Intimate relationships usually require vulnerability, willingness and trust. When you are someone who struggles to trust other people letting them get close can feel frightening. You keep people at arm’s length, you second guess everything and then you find yourself in a relationship that is dissatisfying and don’t enrich your life.
Is it a Pattern?
Some people find building trust to be difficult across many relationships and if they look back, it feels like a pattern that they keep reliving.
Reading into things.
When it is hard to trust your significant other or even a friend you are always on the lookout for signs that you were right, they aren’t trustworthy. They come home with flowers and your first thought it “what have you done wrong?”. You are on alert for any sign that you are about to be hurt.
Tracing it back.
How far back does this go for you? Maybe as a child your parents separated and you felt that you couldn’t rely on one or both your parents. Maybe you felt let down by one of your close friends or maybe you have been cheated on in romantic relationships. To understand how trust has developed into a relationship pattern first you have to look back at how it has transpired throughout your life.
Are There Unresolved Trust Injuries?
Are there significant events in your life where your trust has been broken and you still feel pain associated with it? When events haven’t been fully understood and processed they can linger and re-emerge in new relationships. Resolution of the past can break the pattern that you are living in the present.
How it Leaves You Feeling.
You Can’t Enjoy The Positives.
If you are hypersensitive to betrayal or rejection this lack of trust leaves you not being able to enjoy the positives. You can’t enjoy the flowers your partner has brought home. You wonder about the ulterior motive behind it and the joy just disappears.
Expecting The Worst.
You are constantly on guard and waiting for things to go wrong; you know you will eventually be proven right and this person is not trustworthy. When things do go wrong it reinforces that you were right all along and the pattern of not trusting becomes reinforced even more.
You Don’t Feel Like You Can Even Trust Yourself.
You know you have difficulties with trust, you have experienced it again and again. This leaves you feeling so uncertain about dealing with issues. Is this a legitimate issue or is this just your tendency to be distrustful? You start to doubt you own internal voice and it leaves you feeling anxious.
How It Impacts The Relationship.
Not Letting People Get Close.
When you are constantly expecting for others to be dishonest, unfair or disrespectful you keep them at a distance. They can’t hurt you if you don’t let them get too close. This leaves your normal craving for intimacy unmet and you just aren’t satisfied with your relationship.
You Leave Relationships Too Quickly.
When you are quick to interpret behaviour as a sign that another person is untrustworthy then as soon as the slightest thing goes wrong you get out of there as fast as you can. This creates a pattern of brief relationships with people who are (in your mind) untrustworthy. It becomes a defence mechanism. “I’ll get out before it gets even worse”.
Or Maybe You Stay Too Long?
Other people do the opposite and stay in relationships too long. They know that they struggle to trust people and they overcompensate by making excuses for poor behaviour. They tell themselves they are overreacting and up in a relationship much longer than they should.
If you want to improve your relationships and start to address the issues you have with trust then therapy can help. Call me today to discuss your challenges or to begin therapy.