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My mistress is now my life partner but she is always worried I will cheat on her. How can I get her to finally trust me?

Tagged as: Cheating, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (7 July 2022) 8 Answers - (Newest, 9 July 2022)
A male Canada age 51-59, anonymous writes:

I am going to need some help here. My girlfriend and I have been together for almost 10 years. I met her as a married man, which is when we got involved. We both know having an affair was wrong so I won’t need critiquing on our past mistakes. We have lived with the fallout of having an affair and it has been excruciatingly difficult some days due to trust issues, which are all on my girlfriend’s side. I don’t expect sympathy or empathy here. All I want to know is how to get her to trust me. I have been trying to show her I love her and have been doing my best to treat her right. But we always end up back to square one. She is always worried I am talking to someone else when she’s not around. She says she watched me cheat on my wife with her and has developed anxiety about me doing it to her. I am happy with her but not happy with her anxiety and insecurities. I could use some advice on how to deal with her anxiety due to our past affair. We don’t live together because we have never been able to overcome the trust issue she has. I fear if she lived with me, things would be even worse. She feels I’m not committed because after spending 4-5 days a week together, we still go back to our own homes. But I am committed. I left my wife for her. She has been to therapy. But the demons she’s plagued with don’t seem to be going away. We have to live them. And they are crowding this relationship. Things are good until the anxiety rears it’s head. I see a future ahead, if only she could trust me. Can anyone provide some advice?

View related questions: affair, married man, mistress

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (9 July 2022):

To female anon who said "and there's the rub..."

The problem is the OP's newest life partner (former mistress) is CONFIDENT enough to KNOW HER WORTH! And this is why she questions the former cheater! She knows she is better than the PRIZE she has won! WHAT PRIZE???? And she is confident enough to know the score and that she can find a better man for herself! One who has never kept secrets! If she was not confident, she would bury her head in the sand and let this man keep using her!!!

Women like your "friend" or people you know who claim to be confident for winning someone's leftovers are not confident at all or they would have found their own man, who is single, who would have admired all their attributes and successes. Obviously she was not capable of attracting her equal, was she??? She had to find herself a challenge. What challenge? Most of the men on dating sites are married. They are easy! No challenge there at all!!!

Look, most any woman can attract a flawed married man who has long been disillusioned with his marriage or has personal character flaws that are bound to cause the demise of all subsequent relationships he may have. He is easy pickings! A woman who was confident with herself from the very beginning would not stoop so low as to steal another woman's husband! And if she was not stupid enough to do such a thing in the first place, she would really to be stupid to think she is all that and can keep him in the long run, because the way she won him is the way she will lose him! Sometimes the confidence of a female home wrecker is pretend confidence. They are pretending to be happy and confident just not to lose face! After all that trouble they went thorough to take this man away from his wife, they don't want to lose or let you see any cracks in the relationship!! You are not the one in those relationships, so don't judge. There is a lot you don't know. In private, she may be the most insecure woman ever. But there is no way she will ever let anyone know that, including the cheater she inherited from another woman.

She just turns a blind eye and lets him cheat! That my dear is being a doormat! There is no confidence in a woman who does that! A strong woman who is confident would walk out the door if she even thought he was cheating on her!

OP = your girlfriend is a confident woman because she knows her worth, she has been questioning it all along, and now that she has you, she wonders if you were worth it. And honestly, she does not think so! She is pretty smart if you ask me!!!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (8 July 2022):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntHear that sound, my friend? That is the sound of your chickens coming home to roost.

Your girlfriend knows you are capable of cheating. She will never forget that you cheated on your wife with her. She has absolutely ZERO reason to trust you. You say you love her, like that should make everything ok. I am sure you loved our wife at one time but you still cheated on her.

Ironically, your girlfriend was just as complicit in this affair as you were. She knew you were married but did not have sufficient self respect to not get involved with you. The only difference is, SHE was not the one who was cheating on a partner/spouse.

You can do anything in this life but everything comes with a price tag and you need to make sure you are prepared to pay the price for your life choices. The fact you started your relationship via an affair now impacts your relationship. That is the price you both have to pay for your behaviour.

If you want to be in a relationship with someone who trusts you, I would recommend ending this one, taking some time out to get over it, then look for someone as a free man. Otherwise continue to pay the price for what you did. The choice is yours.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2022):

All you can control at this point is being faithful and transparent over a long period of time to let her see day by day you are not going to do what she fears -- if she gives you that chance. In the end, she will probably always have doubts. We have all heard the saying "once a cheater always a cheater" and "remember how you found him." Even if you are sincere at this point, only God can truly know your heart. If I was giving her advice, btw, I would probably say you cannot trust him. Sorry.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2022):

She knows what you're capable of; and something you've done, and were successful in pulling-off, it's easier the next-time around. I think you're mature enough to know that all of our actions have consequences. If you were a married-man when you met her, it is apparent that not even marriage would deter you from cheating. Although she was complicit in the affair, someone got cheated on in the process. That was the woman who committed to you in marriage.

You are unlikely to gain her full trust. Your prior history, or actions, speaks for itself.

Bear this in-mind, regardless of the shape your previous marriage was in; you didn't get a divorce before you pursued another woman. You were indifferent to your wife's feelings, once you met someone else you were attracted to; hence, you didn't honor the vows you exchanged with her. Your credibility is pretty shot! One would wonder when you might meet the next mistress, or get bored with your present partner? You can't really blame her.

You kept her on the side as a mistress; which required lying and deception to keep her a secret. All the while, you were still married and living with your wife. Does your ex-wife not deserve a little retribution or payback? Considering the fact you cheated, and left her for another woman. Do you not get it? No sir, you hardly need anybody's sympathy; but everyone deserves some compassion. You are human after all.

Women have all sorts of notions and preconceptions about men and cheating as it is. You only confirmed their worst nightmares. Our sympathies or empathy is irrelevant. She's the one who has to live with you. She has her own guilt to contend with. Always wondering when what went around comes around? You don't get-off scot-free and you don't get to win all the prizes. There's a price to pay, and this is it!

Even if you had a really bad marriage; your apathy towards your wife at the time has made an impression on your present partner. You didn't show the sensitivity towards your now ex-wife that your partner fears she'll someday experience as a form of karma. We have to always consider the consequences or repercussions for what we do to other people; because down the road, the people we hurt, and/or abandon, are due their justice. In your case, distrust is your reward.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2022):

And there's the rub!

She lacks self-confidence and yet she thought it was a good idea to be with someone who cheated on his wife with her.

I'm sure you see the problem.

Also, why is she only "your life partner"? Why didn't you marry her? And please don't tell me you ill never marry again or some such BS. You loved someone once enough to marry her. You should be loving your mistress/life partner more since you left your wife for her.

There are mistresses=wives who do not have the problems you mention. They are confident that they are BETTER than the wives their lovers have left for them. What gives them confidence? Some of them are younger, better looking, more attractive... some have other attributes, like money, connections, status... but they themselves have to KNOW that they are better. That's the key. Otherwise, they will always wonder and be unhappy.

Here's an example. A good friend of mine (good friend but a LOUSY husband) was cheating on his second wife (his first wife left him to raise their twins alone when he was 18 years old!) always professing how unhappy he was with her. Of course he was unhappy! He married her so that she could be the mother to his sons. In the end, after many meaningless affairs, he stumbled upon a woman older than him, who could provide him with the lifestyle he had always dreamed about. She helped him enter certain business circles, her family has money... and she is absolutely certain that he will never leave her (and this is true!). She's happy. The fact that he's cheating on her too is something she either ignores or she really doesn't see, because this time around he's extremely careful and respectful of his wife’s schedule, plans... with his second wife he was all over the place as if he had wanted to get caught and free himself from the misery.

It doesn't matter what the truth is as long as someone has self-confidence. Your partner doesn't. The woman I mentioned KNEW that my friend was going to chose her. She’s used to getting her way. But 99% of women who accept to be mistresses have serious issues with self-confidence, otherwise they would have never been with a married man to begin with. Yoko Ono slammed the door to Lennon’s face, because he hadn’t left his wife fast enough for her. Your mistress waited for you to leave your wife. You see the difference?

She thinks that she’s not good enough for you and that sooner or later if you start living together you will get to see who she really is and seek pleasure elsewhere. I’ve seen this with some of my friends who are chronically single; always running around after unavailable men. They have a very flexible moral compass, no wonder they have trust issues. It’s not just about their (potential) cheating partners, it’s about them.

I'm not judging you. Nobody rand from a perfect situation. But there are ways to end a marriage and start a new relationship on much healthier terms.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 July 2022):

I don't think there is an easy solution here, because, let's face it, your mistress-now-girlfriend is not paranoid in being anxious about your fidelity , she is just being logical. You are committed, you say. Sure, but- you were committed to your ex wife too , right ? You married her ! - and that committment did not work out too well. I guess she should feel so loved and cherished by you to believe firmly that yours is all another story and that you love her so deeply that no other woman could ever attract your attention - and I don't know why she does not feel this already , if it's on her (insecurity,low self esteem) or on you ( you did not do enough to convince her that she is the real McCoy and your past relationships instead just mistakes ). TBH , though, I understand how your decision to not live together is surely not the best to show her your committment and devotion. You are committed ,but when the playdate is over you pick up your toys and go home. You are committed ,but you do not want her underfoot because she would nag and annoy you and give you a hard time....Mind you, I am not saying you are wrong - a man ( or a woman ) needs some peace of mind in their own home, and you are not a criminal to be persecuted for the rest of your life by reproaches and accusations. I *do* see your point of view, but, at the of the day, what does it mean ?...that for you your confort ,convenience and ease of life is more important than building a whole life with your partner and accepting her in your life just like she is. Again, understandable , logical...but surely not the best way to show her how deeply and unconditionally you love her.

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (8 July 2022):

Honeypie agony auntEasy answer, OP

You can't.

It's really that simple.

She knows you were willing to cheat on someone you had married, so why not cheat on her too when you get bored or "insert whatever reason"?

Does it mean that you WILL cheat? No. Nothing is set in stone, however, IF she starts to trust you and live as if you never got together by cheating, she thinks it would be even more devastating if SHE ends up in the same boat as your ex-wife.

80+% of MARRIAGES that started out as an affair do not survive. Relationship stats are even lower (as in people who date the affair partner).

Does that mean you are "doomed"? No. But you both might come to realize that long term you will always have a huge ass elephant in the room looming over you.

Moving in together BEFORE you two figure out a way to sort this out will probably be disastrous.

"She says she watched me cheat on my wife with her and has developed anxiety about me doing it to her."

Funny how that goes, isn't it?

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (8 July 2022):

mystiquek agony auntHonestly? She may never fully trust you. I know its not what you want to hear but considering the way you started can you really blame her? Its probably guilt but its ingrained into her that you cheated to be together and if you did it once why Wouldnt you do it again? If she has been to counselling and that has not worked I dont know what else you can do. You can reassure her and let actions speak louder than words but it seems the seed of fear and mistrust has become deeply implanted in her. As for you, eventually her behavior you wear you down. You eill get tired of it, annoyed by it and may just walk away because who wants to live under constant mistrust? Survelliance? She either loves and trusts you enough to let go or she doesnt and apparently she doesnt. Many affairs end this way. In the end love just isnt enough to hold together a relationship that did not start on solid ground. Sorry but thats just the way it is.

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