Overcoming Trust Issues in Relationships

Trust issues in relationships can tear couples apart. When one member of a couple has suffered a betrayal, either in past relationships or in the present relationship, it makes it tough for her to let the other have a life outside the relationship. Eventually, these trust issues can lead to accusations and fights that culminate in a breakup because one side is suffocating the other. It doesn't have to be that way.

Try putting it behind you.
Someone may have violated your trust in the past; however, you and your partner are in a new relationship, which means you can have a fresh start. Or, if he cheated early in the relationship, you may wonder if he'll do it again, even if he is clearly making an effort at commitment. Constantly suspecting your boyfriend of breaking your trust when he isn't may only serve to push him away.

Ask yourself whom you trust.
The experiences you had may have been so terrible that you can't put them behind you. If you don't trust your partner, who do you trust? It's a good question. If you have a habit of not trusting anyone, you need to find out what happened to cause this situation and why it makes you view others with suspicion. The simple fact of the matter is that some people in your life will betray you, but it is not possible for everyone in your life to betray you. Furthermore, you have to trust someone in order to get through life; otherwise, you're going to be lonely.

Consider therapy, either couples or singles.
If asking yourself whom you trust stirs up some painful feelings and bad memories, you may want to talk about them to a professional. It's a big step to admit you need outside help, but a professional can help you take stock of your feelings, re-evaluate your past and figure out how to break the patterns that are ruining your relationships. If both of you have trust issues, you may want to consider couples counseling as well.

What if you're not the one with the trust issue?
Your mate may be reluctant to enter counseling. If he does decide to talk to someone, that's a positive sign. If not, be sympathetic and listen, but don't change your lifestyle and stop going out with friends to please him. He must decide to work through his issues on his own.

However, if he insists that you stay home and makes an active effort to keep you away from your co-workers, friends and family, you may be in the early stages of an abusive relationship. All couples experience jealousy at some point, but if that jealousy starts to set unacceptable boundaries on your life, you need to consider breaking up.

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