She Won't Trust Me!
Q: I'm 29, and I recently broke up with my girlfriend who I was dating for about two years. She has all the qualities that a guy can ask for in a woman except her lack of trust. I have never cheated on her but I got accused all the time. Anytime I'd go somewhere, I'd get interrogated. She would tell me that I don't take her anywhere, but any time I did, I got accused of one thing or another. No matter how often I expressed my concerns, we'd get into a fight. However, I still have very strong feelings for her and would want to marry her and settle down, but I'm not sure if she could ever overcome her trust issues. -- Mike
Dr. Susan: You didn't say whether it was you or she who initiated the break-up, though if you were fighting all the time, it doesn't matter. What matters is whether both of you are anxious enough to get back together that you're both willing to try something new. Have you considered learning more about communication? Relationship books (including my own) can be useful here, or a few sessions with a couples therapist. And don't even dream about getting married until you determine why she's so untrusting. She needs to figure out where her fears are coming from, possibly with the help of a good therapist. If she's got abandonment issues, then your breaking up with her fed right into them. "Aha, see, I was right. He never loved me after all."
I can't tell you whether she would be able to overcome her deep-seated stuff that's getting in the way of a mutual and trusting love. But you may not be the total innocent you claim to be. Being asked where you've been when you're away from her is not necessarily a big deal. As for her accusing you of one thing or another, some women are rightfully distressed when their partners stare at other women or even openly flirt. So I'd have to know more about your style to give you any advice there. What I'm saying is that there are usually a couple sides to each story, and the best relationships are built on both parties knowing and having compassion for the other's "side." Good luck!
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.