Hello. I’ve been in a relationship for over a year now. We were friends for 2 years before that. When we were 4-5 months he said he had to tell me something important. He said that he was concerned about me and that I should take care of myself more because I always left me last. It hurt me so much (because I’ve had low self-esteem for a while and been insecure) that I got mad at him that day. After days our relationship changed a bit. I couldn’t put my finger on what was wrong. We felt a bit disconnected and awkward with each other and it hurt for both of us. Then my insecurities and anxiety got worse and worse. I accused him of cheating a few times and I was totally convinced that he was cheating. I felt betrayed, lonely, boring and flat to him. I started to feel like I didn’t love him, but I knew I did. I also lost trust on everything. I questioned our relationship everyday and it gave me anxiety. I was to nervous to see him or talk to him. I hated it.
Years before we were together I got depression caused by failing my first semester at uni and the same thing happened with my mom. I felt like I didn’t love her and felt anger towards her. I talked to him about it (my depression and anxiety) and he tried to understand.
I want to forget everything that happened because he didn’t cheat or hurt me or anything; it was all in my head and I want to fix this.
Why did this happen? Can my relationship be saved? What can I do? Thank you! (From Venezuela)
The truth can hurt and getting feedback about flaws in our character is never easy. I admire your courage in asking for feedback — that is a sure sign of your growth!
Your reaction to your boyfriend encouraging you to take care of yourself more because he cares about you puts him in a bit of a double-bind. If he thinks you are doing something that isn’t healthy and doesn’t tell you because he’s afraid you’ll get mad, then he isn’t in a position to help you. If he tells you and you distance yourself from him, he will feel like he can’t help you grow. This isn’t a trust issue. You accused him of cheating when he hasn’t is your way of trying to explain your distancing on him, when the truth is these are your insecurities that have to be dealt with. Your boyfriend was trying to help and it was too much for you to hear.
It is time for you to learn how to manage your own emotional issues and insecurities in individual therapy. Help yourself and your relationship by understanding more about how to take feedback from those who are trying to help, and how to manage your insecurities. Your university is likely to have counseling services you can use.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2019). It Hurts When There Are Trust Issues. Psych Central.
Retrieved on August 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/05/04/it-hurts-when-there-are-trust-issues/
Last updated: 1 May 2019 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 1 May 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.