How Do I Not Bring Trust Issues Into My New Relationship If My Ex Cheated on Me?
Being cheated on in a relationship can be devastating, and the hurt and feelings of betrayal can linger even into a new relationship. You may have doubts about how to know if someone is trustworthy, or may even wonder if anyone is truly trustworthy. As difficult as it may seem, you can learn to deal with the issue of distrust so that it won't unfairly affect any new relationships.
1 Understand Healthy Trust
It's natural and healthy to have some level of mistrust in certain situations, as this can protect you from serious harm. GoodTherapy.org, a website dedicated to helping people find therapists and advocating for ethical therapy, points out that trust is not an all or nothing thing, but something that can vary in degrees. While some feelings of mistrust can be healthy, such as not automatically trusting people you don't know well with highly personal information, if you find yourself second guessing everything your partner says, mistrust may be dominating your relationship and needs to be addressed.
2 Clear Communication
Communicate clearly and honestly with your current partner and ask that he does the same with you. The cornerstone of healthy relationships is honest communication, writes marriage and family therapist Darlene Lancer on Mental Help Net. You and your partner should honestly share not just thoughts and feelings but also needs and expectations within the relationship. For example, if you expect your partner to call you daily, let him know that so that he has fair opportunity to meet this expectation, or to discuss with you why he can't. This clear communication can help build healthy trust.
3 Set Boundaries
While your current partner should not have to pay for the mistakes of a former partner, she does have the responsibility of maintaining the trust you have in her. Set personal boundaries and hold your partner accountable if she does not respect them. For example, if you have told your partner that you don't take phone calls after 11 p.m. so that you can get enough sleep, yet she continues to call too late and demand you talk to her, she is crossing a boundary. If your partner routinely ignores or crosses boundaries that you are setting, you know that this is not a trust issue from the past, but a valid current concern and you can address it as such.
4 Be Willing to Take a Risk
Ultimately, trust is about being willing to take a risk, asserts Mary Hotvedt, president of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, on "Psychology Today" online. You can never really control or predict what someone else will do, and choosing to trust him does involve some risk. You do what you can to make wise decisions, but to develop deep and meaningful relationships, vulnerability is required. Knowing this, the question you must ask yourself is if you feel like the relationship is worth the potential risk that comes with it.