It’s hard to admit I have trust issues in my marriage. Even sitting in front of our therapist, his direct question hanging in the air between us…
Do you trust him?
…I wanted to say, “Yes, of course, I do. He’s my husband. Why wouldn’t I?”
But instead I gave a very clumsy, complicated answer, trying hard to be as honest as possible ( one does that when one is paying a fortune to get advice from a nationally acclaimed sex therapist…one cannot afford to waste minutes like little gold coins):
I trust him in lots of ways. I trust him with my life…with our finances. But I guess I don’t complete trust him emotionally or sexually.
Of course, if you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you likely remember a few things that might be causing this lack of trust.
It began when he suggested swinging as a way to pull ourselves out of our post-baby sex slump. I wasn’t really interested, and at first I felt sort of betrayed, like this was just a ploy for him to fuck other women under the guise of having permission to do so. I felt like he was trying to replace me. But my self-esteem was low at the time. I had a new body, and sex was difficult after my hysterectomy. I learned better, and I did have some good times during our swinging years, but it didn’t erase those initial feelings of fear. We’ve played a few times since, and while I’m not against swinging, it’s not something I’m drawn to or want to do all the time. I’m perfectly happy with just one guy.
I was the one to first request D/s. Though, back then, I’m not sure I knew exactly what I wanted out of it or why. He tends to jump on new things and take them further and faster than I’m ready for, which causes a bit of strife. This journey was no exception.
He contacted someone online, before telling me. Someone he wanted as a second sub, which we also hadn’t talked about. His fantasy, I’m sure, is that we would all do this together. But, not only was I upset that he contacted someone without my permission, I was also not ready (would I ever be?) to share our D/s. It was an intimate thing between us, or so I had thought. But I caved. Because back then, that’s what I did. I gave him his way because that is what it felt like a good wife should do, and I wanted him to be happy.
I was naive, of course. Because all I was doing was making things worse for myself, which would, in turn, make things much worse for us both later.
It was during this time that I began to see that he would never be fully sexually happy with a “vanilla” sex life. And it terrified me. Because what if that is what I wanted?
We went back and forth between not having sex, shutting down, and pushing our boundaries way past what I was comfortable with. And because we weren’t communicating well, it was like an avalanche, slowly gearing up to take us both down.
He brought up polyamory about this time. And while I could wrap my brain around it, I couldn’t figure out how to make it work for me, which meant I couldn’t figure out how to make it work for us.
We were at an impasse. If he had a lover, he knew it would make me unhappy. But not being able to be himself made him unhappy.
Que the crash. Separation. Near divorce.
And that’s when he headed off to clear his mind on a road trip. Only he didn’t go alone. And he didn’t tell me…for months.
And when I found out? Yeah, I broke down. Because it was a total wave of information that I wasn’t expecting.
He’d had months to deal with it, so what had maybe started out that big for him wasn’t as overwhelming when he got to the confession. In fact, it probably felt pretty good to unleash it and get it off his conscience.
And because of that, I guess I never really processed it as the betrayal that it was. I just piled it on to the rest of it in the back of my mind.
That’s what I do. I eat my feelings. I write about them later sometimes, but I rarely talk about them. Confrontation isn’t my gig.
Anyhow, even though he promised never to do something like that again, it’s still there. It’s never going away. I don’t resent him for it. Hell, I forgave him pretty much right away, because I could understand why he did it.
But it doesn’t erase the damage done to my trust in him.
I want to trust him. I want to let go, be vulnerable, fully enjoy our intimate connection. But I worry he won’t go at my pace. I worry he’ll push me, and then be unhappy when I refuse to go, or demand to go slower.
Likewise, I know he has trouble trusting me. When I’ve spent years saying I liked something, only to admit I did it just to make him happy. When I’ve promise to change or try, and then haven’t.
Neither one of us is innocent. We have both hurt each other over the years. But the thing about a long term relationship is that there are gossamer strands that hold it all together in the weakest spots giving us time to heal, if we are willing to put in the time. We are like one body, and the cells within us regenerate, as long as the injury isn’t terminal. So far, while some of the breaks have been severe, they haven’t been “the end.”
We are survivors. We are soul mates.
And we are also human. Fallible, confused, yet capable of great growth and change.