Question: Dear Luise: I am in love with a guy who cheated on his wife when he was married before. They’re divorced now so it’s not an issue except for the threat that I feel goes with it. He insists that he’s past that kind of behavior and wants me trust him and marry him. I want to but I’m scared. Penelope
Answer: Dear Penelope: Trust is a very illusive concept to try to pin down. You could marry a guy who was faithful in his first marriage and he could decide to cheat on you. Or you could be the one to stray. Yes, yes…I know “Not no none of me!”
I have written this before and I will continue to repeat it. The only way you can make any substantial statements about trust is in retrospect…as in “well I’ll be darned, we’ve been together for thirty years and both of us have been faithful!” And even then…where’s the proof?
Does that sound jaded? It is. I have been shocked over and over again in my own life and in the lives of those close to me to see where trust was warranted and where it wasn’t. And I’m serious about our never really knowing for sure. There are people who have been happily fooled for a lifetime. We loudly affirm that we “know” and then we just hope for the best.
I realize that your guy looks like a bad bet, but I have seen preachers that looked like a sure thing and then “slipped”. You are going to have to go with your gut instinct…sad but true. If you decide to give it your best and he wants to give it his, that’s about as good as it gets.
No one has a guarantee. Some of us never break and others of us are terribly fragile and don’t look that way. Once you know that every promise that is made at the altar, (well, let’s amend that to most of them), is meant sincerely at the time, make yours from that place and let life unfold. It’s pretty useless to let the odds scare you into non-involvement. That’s no life at all. Blessings, Luise