General Question

May2689's avatar

How do I gain back my reputation and my boyfriends trust?

Asked by May2689 (1289 points ) April 22nd, 2009

Hi there! This is a personal question. In order for you to understand, Im going to provide as much personal details as I can. Please, feel free to discard this question if its not of your interest.
Well, last summer I made a huge mistake. It involved alcohol( lots and lots) and well.. another guy. We just kissed… but because we were both in Europe for the summer, we remained good friends, though I was certain he wanted to be more than friends.
This is the hard part: I have a boyfriend. I love my boyfriend, I really do. I love him with all my heart. It was just a stupid mistake and I swore it would never ever happen again, and I didnt tell him. I thought it would just go away.
How stupid of me to think that, because this guy I made out with told EVERYONE. All our friends and acquaintances. I just wanted to ignore it and I prayed my boyfriend never found out. That didnt happen. I stopped having any kind of contact with this guy or his friends.( The guy does not live in the same city I do, but we still have lots of friends in common because we went to the same highschool, as well as my boyfriend as his friends)
My boyfriend found out eight months later. It was absolutely devastating for him and I felt terrible, how I could ever do that to him? After lots of hardwork, he forgave me and gave me another chance.
But now, all his friends think im a mayor sl**t, wh**e, etc. One of his friends actually told him how I made out with other boys and kept cheating on him( which is absolutely not true). And thats all I know about… there could be millions of other rumors about me.
And worst of all, I lost my boyfriend’s trust. Though Im starting to slowly gain it back… it looks like a long way to go.
Do you have any recommendations or ideas on what should I do with this whole situation? My friends tell me not to worry, that it will pass, but I need a second opinion…
How do it gain back my reputation, and how do I gain back my boyfriend’s trust?
If you read all the way through here, I really appreciate it. Thank you.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

31 Answers

jonsblond's avatar

Rumors are terrible. If my husband and I believed all the rumors that were told to us to try to break us up, we wouldn’t be together (18 years now). You need to concentrate on your relationship and just ignore the terrible things that are being said. You can only prove to your boyfriend through action. If he loves you, the two of you will get past all this high school drama. Good luck.

edit: High school drama= rumors.

gambitking's avatar

While I believe this was quite a long-worded question, you seemed to capsulize a lot in the few paragraphs, so by all means you deserve an answer.

First of all, I think you should step out of the situation for a minute and try to gain an outside perspective. It’s tough sometimes, but you really need to ‘take yourself to 5,000 feet’ as some of my friends in Houston used to say.

If you’d examine the big picture and consider these events from an objective view and – most importantly – away from all the influence of the circumstances in your head, you’d see that you may be overstressing things.

The main thing that hit me in the head reading this was “DRA-MA!!!” You should confide in the fact that 90% of these seemingly hellish events is just fluff, mostly dramatic perpetuation caused by people that create chaos for amusement. It is a youthful trend and an unavoidable reality.

Seriously just step back, forget about the microcosm in your circle of friends and look at the big picture. Stop worrying on uncertainties and if you really trust in who you are and that your actions warranted little of these consequences (which I think kissing a guy while you had a boyfriend is VERY MINOR although not the best idea), then you shouldn’t concern yourself with the drama of those other so-called friends.

“You wouldn’t worry so much of how others spoke of you in your absence, if you knew how little they did”

Good luck

May2689's avatar

thank you both for your advice!!! Every day I realize how these people need to act as if they still were in highschool…

dynamicduo's avatar

There’s really nothing you can do here. It’s all up to your boyfriend, whether he wants to let you back into his life or not. Breaking someone’s trust really does hurt.

Regarding your reputation = fuck it. No offense here, but reputations don’t matter, especially your reputation as viewed by people who would judge you as being a slut for kissing a guy (ridiculous in my opinion, sluts actually have to have sex) or who would willingly spread worse rumours about you. This “friend” of his who told him how you kept cheating on you with other guys? He’s not a friend you should be around, let alone care about whatsoever, he’s a teeny minded jerkoff who wants his friend back and who will say whatever he thinks could hurt you.

My suggestion for you is to just go on living your own life ignoring what these numbskulls think or say. Be there for your boyfriend, but don’t tell him each day how sorry you are, otherwise you’re not letting the situation die down. Just keep being the girlfriend you are being. As painful as this situation was and is, you have learned something from it, and are a better person as a result of it. Good luck.

elijah's avatar

First of all, let’s keep this in proportion. You only kissed a boy. This does not make you a slut or a whore. You can not earn back your reputation because if people don’t like you they will continue to talk shit. That’s just part of life. Ignore them. You need to sit down and talk with your boyfriend. Tell him you made a mistake, you are very sorry. Tell him you understand that he doesn’t trust you now but you are willing to work on the relationship if he wants to. You have to understand his pain, but at the same time this does not give him the right to make your life hell. If he can’t work past the anger, the relationship is never going to work.

westy81585's avatar

I hate to say it, and it’s just my opinion, but if I were your b/f you would never regain my trust. In fact I have a standing policy that I let all g/f’s know of, that I will not put up with cheating whatsoever and would dump them immediately. Even just kissing.

That may just be me, and that may be a bit harsh, but that’s just how I feel about it. I don’t think you’re a slut or a whore or anything like that though if it’s any consolation.

If I were ever cheated on (and to my knowledge I have not been). The only option to “keep” my trust and me, would be to not tell me and pray I never find out. It would be devastating for me, but I wouldn’t put up with it.

May2689's avatar

@westy81585 : I understand what youre saying. That was me a year ago, until I did this.
@elijahsuicide: I will ignore these people, thank you.
@dynamicduo: His friend IS a jerkoff!! Hes one of those guys who goes out with every girl he meets and has one night stands( not judging, just saying that he REALLY enjoys single life). I can see why he would say that (to make my boyfriend dump me and get him back), but it hurts because he doesnt even know me. I havent seen him in like a year and a half, he never talks to me or anything. I dont think he has the right to say those things about me… but as you said, fuck it. Stupid guy.

qashqai's avatar

I think the hardest part is not the kiss itself. Is the fact your boyfriend discovered eight months later, from another person.

You are absolutely not a mayor sl**t, wh**e, etc. You are just someone that lied to her boyfriend. Concentrate on him. Ask sorry a thousand times more. Leave out all the rest.

cwilbur's avatar

Look at it from your boyfriend’s point of view. How would you feel if the situation were reversed?

Imagine that he went off to Europe for the summer, and kissed a girl, and stayed in contact with her. And this girl was interested in him romantically, and told all her friends that she and he were a couple. And then you found out that he did kiss her, and that he did stay in touch with her. Would you trust him?

And then your friends tell you he’s sleeping around. Well, you thought he was trustworthy, and you know that some of your friends like to stir shit, but he did kiss that girl in Europe…..

How long would it take you to trust him again? Is there anything he could do to speed it up?

May2689's avatar

@cwilbur: I see you point. If the situation were reserved I would give my boyfriend hell. I’m so grateful he gave me another chance…
The only thing that comes to my mind is: Actions speak louder than words. And thats exactly what Im doing. Im proving to be the most amazing girlfriend there is, despite what other people think.
I just have one doubt: should I say sorry a million times more or just leave the subject?

dynamicduo's avatar

I highly suggest against saying sorry all the time, because it only brings memories of it back up. Say your piece once, tell him you truly are sorry and it won’t happen again and you have learned from this (seems like you’ve already done this), and let it go so it and go and die in the corner!

May2689's avatar

@dynamicduo : Thanks! I wont bring the subject up again.

wundayatta's avatar

I think this lingering mistrust is a good sign of lack of communication. I think it would really help if you guys could have an honest discussion. I wonder why he is holding this against you for so long. It is a sign that there’s more going on than a kiss. A kiss is nothing, except maybe in the Bible belt.

I suggest you find out from him what is really going on. You will have to find a way to listen to him without getting defensive. Somewhere in there is a source of the mistrust which goes deeper than kissing. He may also have questions for you, about why it happened and what it meant to you. I know you think you’ve explained this, but he still may not understand. You can’t read his mind. You have to talk.

Also, I’m not clear on your ages. You say you’re out of high school, but what kind of situation are you in? This sounds so high school or small town. The dude who you kissed also sounds like a jerk. Who would brag about a kiss? Big deal. The other people responding to these rumors sound pretty parochial. They’re making a mountain out of a molehill. Maybe they don’t like you for some other reason. Anyway, I don’t think you can do much about your reputation. If people are talking, they will continue to do so, until something more dramatic comes along. If you want, you could move somewhere else and make new friends.

May2689's avatar

@daloon : We live in a very “closed” society. Im twenty and my boyfriend is twenty three. We’ve been together three years.
We all attend college and eventhough we’ve left highschool behind a long time ago, many of his friends still act as if they still were in high school. You know, their lives revolve around gossip and who’s more popular and all of that stupid things youre supposed to be glad you left behind.
Something you wrote made me wonder: that he doesnt understand. I already explained to him that I wasnt thinking straight, but he still “needs a why”. When he asks me this, I dont know what to answer. I didnt like the guy, I was very intoxicated( which is not an excuse, I know), and I just did it… I dont know what else to say to him. The good thing is that he hasnt asked me this for a while now… and I think things are getting better…
I thought about moving back with my parents… but its such a coward thing to do right now. If things dont get better in a while, I’ll definetly move back and start all over.
This definetly looks small town. ( Ironically, I live in one of the largest cities on earth). But ugh, this society is so close minded and stupid.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

If you love someone, you don’t romantically kiss someone else. That should be a sign for you. Alcohol, in my opinion, is just a bad excuse. He (the boyfriend) is most likely not the one for you. The thought of you being unfaithful will be in the back of his mind whether he admits it or not.

May2689's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet : I didnt romantically kiss that guy. I dont want to describe the situation on how it happened…But I can assure you that my motive was not cheat on my boyfriend. I’m not using alcohol as an excuse, it’s just the state I was in. I feel awful and nothing like this has ever happened before!!

westy81585's avatar

@May2689 In response to Russell’s comment and your response. I understand where you’re coming from. It sounds as though it really was nothing to you. The problem is that for some people (and I don’t know if your b/f is one of them, but you probably do), a kiss can mean everything. Even if it meant nothing to you. If my g/f right now kissed a guy today, even if it was just cuz she was COMPLETELY obliterated drunk and meant absolutely nothing to her… it would mean an immense amount to me. Kissing may not be the most physical romantic thing you can do, but to me at least, once you’re in a relationship kissing becomes a VERY important thing.

You’re lucky in that your b/f obviously is willing to give you another chance (like I said before, I wouldn’t have put up with it at all). As far as your effort to win back his trust, I honestly believe you probably never will regain it entirely. Even though he may grow to trust you again, and even largely forget about this incident, it will likely sit in the back of his head to some level.

My suggestion is to be DAMN sure it never happens again, and accept that there isn’t anything you can do to cancel this out (in other words he will always have “something on you”). And be thankful you have a forgiving b/f.

elijah's avatar

You were in a romantic city, you were drinking, you probably felt lonely. You just wanted to feel close to someone. At that moment, you weren’t thinking clearly and you kissed someone else. All people give into temptation. I think he’s more upset at the lying part. It probably would of worked out better if you told the truth immediately, but you were scared. It is easier to hope he never finds out. Then you don’t have to confront it.
Anyway, now it’s all out in the open. If he loves you he will understand you made a mistake. It will take time for trust to build up again, but that’s normal.
I’ve made mistakes before, I’ve gotten caught. We hashed it out for a few days, I let him vent his anger. We decided to get past it. I told him if he loved me he wouldn’t throw it in my face. He never did. But I busted my ass to prove he could trust me.

May2689's avatar

@westy81585 : Thank you. I am eternally grateful to have a forgiving boyfriend and… yes, youre right. I probably wont ever get his trust back, but I will try and try. And I wont certainly happen again!!!
@elijahsuicide: I think that you are one of the very few people( by people I mean my friends) that kind of gets why I did it. And Im very thankful for that. Most people instantly associate cheating with lack of interest in your relationship or many other horrible things. Cheating is terrible, I know, but its nice to know that someone out there is cutting me some slack.

wundayatta's avatar

Explaining why: it really sounds like a moment of temporary insanity. Alcohol certainly can lower your inhibitions and your rationality. It can make you temporarily like people you don’t like. Maybe you plan on avoiding drinking so much in the future, or maybe cut it out entirely.

I think your bf should be able to come to trust you. I did far worse. I cheated. My wife seems to have forgiven me. However, that is, in part, because she was also complicit in our separation of souls. For years, we were more like a corporation than a loving couple.

So, in my case, the cheating was an inconsiderate response to a loss of love. I was desperate, and didn’t know what else to do. There may have been another factor, too. Not temporary insanity, but real mental health problems. It was this cheating that lead to my diagnosis as bipolar.

In any case, my experience makes me wonder if maybe there was something that had come between you. Something more than distance and availability of someone else, combined with alcohol. Some loss of connection that maybe you were subconsciously angry about. I don’t know. These things can play a role without us knowing they are there. Sometimes it takes therapy to uncover them. Again, if there is something like this, and you do talk about it, you must use “I” statements. “I felt this.” “I felt that.” That’s what was going on when it happened. Do not blame him. However, if he loves you, and there was something he did or felt, then it might open a door for healing. Two-sided healing.

This is another concern. As it is now, you are always thinking you are in the wrong, and you are the one who has to apologize, and that you must make up for it. He could be taking advantage of this. However, if he really loves you, he will tell you to stop. He can’t stand it any more, and he wants you to be an equal couple, not such a lopsided thing. Things are never black and white. Always more subtle than that.

May2689's avatar

@daloon : it looks like cheating can come from all sorts of places. With you, like you said, it was a response for loss of love. And the thing that got my attention the most was that you suggested that this problem may come from other things besides my drunkness and my care-free attitude. I will certainly look into it.
Last but not least, I dont know if my boyfriend takes advantage of my forgiving and apologizing state. However, he was repeteadly stated that he wants me to be sorry for what I’ve done ( like to really feel it). And I really feel it! I am really really sorry…just because Im not lying there on the floor begging for forgiveness doesnt mean that I’m not sorry. How can I make him see this??

zephyr826's avatar

I had almost the same experience when I was studying in Europe during college, only it was with a stranger. Like you, I chose not to tell my boyfriend about it, because it meant nothing, and I was ashamed. He never found out, but we broke up a few years later due to not being in the same place emotionally. I think that you need to ask yourself whether you two are there. His giving you another chance is great, but his bringing the matter up time and again does not sound like he’s forgiven you at all. You need to have an honest discussion with him about where you are, and how it makes you feel, both the original offense and the response to it coming out. If you can explain to him (once) how sorry you are, but also be rational about how his harping on it makes you feel, maybe the two of you will be able to continue your relationship in a stronger, healthier way.

MissAusten's avatar

Working things out with your boyfriend is a challenge, and I don’t think I can address it any better than others here already have.

However, if I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t just ignore the people spreading these rumors around. I’d confront them. I’m not saying you should beat them up or get into a screaming match, but handle it like an adult. The “friend” who said you were sleeping around needs to be called on that kind of lie, not allowed to get away with it. Next time you see him, ask to speak to him privately. Look him straight in the eye, and calmly tell him that you know he said “She did this and this” (use his exact words) and that none of it is true. Tell him how it made you feel to hear what he said, and ask him to stop spreading lies about you. Maybe he’ll get defensive, maybe he’ll apologize, and maybe he’ll think twice before doing it again. If there are other people saying these things about you, you should have the same conversation with them. It might not accomplish much, but then again, it might nip further rumors in the bud. At the very least, they’ll see that you aren’t going to put up with that kind of behavior.

At the same time, ask your boyfriend to stick up for you. If he hears his “friends” talking about you like that, he should step in and make it clear that he isn’t going to put up with it. If the two of you don’t play into the drama, it’ll fizzle out.

This isn’t just advice I read somewhere, it actually works. When I was in college, I broke up with a long-time boyfriend that was also friends with all of my friends. I was at a school several hours from home, and this ex-boyfriend told my friends I had a drinking problem, was cheating on him, and had started doing drugs. None of those things were remotely true. My friends actually believed it, but were too scared to ask me about any of it (all these friends were from the same small midwest town). I don’t even remember how I finally heard about it, but it sucked. I called the ex-boyfriend and told him to stop, then called my friends and asked why they’d believe such things. My friendships were a bit awkward for a while, but by the next time I was home on break things were back to normal. I’m still friends with all of them, but the ex-boyfriend isn’t.

hug_of_war's avatar

There isn’t a quick fix. You betrayed him, it takes a long time to process that and move on. I suggest just keep on going in the right direction. I don’t think you should ignore the rumours. If you hear something negative about someone you love all the time, it can really start to wear you down and plant doubts in your mind. He doesn’t need any more reason to not believe and trust you.

filmfann's avatar

All you can be is what you are. If he knows you, he knows what you can do.
Some people just want to believe the worst about good people.

May2689's avatar

Thanks a lot for all your answers.
@MissAusten: the friend lives in Madrid. But when he comes to visit, I will most definetly have a chat with him. And the other thing you said, about telling my boyfriend to stick up for me, I will definetly do that too. I really dont think I deserve to be called names like that especially by this guy who doesnt even live in the same city we do. And my boyfriend should stick up for me, not play dumb.
About the trust… I know that my relationship may have changed forever, but I dont think its all doomed. My boyfriend mentions “this” less and less each day..

Thank you all for your great advice. I really appreciate it.

Garebo's avatar

Sounds, like you have gained your boyfriends trust? As for imbecile friends I would let them think what they want, if you and your boyfriend our comfortable and happy with yourselves that speaks volumes, and his friends will hate it-so be it.

Response moderated
FervidusLupus's avatar

I just went through the same thing, except I fucked up worse. I cheated on my boyfriend, and yes I know I didn’t deserve a second chance. My boyfriend and I have been together for just over 2 years and we’ve broken up twice over small things… and our time apart was very short, both were mutual decisions because we were unsure about things. We live 20 miles apart, I go to college (its the end of my first year) and we can barely go more than a week without seeing each other. We’ve always been very close, best friends, and even now that he has given me a second chance, he still opens up to me more than most people.

Anyway, it was 10 months ago that I make the biggest mistake of my life… It was the second week of college, and I know I fucked up.. I knew it then, but I buried it and I thought if I never brought it up, it would go away… or i had hoped. I gave a guy a blow job.. nothing more, we didn’t even kiss and he didn’t even get to touch me because i wouldn’t allow it. He was a friend, and i was assiting him, so there was no romance. I was curious and i acted on it, foolishly. There is no excuse and there never will be. I’ve thought about everything, no i’ll never forget what I did, and i’ll always regret it. I am well aware of how much i fucked up.

The worst part of this is, from the very beginning when we first met, he made it very clear to me that he had trust problems from past relationships. I don’t mean serious problems, but like moving in with a female was never going to happen again and marriage was out of the question. I am 19 and he is presently 31, so he’s gone through everything… he’s been through it, lived it and I haven’t. I’ve learned the biggest lesson of my life. I’ve already deleted most of the guys on my facebook that aren’t really good friends and who i don’t often talk to, especially anyone I would be potentially attracted to. I’ve vowed never to find myself in a situation like that again. And i plan to stick to this.

Its been 2 years, and even though i’d never considered it before, I was ready to spend my life with this man. I’ve been ready to move in with him, it’s just been a matter of waiting for him to be as well. When the shit hit the fan, so to speak, I found out the next morning from him that he had planned to propose to me when we went on a trip to see a Twins baseball game. He was going to propose to me on the target field…. And i’m sorry but that’s a HUGE deal coming from him, and I’m sad even now… every time i think about it, I KNOW with all the strength of punch in the face, that i… his soul mate, his love, the one he trusted with everything… I fucked up.

By the way, the way it all went down was he had gone into my second facebook (trying to get into my main one, the second one is for facebook games, ha. I know, i’m a nerd, right?) Anyway, he got into my second one because he knows my normal password for everything, and he read my msgs… in december, a guy had been trying to get with me, one i’d never met before. I’d rejected him on several occasions, even deleted him from my main facebook account and his phone number, until I had to start making excuses to get him to leave me a lone because he wouldn’t take no as an answer… that’s what my boyfriend read. The guy asked “i’m horny, wanna fuck right now?” and i responded “i’m at work and i’m sick”.. to my boyfriend, that implied that i would have… when i reality, i didn’t want anything to do with this guy.

Well the next morning, he wanted to talk… we did and he asked “have you been completely honest with me?” i knew what he was talking about, so i confessed. I told him, “no.” and i told him what I had done 10 months prior. We talked, i cried, and it was over. He wanted space. I won’t go into how much of a mess i was the days following, but 4 days later, we got back together…. those 4 days felt like weeks to both of us. We were communicating, we talked and I was honest and so was he. He said he chose me.

It has been a week since we got back together again. I find myself thinking about marriage more and more, because his sister.. his boss, his friend knew.. and who knows who else… And i’m ashamed to face them, and ashamed for my boyfriend as well. When he told them that, what could he have felt? I humiliated him.

I guess thats why, something so small, so stupid (which is important to me… I changed my status to in a relationship, and he didn’t.) I think maybe he told more people, and that’s fine, whatever… but could that be why he hasn’t changed it yet? I’ve brought it up to him, but then i took my request back thinking i’d rather have the reward of him changing it on his own.. but its a slap in the face everytime i visit his page and see his status. Makes me wonder if he is embarrassed to be with me now? Ashamed? Maybe he wants to have his options open? Maybe seeing if it will work, so he doesn’t have to have people comment several times and feel sorry for him if he ends up changing it back to single again later? I don’t know…

Things are basically back to normal, except the small things like that. We’ve never lived together, but I want to when he gets his new apartment. I want to clean and cook and be his little domestic girlfriend. I take care of him, I love and adore him and i feel we need to take a step up for me to be able to prove to him how sincere and determined i am to be honest, loyal and to earn his trust back.

Anyway, that’s my ordeal… and i’m posting this for 2 reasons.. I need anon people to know, give me feedback and I wanted to share it with the person whose thread this belongs to.

wundayatta's avatar

I had love affairs with several women online, one of which even entered the real world for a few days, and my wife still took me back. I’ve cheated and been cheated on multiple times in my life.

Relationships survive. I’m not sure it’s a good idea to say over and over, “I fucked up.” That focuses on the past and I think it’s more fruitful to focus on the future.

It is not axiomatic that if one partner cheats, then the relationship is over. A lot of people talk that way, but that’s not what happens in the real world. Usually people have a lot invested in the relationship that makes it hard to just take off. Marriage and kids are some of the things that make these issues complex.

Apologize, sure. But the rest of it is work. And usually people focus on the cheater, and not on the other partner. In most cases, these things happen because the relationship is in trouble, not because one person is morally defective.

Afterwards, you have to rebuild trust. Counseling can help here. It’s harder to do it on your own. Feelings—you have to learn to understand and deal with feelings. You can focus on feelings and let them run your life, but that’s not the only choice. You can also learn to let feelings go, and work on what you really want to do. Is it necessary or helpful to feel wronged all the time? Is it necessary or helpful to feel like you fucked up all the time?

I don’t think so. But it is not uncommon to be unable to get past your feelings, and in such cases, you probably will not be able to rebuild trust. One person will hold it over the other for the rest of the relationship—which probably won’t be long. Nor should it be long. If both people can’t let go of this, there’s not much point in staying together.

actuallery's avatar

I’m sure that if your boyfriend had gone to Europe instead of you that the same thing would have happened if he got chatting to a girl. Kissing isn’t that big of a deal but you should have told your boyfriend when you got home from the trip.

Even so, go tell that other guy that if he doesn’t stop telling fibs, you will lay slander charges against him and he must admit to your boyfriend that the alcohol-fuelled romance was a thing that didn’t go anywhere.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther