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Broken Trust

Question:

I have told my gay partner, how important honesty is to me. I at times become overly enraged, when I find out he lied. Recently, I thought maybe he had a affair with his ex. He came closer to me and in a sincere voice told me no. I replied, I would rather know now than find out later. Once more he said no. I thought maybe I was just jealous and left it at that. Shortly after I find out that he did have sex with him in our bed. I was hurt about the affair but the lying to me while sounding sincere, has almost put me over the edge. I believe what hurt the most was the fact that he knows without a doubt, in my opinion, honesty is the foundation to a relationship. I want this relationship to work. I just draw a blank, try to find away to trust him again. What’s your opinion.

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Answer:

I don’t blame you for not trusting this guy. He has lied to you in a very direct way that leaves no room for ambiguities. It is not at all odd that you would have difficulty trusting him to be true to you in the future. Trust is a fragile thing that is built up based on experience. Your trust in him has been damaged by a bad experience. Only new good experiences that help you to know he will be trustworthy in the future will be able to repair this damage. Get clear on just how much disrespect you are willing to tolerate. It is fine for you to get upset and to complain about your man’s infidelity, but the bottom line is that if you don’t make crystal clear to him that you won’t tolerate infidelity (and will leave him if it occurs again), your silence might just be a sign to him that he can do it again. You have to be willing to walk away from things you care about sometimes to preserve your self-respect. Once you know where your line is, you will be in a good position to discuss with him what happened (his perspective on why he lied to you, your perspective on how hurt you have been and some discussion of where your line is for walking away). I think you’ll need to see him treat you differently and with more respect for a while before you’ll trust him again.

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