Trust issues with my boyfriend

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

My boyfriend cheated before… Now I never trust him when he’s away.
So over a year ago… I found out that he cheated… or at least sent all these emails back and forth to his ex girlfriend. After we had been together for 2 years. How she still excited him etc…that he never has any plans, wanted to get her something nice for her birthday. I forgave him. Even though he would never admit that he slept with her, and he was completely angry at me for reading his emails, which he left open on my computer at my home.
Now whenever he goes back to his home state, where she lives along with his life long family, and I’m not able to go, I get so incredibly paranoid about it.
Tonight he had to go for an appointment for his hair. Said that his 4:00pm appt was rescheduled until 8pm. I was working until 8. I called him, and he was on the phone and then called me back. He talked with me for 2 minutes and then said he had to get off the phone, because its illegal to talk on the cell while driving and didn’t want to get a ticket…He will talk to me later…
I call him back 5 mins later… he’s talking on the phone… he tries to call back and I don’t pick up… because I’m so mad… I wait another 10 mins and he’s on the phone again!!
Whether he’s cheating or not… why do I feel like he is??
I left him a text message, saying I cannot take the lies anymore, because I had already told him recently that I do not believe what he tells me anymore. He texts me back, that I can come there to check out he is where he says he is.
I would never do that…but I feel, because I still have all of these unresolved feelings inside me, they will never go away.
I feel like telling him, that I will never trust him again, and it is only going to drive us both crazy even if he is telling the truth.
I love him, and I know he loves me, but he has never spoken those words to me in the 4 years I have known him.
Please advise!!

A: How frustrating it must be to feel simultaneously so connected and disconnected to your boyfriend. But your concerns are real – so let’s sort through the options.

The fact that he lied and was interested in staying in touch with the ex and not telling you about it tells us a lot about his character, and why you feel as you do. The phone episodes also make his comments and actions suspicious.

The bottom line is that you don’t trust him and for good reason. What couples often fail to realize is that if one of them has a concern, then there is a problem in the relationship. Your anxiety was spawned by his actions. That is real, not made up. He simply hasn’t earned your trust and this will not go away until it is addressed directly by the two of you as a real issue.

My strong encouragement is to have the difficult talk about this with him, and try to find ways of dealing with your concerns with him directly. When he says you can come and check on what he is doing you will have to decide if that is the route you want to take, and what he can do to help alleviate your anxiety. If this isn’t successful you may want to find a couples counselor to work with.

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

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2011

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2011). Trust issues with my boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/05/19/trust-issues-with-my-boyfriend/

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