Trust Issues

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Me and my boyfriend have been going out nearly 2 years,but in between there has been 3 breakups, most are because of trust. my boyfriend seems to LOVE me to pieces but at the same time wants hes hands on other girls not to cheat but to flirt leading to cheating, because of these issuses i have become very possecive and clingey and talking to my family they just say “dump him he clearly doesnt love you as much as you think if he flirts to other girls” but they dont understand how much i love him and couldnt dump him for flirting as hes a boy! but lately since we have just started going out again for 2 month now he has texted more girls than ever saying innapropriate things, the thing that hurts me is he PROMISES he wont do it again and he does but lately im starting to belive him abit more, but he still texts girls but wont let me see hes phone, also lately he wants to go out in bigger cites with out me as hes 18 and im 17, i cant hold him back but i really dont have ANY trust in him at all, he has told me he has 100% trust in me but i have about 20%, i told him before he goes out he needs to show me i can trust him, but i dont know how to do that cause if he went out n did cheat i wouldnt know. after 2 months of constant paranoia and possesiveness im always upset and dont belive anything he says and start to push him away after a argument because i think of the things he has said to a girl, i know after all this i should just break up but he is my other half and i NEVER want to loose him i want to solve our problems and be together forever. how can he show me he is faithful and be belive me, i know he needs space and i cant take away hes freedom to be a boy but im crushed and when hes not with me (baring in mind we live 60 miles apart and i see him every other day) i feel alone and always want to see where he is and i shouldnt. please help.

A. The basis of any good relationship is trust. If you don’t have trust then you don’t have a solid relationship. I understand that you do not want to lose this relationship but consider that your partner has lied to you in the past and may be lying again.

At this time he is not being fully honest with you. He refuses to show you his phone to prove that he is not texting other girls. He may not be texting other girls but he’s unwilling to prove it by showing you his phone. How do you continue a relationship when you can’t trust your partner? Trust has to be earned. He has given you no reason to believe that he has stopped cheating, especially in light of his current suspicious texting behavior.

When someone shows you their “true colors” then you must see them for who they are. People can change but it’s not clear that your boyfriend has or is willing to. If you continue to ignore his behavior and act as though he won’t cheat again (when he might be), then you risk getting hurt. You may be engaging in denial. Denial is an unconscious defense mechanism that protects oneself from uncomfortable facts.

I understand this may not be the answer you wanted to hear, but it’s unhealthy for you to ignore the truth. It’s also important to analyze why you may be willing to tolerate his problematic behavior. It’s virtually impossible to be in a relationship with someone you cannot trust. If I were your therapist I would be trying to understand why you may be willing tolerate this behavior from your partner. One explanation is low self-esteem. Another explanation may be that you’re not sure what a healthy and trusting relationship is like.

If you are having difficulty letting go of this relationship or understanding why it might be unhealthy, then you should consider therapy. I cannot say, based on a short letter, whether this is an unhealthy relationship for you. I suspect that it is. If you are in a relationship with someone who constantly lies and whom you cannot trust, then generally speaking it is not advisable for you to stay.

Lastly, I would suggest discussing these issues with a therapist. He or she can help you analyze the situation and advise you about how best to proceed. You may not need therapy for very long, perhaps only a few sessions. You may also want to read self-help books about healthy relationships and how to build self-esteem. If you’d like to find a therapist please click on this link that will take you to a directory of local mental health professionals. Thank you for your question and I wish you the best of luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Oct 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Trust Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/10/12/trust-issues/