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Trust, Vulnerability and loving again

Community Member

I separated from my wife of 9 years last year - a result of living too long in different countries and infidelity. Her infidelity came to light accidentally when I came across an explicit record of texts between herself and another married man – which detailed when they met, their intentions, pictures shared, subsequent arrangements to meet-up, the encounter(s) and the small talk that followed. I confronted my wife in disbelief and despite the irrefutable evidence, she concealed/denied/minimised/lied about what happened. Subsequent conversations revealed the truth but it required me to meticulously isolate parts of the text conversation, infer meaning and ask for explaination. 48 hours later I asked her to leave and I have not seen her since.

Recently, I met a new romantic interest (call her lady X). I was not looking for a relationship – we just enjoy each others company and are connecting on a deeper level. From very early on a very ugly tendency of jealous and insecurity plagued me and deeply affected my psyche.

Certain thoughts are dominating my mind: Racing assumptions whenever she mentions any other male “friend” in her life, if she is out partying I assumed she's seeing someone else, questioning her history with other men etc. Worst of all, I feel anger & sadness when my mind conjures up a (baseless) idea of how she might be being deceiving me or that she will one day, inevitably discard me for someone else or a previous flame .

Lady X's response when I explain my feeling is generally that “almost everyone has experienced pain and heartache in love, it’s just your choice as to whether you carry that burden with you”. She is right of course, but the insecurity episodes are becoming more frequent. Every flare up of insecurity I experience makes me act judgmental and unpleasant. I fear it will eventually push her away and serve to validate my insecurities.

I am not finding any means of self-improvement. I tried self-affirmation, I have asked her to verbalise her feelings toward me as a means of validation, I have tried simply blocking out my thoughts, explaining my thoughts to her etc. I have low self-esteem in romantic relationships (a legacy thing from being a fat kid) and difficulties showing vulnerability. I am working on being more open with my struggles with others I trust but it seems too early to start lumping up lady X with my deep personal issues, so I continue to struggle to balance being vulnerable with being capable and self-sufficient

3 Replies 3

Community Member

Hi Marley,

It seems like you do understand yourself pretty well.. what you might lack is the confidence that you'll be able to get through your insecurities.

It could be because your wounds from the infidelity are still very fresh, and unfortunately I do not believe that time heals all wounds. True healing only happens if you take active steps to deal with the issue at hand.

I know its always easier said than done, but remember this : hurt people hurt people. I wish you all the best in your road to recovery in gaining your self confidence back.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Marley2021~

Welcome here to the Forum. It was a good idea of yours to come here -even if very awkward to try to explain such personal things in your life.

I'm sorry your first relationship did not work out, you are obviously a person that takes a relationship very seriously and expects the same in return. This can be a blessing when both are of a like mind.

Under the circumstances it is not surprising you have difficulties wiht trust -and all that follows when you do not have it.

About Lady X's response. While it is true that what has happened in your life has left you with it's aftermath -burden if you like - I'm not so sure about it being your choice, in other words up to you to fix it by yourself.

Irrespective of the cause I believe the building of trust is a two-person job, and in a way it does not matter if it was your ex trying to make amends, or this new person. Either way the damage has been done and re-building is needed.

I am not sure that if left to deal with this totally by yourself that you will improve -or at least not quickly.

It may be that personal counseling to give you an understanding might be a good start.

After that may I suggest couples counseling? Such places as Relationships Australia - 1300 364 277 have good councilors. I do suggest couples counseling because I do not believe it can be a solo effort, and if explained and coached by a third party, a professional, then it might become clear it is a joint activity.

Do you think that might be a practical approach?


Community Member

Hi there.

Everything about you sounds really good, especially how you are here talking to us about your emotions and feelings. That's a really big step and I applaud you for doing that.

I think you might need to slow down your life pace a bit and try as much as you can to "get rid of those thoughts' that are not real (99% of our thoughts are imaginary) as thought control is your biggest skill to have.

Once you can keep your thoughts in order and after lets say 21 days (as they say) you will find that you have become a master at keeping your mental wellness on track and you will naturally feel happier.

Keep ya chin up buddy.