Hard to Trust
Q: I need to know how to tell if a man is telling the truth when he says he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. I'm 48, and my guy is around most of the time but occasionally can't make dates or leaves when we're talking on the cell phone. He's around most nights. Does he have someone else or is it my imagination? He did cheat in the past but he says he wants this relationship to work without my asking questions of him all the time. I have mixed signals since he meets me for breakfast (always has), sometimes lunch, and we see each other almost every weekend. Should I trust this man again? -- Donna
Dr. Susan: Sounds like you see this fellow a lot more often than many dating couples. The thing is, if he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, it would seem that a marriage proposal would make sense. If not right away, then soon. Most importantly, if he doesn't want you asking questions all the time about his whereabouts, he has to take it upon himself to make it clear where he is and what he's doing, especially when he breaks a date. After all, he's the one who cheated and thus he has to make it possible for you to rebuild your trust in him. I suspect your imagination is getting carried away when you think he's got someone else on the side, but if it happened once, it's up to him to SHOW you he's faithful now. Asking you to trust him simply isn't enough, though I'd at least try to give him the benefit of the doubt.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.