Can I trust my girlfriend?

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
Here is my story…

I am a 23 year old man who has been dating a 22 year old woman, let’s call her “Ciera”, we have been "talking" for 3 months and dating for the past 5 months. We met a little over two years ago through mutual friends. We enjoyed each other’s company and were talking about getting serious and actually dating. She ended up choosing a guy, let’s call him “Justin”, who she has known for quite some time, also living across the street from each other, and also my co-worker at the time to be her boyfriend. This was around August of 2009. Fast forward to January 2011, I had a relationship that lasted all of 3 months with a friend named “Danielle” from high school who I still have remained close friends with to this day for all of 6 years and found myself dating a lot, but staying single and sleeping with quite a few women. All the while Ciera and Justin have been keeping a strong, constant relationship, talking about children and Justin recently proposed. One night at a bar where a mutual friend’s band was playing, Justin and Ciera happen to show up. In this time, Justin was fired and I found another job. As the night progressed, Ciera gave me her current phone number and decided we should catch up. Over the next month, Ciera and I were having an affair, she was cheating on her fiance, who she and her family both said that she was living in a very unhappy relationship and would lead over to be an unhappy marriage. Now, it is not her first time, her first boyfriend who did drugs and hit her before cheated on her and so she cheated on him and ended up leaving him for her current fiance Justin. Justin was also unfaithful to her as he has once cheated and also does drugs with promises of cleaning up. Those promises were however, very empty. She finally decides to muster up the courage to break things off with him and leaves him so she can continue to talk to me and see where things go without being unfaithful. Things were going great and we were talking, while still staying single. I told her I would not sleep with any other women, only her. She told me she would also sleep with only me. However, on Valentines Day, I told her I was very tired from work and decided to stay home, as she did the same. She called me later in the evening to tell me Justin (now her ex) came over with candy saying sorry and they winded up having sex. She told me she was about 2 minutes or so into sex when she broke down crying, thinking of me and left. She said she was sorry and even though we were both still single, she wouldn’t do it again. I didn’t consider it cheating, but it still kind of hurt. Fast forward again to April and I mustered up the strength to put my single life of one night stands behind me and ask her to be my girlfriend. I told her to drop contact with Justin and she asked me to drop contact with Danielle, again, just a friend who I’ve known for 6 years. I agreed to it anyways. She informed me that she would still have to talk to him seeing as how not only do they still live across the street from each other, but he is still on a few of the bills they once shared. I told her that was ok, but no contact other than that. Over the next few months, he has yelled obscenities at her and made her feel like garbage, all the while saying negative things about me. After all was said and done, she removed him from her bills and he has chosen to be more civil towards her and me as well. Me and her have had some “hiccups” in our relationship, mostly over small things that turn into big things or arguments surrounding Justin. A few of the arguments ended with her ready to give up on the relationship, until both of us realized we really love each other and can’t see either one of us living without the other. After awhile things seemed to be going good until one day she told me she had talked to him on the occasions where me and her were going through our problems and she needed someone who understood her the best. She said he has always been there for her and he knew her deepest problems and how to help her through them. I was very pissed and told her she should come to me instead and from now on, do not answer his calls, texts or remarks and let me know if he tries any of them. She lied about those times and never told me and after one of the times he leaned in to say goodbye and kissed her on the cheek. After that I was irritated and not telling her, had a drink on two occasions with Danielle, my ex/friend. About 2 weeks ago I have decided that the only way I can see if I trust her is to test her. I downloaded an app to create a fake number and I text her saying I was Justin. Throughout the conversation she never text me to tell me he contacted her. This irritated me, but not as much as when I went on to say (as him) how much I (Justin) miss her and the sex we used to have. She agreed and said she misses it too and that she is not happy in the relationship she has with ME and thinks she made the wrong choice. I went on as him, to say that we should get together the following week to have sex…she agreed. I stopped the texting and told her to come by as I missed her and wanted to see her. She came by and I showed her the texts which I have been sending. She was in shock and we had a huge argument and talked for 3 hours. I told her I was done and all I saw was RED. She told me since I have been going out with my buddies a lot lately and taking random nightly walks, that she assumed I was cheating on her but never told me how she felt. She said she was never going to go through with the cheating but said it only because it felt good to feel like she was getting back at me. I told her I have never cheated and never will. She also agreed that she would never cheat on me and she wants to make this work any way possible. I also came forward and told her about me having a drink with my ex. Things were rocky at first but it has been really good. We have been getting along and she says she wants nothing to do with him anymore, not even think about him. A few days ago she wanted to prove it by getting a new phone number. She says only family and her work were going to get it, me included. But she was debating on giving it to her best friend, Beth, who just so happens to be Justin’s sister. They have been friends for a very long time and said she was contemplating giving it to her because she felt that any connection to his family would be bad for our relationship, or just in case he one day sneaks into his sister’s phone and gets the number. Today, she tells me Beth wanted to borrow a dress and since Beth lives with her brother across the street, she came to get one. In the dress exchange, Ciera gave Beth her new number, which worried me, but not too much. So, after all that here I am. I love Ciera to death and want our relationship to make it, but I’m scared. Will she stay faithful and honest to me like I am with her? Or is it a case of the old saying, “once a cheater, always a cheater”? What should I do? How should I go about moving forward in this relationship? Thank you. Advice
I think there is a lot of truth in the idea that cheaters cheat. Trust is very easy to break, and very hard to regain. If you want to continue with Ciera, you should remember that she might not be trustworthy. Leave yourself a piece of your heart that is a private place for only you. This way, if she does cheat again, you won't be completely devastated.

It sounds like you two have a lot of baggage together. I actually think it might be a good idea to let each other go and start fresh with new people. I realize this is very difficult to actually do, but it's something to think about.

-- from Jill
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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