My girlfriend and I have been together for four years.
I've done some things that I am not proud of, and I swear I won't ever do again. I lied, I cheated, and I neglected her sometimes. She did put me in my place a few times. I didn't realize I got so bad that she moved 500 miles away from me. I went after her eventually...because I love her and realized she was right all along.
The thing is, I was young when I did these things. I have a problem and I will always look at other women, but I'm mature enough now to understand that acting on carnal male instinct is not worth it. I understand how much her love means to me and I can't explain how she is even able to look at me after what I've done. Like I said, I was young. Late teens, early twenties. I was a young, stupid kid. I screwed up, I made mistakes...and then I grew up.
I have been faithful to her for a long period of time, but it just doesn't seem to be good enough. I feel like sometimes when she looks at me, she's disgusted, or doesn't know why she's here. If I start befriending another girl, she will basically shut down and try to detach just in case anything happens. It's like she's preparing to get hurt again so she detaches so as not to be affected as badly. I don't want to hurt her and I don't plan to.
I just don't know how I can ever heal her heart. Is a piece of her always going to hate me? Is she always going to hold my mistakes against me? I don't expect her to trust me 100%, or to be head over heels for me again. I just want her to feel comfortable and secure with me. I don't want to hurt her. I don't want her to be in pain. I don't want to see her cry. I don't want her to see me as the jerk I have been in the past.
And not to try to justify anything, but she has lied to me before and reasoned that it was none of my business. She has never cheated on me or anything but I guess she's acted out in ways that may have been feeble attempts at getting back at me. I just don't know what to do.
I try to show her I love her and care for her, but it's almost as though she's dead inside to me. Like she has no love left to give. I know she loves me, but she's definitely not in love. I can tell she's on edge...I never know if she's secretly planning to leave me, or considering seeing other people or assuming that I am going to do that to her. I don't know if she leaves our bed because my snoring is really bothering her, or if she just doesn't want to be near me. Sometimes she cries and I can't figure out why she's suddenly bursting into tears.
She's so irritable, depressed, and her mood swings are just...completely irrational, but I know a lot of it is my fault. I've gotten better about supporting her and calming her down instead of getting angry.
It's just...so hard to keep it up when she gets triggered and is just mean to me. She can't be nice to me for a whole week.
How do I gain her trust and respect back? She is...my girl. I want her to be with me and stay with me. I want her to love me and see that I am changing for the better, for her, for us.