My Trust Issues Are Destroying My Relationship

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

I have been dating a girl for about 5 months now and we dated 2 months after she broke up with her boyfriend of over a year. My childhood consisted of a father leaving my sister and I at age 8, a mother who was an alcoholic up until I was 15 years old, and past relationships that did not go according to plan for me. I have very bad trust issues, anxiety issues, and paranoia. My girlfriend has put up with me a lot, but she also has lied to me and does things that probably aren’t smart with a boyfriend with these issues. I HATE hurting my girlfriend because of these issues. She wants to be with me despite these issues I have, but being with her causes me pain because I constantly think she is doing something that would hurt me. I love her and she loves me. I am going to be seeing a therapist, but should I embark on this healing with her as my gf or do this alone and be in pain because I can’t be with her?

A: Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. The best way to proceed is to engage in individual therapy because the issues are focused on your past experience and your family of origin, which seem to have been activated by the current relationship.

In order to dismantle any activators you need to sort through what is yours and what is hers. The best way to do that is to continue the relationship as you explore the origin of your trust issues in therapy.

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

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 22 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). My Trust Issues Are Destroying My Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/11/22/my-trust-issues-destroying-my-relationship/