Group Therapy: How to solve trust issues

When I asked about your biggest marital struggle, several of you mentioned trust issues. The surrounding circumstances varied, but the upshot was the same: you didn’t trust that your spouse loved you or would continue to be there for you.

My solution to trust issues is somewhat spiritual and deep and tough for me to explain in words. It’s possible that I will explain it so poorly that no one will get it and everyone will comment about how it doesn’t make sense and would never work in real life. But I’ll toss it out there anyway, just in case I manage to describe it effectively.

The solution lies in knowing that trust is an act of faith. It’s a choice. I, for instance, don’t know for a certainty that my husband will come home tonight. It’s possible that he might meet a beautiful woman on the street today and the two of them will decide to run off to the Swiss Alps together where they will take part in extreme snowboarding for the rest of their lives.

It’s possible. But I’m not going to worry about it because 1) it’s not probable 2) if my husband did move to the Alps with some snowboarding floozy, there wouldn’t be anything I could do about it.

The truth is that you can’t trust anyone in your life 100 percent of the time because you can’t control other people. Everyone in your life – including you – is a deeply flawed human being. If these folks were not flawed, they would be divine, enlightened or on the verge of being canonized as saints. Because they are flawed and because they do not share your thoughts and opinions, chances are they will indeed let you down one or more times.

This doesn’t mean they don’t love you. And this doesn’t mean that they are bad people.

Now it’s quite possible that your spouse has given you good reasons to stop trusting him or her. Assuming you’ve addressed that issue and assuming your spouse has apologized and promised to make amends, then you might as well stop worrying about the “what ifs.” The more you try to predict the future – What if he lets me down? What if he cheats? What if he walks out on my marriage? – the less trusting you will become.

You can’t control the future, and worrying about it probably won’t help you prepare for it, either. You also can’t control your spouse.

But you can control you. You can take steps to do everything possible to stand on your own two feet. You can become so confident that you will know—without a doubt—that you will okay whether your spouse is in your life or out of it. You can be the best spouse you can possibly be, too. You can be someone who is warm, compassionate, forgiving, and loving. You can ask for what you need. You can talk about your fears. You can grow. You can be a leader. You can be a big person with a big heart.

And you can live in the moment. You’ll deal with whatever happens in the next moment once it gets here.

Those are choices you can make. Those are all things you can control. Whenever you find yourself thinking, “What if he…” stop that thought and tell yourself, “I am not going to waste my mental energy on that right now. Instead I am going to focus on what I can do instead.” Then shift your thinking to what you can control: your actions and your thoughts.

Readers: What do you think? What have you done to build trust? What has worked for you? Do you struggle with trust issues in your relationship? What are the stumbling blocks for you?

Note: You also might want to read these related posts about trust issues, how to get past an affair (take #1) and how to get past an affair (take #2).

UPDATES

* I would love if more of you commented on How PHEA Changed Your Lives.

* I’m giving a book signing this Saturday. You can find details and RSVP here. During the signing I will be raffling off a free Romance Swag Basket donated by Eden Fantasys.

* You can listen to my radio interview with Bruce Kelly on Secrets of a Romance Writer’s Husband. Here I talk about romance, communication, marriage and more.

* At The Writer’s Place, I talk about what caused me to fall in love with writing. So do several other writers.


46 comments… add one

  • Angela P. February 7, 2011, 11:54 am

    Wow! I like this one. My only single problem is it will not work with my personality. I am a certified worrier. I can’t get certain thoughts out of my head sometimes. I guess I am a little OCD.

    I love how you say that you can’t control another person but you can take steps to be self sufficient. I may still worry about things but I know that I am a lot more comfortable knowing I can take care of myself no matter what happens.

    I have survived one divorce because of being cheated on. I may hurt but I know I will survive.

    I really love all of your posts!

    Reply
  • chuck February 7, 2011, 5:34 pm

    1 – on another christian women’s site, a question was thrown out about how they felt when the husband was on top, and the most common answer was ‘vulnerable but safe.’

    2 – i love the old archie and mehitabel stories, and I remembered one entitled “the lesson of the moth.” in questioning a moth on the reason they sought immolation on candles and lights, the moth replies,

    we know that if we get
    too close it (fire) will kill us
    but what does that matter
    it is better to be happy
    for a moment
    and be burned up with beauty
    than to live a long time
    and be bored all the while
    so we wad all our life up
    into one little roll
    and then we shoot the roll
    that is what life is for
    it is better to be a part of beauty
    for one instant and then cease to
    exist than to exist forever
    and never be a part of beauty

    Trust in marriage is knowing that the one you love is worth the total sacrifice, and willing to be vulnerable to “roll your life up into one little roll and shoot the roll.”

    * link for the story: http://www.donmarquis.com/readingroom/archybooks/moth.html

    Reply
    • Reese January 13, 2013, 3:24 am

      I love this. Great story.

      Reply
  • Pink Kitchen February 7, 2011, 10:51 pm

    I think the hardest part about trust is when someone’s given you a good reason NOT to. Choosing to trust after that is tricky.

    Reply
    • Silvie April 16, 2014, 11:11 pm

      Exactly! Trust wasn’t even in my vocabulary the first few months until my current man gave me a reason NOT to trust him. Only then did I start having thoughts about whether or not something may happen.

      Now this isn’t the worst part. He isn’t even reassuring. He simply says he understands how I feel but doesn’t offer comfort or reassurance. If he did, I would be long over it by now cuz I would see he is putting in effort to help rebuild that trust. But he’s not.

      Reply
  • Maureen February 7, 2011, 11:56 pm

    You are so right. The only one you can trust 100% of the time is yourself.
    I can’t explain why I trust my husband. Its just something I know based on 10yrs of experience of living with him. I have faith he will never mess with me. I always told him I had enough garbage from the first marriage and if I ever caught him fooling around I would be “gone like the wind”. I don’t have time to put up with that sort of thing. Not any more. If I was younger it would be different but not now

    Reply
  • Lenny February 8, 2011, 7:52 am

    You are right, trust is a choice. Everything we do is a choice. I used to live with a lot of what ifs and fear about my wife cheating on me or leaving me. Learning that living in the fear and worry is holding me back from being the person God made me was a big shift forward. Fear and worrying is an unsuccessful attempt to control what cannot be controlled. Focusing on what I can control helped me. No one can stop me from loving my wife and no one can stop me from become the kind of person I want my wife to be. Children learn a lot by example and I believe this is true for adults. People become more like those who we associate with. I also have learned that the fear and worry about my wife cheating or leaving was projecting on to her my insecurities as a result of childhood abuse and my first marriage ending because my ex-wife cheated. Since I love my wife I made the choice to trust her more a little each day and sometimes it was more each hour. Where we are right now is the sum total of our choices.

    Reply
    • KEITH August 22, 2012, 7:42 am

      i really appreciate wat u have just sed,those are true words from a person with morals an who values his relationship!what you have spoken about is where im at but as you say its a choice,now im choosing the right one!thank you

      Reply
  • Beth February 8, 2011, 10:58 am

    Thanks for the words of wisdom. Even though I knew what you wrote to be true, I needed to be reminded. Sometimes when you’re in the thick of it, it’s hard to step back and remind yourself.
    My hubby has given me reasons to not trust him and those discrepancies hurt me badly. I have had a hard time getting past it and trusting him again because I am tired of being hurt emotionally. It seems each time I take that leap and trust him, I find out something he either lied about or just didn’t tell me. They are not trivial things, either so I do become upset.
    I know by not trusting him, I am only further damaging our relationship. Each day is a chance to step forward but at times, it’s very hard to not live in the past and worry what he’s up to now. What he’s being dishonest about. But in the end, it’s only ruining me- w/ worry and anger.
    Only time and consistency of new behavior can convince me to trust him. But I don’t know how long it will take.
    Still working on it.

    Reply
    • hbs January 28, 2014, 5:18 pm

      You have to take care of yourself. If he is a pig that is on him. Hold your head high.

      Reply
  • Drummer Guy February 8, 2011, 4:05 pm

    Excellent post again Alisa. So very true. I personally have never had a big issue with trust but was in a couple of dating situations where it was a HUGE issue. I don’t know if it was more of a trust or jealousy issue but I assume they are one in the same. One lady I dated had HUGE jealousy issues. It was just one of the reasons I broke it off.

    Personally maybe one reason I don’t worry about it much myself is exactly what you wrote. Maybe worded a little different though & involves most infidelity.

    1) If a person IS going to cheat on you then all the worry & mistrust in the world isn’t going to change that. They either will or they wont. If anything constant accusing, checking their phones, email, mail etc may actually drive them to it.

    A fellow musician friend of mine had a GF with a HUGE jealousy issue. Every time his band played a show & it was out of town he came home to a barrage of accusations. She would call the hotel for a record of phone calls from the room & would call every number to see who answered. She even went as far as to “check his underwear” for signs of another women. I kid you not.

    Well he finally reached a point of “well if she is going to keep accusing me of it I might as well do it”. HOWEVER he didn’t do it because of his morals & eventually broke it off with her. The sole reason for the breakup was the jealousy & lack of trust. So in a case of they have never even given a reason not to trust but the other doesn’t it can be REALLY destructive.

    In my life my beloved has never really had a problem with trust. She has always known that I am not going to cheat & I have never given her reason to be concerned. She has also seen through my actions that I am here for “Better or for Worse”. If I haven’t left after all we have been through with this illness I think she can be assured that I am in it for the long haul. This post made me ask her why she is so secure & she said “That worrying about it wont change the outcome” Also pretty much the same thing. “If you haven’t left after all this you are sticking around”.

    GREAT Post Alisa
    Ron :-)

    Reply
    • amanda February 13, 2012, 11:08 pm

      RON, EVERY THING FROM YOUR REPLY I AM LIVEING RIGHT NOW BUT ONLY I AM THE ONE CHECKING THE EMAIL. PHONE S THE 20qS, THE OTHER NIGHT HE WENT TO A MEETING AT WORK HE CALLED ME SAID HE WAS DONE A LIL AFTER 7 AND I STOOD AT MY WINDOW TILL 945 ALL THE THINGS GOING THRU MY HEAD AND IT MAKES ME SICK ,IT S SO HARD TO BE LIKE THIS I ALWAYS PUSH AWAY MY LOVE ONES THE ONES THAT ARE THE CLOSES TO MY HEART. AND I HAVE TRYD SO HARD TO NOT BE LIKE THIS I JUST DONT NO WHER TO START ..WICKEDBLUEIMMORTAL..???????????

      Reply
      • Nailtech October 1, 2012, 9:49 pm

        Hi Amanda
        I am you to some extent!! My husband of 24 yrs had an affair! Then my relationship that is on the rocks right now didn’t break up with his girlfriend before he met me…i only found out one month later when we were already quite involved. Now to four years later and my trust issues are through the roof and those issues have ruined our relationship! So tonight I found this site and am hoping to gain some good idea’s of how to work on me!!!

  • Rollercoasterider February 11, 2011, 11:31 am

    Alisa,
    You have distilled trust to choice and faith. Beautiful. I agree that it is a spiritual issue. I think that trust is the active—verb—form of faith. But why did you think it would not make sense to many? Maybe because of the idea that it is spiritual? Your readers responded (at least publicly) with praise and agreement.
    Maybe you need to trust in your ability to explain and your readers’ ability to understand!
    Faith is about possibilities, what a person can do; trust is about what a person will do and is based on experience in the context of present conditions. Past experience influences trust, but circumstances change and a once faithful spouse has an affair or betrays trust in some other manner. Trust once given is not permanent; it is not unconditional like agape.
    Rebuilding trust after betrayal is the challenge because there is a time to withhold a time to give tidbits and eventually a time for complete trust—which may not be 100% but may be 95%. Knowing when to give is the hard part.

    Reply
  • Kathy February 11, 2011, 3:34 pm

    I’m just finally catching up. Got back from vacation yesterday. I’m not reading the other comments before posting my own, since I tend to forget my train of thought if I read the other comments first.

    You’re blog totally hits the nail on the head. I used to have trust issues with my husband for no reason other than I had bad relationships in the past. Once I went with the thought: if he’s going to cheat or hurt me some other way, there is nothing I can do about it beforehand. What that boiled down to for me was: stop acting &/or treating him as if he’s done something or going to do something. It was making me be a bad person. And then that negativity in my head caused me to say stuff that my husband didn’t deserve.

    There is NOTHING anyone can do to stop another from cheating or straying or leaving. But if you’re secure in yourself their actions can’t hurt you the same way as they can when you’re not secure with yourself. (Alisa, I think you explain this better.)

    Reply
  • Ellen April 10, 2011, 6:58 pm

    I thought what you said was right on target, but it’s so hard to take that leap of faith and jump. I don’t believe I trust anyone 100%, I’ve been let down too many times, and I just haven’t found the courage to take that leap yet. But I am so hoping that I do someday, because I don’t think that there could be a better feeling than just trusting someone with all of your being. My husband and I have been going thru a rough patch and I just hope that we see our way thru it and come out on the other side, wiser and stronger for having gone thru it. I can only do the best that I can do today. I’m a first time visitor to the site, but enjoyed what I read and plan to come back.

    Reply
  • Roxy May 16, 2011, 2:00 pm

    I am having some issues with trusting my mate, whom I’ve been with for 10 years. He has never cheated, but I get severe anxiety every time either of us go out of town alone or even when he works late. He doesn’t go out on his own, unless away for a conference. I sometimes make excuses not to go out on my own at times. It all comes back to my lack of trust. I have always been this way with men. It goes back to living with a single mom who had boyfriends who broke my heart when they left her. I know I have issues, I know what they stem from, I just don’t know how to stop being a psycho crazy woman who is probably driving her husband away! I have checked his phone, e-mails, and it makes me feel terrible. He does stay in contact with an ex and I try to blame my insecurities on that; but I know they run much deeper. Some advice Please!!

    Reply
  • george July 20, 2011, 5:43 pm

    I have been married for a month and my wife is still having trust issues over an affair that happened three years ago. How do I explain to her after I have repeatly said sorry and reasured her that it will never happen again. I asked her to let it go and she doesn’t, I love my wife but she is driving me crazy cause she doesn’t trust me. Someone anyone help me. How do deal with a wife that doesn’t trust from one problem three years ago?

    Reply
    • Alyssa July 23, 2012, 12:56 am

      You should keep loving her UNTIL she gets over it. When you get angry and frustrated you just remind her of the fact that you are capable of being a jerk and if you are
      Still capable of being a jerk (angry/frustrated) then in her female brain you are still capable of jerky behavior such as cheating. Be patient, consistent, kind and loving. Check in with her often. Be respectful when she needs reassurance. If you are steady this way she will fall into line. Because once you seem like prince charming she will feel good because prince charming is not a
      Cheat! Also, be patient. You may need to be a sweetheart no matter what she says or does for
      Like 6 months
      Straight before
      She realizes
      You are not a jerk.

      Reply
  • Sonia February 22, 2012, 1:15 pm

    I liked the article. Some great points. Trust is one of those things that when it gets broken it’s very hard to put back together.

    Reply
  • Sonia at Marriage Counselling Toronto March 16, 2012, 8:10 am

    In order to rebuild trust, the first step is that both partners need to be willing to accept the situation and be able to forgive.

    Reply
  • Sonia at Marriage Counselling Toronto April 4, 2012, 5:48 pm

    Trust takes time to heal and to re-build. When we love someone we learn to trust them. If they broke our trust then it does take longer to re-build but it does happen. If your partner has trust issues towards you and you did nothing to break their trust, a good question to ask them is “do you think that you may have trust issues and that this may not even be about me?!

    Reply
  • Bianca July 2, 2012, 2:56 pm

    I find myself assuming about everything ” why is his phone ringing so late it has to be a girl” everytime I assume something he proves me wrong I’ve always been extremely confidence but since I had my little boy I’ve gained weight and don’t feel good about myself I start a lot of agruments because of this insecurity

    Reply
  • vanessa September 18, 2012, 7:24 pm

    *sigh* I have Trust issues! Geez that was hard to confess.see I’ve been with my Boyfriend for over 2 years! His given me reasons Not to trust him,they might be silly bt I can’t seem to get over them! PLEASE HELP!! I agree dat trust has to do with faith I completly do. I need help with the 1st step of takin dat leap of Faith,am tired of spying on him on social networks,even when I promise myslf to stop,I find myslf ryt back at square 1 *sad for days* :-(

    Reply
    • Nailtech October 1, 2012, 10:11 pm

      Hi Vanessa
      I too have trust issues where infidelity has bit me in the butt twice!! I am 49 years old and am so discouraged at having to deal with this at this point in my life! What I do know is that this demon can take over our head completely and ruin not only our own life but our relationship too! I too have opened up his mail and have had computer issues as well as cell phone. To trust again is going to be a challenge but the way i see it….living this way is no good at all for my mental health!! So maybe with this website we can find some kind of advice that will help us to deal with that demon in our heads!

      Reply
      • vanessa October 3, 2012, 1:18 am

        Nailtech
        So true hey..we cannot go on like this,I spoke to him about it and we agreed to go for couples therapy or something of the sort because I can’t do this on my own. Try speaking to you’re spouse about seeking help to try and mend ya’l guys relationship..we can keep intouch about how things are going if you don’t mind..#crossing fingers that it helps#

        Vanessa

  • Hopefull October 24, 2012, 11:04 am

    Hello,

    I really liked reading your article. I too struggle with trusting my boyfriend. Even though he has given me no cause for concern. My last boyfriend broke my heart by cheating on me continuosly over 2 1/2 years. In the end he just couldn’t get over his ex. I took this as I wasn’t good enough for him because he chose her over me. The same message that was drilled in to me in an earlier relationship, which was both mentally and physically abusive, where I was told no one else would ever want me and I should be grateful that he was with me. My current boyfriend has told me he isn’t interested in anyone else and I believe him, I do. We are both open and honest with each other but last night his phone was lying open on his messages page and when I looked down I seen a name I didn’t recognise from any conversations over the last 9 months. I am ashamed to say it but I had to look. The texts were entirely innocent, nothing remotely flirty in them and as the conversation ran its course over the day the texts ended as a catch up with someone you haven’t spoken to in a while does. My concern is that he intiiated the texts with this (gorgeous) girl at 2am on a night out with his friends. I mean his text was not flirty, just a statement but all I can think about is why was she on his mind at that time for him to text her on a night out. It’s not like he wasn’t texting me though in fact i woke up to a plethera of texts from him. I feel like there is something wrong with me, i mean there’s no reason for him to tell me the name of every female he knows and he’s obviously allowed to chat to whoever he wants without having to inform me, I DO NOT want to be THAT girl but why do I feel so uneasy about it, am I looking for something that isn’t there and making an entirely innocent conversation into something it’s not. Am i waiting to be hurt because it’s all i’ve known? I would never confront him about this, I just want a normal happy relationship. I know that I cannot control him and all I can do is trust when he says it’s only me he wants, I just remember how broken I felt last time I had my heartbroken, I don’t think I can handle it again. I want this one for life, he’s a keeper. I just hope he thinks the same about me.

    Reply
  • Pierce November 6, 2012, 8:54 pm

    I have a COMPLETELY different view than every single post on here and it’s been frustrating to deal with for the last 8 years. I’ll try my best to share.

    For each person that has broken up with someone because they were too jealous or couldn’t handle all of the constant questions… I simply don’t understand. I make a game out of it. It’s my privilege to make anyone I’m dating know they have nothing to worry about and show with fun actions the sheer extent that I can be trusted. I LOVE it! 8 years ago I almost lost my son and I had instant perspective of what was important. I was single and dating anyone and everyone. I am an attractive an successful guy and dating has always been easy. I just had nothing to show for it. I heard this great parable referenced on “Facing the Giants” and it resonated in me instantly—two farmers were in desperate need for rain and they both prayed for God to send the rain… but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive the rain. Which one do you think God sent the rain to?
    My fields were not prepared. If I wanted to me The One, I needed to see what I was doing in my life that would cause anyone I would date in the future to be jealous and then set out to do some major “spring cleaning.” All gifts, cologne, shirts, pictures of exes… gone. All inappropriate female friends that one or the other had expressed interest… gone. All exes on Facebook, in my phone, etc… gone. I never needed that anyhow. I love that I can be this handsome father that can leave his phone out, that could have someone he was dating log into his email or facebook with ZERO worries. Secrets breed mistrust anyhow. Once I realized it was all nonsense and a joke to live a life any other way, as if I had things to drive my partner crazy over, life got really, really rewarding.
    The problem is, I am the only one that can bring this to the table. Any idea how hard it is to find a female who will not dishonor their relationship by willing leaving the door open for exes and inappropriate friendships? I don’t go to sleep with my door unlocked and ajar, yet every day tons of couples create unneeded angst. One post above had someone mentioning his friend being in a band and his girlfriend being insanely jealous. Band or the relationship. If it’s the relationship, then there are always ways to make his partner feel secure… millions of ways, each one more creative than they other. I just had an entire skype date at a concert that my partner couldn’t attend. It was fun and builds her trust in me. Zero inconvenience and my idea.
    We focus so much on the people who don’t trust… I think we could entirely change our culture by being trustworthy. I didn’t just throw my son in the water when I wanted to teach him to swim. I was there. Gladly. Giving as much reassurance as he needed until he didn’t need it any more. I like that not many men can leave their facebook account or email open. But I can. And I’m well respected in my city and could take the approach of having tons to hide. But I don’t. And I can’t believe it took me so long to learn this. I wouldn’t change it for the world. If your partner has questions and trust issues…. maybe you’re doing something to cause that or not nearly enough to prevent it. It’s all part of taking care of what you have in your life, so why should a relationship be any different. If you want to beat the odds, then act differently.
    Just my thoughts.

    Reply
    • Tara March 30, 2013, 5:56 pm

      More men should be like you! I have done the same thing in my life, “spring cleaning” as you called it, however people look at me like I’m crazy for it! I just tell them I have nothing to hide. My life is much simpler and I am happier for it.

      Reply
    • Jennifer May 22, 2013, 4:46 pm

      Kudos! More people (men and women) should be like you and act in every way possible to reveal how trustworthy they are. It’s too bad there are so many selfish people: those who want to keep someone around because s/he flatters their ego, those who care more about their pride and feel they are entitled to be trusted even if they haven’t earned it, etc. It takes strength, character and a healthy self-esteem to spring clean as you have, and to be so open AND honest.

      Reply
    • Deanne June 1, 2013, 1:10 am

      I read this and ask out loud to myself… “Where have you been all my life?”
      These are my exact thoughts! Where have all the gentlemen gone?
      Lies are second nature and respect is only in the movies.
      I like to think I still can turn heads when I enter a room, however my husband is so busy looking at someone else’s butt hanging out of booty shorts and checking out her legs / every girl – not just the noticeable ones- he likes every culture. He has lied so much he had to get a polygraph by a well known polygrapher to get me to stay after he had emotional affairs. I have lost respect. After all that I’m not allowed to discuss the past or bring it up or he acts as though I’m the problem for asking questions. He doesn’t do anything he says… But how am I to know- he lied repeatedly so badly- n broke the trust. I just need reassurance n support. He gets mean and punishes me for asking him anything about the past of questioning his behavior which he always has a bad attitude which make me question his faithfulness-
      I truly have lost love for him due to his arrogance.
      You sound as though you get what its
      about- so wonderful:)

      Reply
      • James June 13, 2013, 12:37 pm

        Deanne, I don’t think you lost love for him but I’m quite positive you don’t like him at all due to his repetitive actions. You still love him. Like you though, my wife broke my trust in her in the past and is still doing it now. She used to leave me for days at a time as a result of an argument mixed with alcohol. I never knew where she was and she never called. One time out of the blue she just decides we should stay happily (ha ha!) married but live in separate domiciles permanently. No reason at all, just live separately. She moved out for about a month till I stopped begging her to come back (cheating maybe?). Later on, I ended up filing for a divorce per her request. Two weeks before the court date, she begs me to take her back. Of course, me being the soft-hearted, forgiving person that I am and against the wishes of friends and family, I took her back again on her promise she would respect me and let me open up to her without fear of criticisms and finger-pointing. It was all good for about a minute, but then her old self started creeping right back in. I still can’t talk to her about how I feel, what bothers me, or the disrespectful things she does/says to me. I’m met with the same resistance – my feelings are invalid and don’t count…..so I don’t tell her anything anymore. To bring up the past as it relates to the present is a death sentence in this relationship. She broke my trust back then and she’s breaking it again now. She doesn’t storm out the door anymore but it still feels like the old days with her. Call me stupid for staying with this woman but do I believe it commitment. Like Alisa said about the one secret to saving a bad marriage, TRY EVERYTHING. Anyway, I’m probably ranting here more than providing any useful words of wisdom. I still love my wife very much; I just don’t like her very much. Maybe one day she’ll snap out of it. Dare to dream, my friend! Dare to dream!

  • Sonia at EssentialPractice November 26, 2012, 6:19 pm

    Trust is an important building block of every relationship. And once it’s broken it can be challenging to re-build, but it is possible. And there is such thing as trusting someone 100%, but it has to be earned and respected.

    Reply
    • brokenjay March 22, 2013, 7:24 pm

      well i am finding it practically impossible to re-build one here after 3 affairs in 8 years from my wife, one of which resulted in pregnancy. i just cannot bring myself to trust her again. she’s not even being honest about it.

      Reply
  • Reese January 13, 2013, 3:22 am

    This changed my whole perspective on things. It gets hard changing my thought process due to anxiety, but I love this man and I’d do anything to make our relationship thrive.

    Reply
  • Ian March 31, 2013, 1:20 pm

    I am currently dealing with trust issues. My girlfriend and I were dating for about 4 months before we entered a relationship. As things became more serious, I did not want her to think I was talking to other women intimately, which I was not. Before we entered our relationship, for some reason that I can not understand, I had deleted a conversation I was having with a friend that was harmless. My girlfriend had looked at my messages before that and later on noticed I deleted it. She is mad because I lied about deleting my messages and I have no idea what to do. She doesn’t trust me and I don’t blame her, but after we seem like we are fine, she sometimes snaps right back into distrust. I am getting frustrated because I love her so much and I promised I will never do it again. I give her access to my phone, facebook and email. I honestly have no idea what else I can do… I need advice on some ways I can help her trust me again.

    Reply
  • Jemma May 4, 2013, 2:48 am

    Hi

    I have serious trust issues, it only began when I caught my boyfriend texting a couple of other girls. It didn’t bother me but he had lied to me about it in the past. After this he kept lying about everything, texting girls, Facebook messaging girls and even going out with his friends which I never kicked off about.
    Now I know he is loyal, and the lying has almost completely stopped I still find myself watching over him.

    For me building the trust back will be hard, but I feel like he should be trying to help the issue, but he is taking a complete backseat. I have confidence issues which he doesn’t help with, and trust issues which he says I need to fix, never we.

    What do I do?

    Reply
  • James June 13, 2013, 10:53 am

    I’m the type of person that tends to beat myself up a lot on issues in my personal life. They are silent issues in that no one knows what I’m thinking about or feeling. It affects me in such a bad way too. They are issues I wished I could tell my wife about but I’m afraid to bring them up. I keep looking for answers because I want the truth about our past and current relationship (we almost divorced 6 months ago). I also want peace in my life – with her most preferably. My wife says I have a lot of negative thoughts and I need to erase them from my mind. I hope she’s right about that.

    My absolute biggest concern is infidelity in our relationship. God knows where I stand on being unfaithful. It hurts so incredibly bad to be on the receiving end of that one. No one wins. Everyone loses. Years ago I was that person…the one who cheated….alot. I did it for selfish reasons. It became an addiction that I wouldn’t let go of and it was so easy for me to do. I felt little remorse for my actions at the time. Later on, I became an easy avenue for other married women to do the same. They would cheat on their husbands with me and I did it willingly. It was like having the best of both worlds – no commitments and I got my sexual gratification plus bragging rights. They would come to me for two reasons; it was either to “get back” at their husband for something or they were just horny and wanted to add a little spice in their life to make themselves happy in their marriage (a temporary high that only lasts a little while which is why they kept coming back to me). I obliged them every single time too. I had no conscience then and thought nothing about who I was hurting and betraying. These husbands who I betrayed I also knew…some of them pretty well. They never knew what I was doing to them and I didn’t care. Later on, I married my now ex-wife and that all changed for me. I found out what it was like to be betrayed. It devastated me. It’s something I don’t wish on anyone and I wish this horrible act didn’t exist. Because I have this first-hand knowledge of cheating, it makes it easy for me to recognize the signs. Having this knowledge is also a curse in a sense because I see little signs and clues in my current marriage every so often and it haunts me. I can’t prove anything but I want to. I want to know the truth so that I can move on from this. I know that we are all human with a lot of flaws in us and I also know that not forgiving someone is sinfully wrong. God has made me realize that I do have the strength in me to forgive the one I love and still stay with that person. To not forgive someone is to forever judge that person and I have no right to hold them to their mistakes. Only God has that right. Because I love my wife and I’m married to her, I made a commitment to do these things whether I realized it or not when I said “I do”. Maybe she hasn’t done anything at all. Maybe I am waist deep in negative thinking, creating my own assessment of her based on those negative thoughts. It’s so easy to connect the dots and draw conclusions on something even if it’s not true. Whether I’m right or wrong in my assumptions, I choose to dismiss these horrible thoughts of her. If she is doing or has done these things to me, I hope she stops and realizes that no one wins. I want a happy, fulfilling life with her and I can’t let my negative thoughts control my emotions, which eventually turn into actions….bad ones.

    Reply
  • Marcienne June 29, 2013, 6:59 pm

    My problem comes from possibly abandonment issues n lack of stability all the way up in till I was 18 yrs of age I was adopted and then my adopted parents gave me up at 13 I’ve lived in 5 different sates n 15 diferent cities and I think because of this people to me are like phases. They are here one day n gone the next which plays into my adult life n my realationships now I have no clue how to get over this n move forward Im always waiting for people to move on I cant even have frienships due to this problem. People have become so disposival that I rid pssible friends before they get to know me by finding a fault in them and telling them where they can go. I’ve been told by many Physciatrist I need extensive therapy n not meds but Im so tired of this problem and I have no clue how to fix it. Ive tried the approach a man is a man no matter where he stands like you said you cant stop it nd to stress over it will drive you crazy I just cant find tht mind frame a second time around…

    Reply
    • larry May 14, 2014, 1:33 pm

      I have never met anyone with a similar past as mine..I was also given up at 13 and in fostercare moving a whole lot of places….I was even adopted a second time and they left me as Well for years. I am now married with children and have trust issues, mine however didn’t surface till a really bad relationship a few years back. My wife is wonderful but extremely social and a people please, more so with guys cuz she feels more comfortable around them I guess….but that’s really hard for me at times cuz everything screams cheating sometimes and what do u do when you cannot trust your own feelings…..it makes u feel crazy. This site has helped alot and we r planning therapy and we r making it our problem now instead of my issue we will battle it together. That k u for your post.

      Reply
    • larry caverly May 14, 2014, 1:37 pm

      I have never met anyone with a similar past as mine..I was also given up at 13 and in fostercare moving a whole lot of places….I was even adopted a second time and they left me as Well for years. I am now married with children and have trust issues, mine however didn’t surface till a really bad relationship a few years back. My wife is wonderful but extremely social and a people please, more so with guys cuz she feels more comfortable around them I guess….but that’s really hard for me at times cuz everything screams cheating sometimes and what do u do when you cant trust your own feelings…..it makes u feel crazy. s helped alot and we r planning therapy and we r making it our problem now instead of my issue we will battle it together. That k u for your post.

      Reply
  • thami June 30, 2013, 9:56 am

    lenny that was well said,hope i learnt to trust again aswell

    Reply
    • larry May 14, 2014, 1:25 pm

      Yes, I have also grown up in Foster care and adoption, and also was given up at 13. You are the first person I have ever heard with a similar story. I ended up going back into Foster care without the twin brother I grew up with and eventually being adopted again with that family also leaving me. I am married now with children and have trust issues…..however mine didn’t surface until a really bad relationship a few yrs back. Still struggling one day at a time but sometimes it can be so overwhelming u seem to lose yourself. My wife is a people please and really social, which for someone with issues like these it can be really hard at times. It seems so real sometimes, everything in you screams….she’s cheating!!

      Reply
  • Jay August 5, 2013, 10:42 pm

    Here goes! I have never done anything like
    This before and I’m hoping this helps..
    I have serious trust issues and have had for years now and I have no problems admitting to that. I’m 21 years old and am currently speaking to my ex gf again after not saying or hearing a word from her in 3 years, I was with her for 2 years and things didn’t work out. We were young and immature in our stupid little ways.. I was always loyal and from what I know so was she but I always had doubts because of stupid little Lies and secrets. I’m the type of person who gets into a relationship and is 100% committed I can’t lie to that person because I wouldn’t want that in return and I tell that person everything I have nothing to hide and I expect the same back ! But as we all know that’s hardly ever the case, there’s always that person in the relationship who is sure they love the other person more.

    To the point after 3 years of not talking she confronted me and we spoke and sorted things. I promised myself I wouldn’t go there again but it’s impossible to control how you feel I haven’t liked anyone the way I like her I couldn’t honestly say I love her. I struggle to trust what she says because of all the lies in the past and some that have come up recently. She tells me she struggles to open up to me with some things because of the way I react and I honestly understand where she if coming from.

    She says I’m pushing her away by doubting her and I know that, but it doesn’t help by fighting with me every time I ask about her past I ask about her past so I can get all that out of the way and find my ways to let it go and she doesn’t seem to understand that. She hates that fact that I’m struggling to trust her and I hate that to but after reading all these Posts it opens my eyes.. She has to earn my trust i cant just forget everything, trust is faith and I do have faith in her but I will admit I’m scared I don’t want things going down the same road because I can’t take that again . I need reassurance I need her to help me and open up to me about all these things I know if I continue like this things are only going to get worse.

    I’m going to try my hardest to approach things differently.. At the end of the day if she was to screw me around she will do it no matter what I say so I guess I’m taking a leap of faith.
    If anyone has any input on my situation feel free to give it.

    Reply
    • Jay August 6, 2013, 12:22 am

      Could honestly say I love her **

      Reply
  • Brittney Wood November 4, 2013, 12:49 am

    All I have to say is.. THANK YOU!!
    It’s about 12:00 a.m. (Central time Zone) and I am sleeping on my couch due to a heated argument.
    You know basically about trust. Nothing bad happened, my emotions just went to crazy town! And reading this article has made me realize so much!
    I know you can’t completely change in one day. But everything you said to me made so much sense.
    Worry is such a waste of time. That is why right here, right now.
    I am going to get better and not waste my time worrying when I could enjoy the happiness and be more trustworthy to my amazing significant other!

    Thank you!!

    Reply

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