How do you trust a guy that has found nothing wrong with lying to you in the past? An ex of mine from a few years ago reached out to me on Facebook about a month ago, and we’ve been kind of talking ever since. I’ve been shy about going there with him again, because when we were together, he cheated on me twice. Of course with the cheating came the lies. While he said he’s changed, and regrets the past, I don’t want to put myself in a situation where I get hurt again. What should I do here? Should I see where this goes? If I do that, what can I do about the trust issue?
Dear King Raymond88,
Thanks for writing to me. The dilemma you have here is a classic one. Everyone who has ever ventured into the dating world, has at one point probably faced the case of the “returning ex.” You break up with a guy, whether for cheating or other reasons, and think you two are done. Then some time passes, and your now ex comes back trying to reconnect with you claiming he misses you. Then you’re left wondering if you two made a mistake splitting in the first place. Trust me, most of us have been here.
I’ll tell you this, anytime a person is considering reuniting with an ex, I always advise him to stop and access three important things. So, I’ll advise you in the same way. First, determine whether the ex has grown and matured in the time you two have been apart. What has changed about him? Is he a better communicator? Is he willing to make you a priority this go around? Is he willing to be more open about his feelings? Think about some of the issues that caused you to want to split with him in the first place, and determine if he’s worked on himself so you can avoid those issues in the future.
Second, access whether you have grown and matured. We as humans often enjoy playing the blame game. However, often when a relationship ends, both people involved bear some responsibility for that. Even if infidelity occurs between a couple, depending on the situation, both parties could still be at fault to a degree. (That’s another conversation for another day though.) Think about what changes you’ve made within. Are you a better listener? Are you willing to be more attentive? Are you willing to give more of yourself to your partner? Ask yourself if you will be better this go around if you and your ex reunite.
And finally, you should access your willingness to genuinely forgive and move forward. This third point is at the heart of why you wrote me. If you are serious about dating your ex again, it’s important to ask yourself if you’ve really forgiven him for his mistakes, and are able to begin a new relationship with a clean slate? There is no sense in reuniting with a former boyfriend, if all you’re going to do is throw the past in his face like a weapon, or you can’t trust him not to make the same mistakes. Because your ex cheated on you twice, I understand this may be a bit difficult for you. So it’s imperative you think long and hard on whether you can start over with him.
Suggestions going forward.
- Don’t rush to jump back into coupledom with your ex. Take your time to get to know him again to see if you two have changed in a way that will help you avoid the same conflicts of the past. No need to jump back in a situation if you’ll get the same results.
- Again, if you haven’t truly forgive your ex, abort this mission. If you don’t think you can trust him, abort this mission.
- Let me note, that just because you forgive someone and are willing to move forward and trust him, doesn’t mean you have to be forgetful and naive. What I mean by that, is if you two reunite and you notice suspicious behavior again, trust your instincts. Just don’t turn a blind eye. At the same time, don’t be overly paranoid he’s cheating on you. Don’t become that person constantly checking his phone, Facebook, emails, and Instagram. Find a fine line, and straddle it. Basically, trust him not to cheat again, BUT trust your instincts, not paranoia, as well.
- Lastly, don’t rekindle anything with this guy if you’re only talking to him out of your own desires for companionship. If you want a man that’s fine, but don’t settle on an ex out of desperation or perhaps convenience.
As always nothing but love,