To trust someone you love is important. Otherwise, you’ll be forever doubting that person, creating serious dissension in the relationship. But can you be too trusting? Absolutely! If you’re a scrupulously honest person, you might assume everyone else is too, especially if it’s your very own spouse.

Lara was hurting — hurting so badly there were moments when she seriously considered taking her own life. “My pain is unbearable. I trusted my husband totally. Then I found out that he’d been cheating on me and spending our savings to pay for expensive gifts for his girlfriend.”

Lara had always prided herself on being a smart, nice, easy-going person. Now, she was questioning everything.

How could I have been so stupid, so naïve? I never questioned him about what he said or did. If he told me he wouldn’t be home because he was working late, I was not suspicious. If he told me he was going on a business trip, I believed him. Now I find out that it was all a pack of lies. I always thought it was good to be trusting. Now it seems plain stupid.”

How do you know when to trust and when not to trust? If you don’t trust enough, you’re viewed as controlling, cynical, suspicious and skeptical. If you trust too easily, you’re thought of as naïve, gullible, vulnerable and foolish. So, how to act? As with many things in life, creating a workable balance between the two extremes is best.

If you, like Lara, might be wondering if you’re too trusting, here are 9 questions to ask yourself:

  1. Do you feel guilty if you doubt your partner, wondering what’s wrong with you?
  2. Do you pride yourself on being easy-going, doing whatever your partner wants?
  3. Do you let your partner walk all over you, ignoring your feelings or desires?
  4. Do you turn a blind eye to events that are disturbing to you?
  5. Do you brush off your doubts, ignoring uncomfortable feelings you have?
  6. Do you buy every excuse your partner makes, regardless of how implausible it sounds?
  7. Do you prefer that your partner take the lead so you don’t have to make the decisions?
  8. Do you ignore your partner’s misbehavior, telling yourself to be more trusting?
  9. Do you avoid asking questions about what your partner is doing or thinking?

If you answered “yes” to many of these questions, you trust too easily. Do not, however, jump to the other extreme, thinking that you can never trust your partner. Instead, start paying attention to your own intuition.

Ask questions. If an answer doesn’t seem truthful, seek clarification. If you feel something’s not right, say so. If you notice changes in the way your partner’s acting, question why. Don’t blame yourself for feeling uneasy about what’s going on.

The trouble with being too trusting is that you assume everyone else is worthy of that trust. It’s only after the deception is discovered that people remember the telltale signs of betrayal. By that time, however, the pain and hurt of the deception is devastating. So, probe suspicious signs soon, rather than avoiding them until they rise up and smack you in the face.

Lara’s relationship with her husband did not survive. But Lara did. And a healthier more confident woman she became. She learned to trust her own intuition, create appropriate boundaries, and speak up whenever anything didn’t seem right to her. She made a promise to herself to never let anybody take advantage of her trusting nature. And it was a promise she kept.