Trusting your Girlfriend when you've been Betrayed in the Past

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
I read your article on not trusting someone when you know you should. I really don't trust my girlfriend, and she's done nothing to make me feel like she would ever cheat. She knows I don't trust her, and has done everything she could to help, but i still can't bring myself to do it.

I've been screwed over before, and i worry that if i trust someone it will happen again. I realize this is wrong, and i want to trust her, but i just can't. Any advice on how to just trust someone, besides "just do it"? Advice
I knwo it seems like it's impossible to trust someone after you've been betrayed. I've been betrayed in the past, every family member I know has been betrayed at some point in their life, every friend I know has been. It is, sadly, something that happens in life. There are just people out there who are jerks. Part of the dating process is about trying out people to date, getting rid of the jerks, and then settling down with someone who you have now determined is not a jerk :)

So yes, you've been burnt. We've all been burnt. There are very few adults who have not been burnt at least once. And yes, it is VERY hard to pick yourself up off the ground and try again, and trust someone with your emotions. it hurts so incredibly much to be betrayed, how can you open yourself up again to that potential pain?

That is the whole point of a real relationship. It is that you DO make that leap of faith. You trust them with your heart and soul. Yes, they have the ability to hurt you. You have the same ability to hurt your partner. But you trust each other to be there through thick and thin, through good and bad.

I have some advice here -

It may sound silly but print out some quotes and pin them to your mirror or your closet or locker or whatever. Repeat them to yourself, that "I Trust XXXXX." If you feel ANY worry creep in, repeat it. The more you say it, the more it will seem real. The more you remind yourself of it, the more it will seem true. And it of course IS true. It's just that you have to show yourself that it is a worthy emotion to hold.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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