Trust issues-How do I get over them?

  • Mar 29, 2007 11:22 AM GMT
    Although I have been treated very well by most of the men I have been involved with, I find it a constant struggle to trust them. When I was in my first relationship, my partner at the time lied to me through the entire relationship-he was involved in an LTR for over 4 years with another man in a different country. We were together for a year and then one of his closest friends decided to tell me (after he had repeatedly urged my then partner to tell me about it). Since then, I have found out that business trips he had been taking were just fronts to spend time with his partner. Anyway, no matter how amazing the men I have been with since, have treated me, I continue to question their actions. Sometimes, my initial thought is that they are lying, even though I know otherwise. It's so stupid, but, I went from trusting everyone to trusting no one, I'd like to find some sort of balance in their somewhere. Will it just take time? Any suggestions?
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    Mar 29, 2007 12:16 PM GMT

    All men are not created equal, just read some of the forums. Learn to trust. You will be a better partner for that.

  • Mar 29, 2007 12:43 PM GMT
    So true, I realise that and it hasn't prevented me from getting involved with other men and each one has been more incredible than the previous one. I just have those flash moments when I wonder if he is lying to me--it doesn't affect the relationship at all as I keep it under control and give my head a shake, it does however bother me that those thoughts enter my head. I assume it will come with time.
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    Mar 29, 2007 1:20 PM GMT
    Yes Allstarr, I think it's going to take time for you to learn to trust again.

    As rksport mentioned, all men are different and you were unfortunate to have met someone who treated you badly.

    It certainly wasn't your fault and he would've behaved like a heel with anyone. You are well rid of him.

    You seem to be aware that you have trouble trusting, which is half the battle, and are making efforts to correct initial misgivings you have about the men you are dating. So don't beat yourself up about it.

    Just give it time and you'll get back that nice trusting guy you were before. Mark this guy up to experience and keep on dating.

    There are a lot of fab, decent guys out there, I'm sure more than one of them has your name on him.

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    Mar 29, 2007 8:06 PM GMT
    I'd say you're bound to struggle with trust after that, and that you can just let it be, when it comes up. But I'd say it's important to communicate that to your partners so they understand & can empathize.

    As an example of that *not* happening, I once dated a guy who had a pretty rough family background, and as a result some abandonment fears, and he wasn't super self-aware about them, and I was being kind of dense and so didn't really put two and two together in certain cases. It bugged him when I'd mention that I thought other guys were hot, and he had real trouble having discussions that ever brushed near even the mention of breaking up, or acknowledging incompatibilities, or whatnot.

    If we'd both been more up front about that stuff, it would have been much easier. I would have worked to be far more understanding about things that, at the time, I just considered unreasonable requests. Instead of being a way of connecting, it ended up being this divisive thing that caused friction, all because we just weren't super self-aware about it. Oops!
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    Mar 29, 2007 9:54 PM GMT
    Another thing is to communicate this little concern to your partner and ask him to be open and up front with you about things. This way the communication between both of you is open at all time. These things tend to surface when things in the relationship get a bit sour.

    If your partner for example is working late one night, I think it is only respectful to give your partner a call or email saying you will be a bit late.

    Another thing is to talk about a situation with your partner in the early stage if someone is coming on to you, this kind of crap happens in work places. Better to talk about it early on and do something about it.
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    Mar 30, 2007 12:27 AM GMT
    I am totally with you here. But I have learned that time heals all and you HAVE TO surround yourself with good people, even if they're friends in successful relationships, because that sets an example and gives one hope.
    I have enjoyed my single life after my last long relationship. It has proven that I am content being alone and independent; I don't NEED a relationship.
    Ever since I have started dating again, the experiences have been mostly good, until now, having a met a swell guy who gives me butterflies.
    What you have to remember is that, even though someone hurts you, you have to be happy by yourself and know that going back to being single is a GOOD thing. I know, it does not take away the hurt. But if someone cheats on you that is THEIR problem. makes THEM less of a person, not you. Just DO NOT get back by doing anything similar. You just stoop to their level and it sticks for life (so I have been told).
    We all have crazy thoughts at time, the only problem is, not everyone talks about it. Gay men, some, walk around like everything is hunky-dory, giving the impression that it might just be you with paranoid thoughts.
    You CANNOT control what the other person does. You have to make peace with that. You can only control the things YOU do, and thus, be the best person you can be.
    Trust is a delicate thing, and you will meet guys who think along the lines you do.
    I always have believed that it's the small things that he does to you that are signs. Does he touch you a lot; kiss you; have that look in his eyes when he looks at you? Those are all signs that things are just fine. When he starts becoming distant, making excuses to spend less time with you, those are red flags=>>RUN!!
    Sure every relationship has its ups and downs, and I am not saying give up easily. But if he does not make an equal effort, leave. Make it easy for yourself, for in your darkest hour, you only have yourself to trust and be accountable to.

    Phew, I am pooped. Time for some Muscle Milk.


  • Mar 30, 2007 12:41 AM GMT
    Great advice, guys. Thankfully, I do surround myself with people I can trust. It does seem to get easier and my last partner knew about my previous relationship and always made me feel I could trust him. So, I think that being honest near the beginning is definitely a good idea...or just start dating ugly guys ;)
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    Mar 30, 2007 2:12 AM GMT
    Allstar: You are describing a particularly horrific betrayal and you should not underestimate the traumatizing consequences of that.

    There are directed treatments for dealing with betrayal trauma. You may want to seek out someone who is skilled in treating that.

    Betrayal trauma does not necessarily remedy itself with time. You can't just will yourself to forget the betrayal. What happens is that certain situations keep recalling the experience and one falls into a kind of protective mistrust over and over.

    Ultimately, to get beyond betrayal, forgiveness seems necessary. There is also anger and grief to be dealt with.

    I'm sorry you had such a horrible experience.
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    Mar 30, 2007 2:46 AM GMT
    A lot of guys, especially those who come out late in life, are used to a life of lies, so they lying continues out of habit. It's something to avoid, but don't take it personally when you encounter it.
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    Mar 30, 2007 2:54 AM GMT
    Question to Obscenwish:

    How much of protective mistrust is healthy...? Even when you can identify protective mistrust when it happens, do you just toss away the triggers that induced the initial protect trust, or do youinvestigate?

    Anger and grief, how does that really come to a resolution instead of just indifference? Or is resolution and inddifference just the same thing?

  • Mar 30, 2007 11:58 AM GMT
    I would far rather have trust issues that I can work through, rather than being indifferent. I have seen what indifference can do to a person, it comes at too high a price as I know that you are fully aware of.
    Thanks for your advice, I agree with you 100%, but, for the time being that kind of assistance is not readily available here (especially for non-Korean speakers).So...until then, I will wait it out and do my best to work through it on my own and also with the help of good friends.
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    Mar 30, 2007 1:27 PM GMT
    This may not apply in your situation, but sometimes I've found that people who have trouble trusting their partners are those who are themselves continually tempted themselves.

    For these people (as for everyone else, now that I think of it) good, clear communications with their partners AND setting realistic parameters for the relationship helps a great deal.

    I know a LCSW who works with military families. There are some very successful straight marriages where the wives tell their husbands before they sail on extended tours to wear protection when they fuck around in port so they (1) don't bring anything home and (2) don't have a child showing up at the front door someday. When the husbands DO come home from tour, they are happy to return to the wives who love AND understand them.

    ...just thought I'd throw that into the pot.

  • Mar 30, 2007 2:31 PM GMT
    Thanks for the advice, it makes a great deal of sense..just not applicable under the circumstances.
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    Mar 30, 2007 3:07 PM GMT
    "This may not apply in your situation, but sometimes I've found that people who have trouble trusting their partners are those who are themselves continually tempted themselves."

    Ditto to that, even though it doesn't apply in Allstar's case.

    I've seen this so many times with clients that it's almost become a cliche. The distrustful, accusing partner ends up either to be cheating himself or trying to regulate his own impulses by controlling his partner's. After all, the transgressions are products of the accuser's own imagination in such cases.

    The official name for such a style is "reaction formation." It's not unlike rightwingers who preach against the very thing they are doing privately or feeling tempted to do.

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    Mar 31, 2007 6:21 PM GMT
    Maybe you're chasing some kind of TRUST MYSTIQUE that you think is going to descend upon you from the heavens and make you feel something different than what you're feeling right now, but the truth of the matter is, we should trust only our gut at all times.

  • Mar 31, 2007 8:20 PM GMT
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    Mar 31, 2007 10:32 PM GMT
    Sorry to crush all the well wish'es



  • Apr 01, 2007 6:38 AM GMT
    JJ> I don't think you're crushing any well wishes. That is the way I am living right now, as I have no accesss to anyone who can help professionally. I have forgiven my ex and he was the one who suggested that we sit down and talk about it and hash it all out. I reluctantly did so, I yelled and screamed and cried and in the end I felt better. But, I still have these lingering issues about trusting the other men and believing what they say when they have to cancel or when they have to meet friends. I do end up believing them, but, my IMMEDIATE response is~Is he lying?
  • thrive

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    Apr 01, 2007 7:22 AM GMT

    If you find yourself not trusting someone, consider what "trust" really means. Yeah, you could look in a dictionary, but consider this definition instead:

    Trust is the ability to feel certain in the face of uncertainty.

    This defintion applies in both the romantic and business contexts. For example, you can't be absolutely certain that money you deposit in a bank will be there a year from now, but you likely feel certain it will be. This trust is based on several things; such as always having beeen able to withdraw the money you had available in the past, the assurance of financial oversight, etc. Most personal trust occurs when a pattern of dependable behavior appears in which your expectations of someone's actions pairs closely with an outcome that is not at first guaranteed.

    Since your former partner willfully deceived you into believing he was faithful when he was not, you now are not as capable of feeling certain in situations where you do not have absolute certainty of your partner's fidelity and availability.

    Many victims of personal distrust have a tendency to overcompensate and feel the need to obtain certainty by monitoring the actions of later partners obsessively. Unfortunately, no amount of monitoring or daydreaming of the worst will build trust. Again, personal trust must be built by a pattern of succussfully relying on outcomes that are not guaranteed. This gives you hope; the longer you are with a partner, the more trust you will naturally develop.

    On one hand, you might look at a strategy of "blind trust" as setting yourself up to be a victim again. However, there is another way to look at this. Consider your current or prospective partner as someone who is "auditioning" for the role of "worthy partner". Tell yourself that a worthy partner by definition would never cheat on you. So, if a partner cheats on you, he is simply not worthy. Your love is his to cherish, and his to lose. This mentality has helped me keep a level head when my partner has been out of town or away from contact for unusual periods of time.
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    Apr 10, 2007 12:50 AM GMT
    i'm not typing a word...
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    Apr 13, 2007 7:08 PM GMT
    Would just like to say this is why Men should always wear a condom- always!-(IMO) I have heard so many guys say they were in "monogomous relationships" only to find the other lied all along or cheated- Thankfully this has not happened to me...yet. I'm a top and will always wear a condom. It can be used as a good form of foreplay, with the right guy condoms can be erotic. Again I do not want to tell anyone what to do. The beauty of living in a free society. It is just if you care about your life, health, family friends and self enough you will want to be around as long as possible to enjoy it. Again to each his own-some feel "it is better to burn out than fade away" That is just not me. I applaud those who donate their time and $$$ for AIDS and AIDS awareness!!!!!!!! "The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention"
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    Apr 13, 2007 7:19 PM GMT
    Allstar- even if you do not have access to professional help there are many great books on dealing with trust and how to regain what you feel you might have lost. It will take more than just time. I wish you the best!! Be safe- be happy!
  • GQjock

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    Apr 14, 2007 9:46 PM GMT's very unfortunate that one of your first experiences had to be betrayal
    You are going to have to let go of that's a wound that causes a knee jerk reaction because emotionally you don't want to be put into that kind of pain again
    ...the bad thing is you don't have that much control over it
    But what you're going to have to do is constantly tell yourself...whoever you're involved with IS to be trusted
    A relationship is based on trust so remember
    if you're not trusting your's bound to fail

  • Apr 16, 2007 2:37 PM GMT
    Thank you again guys for your support and advice. I would like to share another story with you. I was recently contacted by an individual in Seoul, he responded to my profile on which basically says what my profile here hook-ups and I don't want a relationship right now, so pretty much just friends and chatting with new people. What I have found on a few occasions is that guys contact me and say they want to be just friends and then eventually allude to the fact that they want more and did all along. So this guy contacts me, he seems really nice and sweet and he seemed like he genuinely wanted a new friend. At the beginning of the conversation, I had asked him old he is, he said 32 (same as as me). Towards the end of the conversation, I thought he seemed really nice and thought I would check out his profile again and whe I did, it said he was 24...I called him on it and he said he was actually 32..I told him that he needed to be honest with me if he wants to be friends....I aksed him he thought that if I met him, I would want to be more than just friends with him. I told him again that he had to be honest with me...long pause, then he told me he did. Longer pause....that's when he told me he has a bf in Atlanta whom he was trying to make jealous by adding me to his hotlist because his bf had lots of guys on his hotlist and buddy lists etc.
    I told him he was extremely childish and it sounded like he and his boyfriend would need all the help and luck that they can get. Next...a guy sends me a heart on the website, I check his profile, he has a bf...he sends me a message, his profile is changed from monogamous relationship to single and the pics of he and his bf are gone. How often does this happen?