Dear Christine, Deciding in Detroit

Dear Christine,  I’m having trouble trusting my girlfriend. She has lied to me about messing w/ other girls but I gave her the benefit of a doubt and stayed with her. She lied to me once more, recently. Now every time we speak either I’m mad at her or she is mad at me. That’s not all. I have a best friend that I’m in love with and that’s in love with me and everything is going great with us. I have been best friends for a year now. I’m trying to decide if I should be with her or stay with my girlfriend. What should I do? Deciding in Detroit

Dear Deciding, You know, of course, that falling in love with someone doesn’t mean that you can make a relationship livable with each other, right? I mean, falling in love is an amazing emotional, physical, sexual, sensual experience, full of chemicals, where the part of our brain that experiences rewards, and addictions, is highly stimulated. Just because you fall in love doesn’t mean that you both share some important, foundational qualities that make a loving relationship lasting. For example: values: does she share the value of honesty the way you do? Trust: What does it mean to trust someone? What happens when trust is broken? Can trust return after it has been broken? If so, what do you need to trust again.
Keep in mind that people are on our best behavior when we are newly dating someone and in that rush of “in love” chemicals swirling around our brains. Later, when we aren’t so filled with what the Japanese call “Love Psychosis” we don’t try quite as hard to overlook some things that have always bothered us or we disliked. If you’re still in the early love psychosis stage (first 18 months to 3 years) with this woman, I can only say that it won’t get any better, and it probably will get worse.
So, consider whether you can be romantically involved with a liar, or if you can even be best friends with someone who has violated your trust repeatedly. Then do what is best for you.

Let me know how it goes for you,

Christine C. Cantrell, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Prism of Possibilities Psychotherapy
3926 Royal Avenue, #A
Berkley, Michigan 48072
[email protected]
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