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Terrorized by the thought of drunken cheating

jojijung

New Here
I am new here. I have no idea if this is the right place.
I'm 50 and I grew up with an alcoholic mom who did drugs and was promiscuous. I can barely remember my child hood but I was traumatized and had a narcissist abusive dad physically and neglected me as well.

My girlfriend of 4 years. She loves me to death but she has an attention seeking behavior and decided to keep in touch with multiple men and ex boyfriends for validation because she was abandoned as a kid by her Dad. Literally left on her own since she was 5 in a house with no one to talk to barely. I did not know this attention seeking was going on behind my back. She is also heavy drinker. One night she came home 2 hours later than she said and was wasted. It triggered something in me to spiral down a rabbit who of terror which I never experienced. She admitted to all these attention seeking behaviors and let me look at her phone. She said she kept it a secret because she is terrified of confrontation and getting in trouble. There was no flirting or anything bad in the messages. We literally spend all our time together so it doubtful she was sleeping around and I believe her. But she did admit to past promiscuous sexual behaviors from the past that she did when she was drunk and high on Coke. I never knew she did Coke. She was coerced into sexual acts while high and drunk so she kept it secret out of shame and afraid of loosing me. She kept that a secret from me because I am the first boyfriend she has had that did not do drugs and treats her with respect. Once I heard all of this. I went into full blown panic attack mode. the combination drugs, booze and sex and that she was hiding her need for validation from me even thought there was no cheating or flirting. I am in a downward spiral. I'm struggling to trust her because she kept so many secrets. She is doing everything she can to be there for me and make it right. She quit drinking and blocked all the guys she was talking to because she did not know that would send me down a rabbit hole. She is working with a therapist on being vulnerable and opening up. letting go of being perfect.

Now I am terrified about her past. I have some insane phobia of drugs and alcohol induce promiscuous behavior that cripples me. Im so scared she is going to be wild like this again. My mom must have done this.

How do I trust her again. I feel it is easier to leave and be with someone else who would not do lies of omission and have such attention seeking behavior. but we are so compatible and we get along great. She is amazing to my daughter and my family loves her. I don't want to give up becuase of my fears and phobias. she knows she has this problem. We are in couples counseling now. Becuase she was single for a decade mingling after her abusive husband she got used to her single life and did not think texting mulpliue guys was a problem if she was not flirting or trying to hook up. It was strictly people pleasing and validation seeking. now she knows it is not respectful and the lies of omission and has extreme remorse for hurting me. She is in insane pain too. And terrified of loosing me over this.

I need to find peace with my demons but can't figure out why the association between alcohol and coke and being promiscious terrorizes me. Plus her fear of opening up and being vulnerable. she try to be a perfectionist makes me have trouble trusting her since she does lies of omission to not get into conflict or fight with me or seem less then perfect.

Please help if anyone can relate.
Thanks
 
She’s not your mum.
how can you work on believing that?

she has a past. Everyone does. She has ex’s, who doesn’t? She remained in contact with them. Nothing to see there too.
the drink and drugs, she has explained, the previous sex, she has explained that some of that was abusive to her as she was coerced. That is terrible for her, and something she needs support with. And no wonder she didn’t share immediately
It’s not keeping a secret but now being able to share her traumas.

sounds like if you can work on stopping projecting onto her, then you can trust her.
the trust, or lack of it, sounds to me more about your past as opposed to her past. i.e. she doesn’t need to do anything different.
 
l. I'm struggling to trust her because she kept so many secrets.
So you base trust on NOT sharing your secrets with your partner?

Believe that there should be NO discrimination (tell strangers and loved ones absolutely everything about you, at all times… rather than learning to be selective with how much you share, with whom, and under what circumstances?

Yep. That’s definitely a distorted core belief to work on.

Where I would personally start is looking at my own disclosure process / IE my own secrets, and to whom I share them with… because that would give me an idea about the time frame I’m imposing on others, as if they were myself. When? In reality? Many people take much longer to trust, than I do (looks like it took her 4 years to trust you with this, and you still responded in the 2nd worst way / 2nd most hurtful way possible), or much less time; or have different circumstances/criteria for what builds trust.

Once I understand my own framework? It’s easier for me to see/understand other people’s more clearly.
 
She kept that a secret from me because I am the first boyfriend she has had that did not do drugs and treats her with respect.
Sounds to me like it wasn't something she wanted to do - and she is happy you are keeping her away from that world and those things - because it helps her be faithful to you, because she loves you.

It also sounds like she has enough of a level of trust that she wants you to help her stay away from that world, and is thankful for the way you treat and respect her.

She is herself - not other people in your life that have hurt you. This is more her telling you she trusts you to NOT put her in situations where bad things may happen than saying "I might do this in the future".
 
How do I trust her again.

Well, she let you look at her phone and by your own accounting there was nothing wrong with the messages she sent. Her past history is hers to share as she sees fit. People don't owe you this information, not even those you are dating. So she wasn't lying to you by neglecting to tell you. Nowhere in this has she displayed behaviors that broke trust, so you will have to cope with your phobias and the like by first recognizing that she isn't responsible for them.
 
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