Maggie Bain is a Relationship and Intimacy Specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. She is also the only certified Sex Therapist in The Bahamas.
Every week Maggie answers questions submitted to Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with their romantic problems.
Q: “What is the best way to handle third party information where my partner’s loyalty is being put to question? For instance, I have heard through third party sources that he is seeing someone else. I don’t know for myself if this is true, however this is not the first time I am hearing claims as such about him and different women. I honestly want to be mature about this but I also don’t want to look like a fool for staying with a philandering man. Please help!”
And there it is, that seed of doubt has been planted, in your mind. Whether you like it or not, germination has taken place and the roots of uncertainty have started to take hold.
What did they mean, by saying that?
Do they have a hidden agenda?
Have we mutual friends?
You may have wondered about the third party’s intention, in sharing this potentially damaging information. An avalanche of questions may have filled your mind and driven you to scour social media. However, I am imagining this has probably only tied you in knots and fuelled your suspicions.
Without knowing the details of your relationship, I am reminded of how essential honesty is from the very beginning of getting to know someone. I do not know one man or woman who wants to be with someone who doesn’t follow through with what they say, let alone promise.
Words have to match behavior for trust and dependability to grow. If this doesn’t take place, then a solid foundation for a true long lasting partnership is unlikely to become established.
Therefore, I’m wondering…
Did you confront the previous allegations, or did you let them slide?
I ask this because I have grown to understand that situations have a way of repeating themselves until we open our eyes wide and pay attention.
Having said that, I completely understand these are not easy conversations, but they are necessary. Leaving things unspoken will fester and destroy your own peace of mind, and may contribute to widening the gap between you both.
You asked about the mature way to deal with this situation and here it is.
I would suggest pausing, if only for a short while. Breathe and try to pull yourself together to formulate a response, rather than a knee jerk reaction. This is because he will more than likely respond in the same manner to you, and both of you in a heightened state will probably result in an emotional explosion, with nothing resolved. Remember if you have an opportunity to gather evidence to back up your accusations, then this would be wise as there is nothing better than proof to shut down any objection.
Next, think about how and when you are going to open the conversation, as timing is everything. Face it and push through until you are satisfied with the response. Now this may take place in one conversation, or over many. No relationship is alike, therefore there is no predetermined outcome.
Doing this work for so many years, I have been interested in the response from both sides when I open the debate over whether secrets are really lies. Inevitably it brings up strong feelings and opposition, so don’t be surprised by his defense.
“Absolutely! I’m being deceived!” versus “I can’t let you know because I know it’ll devastate you, and it would destroy us. I don’t want that, so I keep it a secret.”
Just know that we can all justify our position, from the stance of Judge or Juror, depending on our own needs; but no matter what, you still need to determine if he is being evasive and perhaps disingenuous.
Lastly, here are some additional tips that may help you in preparation for this difficult conversation:
1) Make a decision. Are you still there because you want to, or because you feel you have no other choice? Settling and accepting why we are where we are, will hopefully over time calm the initial feelings of distrust.
2) Make a list of things you can count on from your partner, and things you can’t. Is there an overlap? Has your partner been remorseful and tried to change their behavior?
3) Consider the possibility that things could improve and that trust can slowly be rebuilt. Have you told your partner what you need to feel secure? Have you thought of ways that they could demonstrate their trustworthiness to you?
Wishing you all the very best!
Relationship and intimacy specialist Maggie Bain– also known as the Bare Naked Coach– has returned to the Bahamas to help local couples repair their relationships. She will be answering questions which she has received for Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with similar romantic problems. The column comes out the 2nd & last Tuesday of each month.
Maggie Bain is a relationship and intimacy specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. Book a consultation at 702-9310 ext. 130 or click here to book an appointment.
Publish Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2023, The Tribune