Next on the AMA pedestal is a sombre read from an American man.
Hi, I’ve been the same woman for 15 years and we have a 11 year old daughter. We move to Miami from New Jersey for a change that we both needed badly. Things were going well for us after the move and talking to a relationship coach. Then a male student started working at her office which she found attractive. She did not cheat or but she did lie to me because she says it was because she thought I would be jealous even though we never had a history of that. There is so much more to this but the point is I can not get over this because I feel I can’t trust her anymore. I’m lost.
Hi Mr America! Thanks for writing in. You’ll be pleased to know that my inbox was empty and I didn’t have anything else on so I got straight to this as I saw it.
Okay, let’s unpack this. There’s a lot there. Nice to see that guys read my work too – I thought my audience was mostly female.
Also, please never be afraid to send more information in, because the more I receive, the better I am able to judge, or help, if at all. Also, you could just say — here is supporting information but I really don’t want you to publish that, and I’ll do it. Ok? Good. Let’s go.
There wasn’t huge amounts of information in here but I will try my best!
Firstly let’s talk about her lying. No matter what she did, she lied to you. That’s a BIG deal my friend. Relationships are supposed to be synonymous. One of you falls down, the other picks you up. For that you need an immense amount of trust and truth. Lying is what sets people off balance. I’ll tell you a story.
I used to lie to my wife all the time at the beginning. They weren’t lie’s hiding some super secret truth, but they were lies all the time. She would ask me what I had for lunch and I would tell her I had a roll at work. But then she’d see McDonald’s receipts and restaurant receipts when she went through my jeans pockets to wash them. She hated it, because she’s a frugal spender, and I wasn’t.
Anyway, she sat me down and told me what my lies were doing to her — to me it was just trying to dodge the bullet of getting a nagging for spending too much, but to her it was doing much more. For instance if I could lie to her about this then what other things am I lying to her about? The mind has a funny way of connecting dots that are there (and aren’t there). People say, “Oh, you’re just paranoid” but then you wouldn’t be paranoid if you weren’t lied to all the time, would you?
So, eventually we worked out a spending plan that allowed me to spend, and her to save. A compromise of sorts. But this only works if your partner is open and willing to make compromises.
What if she’s not?
What you need to think about is how you come across to her when you are talking to her. One thing my wife and I do quite well is that we have learned to convey our thoughts to each other in a way that we can understand. Because men and women communicate differently, and regardless of what anyone tells you, we process thought differently. Men fix and solve problems, and women feel them. It’s biology 101.
What you need to do is sit her down and tell her how it’s making you, “feel.” Think about it for a while. In your message to me you sounded a bit lost. You need to tell her that. Not exactly that you’re lost, but think about how you feel inside and try and convey that into words for her. As far as I’m aware, this is the language women speak. Thoughts and feelings. You need to make her understand that you are hurting inside. Of course this may be hard for you if you aren’t used to doing it — but you should try, especially if it’s not something you’ve done before. You may find that both of you actually have a lot to talk about.
Also, try not to get mad if she shares anything with you that you don’t like in return. Take it on board, and try and make it better for her in the future. Her concerns, however silly they may seem to you, are really BIG concerns in her mind. They may be impacting your relationship. Tell you another story
I’ve developed a habit of asking my wife what’s wrong. And she’ll know that she can be hurtfully honest with me because I’ll take it on the chin and amend my behaviour. Sometimes it really, really hurts, you know? But I’m only one half of the relationship. She is the other half. So yes. I’m going to try and keep/make her happy by continually trying for her.
Okay, so I really don’t mean every minute detail. I mean I’m not perfect. Neither is anyone else I know, or her for that matter. But if she tells me that I need to take the hoover out because she’s really feeling like I don’t care and it’s making her depressed, then I’m going to do it. These things are big in our relationship, so I have to do it, you know?
But then because I listen to her, she listens to me. She’s also more happy and keen to listen to me because I listen to her. A relationship is really bi-directional. You need to be happy too.
So yeah, you really need to talk it out my friend. This seems important to you. She should be on board with that.
The situation you’re in. It just won’t blow over. You’ll have to do something about it, else it will get worse. In your head I mean.
Failing that? If she’s unwilling to work with you? Then perhaps back to the relationship coach? I don’t know.
However, do bear in mind that whatever you’re feeling right now, in time, you can trust her again.
I’ve broke the trust of my wife once or twice in my life — not through infidelity, but with other important things in our life, and it’s taken a long time for her to get through it. A real long time to get through it — but I was on board with trying to win that trust back in every way possible. In the end we got there. So there is hope, even if now, you’re feeling a little jaded and out on your own.