'm working towards recovery. I think it's just difficult for her to avoid thinking like she wasn't enough for me or that I'm now a stranger in our own home.

I'm looking for any advice to help explain to her that I wasn't myself in my relapses. Or is it simply a case of continued honesty and openness repeated over time?

#428536 - 03/20/13 08:41 PM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Vineyard]
Arithian Offline

Registered: 03/04/13
Posts: 5
Since she has been doing research and knows what's going on, I think it's just going to take time now. Keep doing what you're doing and getting help and being open with her and things should mend with time.

It's hard but you sound like you're doing great.

#428541 - 03/20/13 11:23 PM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Vineyard]
pittsburgh Offline

Registered: 05/26/11
Posts: 105
Loc: west Chester, Pa
Your on the right road,it takes a willingness. However I do not see where you are in T, I suggest finding a PHD who has worked with male surviors. Also Net Nanny would help. It is a jouney that can and will take time but if your are willing and keep working at it there is a better life ahead, You are blessed to have a helpmate, mine made all the differance. I wish you the best in your jouney, it's another darn process.
it is and has been quite a trip thru life, as last I feel that I am in a better place, it takes work and in my case a wife the was and is forgiveing and helpful. At last a relationship has gone right, messed up three.

#428545 - 03/21/13 01:08 AM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Vineyard]
Esposa Offline

Registered: 10/19/11
Posts: 811
Loc: NJ
DESIRE to show her is an awesome first step.

Sorry, but recovering from infidelity does not take 18 months. Show me that person please, or give me that pill. Betrayals are betrayals.

I also want to say that understanding more about issues for survivors has helped me put his actions in context - and has helped me develop compassion for someone who was very hurt and carries those scars to this day. But understanding certainly didn't help me build trust in the beginning. It actually felt, for a long time, just the opposite.

When we discover an infidelity, we want to believe that we have control over keeping it from happening again. We don't freely admit it, but we believe that if we do the right things, say the right things, act the right way, there will be no more betrayal. When you first learn that this behavior has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with you, it can actually hurt trust for a time period.

I don't mean ANYTHING negative against the survivors who come here to support us supporters - but there was a period for me when things felt very hopeless. And I have read, I've attended support groups, I've been on here for almost 2 years - and the more I did that, the more I understood my husband and the more I wanted to support him. THAT SAID, it also made me feel like there was NO GUARANTEE EVER that he would be able to fight these demons and there was NO PROMISE EVER that anything I did or said would save me from feeling this pain again. And yes, I know this is true for every human who walks this planet, it is just a little more true for people with addictions and for people with the most traumatic of scars.

That said, tell her you want her trust. And then do the good work, the difficult work, of building a human being worthy of trust.

I once read a very technical article about trust building and I think I shared it here a long time ago. This is the short form of it:

For me, my trust these days has two levels. Can I trust your behavior (aka, do you do what you say you are doing to do, do you tell me the truth, do you communicate freely and openly) and then also something more like a foundation - is there a person in there who can back up all of the rest of it? Is there a person in there who understands himself and his needs and wants and desires and PROBLEMS enough to be able to speak the truth, his truth.

#428548 - 03/21/13 02:42 AM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Vineyard]
lucylives Offline

Registered: 04/07/11
Posts: 367
You won't like this but with betrayal, you have lost your right to privacy (that is if you want to stay in this relationship and earn her trust.)

I would suggest you get a GPS on your phone for tracking reasons which may give her a sense of safety (although we who live with addicts know this isn't foolproof. Nothing is when u live with an addict).

Also, forget leaving the browsing history open. We all know about private browsing. Let her install spyware on your computers, phones, ipads or whatever with only her having the passwords.

Hopefully she doesn't become a detective (like many of us have) as a way to feel safe.

For me just knowing these things were available helped a lot.

12 step meetings are great. My husband and I both do 12 step meetings a couple times a week.
Lots of therapy alone but ask her along occasionally.
Honest, open communication is key. If something isn't difficult to share with your SO then share something harder to share.

I am 2.5 years into this. Do I trust my husband? No but for the most part I don't dwell on it too much. I have seen him work and work and work on getting better but he is still an addict and that never goes away.

Don't expect trust overnight. it will take years if it happens at all and let's face it.....we wives who have been through these types of betrayals never really get over it. Now our innocence is lost too.........I will never be the same again.

There can be NO SECRETS whatsoever

#428610 - 03/21/13 04:36 PM Re: Repairing my fiancée's trust [Re: Vineyard]
HD001 Offline

Registered: 07/30/12
Posts: 276
Loc: us
Actions speak louder than words and it sounds like you are taking every action you can think of. I agree with the post above that trust doesn't happen overnight. For your lady discovering that the man she probably thought she knew completely having a whole other side to himself was probably very shattering. So give her as much time as she needs. And if you wonder if there is anything that will help just ask her. "hey babe tell me what to do to make it better. " is always a good question to ask if you are ever in doubt. In my opinion the fact that she is still there says that she wants to build back that trust again.
Everything comes from within


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