Posted by fxckfeelings on July 19, 2016Share This Post
Because trust between people who know one another well usually depends on how well they treat one another (and their cars, pets, and fancy coffee makers) over time, we tend to assume that mistrust would not flare up in a close relationship without good reason. Unfortunately, some apparently normal people are sometimes prone to limited bursts of paranoia, so mistrust can also arise spontaneously for reasons that we don’t understand. That’s why it’s important to develop objective methods for assessing the causes of mistrust, whether it’s your own or others’, and whether it’s broken-espresso- machine-related or not.
I love my partner very much— he makes me very happy, and I feel very cherished. Despite that, however, I cannot trust him because there have been a few times that he has neglected to tell me very important things that affected us. He will keep me informed for a week or so, and then neglect it again. If I cannot trust him, can this relationship work? Can someone who behaves like this change? My goal is to figure out whether I can stay with someone I love, even if I can’t take his word.
It’s hard to have a partner whom you can count on to make you feel happy and loved, but can’t count on to tell the whole story. It can make you wonder if his feelings for you in general are sincere, or part of some other hidden story that he’s weaving for some nefarious reason. It puts you in the confusing place of feeling partial to him and paranoid about him at the same time and in equal measure.
In a partnership, however, the other way of measuring success is by actions and probable consequences, not, of course, by feelings. This doesn’t just mean that you should give more consideration to the nature of actions than to the number of warm-and- fuzzies he gives, but that you should think hard about whether what he’s done is worth your intense suspicion.
After all, it may feel humiliating or frightening to find out he’s made a major financial move without first informing you, but there’s a difference between his gambling away the house behind your back and buying a new car without telling you first. In other words, someone who likes to take advantage of you in secret is much worse than someone who’s so absentminded that he just forgets to keep you in the loop.
Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely that he’ll ever turn into the kind of guy who always keeps you informed and who will never take actions that shock and surprise you, but that doesn’t have to destroy a good partnership if he’s reasonably good at making decisions and being honest about them when asked.
So ask yourself whether his mistrust-inspiring actions have ever been malicious, could damage you financially and/or undermine your belief in his fidelity. If they are dangerous, nasty, or unfaithful, then your problem isn’t mistrust, but the missed opportunities to listen to your brain over your heart and drop his lying ass as soon as possible.
If, however, you find that the things he forgets to tell you about aren’t dangerous, try to set up your own system for checking on his actions. Don’t let your feelings of surprise and hurt paralyze you or persuade you that you’re helpless and can’t trust his love. See if he can respond well to periodic questioning, and if he can and does, your methods may keep you from feeling ambushed and screwed.
Even if you can’t prevent him from sometime giving you unwanted surprises, you may still find, after adding up all its benefits, that the relationship is one you want to hold on to. As long as you don’t let suspicion persuade you that your relationship is doomed before carefully evaluating its strengths and risks, or let love blind you to conniving ways, you will find a good answer that you can, yes, trust.
“I hate feeling I can’t trust someone who fills me with love, but I will not let the feeling of disrupted, interrupted love prevent me from weighing the actual risks of our relationship and deciding whether it’s good for both of us.”
More advice from Dr. Lastname