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I don't know how to trust anymore


Araziel

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I've been burnt a lot in the past. One guy in particular that I had written some posts on before, I dated for 3 years (it was my first serious relationship, but it was LD) lied to me and cheated on me...and gave me hpv! It's been over a year and a half since I broke up with this guy and I've been dating a new guy for awhile now (about a year). He's the first guy that I've ever dated that treats me right; he doesn't yell, goes out of his way for me, drives to pick me up from college almost every weekend, talks to me, etc.

 

From the beginning of my relationship with this new guy I had lots of trust issues. We didn't exactly start our relationship as I would have liked, it was a little soon for me but he also helped me realize how I needed to be treated and helped me realize how manipulative my ex was being to try to get back with me. Well after dating for awhile I got really sick and ended up in the hospital, the doctors swore I had gonorrhea or chlamydia. So of course I flipped out on the new guy and accused him of cheating on me. Thankfully all the tests came back negative, and he's even gone with me so we could both get tested together.

 

After I got past this issue of trust, my main issue was his use of pot. At first when we started dating he smoked a little, but it soon turned into a LOT. At the time he lived with two guys who smoked as well so I let it go for awhile. Finally I started to tell him it was too much for me, that he was going to have to quit altogether to be with me. Well after much arguing, as of 4/20 last year he said he quit, which I really have no reason not to believe him. He was always brutally honest about when he smoked, even if it made me mad (which is important to me because I HATE being lied to). I've asked him multiple times if he really quit, and his answer never seems good enough. It's really easy to tell when he's high because his eyes get incredibly red. I've even said it was ok for him to smoke when we were hanging out with our friends because I don't want to be the type of girl who sets a ton of rules for the person she dates....I just don't want him to be addicted to it like he used to! I don't know why I still worry about it so much since it was so long ago. I think part of it is because his friends used to like to their girlfriends about smoking and I know they would cover for him. I'd asked them if he quit before and they all said no, but also said that even if he had smoked what harm would it do? But he's not his friends, and just because they do something wrong I shouldn't assume he'll do it to. But I also I think my view is if he could lie about this, then what else could he lie about? I feel like I'm constantly on the lookout for lies, from anyone.

 

Sorry, I've gotten a little off track. Ultimately I have a hard time trusting men when it comes to cheating and lying. My father cheated on my mother, and like I said before I was cheated on by my first real serious relationship. I understand that these are only part of the root of my problem though. My mother worries obsessively like I do, and we both have anxiety issues. I want to be able to trust people because I understand it's hurting my quality of life. I'm just scared of getting burnt again so I try to 'protect' myself but end up making myself miserable. I realize this but I don't know how to stop, it's such a habit to think negatively about everything. It's gotten to the point where my boyfriend has said that I'm going to have to trust him eventually or I'll never be happy with the relationship. I don't want to ruin the first good relationship I have! And I don't want to be this miserable doubting person anymore. Help

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I'd think maybe following some of the same techniques as healing from PTSD might help. My own philosophy but it does help me with trust issues (mine are personal and professional due to abuse in both areas). To me, what they have in common is the anticipation of something negative and the reaction to "triggers". In both cases, you have to work on training your brain not to associate a certain behavior or environment or situation with something bad happening. Then you are not "constantly on the lookout for lies" as you said, or in my case, expecting to be stabbed in the back or screamed at out of the clear blue sky.

 

Something you could try maybe, if you had a good counselor.

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Everybody has trust issues. We've all been hurt; we've all had less than ideal childhoods. The problem is that you're using yours as justification to put yourself in charge of policing someone else, and you're making yourself miserable in the process.

 

You might find it an acutal relief to let go of that job. Understand, other people don't 'owe' us accountability, just as we don't owe them trust. People earn trust over time by their behavior, and we earn the right to know intimate details of another person's life as they so choose to disclose to us.

 

This keeps us in charge of our own behavior--and our job ends there. Either the BF's presense and behavior in your life has been loving and acceptable to you, or it hasn't. Playing detective on him and his friends is the behavior that's causing you problems in this scenario. Why not just free yourself of that chore?

 

In your corner.

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