How can I stop distrusting my partners?
Last Updated: 10/23/2018 at 4:15am
Tracy-Kate Teleke, PsyD, M.A., LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
I assist adults and couples in CA experiencing relationship challenges and interpersonal struggles including anxiety, depression, and a myriad of other life challenges.
Top Rated Answers
I have found that distrusting partners usually means one of two things: either a person keeps choosing a partner with all the qualities that cause the distrust OR the person has been hurt in the past and puts their partner in that same situation. Usually, it's the latter and that's the toughest to break. Because a person has been hurt, they unconsciously punish their new partner for someone else's past 'crime'. What this person should focus on is whether or not this partner has done something to truly warrant their distrust. If not, then the focus should be on the fact that this partner is not the "crime committer" and should not be treated as one.
You have to be compassionate with yourself and understand, that trust cannot just happen, it needs to be earned, and it might be especially challenging if it was once there, but has been broken. If that is the case, perhaps you could make your partner aware of your feelings of distrust (without attributing the blame) and establish goals that both of you agree on that would help re-establishing the lost trust. However, if the feelings of distrust are not a consequence of previous betrayal by one or more of your partners, it is likely to be hiding a sense of inadequacy in you, and perhaps have little or nothing to do with any of your partners. In this case, the goal must be for you to learn to love and appreciate yourself more, realize your potential in areas that are outside of your romantic relationship(s). Helpful tools may involve increased self-care and "pampering", making a list of your positive qualities (skills, character traits, achievements, life goals, physical characteristics), noticing and challenging negative thoughts. Last but not least, consider this : after all, they chose to be with you, and they continue to be with you, therefore they must know they are sharing their lives with someone great, and they would be foolish to lose that.
There is no easy way one can achieve this with a past of unfaithfulness or other traumatic experience. You can only push past the point of untrusting when you start to believe in yourself again. Trust in ones partner relies on trusting yourself. Put yourself in the position of your partner and understand how your actions affect both parties. When you are comfortable, go on a limb and risk it. You'll soon realise that one or a number of past moments does not account for your entire future. Don't build your current relationship on the failings of your previous. Relax and be happy in yourself, and with you partner.
Sounds like distrust is a behavoiur you have become habituated to. You initially found reason not to trust and that might have rattled you enough for you to place a huge value on it and now you are hyperaware of untrustworthiness. The first thing that might help you is to understand that this distrust comes from inside you. You may have the thoughts but you choose to believe them and act on it. Secondly, what are you afraid will happen if your trust is betrayed? What would happen if you were right to distrust them? What part inside you is afraid of getting hurt again? Thirdly, people tend to act based on how we treat them. If someone acted toward you as if you were not trustworthy, or lazy, or what ever it may be... would you feel motivated to BE trustworthy, hardworking etc? Why bother be better if the other person has already made up their mind. Right?
Sit down with your partner, and remove all doubt from the conversation, speak openly and honestly with no means of judgement or persecution.
Can you be more specific? I'm not exactly sure what you mean. If you'd like you could message me and we could talk more in depth about this. I'd love to talk to you.
Communication is key. For me, if I could not communicate with my partner than it was a sign to reevaluate whether I needed to be in the relationship.
When we take the time to do the research, we're likely to find that the things we dislike in others are often the same things we dislike in ourselves. Letting go, being open about our feelings and trusting ourselves can help to minimize tension and the feelings of distrust that might come up in our relationships. I believe following these simple rules can help us learn newer and healthier ways of communicating with our partners.
I can stop distrust distrusting my partners by realizing that I can only control myself and not the actions of another person. I can also stay involved with people, places and things that bolster my self esteem.
The thing about relationships is you can't hold anyone back if they want to leave. Hence, there is no point of distrusting anyone. In fact, all it will do is to push away your partner further. Better thing would be to try to make your partner happy.
The way that I did it was 1: I had to stop comparing my partners to previous ones who made bad choices. Not everyone is the same and not everyone will try to hurt you. 2: Be comfortable enough with myself and know that if someone makes that choice to hurt me, it says nothing about who I am, it just says what bad character that person has. 3: if anyone was to cheat or lie to mean, that is their loss. Because I do not put up with that kind of behavior because I do not behave that way to others. Respect yourself enough to know when you are not being respected back, but you do not have to automatically assume they will try to hurt you before you get to know them. You know the red flags to look for, and if you are aware enough of yourself to know when someone is happening that you dont like, you dont have to stay. This is what I learned through all of my bad relationships, and my journey of self growth. It definitely took the fear of getting hurt away and made me more open to new people. Then I was aware of weeding out toxic people from good people.
The first step in trusting another person, as cliche` as it may be, is trusting yourself. You have to trust your own instincts about people and about situations, and with that comes the ability to trust if another person is being honest or not. Working on trusting your instincts can be done with or without a partner, and through verbal and non-verbal manners.
Grow yourself personally first before entering a relationship though personal development. Anything to enhance your awareness and self identity is very important. Develop new talents, and skills, to realize your dreams, aspirations, and your core values as a human being. But remember, this is a lifelong process and results take time.
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