Saturday, 5 May 2012

Issues of trust

I have issues trusting people. Always have. Put it down to my childhood. I thought I'd put that out there as I often wonder if it's just me over reacting to this situation. I was told yesterday by Mr E. to stop over thinking things on a completely different matter, so really it could be just me. Then again, yesterday I asked a friend about her thoughts on this situation that has concerned me for a few months now. It seems perhaps my distrust is about normal level. So given Mr E. is sick of hearing about this I thought I'd debrief by putting it all out there.

Earlier this year I went out to with coffee with a friend. That's something I do fairly regularly with a number of people and had with this person as well. Due to Christmas, school holidays and other things we hadn't managed to catch up for a few months. Pretty much the moment I arrived, a bombshell was dropped on me. Her husband had been having an affair with a mutual friend for several months.

I was stunned. I was close to this other woman (OW) and knew her husband to casually chat to as well. I had no idea what to say to my friend let alone how to deal with the information. At the time I considered OW a close friend and to say I was blown away was an understatement.

Once I started thinking about things, I could see little things that OW had said or done which at the time seemed a big off to me but I'd just not worried about them. But once the the wheels started turning I remembered a lot of things that seemed just not quite right to me. Considering the circumstances, saying I felt betrayed sounds wrong. But That's how I felt. From there I started wondering how much of my friendship with OW was fake.

After ensuring that my friend was as okay as possible (given the situation), I wrestled with the information I had most of the day. I decided that I would reveal that I knew because I'm no good at keeping secrets and my perception of OW had changed significantly. I knew that I wouldn't be able to relate to her as I normally would.

So I did. She cried and I felt bad. OW and I had coffee the following day. I listened to her side of the story. She knew that he had told his wife about the affair but was surprised my friend had told me. From OW I discovered that they had been considering leaving their spouses and moving in together. She also knew that my friend had given him an ultimatum to stop the affair or leave.

After it sank in, I told them that I wanted to remain friends with them both. My plan was to remain an impartial party who unfortunately got dumped in the middle of a messy sitatuation. I have, although it has been difficult to understand what is so attractive about this bloke and why neither woman seemed angry at him. I know that my friend and her husband are trying to work it out. OW and her husabnd seem to be okay although he isn't aware of the affair. My stand with him is to be polite and unless i'm ever asked a direct question i will not be sharing what i know with him. OW is aware of my stance on this.

Apart from Mr E. until this week I had told no one about this. My issue is that now I don't trust OW. I don't think our friendship will ever go back to the way it was. I wonder when she says she is having lunch with a friend, whether it really is just a lunch or something more. I wonder if it will be possibleto ever get back to a place of total trust. Maybe I am just over thinking it.

Have you ever rebuilt trust that was lost? Any insight or advice for me?


Madmother said...


I must admit i am as black and white as my oldest son.

Screwing away from home - betrayal.

Screwing someone ELSE's husband - betrayal.

I would have dumped her faster than a hot brick.

What part of honour or loyalty or friendship does this fall into? NONE.

Don't get me wrong, people fall in and out of love. BUT before you cheat you walk away from the first relationship. You do not cover your arses by continuing the marriage... just in case the affair doesn't pan out.

Leanne said...

Hmmm.Heavy load to carry E! I reckon you did the right thing by communicating with OW. Gotta let that heavy load go ...

I agree with MM. If your marriage isn't working (and you've tried your best) you walk away from it BEFORE you start exploring the options. Anything else is selfish and (in my opinion) shows low emotional intelligence and a complete lack of respect.

My Husband has friends who cheat. Fringe friends. I won't engage in conversation with them. Not because I have strong opinions on their choices ... I just have no opinion of them at all. They don't even get a spot on my radar. I will not spend the energy ...

I am not a black and white person. I try my best to reach outside my belief patterns to see all the shades of grey. But to me marriage is the ultimate promise. It's a contract, a commitment, a vow and a total promise to be true to your word. People err. People falter. Mistakes happen. Passion can be overwhelming. But if you stuff up, you take responsibility for your actions, you communicate, you adjust and you rebuild. Either within the marriage or out out of it. You don't tip toe around pretending nothing happened.

It's a pretty big black mark though ... OW will never find peace carrying around that secret ... and the other two I reckon will have a pretty rickity bridge to walk across.

If your bridge is feeling rickity E (re the friendship with OW) then I'd steer clear. Don't put yourself in a situation where you feel vulnerable. At least in the short term ... pushing yourself to remain friendly when you lack trust will just take too much energy.

So yeah, what MM said re that hot brick.

MultipleMum said...

This is like one of those 'ethical dilemmas' you read about!

An icky situation, E.

The way I look at it though, it isn't your issue. We have no control over our friend's behaviour, nor who they sleep with.

I agree that cheating is unforgivable, but that is within the confines of my relationship. If other people are willing to forgive their partners, then that is their business.

I feel sorry for the husband who doesn't know. It is him who isn't able to make a choice.

I reckon if you stay friends with everyone involved, you should not be a 'sounding board'. Stay out of it as much as you can. Part of their 'punishment' is their guilt. Another part is having to keep it to themselves.

Good luck. Don't forget to update us!


Lee said...

My take on trust is that it is something that you give people. If they break it, it is their shortcomings, not mine. It they lie to me, it is them that is lying to me. I am not stupid or soft, they are deceiving me. I can only control my own words and behaviour. I have no idea if this makes sense! :S


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