Partnered Newbie with a relationship problem

Emerald_Eyes_93

New member
So, my primary and I have been seeing each other for a little over a year now. I've recent started seeing a couple that I click well with and want to continue to see them. My problem is, my partner is and has been constantly suspicious of every little thing I do. I will admit I've lied about something insignificant because of his constant suspicions (meaning I lied about something stupid and small), regardless it was a lie, it was wrong and I accept responsibility for it. I've done my atonement for it, he's mentioned he needs to get better about trust, yet it seems he cannot let it go. It feels like prior to my mistake all over again. I fear that if his behavior doesn't change it will continue to negatively impact our relationship. I do not know what to do. I understand trust rebuilding takes time, but shouldn't we both put forth the effort to make things better?
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Of course you should both be putting effort into whatever your relationship needs. You're asking the wrong question - one you already know the answer to.

So, what's the right question? You could ask for speculation around why he's behaving this way, what's so fundamentally programmed into him that he's never actually been able to trust you. But trying to unpack someone else's core beliefs (especially if they are grounded in trauma) won't actually get you moving forward. That leaves you asking questions about your own self, about your boundaries and why you are spending time with someone who is treating you like this. We all lie about the insignificant without it blowing back on the relationship in a detrimental way. We lie by omission, we lie to prevent someone's feelings getting stomped on, we massage truths into a more palatable way of expressing them. You lied about something that you feel was insignificant but your partner has latched on and continues to punish you for it. Why are you allowing yourself to be emotionally manipulated by his constant suspicion or your life dictated by his controlling behaviour?

(caveat: in my early 20s I left a guy who behaved like this towards me. It took me some months to reach the crisis point that meant that I got out and in those months my personal power and wellbeing were eroded to the point that I needed a lot of support to recover.)

These questions are a lot tougher and you might consider a therapist to help work them out. Remember, you don't need to tick every box on the Power and Control wheel to be in an abusive relationship, if his suspicion is causing you harm and he's not willing to address it, how far will you bend before you either break or whip back upright?
 

Marcus

Well-known member
my partner is and has been constantly suspicious of every little thing I do.

I'm with Evie, the fact that this is an ongoing issue sounds like there are some fundamental trust issues at play.

There is very little chance that you lying or being honest is going to have much impact on how this persons deep trust issues.

Personally I'd say just stop catering to their distrust and start living your life. Behave with integrity, don't make promises you aren't capable and willing to keep, minimize harm where you can, be honest and kind, and anyone who is worth your time will treat you with the respect that you've earned.

I will admit I've lied about something insignificant because of his constant suspicions (meaning I lied about something stupid and small), regardless it was a lie, it was wrong and I accept responsibility for it. I've done my atonement for it, he's mentioned he needs to get better about trust, yet it seems he cannot let it go.

From your side, this is the part that I would focus on. Being deceptive is a sign that you probably have some issues with things like effective communication and setting healthy boundaries. Instead of being assertive and saying "no, I don't agree to that, it does not line up with what I value", we say "sure baby, yeah I'll do that" and then we go back on our word later. This is a terrible habit and builds failure into relationships.

I would avoid just focusing on the fact that your partner clearly has trust issues (which they do), and instead use this misstep on your part to do some self examination into why you've allowed yourself to behave this way. Do some work on figuring out what changes you need to make in your communication and boundaries.
 

Emerald_Eyes_93

New member
It's something we've discussed before and it didn't seem to help. I know why I'm dishonest sometimes. It's when I feel like I can't come to you with issues or in this case it was because it didn't seem to matter what I said he would've made some kind of comment subtly stating his suspicion of me. So omitting a detail seemed easier than dealing with his suspicious ways and getting myself flustered because of it. I'm not justifying, just explaining my thought process. I don't make a habit of being dishonest, I believe honesty is best even if it does hurt someone's feelings and I'm generally decent at communicating but I am flawed. I do care about him, but when it gets to a point where this is such a problem it makes me want to just hide from it instead of taking it on.. I'm not sure what to do.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Emerald_Eyes_93,

I couldn't tell from your first post: Do your partner's constant suspicions include suspicions about the couple you're currently seeing?

Sure trust rebuilding takes time, but it should definitely be a joint effort. You shouldn't be the one doing all the work. He should be doing his share. You've said you've done your atonement; this tells me that you've done your part, and he's even said he needs to get better about trust, yet he refuses to let it go. This tells me that he's not doing his part.

The thing you should probably decide, is how long you'll continue to endure his suspicions before you decide to break up. A month? a year? ten years? fifty? At some point, you should draw the line for your own well-being.

Tell him that his current behavior is unacceptable.
Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I do care about him, but when it gets to a point where this is such a problem it makes me want to just hide from it instead of taking it on.. I'm not sure what to do.

I don't think it's true that you don't know what to do; you've stated the solution here clearly.

It's a common and disastrous habit to cower for the sake of "not rocking the boat". Otherwise perfectly healthy people do it because of fatigue, fear of being assertive, fear of losing a relationship, and the outcome is never desirable. We seem to be able to convince ourselves that hiding from reality and just nodding our heads is the way to solve this kind of disagreement, when rationally we know that the opposite is true.

Instead of building a healthy relationship by being honest and standing up for healthy, sane boundaries, we build resentment on all sides. The resulting resentment builds and we can eventually start making disastrous decisions, and say things that we regret.

As scary as it may seem to you, nursing along this broken situation because you are afraid to face up to reality simply isn't going to make reality change. Be clear, be kind, and don't allow this kind of behavior in your life. You are a big part of the problem here, and your side of the issue is the only thing you have any control over. So think about what you actually want out of this association, what your actual expectations are, what rules you actually want to set up, and voice those realities.

Scary or no, I think it's your only reasonable play.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I'm sorry you struggle.

I mean this kindly ok?

My problem is, my partner is and has been constantly suspicious of every little thing I do.

Is that something you admire and look for in a partner? If not, why continue to date him? Might be simpler for you to decide he doesn't make the cut against your personal standard.

I know that might seem really bold putting it out there super plain like that. Esp when I'm some internet stranger that doesn't know anything about you or him.

But we all get to pick what we seek in a partner. We all get to pick what we are and are not attracted to. What we will and will not put up with. And for how long. We all get to make our own personal standard, right?

So I encourage you to set your soft feelings for him to the side for a moment. Pull out your personal standard for what you seek in a healthy relationship. Then assess.

Does this partner actually make the cut after a year in? Or not so much?

If this behavior is not something you look for in a partner? Maybe he doesn't make the cut any more then. There was some initial attraction maybe, but nope. Now that you have known him for a little over a year and are seeing true colors? Maybe he does not make the cut for deep compatibility.

Not everyone you date will be a long haul runner.

It's something we've discussed before and it didn't seem to help. I know why I'm dishonest sometimes. It's when I feel like I can't come to you with issues or in this case it was because it didn't seem to matter what I said he would've made some kind of comment subtly stating his suspicion of me. So omitting a detail seemed easier than dealing with his suspicious ways and getting myself flustered because of it.

Sounds like you don't really feel safe to be authentic you here. He suspects things, true or not, and then after thinking things like that, reacts in a way that flusters/scares you. So you lie/try to protect yourself. :(

At 1 year in? To me this is usually the pink fluffy lala clouds time of NRE. People are usually are still on their best behavior for dating. So if this is all he has for BEST?

You already asked for changes in behavior to no avail?

Maybe consider bowing out then and keeping life a lot simpler for you. Move on to date others and just not deal with this any more. A year isn't all that long. You haven't invested tons here.

You didn't mention your age. If you are new to dating? That might bring up other concerns -- like HOW to break up, esp if you are a young adult and don't have the skills yet.

And any break up, even when needed or the healthiest thing to do in a situation? Will bring some sadness.

Or if there are worries that the partner might get weird like "If I can't have you, nobody can!" That can add another layer of concerns about leaving safely.

I do care about him, but when it gets to a point where this is such a problem it makes me want to just hide from it instead of taking it on.. I'm not sure what to do.

You can leave so it becomes a non-problem for you after you complete your break up healing.
  • You can pick if you want to just plain leave. And totally close the door.
  • Or if you want to leave the door open a crack like "Look, I can't be here like this with a partner who is suspicious of me all the time. I am breaking up with you. I don't know how to help you. I do hope you get help and work on that and things get better for you. If you do get counseling and get better, look me up again. Maybe we can try again. But we cannot continue like this. So I have to leave."
You aren't responsible for whatever is going on inside him that makes him behave this way. One can care about others, but one must care about their OWN well being FIRST. Not like selfish, but like self care.

If being here is filling you with worry, you can't be your authentic self, you walk on tiptoe, lie to protect yourself from his reactions/suspicions/whatever... is how you wanted to be living your life? Is you staying here a good way to take care of you?

Your consent to participate or continue in things belong to YOU. If you don't feel good being here any more? You already asked for changes and nothing is forthcoming? Maybe it's ok to STOP being here then. Sad as coming to terms with that might be.

It's ok to decide that you gave it a fair shake for a year and nope. Things don't line up for anything long term here. It's ok to end it.

Because love alone is not enough to make a relationship sustainable long haul. So you have to love yourself and get yourself out of the unhappy.

I give this tool to all my kids.

https://www.scarleteen.com/article/relationships/should_i_stay_or_should_i_go

Maybe it helps you decide. But you cannot fix this alone. If he's not going to fix whatever personal things on the inside that causes his suspicions and then changes his behaviors towards you?

Then YOU could work on accepting this is ALL you are ever gonna get here -- this never ending suspicion thing.

And then YOU decide if you want to live with that and with the lying you do to try to protect yourself. Or if you prefer to break up and just be free of all that stress entirely.

Like when all the options stink? Which one stinks the LEAST then?

For me? I'm middle aged. My tolerance/patience for this kind of thing is way low. I think being in a relationship could bring out my BEST self. Not bring out sides of me that I'm not crazy about -- fear, lying, etc. I don't want to live my life walking on eggshells because someone else goes around all suspicious of me. I don't think that's healthy ground to build anything on. I've been happy living alone. So being on my own again doesn't bother me. I'd rather be on my own than put up with partnered weirdness.

So I encourage you to do your soul searching. Review what you do/do not want in a partner. And if this one no longer makes the cut? Be ok letting go.

I hope things get better for you whatever you decide.

Galagirl
 
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Emerald_Eyes_93

New member
Hello Emerald_Eyes_93,

I couldn't tell from your first post: Do your partner's constant suspicions include suspicions about the couple you're currently seeing?

Sure trust rebuilding takes time, but it should definitely be a joint effort. You shouldn't be the one doing all the work. He should be doing his share. You've said you've done your atonement; this tells me that you've done your part, and he's even said he needs to get better about trust, yet he refuses to let it go. This tells me that he's not doing his part.

The thing you should probably decide, is how long you'll continue to endure his suspicions before you decide to break up. A month? a year? ten years? fifty? At some point, you should draw the line for your own well-being.

Tell him that his current behavior is unacceptable.
Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
Unfortunately yes, his suspicions were at this current couple and now that I think about it, the last couple I was involved with. This behavior is unacceptable and I need to voice it.

Thank you everyone for your honesty and encouragement. This has given me some things to tell and retell myself. I really appreciate it, it's helped a lot
 

PolAmy

New member
While everyone else is getting on with the male bashing typical of this place, I am going to offer you more productive advice.

When you lie to people, they don’t trust you. Period. You admittedly “lie sometimes”. That’s why your boyfriend doesn’t trust you. The next boyfriend won’t trust you either, neither will friends or family if you continue with deceptive behavior.

News flash. Your boyfriend might not be an abusive controlling person. He might just be trying to navigate around your lies. When people lie, you can’t trust anything they say. So yea he is going to be suspicious, and you share the blame of that because of your lies.
 
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Emerald_Eyes_93

New member
While everyone else is getting on with the male bashing typical of this place, I am going to offer you more productive advice.

When you lie to people, they don’t trust you. Period. You admittedly “lie sometimes”. That’s why your boyfriend doesn’t trust you. The next boyfriend won’t trust you either, neither will friends or family if you continue with deceptive behavior.

News flash. Your boyfriend might not be an abusive controlling person. He might just be trying to navigate around your lies. When people lie, you can’t trust anything they say. So yea he is going to be suspicious, and you share the blame of that because of your lies.
You're putting words into the situation as if I'm a pathological liar and will spin a yarn any chance I get. 1 lie to my partner doesn't equate to multiple. You are clearly reading this and putting extra emphasis on my one mistake. I never claimed him to be abusive or manipulative, even after everyone here decided to throw that on him. I simply said that what people have said has given me something to think about. Also, if I may reiterate here his behavior was happening PRIOR TO, and he admitted to me PRIOR TO that he has major trust issues. Sure, the lie was ultimately my choice but the events following were his. I acknowledge my faults as a person but my whole point to this was "what do I do if he won't acknowledge his too? Shouldn't we both work to fix this?" I never once said that now his suspicions aren't justified, I did say it feels remnant to beforehand. Meaning if I don't feel safe to come to him and it's not fixed we're doomed to repeat the same thing. If he says things are good between us are passive aggressive comments about the mistake necessary? Is holding it over my head neccessary? No, it's not. I made a mistake, I've said that over and over, I accepted, and still accept, my responsibility in what happened but if I've supposedly "done the time" why am I still feeling like I'm being punished? That's not fair or right to either of us. If he wants to continue our relationship shouldn't he try to move passed it instead of "casually" making snide comments about it?

While I see where you're trying to come from, the judgement you're passing upon me is unnecessary as well. I didn't come here to bash or label, like you seem to be doing, I came here for a different look on the situation so I could best navigate it the way that works for my partner and I. A childhood trauma response doesn't make me a bad person like it feels is being implied, and my partner feeling the way he feels isn't unjust or abusive. Him living in those feelings and taking it out on me is.
 

PolAmy

New member
Is it only one lie to your partner? Because in post #4 you said: “I know why I'm dishonest sometimes.”

Was it “once” or is it “sometimes”? Because that is a big difference.

I’m not trying to offend you. I’m not calling you names or putting words in your mouth. If what I am saying makes you feel bad maybe you should think about why that is.

You are admittedly “dishonest sometimes” and everyone glossed over that fact to blame your partner for being suspicious. Maybe no one on this forum has experienced being with a dishonest partner and what that does to trust. And how hard those breaks in trust are to mend, and how long it takes, and how much work it takes to trust someone again after they have demonstrated a pattern of dishonesty.

You say he should be over it? According to who? So you are the offender, judge, jury, and psychological expert? All in one? Do you care how your partner feels about the dishonesty? If so how about asking him how long he needs to recover instead of dictating that to him.

I’m really surprised I need to be saying all of this. I just think painting your boyfriend as abusive and ignoring the significance of your dishonesty is sexiest and ridiculous.


I never claimed him to be abusive or manipulative, even after everyone here decided to throw that on him.

A childhood trauma response doesn't make me a bad person like it feels is being implied, and my partner feeling the way he feels isn't unjust or abusive. Him living in those feelings and taking it out on me is.

Well now you have called him abusive, so it’s clear who’s opinions you have chosen to internalize. I was just trying to offer a different perspective based on personal accountability, instead of blaming other people.
 

powerpuffgrl1969

Active member
PolAmy, you may not be received well coming on here as a new member and being so aggressive to someone who is struggling. I'm not sure why you have chosen this approach.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I made a mistake, I've said that over and over, I accepted, and still accept, my responsibility in what happened but if I've supposedly "done the time" why am I still feeling like I'm being punished?

Well, some people have different styles for solving problems/doing conflict resolution.
  • Some want to point fingers and count up blame and who ever has the biggest pile? They are WRONG, the other person "wins" and gets to be right.
  • Some people skip all that and just agree all people had some kind of share in the situation making. Then focus on what needs to happen to return to being in right relationship.
  • Some people have other styles than those.
That's why I do not think that love alone is enough for deep compatibility. There has to be more than just soft feelings for a person.
  • If he takes a long time to bounce back? You bounce back faster?
  • If he holds on to things and you don't?
  • If he spends a lot of time looking back on the past where you want to look to future?
  • If he values ABC and you value XYZ?
  • If he's introverted and you extroverted?
  • Plus many other things like is this casual or not, how entangled does each want to be, religion, politics, jobs, pets, allergies, children, hobbies, etc.
These personalities may share an initial attraction but might not work out for DEEP compatibility. It happens sometimes in dating. Not anyone's fault. Just too different of people.

I am going to guess. I might guess wrong.

You have taken responsibility for your past actions. You have apologized and tried to make amends. You have made peace with it inside. You are ready to move on past this.

He's at a different place with all that. He's not ready to move past this.

You are having internal conflict between "I want to move on past this" and "I want to be with him" and those two things cannot exist in the same space right now. You aren't yet giving yourself permission to move on without him.

Like it would be great if he could become willing to move on past this WITH you. And maybe you might be willing to wait a bit more for him to get to that place of willingness if you saw him actively trying to work on it. Like you ask him how much time he needs and what actions he is going to do on his side. Like he agrees to see a couples counselor, goes to support group, starts reading a book, starts trying different things. Not just talk but taking some actions on his side to rebuild trust. And you do same -- not just talk but doing actions required on your side to rebuild trust.

But not if it's gonna be 5, 50, 500 years of waiting for nothing. And not like him saying he wants to rebuild trust but then... no, not really. It won't ever actually be given.

Well... trust doesn't actually HAVE to be rebuilt. The other way to solve it is not be in relationship any more. Then no trust is required at all. You both get to stop going in circles on this and seek more compatible people.

I don't think that's man bashing or that anyone is being abusive or mean. Just a more basic "Sometimes things pan out in dating, and sometimes they just don't."

I encourage you to do your soul searching and figure out how much more you want to invest here or not. He could do the same. I think only the people in the situation can make that kind of call -- how much more time and energy and effort are they willing to give it? Or are they just done?

It's not really something internet strangers can determine.

If you are both discovering that there was initial attraction, but not enough in common to keep going for more? Don't go for more then.

I can imagine it is not easy. I hope things get better for both however the outcome.

Galagirl
 
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MeeraReed

Active member
OP, don't waste any time trying to engage with PolAmy. Their views are not typical of this forum...though I suspect they have been on the forum before under a slightly different name.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from Emerald_Eyes_93):
"Unfortunately yes, his suspicions were at this current couple and now that I think about it, the last couple I was involved with. This behavior is unacceptable and I need to voice it."

That is unfortunate that his suspicions were at the current (and previous) couple. It makes things worse. We could be dealing with a situation where he is both suspicious and jealous. He could be putting limitations on you: limitations on when, for how long, and how often you can get together with this couple, and what you're allowed to do when you're with them. He could be treating you extra bad when you get back from visiting them, as a sort of passive-aggressive way of punishing you for your involvement with them. He could even be forbidding you to see them altogether. Or at least limiting you to remote interactions with them, e.g., texting only. I don't know how many of these behaviors he's doing, hopefully none, but from what I know so far, they're all possibilities.

With sympathy,
Kevin T.
 
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