Dear Deepak, I have suffered from anxiety and depression my entire life. As a child I experienced psychological, emotional, and physical abuse, and as a result, ended up in very unhealthy relationships, which culminated in a marriage to an emotionally and mentally unstable alcoholic. Luckily, I got myself and my child out of that situation and have been able to rebuild my life and heal many of the scars that were left behind from all the trauma I have endured. I have been in therapy, have been practicing yoga several times a week for approximately 6 months, and have recently begun meditating. I've been divorced for almost 10 years and have not dated much in that time, except for a man who lives very far away and with whom I have maintained a long distance relationship for several years. He is kind, supportive, and loving, and we are now planning on moving together and hopefully getting married. However, I don't fully trust him and am terrified that he will be unfaithful to me or leave me. I often act suspicious and have told him I can't completely trust him. He tells me my distrust hurts him profoundly, which I do not want to do, as I love him deeply. Although I have made many positive changes in my life, there are some wounds I have been unable to heal, especially with regard to trust. How do I learn to trust again after having sick and abusive relationships with my family and men all my life? How can I trust that he is different, being that I have always chosen (or they have been chosen for me, in the case if my family) people who end up hurting and betraying me, leaving me devastated and feeling worthless?
I don’t think you distrust him specifically, you describe him as a trustworthy person. Rather it seems that you have not fully healed your past trauma and you see him through the lenses of distrust from your past. If you can see it in these terms,and explain your feelings to your boyfriend in this way, then he won’t be so hurt because you are not attacking or blaming him. Remember that finding the right partner is about becoming the person you are looking for. You want him to be faithful and not leave you, but you have no faith in him and distrust him, then you aren’t relating to him as a person, but only reacting to the ghost of your unhealed past. That is not the kind of person you would want to be partners with.
You have done a lot of healing, but you still need to do more before you feel safe enough to really be present and fully engaged in this new relationship. When you heal more, you will find a strength of heart such that you cannot be wounded by the words and behavior of others. You will have trust in yourself and your ability to deal with any of life’s uncertainties with love and integrity. In that state, no one can deceive you or betray you.