How do you learn to trust a partner after being in a long term abusive relationship?
Last Updated: 01/04/2021 at 7:46am
Traci Seery, LMFT
Marriage & Family Therapist
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Top Rated Answers
If your partner is showing signs of change and willingness to change then there could be room for trust.
I have never personally been with a physically abusive person but I have been in a relationship where there was emotional abuse to some extent. It definitely is not easy. I constantly reminded myself that everyone is different. Like other things in life you have bad experiences but that doesn't mean that everything will be bad. I found getting to know my current boyfriend before actually meeting him in person really helped. We talked for a while and when I felt comfortable I met him in person. When I felt ready I told him about what had happened with my last relationship and the emotional abuse. It was really difficult but he was great with dealing with it and listened to what I had to say. Talking about it to him was the biggest thing for me because it gave him some sense into why I would act the way I did sometimes (such as getting scared if we argued etc.) I didn't need to tell him everything that happened but just give him a general picture of everything.
Have faith in people and have faith in yourself - that you'll recognize abusive behavior before it escalates so you can walk away from those relationships
Take it slow, explain to the partner your previous issues and be open. If the partner is worth your love he/she will understand.
To trust a partner after being in a long term abusive relationship, you have to realize that not all partners will be like that. It will be hard at first, but you really do need to confide your trust in your partner, despite your past.
This can be really challenging as you will always be worried and anxious that the same thing will happen in the new relationship that occurred in the previous one. The best way I think would be to just take things slowly and to not dive right it. Just do things that you are comfortable with and always remember that communication is key.
It's so hard to put that kind of experience behind you, but you have to bear in mind that it's already ruined enough of your life: don't let it ruin any more. It's so hard to learn to trust someone again but you've got to remember that this is a totally different person that you're in a relationship with now. You have to slowly let your shield down, because with it up: yeah, bad people can't get to you, but at the same time neither can real love. Patience, perseverance and faith are the way forward. Take it at your own pace but don't let bad past experience a ruin future good ones.
Its hard, it feels near impossible. It takes time, patience, and truthfully trust. You have to take the relationship day by day with a partner and through experience you develop trust again.
By giving the relationship time. By being open and direct and talk about everything that troubles you.
There is no simple way to trust after an abusive relationship, depending on many factors. Ultimately, your new partner will be the one who can help you learn to trust again, along with friends and family. Discussions with your partner about your experiences of mistrust and abuse can help, however you do not have to be explicit or reveal everything if you don’t desire to. Communication is always the first step to trusting again and there should be no rush. Some abusive relationships have long term impacts or can flare up again. Trust is an ongoing and ever changing concept that is shared between two people but can be impacted by others outside of the relationship.
Start small. Take things slowly and trust your partner with the minor things in your life before you can trust them with the more personal things. It takes time, what matters is that you keep trying and don't completely give up on trusting people. Maybe have a discussion with your partner first and give him/her a little background as to why you want to take things a little slowly. You don't have to go into a lot of detail, you can just tell them the stuff that you're comfortable sharing. That can also be your first small step towards trusting your partner. You're generally headed in the right direction by not shutting yourself off completely after an abusive relationship. That takes a lot of strength. I hope you keep going and I wish you the best of luck.
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