Anyone who has ever been in a relationship might have come across trust issues and jealousy at one point or another. As a human being susceptible to every type of feeling in the world, let me share my insights about all these fun stuff. Such a big topic so I will divide it in parts.
Okay a disclaimer first – some might question my authority on relationships as I have had one too many that did not last. In fact, I was chatting one time with a girl friend of mine who has been annulled after ten years of marriage, and we were having a debate about relationship issues. She was questioning my insights versus hers. What did I know – me with a a number of past “failed” two-, three-, or four-year relationships and never been married – versus her who was able to make her marriage work for ten years? Hmm. Well, I think her “failed” marriage is no different from my “failed” relationships because in the end, they all did not last. So I do not think my heartaches and the lessons I think I have learned should be undermined in any way just because I have never been married. Relationships are relationships and experiences are experiences – you learn valuable lessons from each of them regardless of time. Also come to think of it, I do hate using the word “failed”. When a relationship does not work, it is not a failure and it surely is nobody’s fault. It is just a “realization” that the two of you are not right for each other. You both walk away from that relationship with profound learnings and an opportunity for something better. So yeah, I am definitely not a love guru but I have had my share of “realizations” and experiences that is why I have all these insights and I am a rambler so let me ramble on…
Insight No.1: Trust issues – I think there is a difference between having trust issues and being made to believe that you have one.
Let us do a case study based on this example:
Day – Today
Setting – Boyfriend is in Singapore. Girlfriend is overseas on a business trip. Talking over text.
Boyfriend: I will go to a dinner event tonight.
Girlfriend: Okay, where?
Boyfriend: Penang (approximately 7 hours away by car, 1 hour away by plane)
Girlfriend: You’re going to Malaysia for a dinner event? Who’s going to be there?
Boyfriend: It’s a regional company anniversary event. Colleagues from work.
Girlfriend: Are you going alone? Driving or flying to Penang?
Gist of what Boyfriend feels (obviously instantly irritated): Here we go again with my girlfriend’s trust issues. Why must she always question me like this. Sure I get defensive, but only when I feel I am not trusted like now. All these questions she fires out, what makes her think I have to answer to her?
Gist of what Girlfriend feels: What was that defensive reaction? Why couldn’t he have just given me full details of what he’s going to do and not make me squeeze trickles of information like this and make me look like a freaking interrogating fool. Crap, I bet he’s going to bring up trust again.
My honest opinion:
The Boyfriend’s reaction is truly understandable. It surely is irritating to be questioned the way Girlfriend has questioned him. Boyfriend has not even been able to catch his breath yet from his last answer and here goes another question. On and on and on and on. Pretty tiring indeed! As biased as I may seem, I guess the argument here would have been avoided if the Boyfriend just informed the Girlfriend about the important details of what he’s going to do. It would have been ideal if he just said, “Hey Girlfriend, I am going to a dinner event tonight in Penang. It’s a regional anniversary event of my company and I’ll be driving there alone. I will stay the night at Eastern & Oriental Hotel and drive home the next day.” That single and yet very thoughtful statement would not have left any room for silly and unnecessary interrogation on the Girlfriend’s part. Instead, Girlfriend would have felt respected, comfortable and blessed to have such a thoughtful and trustworthy man. It can be quite insulting to be given just 5% detail then expect you to just guess the rest but trust it nevertheless, and even more insulting to be accused of having trust issues when you start asking questions because you cannot make anything out of the 5% info that you have. I thought blind faith was only for the radicals.
SO…what should you do if you think your partner has trust issues? I guess the most sensible thing is to assess first if it is for real and if it is, where it is coming from. For all you know, it may be as simple as your partner just asking to be informed of significant details about you or your activities to achieve that certain level of comfort. The issue may not even be an issue of trust but just on communication. Being in a relationship means making sure that your partner is happy and at ease, and adjusting to each other’s unique personalities. How your partner is may be different from how you are. Just the same, the way your partner expresses love or achieves trust may be different from yours. Learn it. If you love each other, understanding each other is vital so that you would know how to deal and communicate with each other. Thoughtfulness and communication are key.
Now if your partner really has heavy trust issues, you need to have a talk so you can both understand what is it in your partner’s past that has molded him to become that way. An emotional release is what your partner needs so you have to help him understand and accept what his fears are and then give him the assurance he needs that in the relationship you share, his fears do not need to exist. Whenever he gets pangs of doubt, bring him back to the conversation you had and reassure him again. You have to be patient because this is a problem that cannot be resolved overnight. Now if you are the one who has the trust issues, you getting over it should be a conscious effort. Your partner is there to understand you and to help you but you must help yourself too. Let go of your past fears and do not let it hold you back from having a happy, worry-free relationship. Overcoming trust issues can be a real challenge for you and your partner but nothing you cannot overcome with patience and love. I know couples who have surpassed this with flying colors.
Love is a two-way thing. There should be genuine thoughtfulness, understanding, patience and trust coming from both parties. It is not always smooth-sailing and there are always humps and bumps and sharp curves along the road but they are there to surpass and to just smile about as you reach your glorious destination which will make it all worth it.
That’s all for now. Part 2 will be all about the green eyed monster – mother friggin’ Jealousy :P
© Karen Cornejo, December 2012