Two years into the relationship he left his email open and I found the Craigslist ads, dating site profiles, etc…, but he eagerly agreed to couples counseling and we met with an expert in sex addition for over a year, making deposits into the “trust bank”.
As you can imagine, the story didn’t end well. Lo and behold, despite his trust deposits…. he was still cheating.
BUT THE TRUST BANK!
Yep, the reader was making deposits, and assumed (probably because there was a licensed sex addiction therapist involved) that cheater was too, and her Trust Bank got robbed. All her hopes and dreams were gagged, duct-taped to a chair, and pistol-whipped.
What dopey therapist came up with the Trust Bank, and how is this a Thing? I don’t know, but it’s a tenet of the Reconciliation Industrial Complex and can be found at the Healing Library at SI and some site called REAL marriage, among other unicorn outlets.
Gee, Chump Lady, you bitter harridan, what do you have against rebuilding trust?
For diplomatic missions overseas, or consumer confidence after an eColi outbreak? I’m fine with it. I am, however, skeptical of trust-building’s efficacy with people who have willfully abused you.
Here are my beefs with the Trust Bank:
1.) It’s a terrible metaphor. Banks are regulated. By federal agencies. Your heart is not. The Trust Bank seems to be entirely ginned up so that the chump feels like they are DOING something. Look! A trust deposit! We have a structure! And a metaphor! We can SAVE this!
Cheating is not an over-drawn checking account whose coffers you can refill with a little adult-like money management and a part-time job. Cheating is abuse. The RIC isn’t just asking you to wait patiently for your bank balance to fill, its asking you to go into business with the person who just robbed the bank.
Oh, and not only invest with the bank robber, but do it uninsured. Investment without a safety net! Because isn’t that what trust is? The whole idea minimizes the tangible harm of infidelity.
(To any unicorns reading — trust bank all you want to. Please still get a post-nup.)
2.) The Trust Bank assumes accountability. Oh hey! He let me see his cell phone! She gave me her passwords! We are building incrementally toward MORE TRUST! Baby steps for the Timid Forest Creatures!
Do not question the Trust Deposit. More deposits will be forthcoming!
But uh, it’s one deposit. Which really has nothing to do with the off-shore accounts in the Caymans. Cheaters tend to bank in more than one place, if you catch my drift.
3.) The Trust Bank traffics in the false equivalency of two bank accounts. Chump and cheater are both supposed to be making deposits. Sure, the cheater has a zero balance, but cheater needs assurances that you won’t just bail on them. They’re very delicate now. Won’t you make a good faith deposit?
Ugh. Chumps aren’t responsible for this shit. Nor should they offer assurances, let alone be expected to shore up cheaters on their “trust issues.” YOU JUST GOT CHUMPED.
So, how can you rebuild trust? For the chumped, it is always an act of faith. ALWAYS. The cheater can yes, do the honorable thing day in and a day out, words aligning with actions, but you will never un-know that they are capable of casual betrayal. There is no fiduciary mojo or imaginary bank balance that takes away that risk.
And if that doesn’t convince you, read about the joys of twitchy hypervigilance here. Let’s UBT, shall we?
To start with a clean slate or a zero account meant that he had to bare his soul and lay it all on the table. This brought him back up to zero. After about 3 months I was able to start letting him make deposits. Deposits started small…for example, every time he told the truth about something that he would have lied about in the past he got a deposit.
Bitch cookie! What a GOOD BOY!
Noble how you’re weaning him off his steady diet of constant lying. And “letting him make deposits”? You’re LETTING HIM? Every day truthfulness should be a given. It’s not 12-step.
But yeah, right, you’re supposed to believe this is all about your hesitancy and your inability to trust him. “Letting” was the tell there, Twinkles McUnicorn.
He was to have no contact with the other women at all. Any attempts at contact by the OW’s were to be brought to my attention and he was not to read anything that was sent to him by them.
Try tethering his dick to a post. I hear that works.
He got a deposit when he brought an unopened envelope from one of the women and gave it to me. In the past he would not have given it to me in an attempt to not hurt me. He has now learned that would have hurt me more…because eventually the truth comes out.
HE MADE NO EFFORTS NOT TO HURT YOU. Dude gets envelops! ONE of the women? There were MANY women sending him Hallmark valentines? WTF?
Oh goodie, he gets a deposit and you get a singular kibble. The unopened envelop of his deceit.
Sweetheart, this is sad. Really, really sad. Yes, eventually the truth comes out, but you have to believe it.
He earned deposits when he was, where he said he would be. He earned deposits when he said “hey listen to this voice mail, I think it is her voice”. He earned deposits when he said “I got an email from her and I didn’t open it. You come deal with it.”
HE IS TORTURING YOU! He is GOADING you into the pick me dance! Come DEAL with his fuckbuddy email? What? Widdle sad sausage can’t hit the delete button?
Chumps, see what you’re missing?
The Trust Bank got robbed. Take your business elsewhere.