How do I trust my boyfriend?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Me and my boyfriend have been going out for about 6 months, and he’s NEVER given me any reason to not trust him. He’s never cheated, lied, or anything remotely close to that. He’s always been honest with me and never fails to be affectionate and tell me how much he cares about me. But I can’t trust him. And I get extremely bad separation anxiety when I’m not with him. I always want to try and control him, who he’s with, where he goes, what he’s doing, and I never want him to do anything if I’m not involved. Which, clearly isn’t healthy at all. I get so anxious and jealous about everything he does that I’m not there for. And it’s starting to ruin our relationship.

The only conclusion I can make is in my previous relationship, I was treated very badly. I was with the guy for a year and he cheated on me, never told me anything, talked about me behind my back, was rude, disrespectful, unappreciative, and etc. So i’ve carried those trust issues over into the relationship I’m in now, and after 6 months of being together, I’m still not better. I just want to fix myself so bad because I’m so sure that this guy is the one for me. I don’t know what to do. I already take medication for anxiety, and it doesn’t help. I don’t want anymore medication, I just want to fix myself without help of any kind of drugs. What do I do?

A: Thank you for writing. I agree. If you don’t get hold of this, you’re going to lose a great guy. No one wants to live with this level of jealousy and distrust. It’s not fair to him for you to treat him like someone he’s not. And it’s not fair to yourself to hold onto the hurts from a prior boyfriend.

What you can do at this point is get yourself into some therapy. Medication isn’t going to fix these issues. Therapy will. You need help to recover from being betrayed and badly hurt. If you could recover on your own, you would have done it already. You’re clearly motivated. You just don’t know how to go about it.

Meanwhile, you can ask your boyfriend to put up with your behavior while you work on yourself. If he knows you’re in treatment, he may be able to stand it awhile longer — especially if you also focus on the good times.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). How do I trust my boyfriend?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/07/how-do-i-trust-my-boyfriend/