Lack of trust

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

About a year ago I had an affair with a girl that I have broken off and had no contact with for said time. I have done everything in my power to prove to my girlfriend that I’m faithful now. Almost on a daily basis she accuses me of doing stuff behind her back to the point that I’m ready to leave her.

She gives me almost no love and affection, which is what made me stray in the first place. She often criticizes me and makes fun of me publicly. She also is in a foul mood often and not enjoyable to be around.

The worst part is the almost constant daily attacks I receive from her. She calls me a liar and a scumbag often as well. I’m very unhappy and lonely.

Here’s the main question I want answered. This morning my phone rang and woke me up. I didn’t recognize the number so I let it alone. She was still sleeping or so I thought so I wrote her a not and told her I was going to the bank. I want gone more than 30 minutes. When I arrived back home she began to give me the 3rd degree about the phone call and accused me of sneaking out of the house. As it turned out I called the number back in front of her and it was her job that had called me looking for her. Yet she still says I snuck out of the house. I asked her did she think it was wrong to accuse me of something I didn’t do and she said no. She never admits when she’s wrong and blames me for everything.

A: I appreciate your letter and hope I can offer some perspective.

You most likely cheated on her because the relationship was not fulfilling. You need to be more direct about your disappointments and concerns if the two of you are going to continue. In fact, this will be important in any future relationship. Tell her that her behavior toward you is not acceptable, and that you cheated because you weren’t happy with her. Then be clear about what the lack of happiness with her was about.

You need to develop a clear, strong voice so you don’t have to act out through an affair.

But be prepared to walk away from the relationship if you don’t have an equal partner. Until you have a voice to explain your disappointments, you won’t have a relationship that is balanced. A couples therapist may help. The find help tab at the top of the page will give you information for one in your area.

Couples need time to heal after an affair, but understanding the root cause and healing that is what is most important for the future.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Apr 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Lack of trust. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 2, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/04/10/lack-of-trust/