What’s the most important thing in any relationship? Certainly trust ranks high. Try to imagine operating in a partnership devoid of trust. You could never depend on anything at any given time and you’d live your life would be constant uncertainty. Not the best foundation for a successful marriage.
Kathy’s first marriage ended when she discovered her first husband had cheated on her. He hid his financial records, was secretive about his social media activity, and would sometimes go outside to take a phone call when reception was perfectly fine inside. The one thing she could trust was that he was keeping something from her.
When Kathy finally recovered from her first marriage she met Sam. He is honest and open and a one-man woman. But Kathy has been hurt by her first marriage and is wary of trusting Sam, even though he’s nothing like her first husband. She surreptitiously checks his computer for suspect messages from other women. She tries to sneak a peak at recent calls on his cell phone, looking for evidence that he’s cheating.
In short, she’s paranoid—perhaps rightfully so. But she’s insulting Sam with her mistrust and damaging their relationship. Eventually, if she keeps it up, she may actually drive him away and into another relationship—the very thing she’s afraid of.
Find Intimacy through Vulnerability
The problem is, Kathy doesn’t trust her judgment. After all, she was way off the mark when she picked her first husband. But Sam clearly has her best interest at heart, something he’s demonstrated over and over. So what can Kathy do?
She needs to examine herself and understand why she’s over reacting and putting her good marriage in peril. She needs to make it clear to herself and to Sam that her suspicion is based on her past, and that it is not Sam’s fault. She needs to allow herself to be vulnerable enough to explain this to Sam and ask him for what she needs from him. Perhaps this would involve him sharing his financial records, his recent calls, and anything else she would like to see until her anxiety abates.
Build Self-Confidence and Self-Love
After such a devastating experience, Kathy’s self-esteem was at an all-time low. She needs time to heal and allow herself to be loved. Sam is ready and willing to do that, but she should try not to sabotage him with her fears. She needs to love herself before she can effectively receive love from Sam.
Proactively Work at Trust
Kathy needs to be as open and honest with Sam about her feelings and her past hurts as possible. When new issues of conflict arise, they both need to practice good communication skills. If mistrust rears its ugly head, they must address it as directly as possible.
Sam and Kathy love each other. But people let each other down from time to time for whatever reason. Maybe they make a mistake or maybe they’ve done something entirely unintentional. But both have to trust that their partner wants the best for the other. Always assume your partner has good intentions instead of assuming the worst.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact