“He did everything I wanted and I STILL couldn’t be happy.”
Jennifer feels trapped and doesn’t know what to do. It’s almost her one year dating anniversary with her boyfriend Sam and Jennifer is miserable. She’s unsure whether to keep trying to make this relationship work or to just end it now.
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Sam is a great guy and has done everything he knows to do to show Jennifer that she can trust him. He keeps his promises; he’s kind and considerate and he’s given her no reason to doubt his love.
She can’t escape the horrors of her past. Jennifer’s ex was a real jerk who cheated on her multiple times and even once in her own home while she was sleeping in the next room! Every time she looks at Sam, she sees how wonderful he is and she also remembers her ex and how wonderful he seemed to be at first, before the cheating started. This nagging fear that Sam is just like her ex makes her jealous whenever they go out together or anytime other women are around.
She can’t bring herself to fully trust Sam and is always on guard, waiting to be disappointed and hurt.
Is your past getting in the way of you present (and future) happiness?
Like Jennifer, maybe your partner has tried and tried to prove to you that you can safely trust him or her. Maybe you can even see how trustworthy your spouse or partner is, but a part of you just doesn’t believe it because of what you went through in the past.
Because your ex (or maybe several of your exes) lied to you and cheated, you are left emotionally wounded. You don’t want to be betrayed ever again and so you hold back and you don’t let yourself trust.
Your past negative experiences keep you in hyper-alert mode, waiting for what seems “inevitable” to happen. Because you've been cheated on so many times before, you are expecting to be cheated on again regardless of what your current partner is actually saying or doing.
This is a completely understandable AND it’s deadly for your relationship.
If you want to break the cycle of betrayal, hurt, mistrust and jealousy, you’re going to need to learn how to trust. This won’t work if you force it. You’ve got to make a conscious effort to be more in the present so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not your partner is trustworthy before you trust.
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You can certainly continue along as you are and struggling with your jealousy and only trusting halfway if at all. This is the way with many many couples. But just ask yourself this question... “Am I happy trying to love with weak or no trust?”
Your answer is probably going to be a big “No.” If so, isn’t it time to try something different?