‘Trust issues.’ It’s a phrase you’ve all heard before. Hell, most of us have probably even said it ourselves at some point. It’s the kind of thing we say when we get into new relationships to explain anything from jealousy to possessiveness to being emotionally unavailable. We make some vague comment about how we’ve been hurt in the past and how we now find it card to open up to people because of our ‘trust issues.’
This might sound harsh, but your so-called ‘trust issues’ are bullsh*t. The phrase ‘trust issues’ is a much recycled one that is thrown around far too frequently for my liking, and it doesn’t do anybody any good. All your ‘trust issues’ do is ruin every relationship that you enter into. Your belief that you find it difficult to become close to people becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. You tell yourself that you find it difficult to open up to people so much that you actually do begin to forget how to engage with others. Your belief that your partner can’t be trusted also turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy – how many times have people cheated on their significant other because they’re being suffocated by jealousy?
Look, I get it. I get that if you’ve been lied to a lot in your past then you may doubt your initial impressions of people. After all, you’ve failed to spot lies before, so you’re clearly a bad judge of character, right? Or perhaps you’ve been cheated on, and so you constantly look for evidence of cheating in new relationships. They took their phone to the bathroom? Cheating. They hugged their female friend for a second too long? Cheating.
I get it.
I’ve had it happen to me. Everyone has. If you’ve not been cheated on, then I’d bet my entire life savings that you’ve been lied to about something at some point in your past. Unfortunately, people can be rotten and relationships aren’t always a walk in the park.
However, just because your ex lied to you doesn’t mean your new boyfriend will. I am of the belief that people are fundamentally trustworthy and that those who do cheat do so because of issues in the relationship (more often than not because their partner keeps them on a tight leash and they feel suffocated). Rather than confide in your new boyfriend about your trust issues, ban him from having female friends and snoop through his text messages, why don’t you decide that you’re going to trust him until he gives you a reason not to?
Letting your trust issues come into a new relationship does not benefit anyone. You spend your days an anxious, paranoid wreck and your partner feels punished for a crime they haven’t committed. Consequently, your relationship suffers. And for what? The person that initially broke your heart is unaffected. The only people that are suffering as a result of your trust issues are yourself and your new partner, and it isn’t right.
Making the decision to trust a new person is hard. It’s especially hard if that person has a reputation, a crazy ex or a history of bad behaviour. Of course it is. However, when you enter into a partnership with somebody, you have to take them at face value and trust that they are who they say they are. If you can’t do that, then you shouldn’t be in a relationship. It really is that simple.