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Baggage, Baggage Everywhere

08 Feb

What do you do when you’ve been lied to, cheated on, have left the guy and are now dating someone else? (And WHY is it so difficult to take one’s own advice? LOL!!!)

As you may’ve guessed, this subject also came up in another group — and as you may have also guessed, I’ve been there and the advice I gave is precisely the advice I need to remember whenever I’m dating.

So…

What DO you do when you’re in a relationship with somebody new and you’re still dealing with the feelings of distrust brought on by an ex’s actions?

At some point you have to trust that the new boyfriend is being true to his word (unless he’s given you a real reason to think otherwise). What you’re really dealing with is “baggage from your last relationship.” There’s really no polite way of describing it; it is what it is; baggage. Baggage that until it’s dealt with effectively will drive you utterly and completely bat-shit crazy.

You can’t presume to think the current BF is likely to let you down because of what ANOTHER man did to you in the past; they are two different people.

True, the current beau isn’t perfect (none of us are; we all have our flaws) but if you feel the need to judge, judge him on “the flaws that HE may have” — not the ones your ex- painfully revealed toward the end (of that relationship).

If you keep expressing feelings of anxiety and distrust toward the man you’re presently seeing, basing such distrust on what happened in the past with your ex, he will eventually tire of explaining himself over and over and will simply call it a day and leave. (After all, be honest with yourself; isn’t it highly likely you would do the same if the roles were reversed?)

There is nothing you can do about the past other than to “accept that it’s there and learn from it.”

Moving forward, however, you have to remember that your past IS the past and the man you are now dating is an entirely different person. It isn’t fair for you to assign to him, the distrust your ex did (in the end) deserve … all while refusing to give the current boyfriend the “trust you freely gave to your ex- back when you and he first started dating.

In closing I would say, “Don’t ignore any obvious signs of cheating” but at the same time, “don’t go LOOKING for trouble either.”

What we go in search of, we’ll find. (It may not be ‘real’ — but we’ll ‘find’ the evidence to justify the search all the same.) I know that this last bit of advice seems to go against everything else I just said, but it really doesn’t. All I’m saying is, “Don’t ignore what’s REALLY there — but do not assign, to the poor guy, evidence of things he really hasn’t done to date.”

For those reading who have had their trust violated, if it makes you feel ANY better, just know that every one of us who has been cheated on or lied to has been in the same damn place that you are today. LOL. It takes time to deal with the baggage that an undeserving ex-boyfriend leaves us with when we start our lives over without the cheater in tow.

Namaste,
Michael

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About The Author

54-years old and determined to sail through life with a smile (but sometimes brash as hell). LOL. Born and raised in Carlsbad, New Mexico but having lived more than half of my life in Texas. Raised with a strong faith in God but describe myself more as simply a faithful person rather than a Christian. (Too many people rely on their religious 'beliefs' as an excuse to maintain a closed mind rather than emulate the loving nature I believe Jesus Christ did represent.) Registered as a Democrat but fiscally I'm probably more likely to identify with the Republicans. Am equally disgusted with both parties at the moment and tired of the status quo in Washington, D.C. I'm a spiritualist who believes you should reach for your dreams and believes you can attain them, for the only thing that really stands between you and your goals ... is yourself. Favorite quote of recent is "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, the present is a 'present' (a gift)..." —Author unknown

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  1. Kristi Northcutt

    March 5, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    It is unfortunate when an innocent gets painted with the same brush as their predecessor, but he can at least take solace in knowing he is not the one with a problem, and can walk away, guilt-free anytime he decides he has indeed, had enough. But what about when this person you cannot allow yourself to trust, whom you constantly question, and whom you boldly accuse of lying and cheating, what if he is the one who taught you to distrust in the first place? What about when you take your boyfriend back after you find out he cheated on you? He cannot, in good conscience suddenly declare one day that he is sick of not being trusted, and tired of not being believed, and simply walk out the door, can he? But as the one who was cheated on, is there a way to let the baggage go? Or would that be plain foolish? I understand that I should never have taken him back unless I was willing to let it go, and start over afresh, but is that realistically possible? In my case, I expected him to come clean about his sordid affair, telling me when and how it began, and where they would meet, and how often they would meet, and what lie had told me in order to get away. You see, I had just found out that I had not been living in reality for some time. Things I believed in had never happened, and things I never imagined occurred instead. I have a real need to understand my own life, so in a very real sense, my mental health depended on having these questions answered. He had said he would tell me about the affair, but it seems he never really is. My mind is constantly seeking to understand, so I immediately came up with possible reasons he wouldn’t tell me. One is he is too embarrassed to speak to me frankly about it, although he isn’t really the sensitive type. Another is that he is sorry the affair didn’t work out, and he wants to keep it to himself because telling me anything would tarnish the precious memories of a very special time, and the third is that it isn’t really over at all. I have no clue which theory is correct. But you can see I obviously don’t trust him. When the ex that hurt you and your current lover are the same person, is trying to stay together only postponing the inevitable break-up? Is it possible to call these feelings “baggage” and to set them aside? Is it even advisable to do so? Your thoughts written here triggered me to write this long and boring paragraph, and to give someone a glimpse into my real life, which is something I seriously never do. Do you have any answers for me? Personally, I can look at someone else’s situation and it’s crystal clear to me what is going on. But when it comes to me, I can’t see anything. It’s all murky and I don’t know what I’m doing or where I am going. I am my biggest mystery.
    (Sorry for turning your comment section into something I’m sure you never intended it to be).

     
    • MichaelM

      March 7, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      The first thing that stands out in your comment is, “I understand that I should never have taken him back unless I was willing to let it go, and start over afresh…” I remember you, from school, as the sweet, trusting girl who never had anything bad to say about anyone so I know what’s in your heart (or think that I do). None of us should be expected to “forget” what somebody has done to cause us pain so you shouldn’t beat yourself up for not being able to let go (forget) and just move on as if nothing bad did happen in the past. What is foolish (and really, that’s a harsh word — perhaps we should agree to us ‘unwise’ instead) is not learning from those past experiences.

      In order for the renewed relationship you now have with your BF you must find a way to forgive.

      It’s equally true that in order for this not to become an ongoing issue within the relationship, you’re going to have to reach some closure on the matter, which means being able to let go of the past and see the present for what it is. (FYI, if you bring it up to him going forward as if to say, “See, here’s what you did ‘then’ — and now you’ve proven me right to think you’d just do it ‘again'” — well, you haven’t found closure and haven’t let it go. You’ll get no judgment from me if this happens; I have a terrible time letting go of the past. But if you want your relationship to have half a chance of surviving now — you MUST find a way to forgive and move past the hurt he caused you with the infidelity. If not, it’s better for the both of you to go your separate ways.)

      It may be best for the both of you, if the love is still there and saving the relationship is the goal, to seek couples counseling. You both need a safe space to talk about what led up to the infidelity. Either he was never fully committed (the two of you weren’t operating on the same page) or something occurred over the course of the relationship which made him “feel” as though he should seek the company of another to meet whatever needs he felt weren’t being met in the relationship.

      (That sounds as though I’m judging you; I’m not. I’m just trying to be unbiased and give advice, as difficult as it is to take my own, that I think will be the most beneficial. A good counselor won’t “solve” the problem for you but will in fact make it easier for you, or in this case the both of you, to solve it yourselves.)

      I’ve been single since leaving my abusive ex in 2001 and while there are definitely things about being in a relationship that I miss, I miss none of them enough to “settle” for somebody who doesn’t love me and fully respect me for the person that I am. You shouldn’t either so if he’s unwilling to talk it over with you at home — and as well, isn’t willing to discuss it in an atmosphere of couples counseling — then he does not care enough about your need to bring closure to what has happened in the past in order to have a healthy relationship in the future.

      Hugs to you Kristi! I hope it all works out and we should get together to visit next time I’m home visiting Mom. (I should have messaged you when I was there for Christmas but it’s always such a busy time of the year, I didn’t want to intrude. LOL)

      P.S. There is no need for an apology. That’s what the comment section is for. *wink*