From Canada: Hi, I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year now, he had a girlfriend for a pretty long time before me, and I knew when we started our relationship they were still friends. I was actually pretty sure he wasn’t over her, I had brought this up to him and he denied it, and eventually she left the city for a few months. But every time we run into her you can tell she’s not over him by the way they act. I’ve caught her texting him twice now, and when I confronted him he said they hadn’t had contact for a while before that, and he showed me the text and that he never responded back. He gives me no reason not to trust him, but for some reason I really don’t. I question everything he says to me, and I always have these terrible thoughts that he’s lying to me. I don’t know what to do because I love him, but I just keep having such bad thoughts about him. Her birthday is next week and I really have a feeling he is going to tell me he’s going out with people from work… How do I bring this mistrust up to him, or should I? How do I stop thinking these terrible things about him, when he hasn’t done anything.
A: You knew from the beginning that they were still friends. Just because it didn’t work out doesn’t mean they can’t be interested in what happens in each other’s lives. The generous and trusting thing you can do about her birthday is to add your good wishes to his and support him if he wants to take her out for a glass a wine before coming home to you. If your relationship is strong, periodic contact with the ex isn’t going to matter.
The most important factor in a love relationship is mutual trust. If you can’t bring that to the relationship, when your boyfriend clearly deserves it, all the emotional aspects of love won’t make up for it. If you keep believing you are in a contest for his love, you will lose. At some point, he won’t be able to tolerate always being under suspicion.
No, I wouldn’t bring it up to him any more. From all you said, it’s your issue. Work on yourself. If you can’t relax, it might be helpful to see a therapist to get to the root of your anxieties and learn how to manage them. I hope you will. It sounds like the guy is worth it.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 May 2014
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). I Really Don’t Trust My Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/28/i-really-dont-trust-my-boyfriend/