Can you ever really trust again?

Once someone has betrayed you, can you ever really trust them again? There's an old saying: "Once bitten, twice shy", which basically means that once a person has been wronged, they will be twice as careful the next time around. But is that always true, and once betrayed, is trust really lost forever?

For me it is. I can say for certain that I will never, ever completely trust a person who has done me wrong, in a relationship or otherwise. Not that I can't forgive, because I can, but can I ever let my guard down again? Nope, not me, because being guarded is my natural response to betrayal.

I know some people who have been cheated on, have forgiven their spouse, and completely and totally trust that person again…or at least they claim they do. Perhaps since I am both an investigator and an infidelity survivor, I have more trust issues than most. Yet for me it is a far greater issue than that. In my opinion, something is irretrievably lost when an adult looks me straight in the eye and lies, regardless of the reason, especially if the person is someone with whom I've taken vows. Now, I'm not talking about the little white lies we all tell (ie: "No, you don't look fat in that!"), I'm talking about MAJOR things like affairs and double lives. Sure, I can forgive, and I can even move past the pain, anger and disappointment, but completely trust again, it's not happening.

So what I need to know is, am I off base here? Are most people able to offer the person who betrayed them a clean slate if enough "crow" is eaten, or are you like me and believe in the old adage; "Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me"?

I'd really like to know.

Danine Manette-Ultimate Betrayal