When you have some trust issues

by singlemomseeking on April 7, 2010

I’m not sure if those deep fears ever go away. Or, if you just learn how to face them without freaking out all the time.

Fortunately, LG doesn’t have this, um, challenge. Sure, he might have other fears pop up once in a while  — but trust just doesn’t seem to be one of them. He simply believes in us. It’s that easy. Ah, how delightful.

And me? Well, I continue to struggle with this darn bugger. No, it’s not that bad. But every once in a while, something or other will trigger these old feelings. Fortunately, I’ve got words for these feelings now: I can talk about that queasy feeling in my stomach, instead of lashing out. Besides, the rational me has no reason to doubt him. He’s a good man, a genuinely good guy.

It’s me.

As LoveBabz pointed out almost one year ago — when I wrote about learning how to trust — this is about MY insecurities.

How do YOU do it?

Legal Editor Mom told me: “Simply put, keep your thoughts from things that are past and done: thinking of the past wakes regret and pain.”

I wish it was that easy.

And Carolyn from Running Leap — who just celebrated her one-year anniversary since meeting her Mr. K — added:

“Yeah, this is a toughie for me as well. My ex cheated on me at least twice, and the only other significant boyfriend I had left me for his ex-wife, whom he’d been ‘reconnecting’ with behind my back!…

Now I’m with this amazing guy, and I can’t imagine him betraying me like that… And yet I can’t imagine him *not* betraying me, either. I only know betrayal. Some sick part of me is just waiting for it…It’s ridiculous. I *know* it’s ridiculous. If you met him, you would also know that it’s ridiculous. He loves me. He’s a good guy. He would never…And yet, there it is. I like to think that one day, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’ll let my guard down and stop worrying and just accept his love at face value.”

Accepting. Well, here I am. This all makes me think of this amazing poem I love by Thomas R. Smith called “Trust,” which ends with:

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life
is delivered, even though you can’t read the address.”


So, do these fears ever go away? Or, do you just learn how to face them — and deal with them — better? Gentler? And more honestly?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiger Woman August 25, 2010 at 1:01 pm


I am new here.
I am with a fantastic man. I am a single mom. My daughter is 7.

We have been together for nearly two years now. He is loving, kind, caring, gentle and nice. To top it off, he loves my daughter.

Daughter’s dad- Long gone.
I had a string of bad relationships and my dad cheated on my mom and was he was a pedophile.

Trust is a huge issue with me with men and women. But I have learned to love and trust because of my man’s love. I also do EMDR sometimes to clear past issues.

It’s hard for me to compromise and work things out with him when I really need him.

There are things that trigger me every so often; if he isn’t home on time, if he switches off his cell phone during work, if he isn’t perfectly consistent. I think my demands are too nuts sometimes.

I don’t always trust my own feelings but that is less and less. I try to look at my reactions and my own issues as learning experiences. Forgiveness has come into my life, as has patience, unconditional love(he is a master at this one) and staying calm in a crisis.

He models a higher ideal but he also shows me his humanity.

I am grateful.


singlemomseeking August 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I’m honored to hear from you @Tiger Woman. You and I certainly have a lot in common! More than one friend has recommended EMDR to me. Thank you, and please stay in touch.


Swati Bharteey April 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I don’t think the guys deserve it – but will we ever stop? I hope so because I would love being carefree about it all once again. I do find I don’t like it if I don’t know who is texting him (luckily I am dating the most patient man ever and he just tells me or shows me his phone; it’s usually one of his 3 sisters, his mom , or his 2 daughters – ha!).

It’s tiring and I do just want to stop. I think I am getting better though :-). It doesn’t consume anymore like it did for the first few years after my divorce.

.-= Swati Bharteey´s last blog ..You can spend the rest of the year in your room! You’re grounded for a month! You’re going to bed now! =-.


The Ringleader April 11, 2010 at 10:06 pm

I can only imagine how hard it is to trust again. I gave my heart to a man after my ex-husband and I split up. We had a whirlwind romance and got engaged very fast and moved in together. Two months later he broke it off. While I can see what lead to the demise of the relationship, I know that it will be very hard for me to open myself up again the way that I did to him. Even while we were together, I recognized how vulnerable I was to getting my heart broken. I’m in a totally different place now but we’ll have to see what happens when I do meet someone else that I care for.

You have a year together so hopefully he has proven to you in that year that he is trustworthy. Do everything you can to banish those fears and move forward with your engagement and marriage. In your heart you know “this is it!”
.-= The Ringleader´s last blog ..Hypocrit? Well maybe! =-.


singlemomseeking April 13, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Thanks for the cheerleading @TheRingleader. I feel it! Yeah!!


Avigail74 April 10, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Those darn feelings will not go away on it own—they may just lie quietly for awhile and then suddenly come blasting out when something triggers it. This is a feeling that needs professional care—from someone who truly knows how to get this feeling to be quiet and stay quiet. And, it needs to be consistent until it’s mostly gone. Not once a month, or every other month. I find it interesting that if feels were a physical ailment, we’d go to the doctor and treat it right away–and will continue to do so until the ailment is gone—but when it comes to feelings–we don’t treat it very well or consistently.


Jack April 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Sometimes you just have to step off the cliff and have faith that it will work out. There will always be reasons to doubt and lots of reasons not to.
.-= Jack´s last blog ..The Week That Was =-.


butrflymom April 9, 2010 at 12:00 pm

On trust issues……………aside from having been cheated on by exes, I had a bad falling out with a girlfriend from a lot of lying and backstabbing on her part. Now I find myself suspicious when trying to make new friends with women. I see some of them talking behind each others backs and now it seems hard to even make friends. Seeing as how I am in a relatively new area, it would be nice to make friends, but I’m finding that difficult. It doesn’t seem so easy to make good friends who you can trust, or maybe I’m a bit jaded now. Let alone dating, I’m not really in the right place with going to school and finishing raising my daughter.

Has anyone else had this issue?


NewSingleTweenMom April 9, 2010 at 11:37 am

Sometimes I think you must be reading my mind. This has been an issue for me a lot during the past few weeks. Not in a way that I’m afraid I’ll be cheated on (never have been, but that I’ll be left-again.)

As my family goes through all our changes and struggles, it makes perfect sense that would strain my relationship with L. The slightest comment about him being eager for things to get back to normal or us needing to make some changes, sets me off is a terrifying way.

Those things mean he’s unhappy; unhappy men leave. That’s my black and white view of it. This is most likely caused by my ex-husband leaving, not after years in a miserable marriage, but 8 blissful years and 6 so-so months. I think what bothers me most is that I trust myself less. If is was so easy for me to stop loving my ex, then how can I keep myself loving L? At those slightest mentions of unhappiness, I feel my wall being built-brick by brick.

Can I live without him? Yes. Will the boys and I be okay? Yes. Would life be simpler without him? Maybe. By asking and answering these questions in my head, I put distance between us. I prepare for what seems to be inevitable, and by doing so, I will make it a reality. How do I stop it and become completely invested? This generous, loving man deserves someone who would be devastated by his leaving, not someone who’s become the master of putting on the big-girl panties and moving on. I know that coping skills are good, but have mine gone too far?


singlemomseeking April 9, 2010 at 4:44 pm

Fear has this way of making us see in black and white, doesn’t it? It has helped me to try to watch my thoughts when I’m getting scared and overreacting. I say, “That’s a belief, but it’s not reality. And that one? A belief, too.”

Hope this helps?


Nicki April 9, 2010 at 6:05 am

I’m not sure the fear ever goes away entirely. After being married for entirely too long to a man who cheated repeatedly, I struggle to let go of it as much as possible. Luckily, I’m marrying a man who is great at communicating, understanding of the baggage that I carry with me that just doesn’t quite disappear into the bowels of the overhead compartment, and still loves me. Together, we work through my flare-ups.

Time heals all wounds? And having a patient trust-worthy partner helps.
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..The potty post… =-.


Love Coach Rinatta April 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm

Rachel, it’s so great that you voice this issue, as anyone who’s in the their middle age and has had breakups has relationship fears. I was just talking to a client about it this morning.

She has these fears from her past and when they come up, she acts on them. We were talking about clearing her past pain with EFT so that it stops affecting her present.

I have done this myself just recently. I took pictures of past relationship partners and did EFT with them for an hour or so a couple of times. And I have noticed a real difference in the way I feel about some of those people, which means the pain they caused and the trigger-issues are lessened too.

I very much urge anyone struggling with pain from the past to try EFT. It’s painless, easy and works wonders.


singlemomseeking April 9, 2010 at 4:42 pm

Oh, Love Coach Rinatta, you know that I love to hear from you! Actually, I recently got a taste of EFT and something big has shifted in me to clear so much hurt from my past. Amazing. Thank you.


Hanna April 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

I use EFT too! It helped me get through my custody battle.
.-= Hanna´s last blog ..References =-.

Michele April 8, 2010 at 9:16 am

I really don’t think the fear goes away. However, with time we develop more effective ways to handle them. Or we should … I’m not there yet.
.-= Michele´s last blog ..The Green Onion at Great Neck =-.


BlueBella April 8, 2010 at 9:03 am

Oh Rachael, I love how you tackle the real heart matters. So much of what’s going on in your life rings true in mine, and I appreciate the discussions for perspective.

My thoughts on this topic: I’ve cheated, once. That’s all it took for me to realize what a horrible thing it is and would never do it again. And I have since been cheated on by my twins’ father, and have been basicially single ever since. MM was cheated on which led to his divorce, and hence to us finally getting together. So, we have trust issues in our past, and it is a topic of discussion we are working through together.

But, having had several years to process being cheated on . . .from my perspective, it took me realizing that I’m worth being with and deserve a man who values me enough to make me his one and only. It takes a strong relationship to maintain faithfulness over time. And it takes work on both partners parts to give and take in a way that maintains a healthy balance for both. But in the end, as others have said, you cannot control what another person does – you can only control you, and if you’re confident in yourself as a valuable person and partner who deserves to be treated with respect, honesty and fidelity, the odds are much greater you will be the type of partner who receives that treatment.

You are worth it! Plus, you can get rid of that pesky doubt hanging out in the back of your mind . . . it’s only good if you have a reason – otherwise let it go.
.-= BlueBella´s last blog ..If The Shoe Fits . . . =-.


Kat Wilder April 8, 2010 at 6:53 am

I don’t think that you get over fears over time; I think we realize there are things we can control and things we can’t.

You can’t control if LG decides one day to have an affair or whatever. If he wants to do that, he will, no matter what you do! But if you look at what he believes in, whether he’s honest in everything he does, it’s still no guarantee but it would seem a lot less likely.

We still tend to go into relationships seeing someone for who we want him to be, not who he is. If LG is truly an honest man, I’d let go of those fears.
.-= Kat Wilder´s last blog ..Someone to watch over me =-.


Legal Editor Mom April 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for referencing me…I recall that was at a time when I was working through my own trust issues after being hurt by my ex. As I think we can all relate, I was in a bad place emotionally, and didn’t feel that I would ever totally love or trust another man again. Well low and behold I don’t feel that way anymore, and I’m in a committed relationship with a great, fiercely honest and trustworthy guy and my issues now are very miniscule compared to what they were. How I did it was simply by vetting him very thoroughly before opening up to him completely, and by seeing him at face value. His actions showed me that he could be trusted, and I knew I had to had faith in that if I was ever going to move on and be happy again. When those old feelings began to surface, I reminded myself that he is not my ex, and deserves to be treated on his own merits and not “punished” for the actions of someone else. It’s not always easy, but it can be done! Hang in there!


Carolyn April 7, 2010 at 6:19 pm

It’s funny that just this morning, before seeing your post, I blogged again about this topic. How do you really reclaim the ability to truly trust when you’ve been badly hurt or betrayed before? It’s not as simple as *deciding* to trust. It comes in time, I guess…. I hope…

I don’t feel quite so much as if I don’t trust my Mr K… it’s more that I don’t trust that *anyone* will stick around. I’m afraid that I’m just destined to be left. I don’t want that to be my story, though… I think it just takes hard work to change that story in your head, and then it manifests in your life…
.-= Carolyn´s last blog ..A Case Study: Abandonment =-.


Danielle April 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I too, like T come from a long line of cheaters. I have been one myself and have been cheated on. It is time for me to stop the cycle from every end. But it is hard!
.-= Danielle´s last blog ..The Happiness Project: Week 6 =-.


Mike April 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm

All issues go away if you work on them. However how much time do we work on issues like this. Usually only when they rear their ugly head and we stop quickly after that when something else catchs our attention. I see how it with myself. Just like training for a marathon, if you can make a step by step process to go through it all that will cover enough time to retrain yourself on how you think. You should be able to overcome the problem.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..Melting Worries =-.


ami April 22, 2010 at 8:29 pm

I totally disagree with Mike’s first statement. All issue don’t got away if you deal with them. You can rationalize, comprehend,etc.. something that happens. Behaviours and choices people make can be understood. We are creatures with souls. When we are violated intimately, it can make a life long impact on who you are. It changes you. Just like chemistry in a science class can be permanently changed.
Being in a signifigant relationship with another person makes footprints on our souls like feet in sand. Except it doesn’t blow away. I have been betrayed in relationships and I have flashbacks from what these people did – whether it was when I was a teenager or an adult. I also have flashbacks of wonderful, happy, exciting times in my life. These are the pictures of my life. They just don’t go away!!


Maeve April 7, 2010 at 11:57 am

Oh yes. When you’ve divorced a sex addict, trust is the issue that just never gets resolved–because someone could betray me that way so constantly and for years I suspected nothing. And, unlike other causes for marital breakdown (say, playing too much golf, money troubles, etc.) trust is a fundamental part of every relationship so you don’t get to just find one where it doesn’t come up. It always comes up. And I find that even in the best of relationships, I am very quick to assume that he might not be in love with me, might be cheating on me, might be lying to me–and I wouldn’t know, I didn’t know last time.

I’ve heard it compared to PTSD, that situations trigger something very close to flashbacks, and they’re involuntary and overwhelming and horrible. And I think there’s something to that. When it happens, I try to remember this feels like something happening now but it’s actually old stuff that I’m remembering, and sometimes it helps, and sometimes it doesn’t.

I don’t know if you ‘get over’ something like that, ever. Or if you just learn to accept it and work around it, over time, like you’d eventually learn to deal with a missing eye or a missing hand.
.-= Maeve´s last blog ..master plan =-.


T April 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

Oh Rachel, you know I get this too.

I actually come from a family of cheaters, from my mom, dad, grandparents, siblings, myself(!!!) and so yes, trust is a biggie. I also have other triggers that set me off as well – alcoholism being one. As a matter of fact, because that’s such a big one with me, I’ve been looking into Al Anon meetings to help me process these fears. I cannot change someone else (especially when I realize that its MY fear) but I can change how I deal with it.

Thankfully we have loving and patient men in our lives who stand by us. Now it is up to us to nurture ourselves back to healthy, happy women.

Love you.
.-= T´s last blog ..The weekend in pics! =-.


Honey April 7, 2010 at 10:39 am

I still have these fears and Jake and I have been together 4 years. I’d like to think I ‘ve gotten better at dealing with those fears and realizing they are mine and not a result of anything he’s done, but it’s still very hard sometimes.
.-= Honey´s last blog ..The Weekly: 11% Interrupt Sex To Send Texts and Other Goodness (NSFW) =-.


Single Mom Seeking April 8, 2010 at 7:48 am

Thanks for the honesty @Honey. I kind of assumed that after people are together for years, these fears disappear. But maybe we just get more skilled at facing them?
.-= Single Mom Seeking´s last blog ..When you have some trust issues =-.


Momma Drama April 7, 2010 at 9:29 am

I feel the same way that you do. It took me 5 years to marry my husband because it felt so “final” to me – surprisingly the 2 year old we have together didn’t. I think I was just terrified of getting married.

As far as I know, no boyfriends of the past have ever cheated on me, but my father cheated on my mom with his previous wife. He had a whole other life and when my mom found out she had a serious mental breakdown. I think she could have been committed… anyway – I still don’t feel like I could ever trust my husband. I hate that – he’s the best man in the world!
.-= Momma Drama´s last blog ..Battle Royale =-.


Pippi April 7, 2010 at 8:59 am

I was the one who left my marriage because I was not happy. It was a bad dynamic. I did not physically cheat, but I must confess to an emotional attachment to someone whom I thought was my soul mate. He wasn’t, yet he was the grease that got me out the door. I read your words and feel guilt. Guilt about what my ex must feel when he gets in to a relationship. I am sorry. I am sorry that I am one of the ones in the world who made someone else (my ex) probably have trust issues. Now that I am in a healthy, happy relationship with my partner, I know I want to be with him and vice versa. There is no one else that I want to be with. You may or may not ever be able to let go of your trust issues but just putting the words down and hearing our responses, I hope, is therapeutic. All my best.
.-= Pippi´s last blog ..Ramblings From The Office – Working 9am to 5pm (actually 7am – 4pm) and I am NOT Dolly Parton (in other words, I lack certain items that Dolly doesn’t) =-.


Cass April 7, 2010 at 8:41 am

For me they are still too fresh. The reality of the betrayal is still hitting me. I look at my daughter in the mirror after coming in from an adventure and thing “how could anyone not want to be part of this moment…how could they have chosen someone else”. It’s awful. That sinking feeling.

I know that the cheating, the betrayal, the breech of trust is a reflection of him…not me. I rationally know it. But his loyalty was not something I ever questioned….and now I wonder if I go into situations with the question. And if I am brave enough to let that fear go, will it just find me again?


Kelly April 9, 2010 at 3:08 am

Cass, I’m right there with you. I’m six months into the discovery that my ex started an affair within weeks of my (planned) pregnancy. We had such a great life (I thought) together and now have the most beautiful baby boy … and yet…and yet…it was not enough. But you are ABSOLUTELY correct that this is a reflection on him, not you. It is so hard for this to sink in (me too) but it’s the simple truth. I am only slowly coming around to the idea that a lot of good will come from all this mess. Namely that I deserve better than a man who could even contemplate this type of behaviour…In the meantime I am doing a lot of soul searching re how I ended up with someone like this. It wasn’t random. The psychology of attraction is fascinating and learning more about it, I hope, is arming me better for future dating experiences…finding a ‘good guy’ I won’t have to fear…
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..And So to Bed… =-.


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