Dear Luise: I have a question that I can’t seem to answer… i have been with my husband for 8 years, married for 4. The first half of our relationship was spent on drinking and drugs. We now have a 4 year-old son, and i am 5 months pregnant. I have been sober for a year, and was sober before that for stretches, but he never was (he works ‘on the road’ and while away was still drinking and drugging but lying to me about it). He has admitted the lies he told and had other people tell for him to hide his addictions. I am seriously committed to staying away from those poisons, and have realized that his using was an excuse for me to relapse in the past. Question: I can’t seem to trust him now, knowing all the past lies. Is he even trustworthy? I see red flags all the time, but he tells me everything is OK. Should I believe him? And, since I don’t, should I leave the relationship? The lack of trust is running me ragged. Help!!! S.
Answer: Dear S. You can’t believe him…that’s a given. But should you take one and one-half children and hit the road? That’s something else entirely.
We all have a different tolerance regarding deceit. Many of us, myself included, have areas in our lives where we can’t even trust ourselves. There are all kinds of addictions. Some put society at risk and some just put the addict at risk. Case in point, my sugar addiction. It doesn’t make me drive recklessly and it doesn’t cost a lot of money, but it seriously damages my health. Sometimes I can trust myself and sometimes I can’t.
Another issue is perfection. Who really can give that and how can the people who demand it deal with their own imperfection? Does anyone always tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth all the time?
Most of us marry with stars in our eyes. We refuse to see or worry about the flaws in the person we have woven into our dream of happily ever after. Others may be able to see red flags, but we can’t or won’t.
Your husband enabled you when you were using. You also know you were still responsible for that. You were growing up and trying to find your path; so was he.
It takes longer for some of us than for others.
What you decide to do has a lot to do with your personality and character. Constant mistrust and accusation will kill your marriage for sure. If you stay, it would be wise to move past the current red flags and just have the guy be the way he is…he is taking you they way you are. Blessings, Luise