Trust Issues

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

My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 months now and we are currently living together in a studio apartment. We both have trust issues, he has trust issues because he has been hurt in the past and I have them because he has now lied to me and hidden things from me. A couple months into our relationship I found out he had been on social media talking to other girls very often and having them text him but he would never keep the messages he would always delete them off his phone. Whenever I confronted him he would get extremely defensive. About a month ago I looked through his phone and found out that he had still been talking to other girls, I had asked him before if he was still talking to them and he told me he wasn’t. When I found out I asked him why he lied to me and he said it was because he knew I would get mad if he was talking to other girls. I just don’t understand why he would do this to me if he truly loved me … I can control myself so why cant he control himself? He said he wanted to gain my trust back and I told him it wouldn’t be easy, he will have to endure many questions and a lot of skepticism but he was up for the challenge so he said. Since then whenever I ask him questions he gets defensive it seems like he is still hiding things from me or it could be me becoming super paranoid because I don’t want to be hurt again. I don’t know if I should stay or leave, the fact that he has failed to put effort in to regain my trust makes me feel like he doesn’t feel the same about me anymore and to be honest I am starting to feel different about the situation as well because it doesn’t seem like I am worth it to him to make more of an effort. I don’t know what to do or how to understand him at all, can you give some insight?

A: Thank you for writing us. To be honest there isn’t much here that seems valuable for continuing the relationship. If his best excuse is that he didn’t want you to get mad for finding out that he was talking to other girls, then what is he really saying? He’s not apologizing –he’s not saying he’s willing to change, he’s simply telling you that he was afraid he’d get caught: Not very convincing. I wouldn’t waste my time. If the best he can do is get defensive rather than trying to understand why you would be angry, it’s time to move on.

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

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Mar 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). Trust Issues. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/17/trust-issues-6/