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Friday, March 6, 2015

Can a Dark Skinned Woman Find Love in the LDS Church? - Part 3: The Importance of Trust

Dear Bro Jo,

That was not at all the answer I was expecting, but that's ok.

I feel the need to further clarify my boyfriend's thought process.

He is divorced.

His ex-wife was a promiscuous girl before their marriage, but she was in the process of repenting and he accepted that.

Three years later she cheated on him.

Needless to say he has a set of trust issues that stem from her tasteless actions. Since then, he made a promise to himself to only date virtuous girls.

This is the part where I came in.

He was under the assumption that I had made one mistake in my life, but I haven't. To be frank; I've made several.

Not to the magnitude of his ex-wife, but surely enough for him to get the feeling of de ja vu. During the time my boyfriend was courting me, but before we were official, I was hanging out with another guy.

He wasn't LDS and I didn't really see any future with him, but we hung out anyway.

And he and I would make out.

My boyfriend doesn't consider that very virtuous behavior on my part and it took him a while to accept that I was kissing another guy while he was an option in my life.

He didn't kiss me until we were officially dating.

I feel like that situation (which comes up constantly) planted seeds of doubt and I just watered them for him.

He wishes that he had known about the entirety of my past before he had made such serious future plans with me.

He said he's having a hard time seeing me as the same girl.

I'm disappointed that I did not tell him earlier.

Maybe we would be together and maybe we would not, but at least he would have had a chance to make a more informed decision.

I'm not telling you all of this in hopes that your advice will change; I suspect that it will not.

But I don't want you to think he is being evil toward me. I understand him.

I am in love with him.

And I want to be with him.

But I won't spend the next 50 years apologizing for mistakes I made in my late teens and early 20's.

The Lord has forgiven me and I have forgiven myself. I'm just afraid if I put the ball in his court he might walk away from me.

I truly do want to be with him.

But the longer this email gets, the more I realize it's not really my call to make anymore.

Thank you for all of your help.

- Chocolatey

Dear Chocolatey,

I agree that you shouldn't have been making out with a man whom you had no hope a future with, but both you and your boyfriend need to understand that courting is the period of time when we get to know each other better; one does not go into a first date and mention anything and everything.

That is not only ridiculous, it's dumb.

And unrealistic.

Someone I see as a bit of a mentor told me once that many people are confused about the value of "love" in a marriage. They see love as the most important thing. Love is nice, but the truth is that even the best couples don't love each other all of the time.

That's reality.

Trust is one of the most important things in a relationship.

It's HUGE.

Your boyfriend had his trust violated because his ex-wife cheated.

I get that.

(BTW - Divorce is never totally one-sided. Ever. I expect him to tell you what a shrew she was; and he's likely very right; but it's important for him to tell you what mistakes he thinks he made in the relationship and whether or not he sees those as things he's fixed. If he feels he had zero responsibility for the failure of the marriage, that's another Huge Red Flag, and sign that you need to move on.)

Your boyfriend needs to be married to someone he can trust.

So do you. 

I see no reason at this point why you should trust him any more than he trusts you.

It's worth repairing, but only if each of you is willing to do the work.

Lopsided relationships are doomed.

So no, none of what you said changes my original advice.

If you can't learn to trust each other, then you need to set each other free.

And, yes, you need to make sure that he understands that he's violated your trust, too.

For the record, Sister Jo absolutely agrees with me.

And, just so you know, The Importance of Trust has nothing to do with race.

We started this conversation all that time ago because you were worried that someone of your background wouldn't be able to find an Eternal Companion at BYU.

I'm still not convinced that's true.

Nor do I think you, or any other person (girl or guy, whatever their race, background or color may be) should ever commit to someone they don't trust or that doesn't trust them.

You're all worth more than that.

- Bro Jo

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