How to Strengthen Your Relationship/Lack of trust...
QUESTION: Hello Leon,
First of all I would like to thank you for doing such a great job, helping so many couples all over the world. My name is Anie (female) and I am engaged. My fiancÚ and I are together since one year. As in every relationship, ours too had ups and downs. However, even during the hardest times in our relationship we managed to handle our problems and have been together till now. There was a time when I was the one who was at fault at something, I had sincerely apologized to him and he had forgiven me as he realized that he loved me and wanted to be with me. Despite some of our clashes we still loved each other.
Recently, an incident happened and I need to admit that I am the one who is to be blamed. I had told him that I would never hide things from him. However, unknowingly I did. Last year, a friend (male) of mine (whom I know since twelve years and who is abroad) had sent me some money (as help). It skipped my mind completely to tell my fiancÚ about this as it was just one or two months after I had known him. I had kept the bank statement which he recently saw on his own. I had told myself that someday I would talk to him about this but I could never muster the courage to do so as I did not know about how his reaction would be. I had however told him about my friend long ago. My friend and I hardly keep in touch as we are not in the same country and both of us work.
I had also bought a few stuffs online which I did not tell him about and when he came across the bank statement of this one he felt indeed cheated. I had actually opened the letter in front of him without realizing anything and that it could be that bank statement. I feel guilty for having not been able to tell him about such minor things (which are now not minor due to the problems we are having). I understand that I have hurt his feelings by doing this but my intention was not so. I did not do anything on purpose. He left my place in anger and promised to never do anything for me as I have been cheating him despite his previous warnings. I love him and do not want to lose him. However, I do not know how to correct my mistakes. He took all these so seriously as he says that he no more trusts me in anything.
He told me that he has been living with me on a basis of trust but if the trust is nowhere to be seen on his side, he will not be able to hold such a relationship. I asked for forgiveness and told him that such a thing will not happen again but he is not sure about my words and feels that he will be cheated by me in the future. I do not want him to think this way and I told him that I would do my best in our relationship to make things happen. I want things to become like before but his way of talking has changed towards me.
I asked him whether he wants to leave me and so on. He said I asked for some time to mend my ways so he is giving me the time to prove myself. I know I made a mistake but I want to win his trust and I want to see my old fiancÚ back and not this one. He talks to me as a friend. I realize that he has been so hurt that he is trying to punish me this way. I do not know how to handle this situation. I am very hurt too and cannot concentrate on anything else. I wonder why despite being adults, such circumstances are occurring and we are not being able to solve our problems. I need help into this as I want him back. He does not take any decision in haste. He is a very patient person but his behavior is hurting me a lot. How can I mend things? Please help me out of this. If you need to ask me questions concerning all this I am ready to answer them. I would like to thank you very much in advance Leon. Hope to hear from you as soon as possible. Take care.
ANSWER: Hello Anie,
There's more going on here than what you have said. You feel that you should have told him about some items you bought online and about some money a friend gave you nearly a year ago. First, I don't understand the need to offer this information. There's no need to hide it, but what's the big deal if it's not mentioned?
Next, when he did find out, he flipped! He feels cheated on and can't trust you.
Look, there's more to this story than you have let on to. Have you cheated on him in the past? Has he cheated on you? Did you ever have a relationship with this male friend? Is money and spending an issue in you relationship? What is it? You need to tell me the whole story so I can help.
Couples don't usually have major issues when one person spends their own money on items online. And, unless there's an ulterior motive, getting money from a friend to help out financially, doesn't usually cause such a divide.
What's really going on, Anie?
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Hello Leon,
I hope that you are doing good. Thank you for responding. I appreciate your help. I could not write much that is why I could not mention things you just talked about.
First of all, I did not offer this information, he found everything on his own and questioned me about the statement (which I never mentioned to him before though he knows about this friend of mine). I had to give him explanations so I thought it would make things better. He listened to me but does not believe everything.
As I told you earlier, we had problems concerning things about myself that I did not mention to him before. He feels that he has been an open book to me till now and that I have been hiding things from him. That is what actually is bothering him. I never cheated on him. He feels it is necessary to know everything about my past. Again, it is true that I did not mention every little thing about my past. However, I told him what I felt was important. He later found out things on his own.
He managed to overlook these things and decided to turn the page though I know he was hurt. I love him and I want us to concentrate on our future. I have been quite insecure concerning our relationship. He always then got the impression that maybe I have gone through situations in life earlier which make me behave this way. He has always asked for trust. Though I love him lots, it is true at times I did feel insecure (due to problems I had in the past with my ex boyfriend).
He has not cheated on me (at least I do not feel so). We are very much in love and I want trust to be there between us. I want to know how I can keep him happy. While waiting for a reply from you, I tried doing things for him to see whether he was and is willing to forgive me. I bought him flowers, I said sorry and hugged him. He smiled and responded to my hug. I was and I am very happy.
I however does not want our relationship to end because of the lack of trust. At times, I have behaved immaturely and later realized that I should not have behaved that way. I have however understand many things since I know him. I feel he is the one for me. I want to give him his own space. The fact that I was insecure made him want to know what was wrong.
I did not mention about my buying items online as once he told me not to spend my money on silly things (I was not working at that time and I had bought a lot of stuffs for him and myself). When I told him I was afraid that he might take it wrongly, he told me he never stopped me from buying things with my own money and that has never been the problem and the fact that I was not working he found that I should not have done such expenses. He also told me that I should not have lied concerning buying stuffs online and blamed him of telling me that I had done unnecessary expenses.
I know my limitations, my relationship with my fiance is much more important than any other things. I want to focus on how I can keep him happy and be happy at the same time. He is talking nicely to me saying that he did not forget things that happened but he cannot even live thinking about the past as bygones are bygones. He wants us to move ahead and live happily so on his side, I can really see a change. the first few days after that incident happened, he was quite cold but he then came to me, giving me a hug and saying that he does not want our past to trouble us and that he wants us to live a relationship where there is trust between both of us.
I told him whatever I could. Things at times tend to skip my mind, I am quite forgetful or I do not realize or remember things that happened in the past. Later, when there is a problem, I see that nothing is in my favor and I can hardly speak. Nothing is intentional. I did not know that I should have said every single thing as I always thought that there are things that we wish to keep for ourselves. Perhaps, we are all different and I need to adapt to this. I am ready to do so and I am even doing it. My relationship is very important and sacred to me. I respect my fiance a lot.
I would be grateful to you if you could give me advice concerning how to keep my relationship healthy, where there is love and trust always (on both sides). Everyone makes mistakes and I do not want my or his past to barge in and ruin our present relationship. I love him and want us to be happy. Thank you so much Leon. Stay blessed. Take care.
Hello again, Anie,
No one can know everything about someone's past. I've been married to my wife for twenty years. We've known each other 26 years, and I still can find things about my past that she hasn't learned from me yet. So, it's ludicrous that he feels hurt that you haven't told him everything yet! That's just not realistic.
It sounds as though he was trying to help you spend your money wisely. But, the truth is, you ultimately get to decide how to use your own money. You need to be truthful about your spending with him. If you think he's right in his spending suggestions, instead of buying and hiding it, just curb your spending. If you think you are using your money wisely, then do what you are doing. There's no reason to keep it from him. You don't need to go to him and tell him what you've bought every time you buy an item, as if he's your father. But, if it comes up, don't keep it from him.
He obviously wants to move forward and leave these incidents behind. That's a good thing. I say you move forward with him and be sure you have open communication from now on.
So, you now need to look to the future and not the past. From now on, have open communication with him. If you need to make changes, do that, and let him know you are working on changes. If you are forgetful, make sure he knows that's a part of who you are, so he won't think you are intentionally ignoring things he's said and done. Communication is the key to fixing these little obstacles in your relationship.