Partner Doesn’t Trust Me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Me and my partner have been together 4 years now and been engaged for two, I love him so much and I know he loves me too but for some reason he constantly quizzes me and doesn’t have any trust in me. He says he does trust me but, for example, he will make sly comments about what i’m doing or who i’m with. I have moved 300 miles away from my home town to live with my partner so only have 2 good friends, I work in a busy office but he gets very paranoid and insecure.

Myself and his sister went on a night out with some friends who live away and we were going to stop in a hotel but he made a huge elaborate fuss about how he wouldn’t stay there and that I shouldn’t, yet he went on a night out previously but didn’t come home until 10am because he was sat in a casino playing poker! I don’t know why but he tries, more recently, to be very controlling and without directly telling me what to do he tries to “slyly” get it into conversation, he picks at everything I say especially if I mention work or a mans name that I work with he becomes extremely jealous and paranoid.

Our sex life has gone down considerably and he seems to think that it has because i don’t want to but I don’t feel like I can be intimate with someone who has so much doubt in me I have told him and he still doesn’t seem to make any changes yet expects me to. I have never cheated, texted, emailed or messaged other men, I have never been in touch with ex’s or given him any doubt but his attitude towards us is that I have no sex drive and that’s all the issue is. How can I make him understand he can trust me and that hes pushing me away?

A: I’m sorry to be the one to tell you but there is no way you can make him understand he can trust you. As you pointed out, you’ve done nothing to earn his mistrust. You even moved far from home, friends and family to be with him but that isn’t enough. His anxiety about what you are doing isn’t your fault. It is coming from somewhere inside him.

I worry that his level of suspicion and his attempts to control you as the solution to his problem will only get worse. In cases like this, it often does. He is already isolating you from others and setting up rules for you that are different from the rules he sets for himself. He is already manipulating you and limiting even what you can talk about! No wonder your sex drive has gone downhill. Your whole system is telling you that something is very, very wrong.

Your boyfriend needs to do some personal therapeutic work before he is fit to be a partner. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life walking on eggshells to keep him from being upset. If he is honest with himself, he doesn’t really want the woman he loves to be afraid of him and to be unable to live a normal life because of his anxiety.

I suggest you take a break and go home. Give him time to get some therapy and to show you that he can love you and trust you and encourage you to spread your wings instead of clipping them. Only then does it make sense to go forward with the relationship.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Partner Doesn’t Trust Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/23/partner-doesnt-trust-me/