Regaining Trust in a Relationship

I've been in a long-distance relationship for one year. We do not live within driving distance, so we see each other only once a month. I really love this man, and I believe he feels the same way about me. There has even been talk of moving in together. The problem is that he has done things in the past that have made me lose trust in him, including not telling me the truth. Every time I begin to regain some of my trust in him, something else happens to knock it back down. The explanation is always that I misconstrued the information or situation and that I'm wrong for not trusting him. Now I'm so afraid to let my guard down and trust him. I'm torn about whether I should throw caution to the wind and just trust what he says or go with my gut feeling that something is wrong. What should I do? --iVillager palisa


Sherry Amatenstein

Sherry is the author of The Q&A Dating Book and Love Lessons from Bad Breakups. She has taught dating seminars, appeared as an expert... Read more

Dear Palisa:

Trust and communication are among the most important ingredients in a relationship. It sounds as if both are lacking in your case. You don't say what he has (repeatedly) done to cause you to distrust him. But if his only response to your questions is to cast the blame on you (by saying you're "misconstruing" his actions), well, that sounds like a man who has something to hide or a disinclination to treat his better half as if she is worthy of respect and honesty.

It's past time to have a do-or-die conversation. Tell him (not in attack mode, but from the heart) all the reasons for your distrust and that you need real answers, not evasions. If you still don't like what you hear, ask yourself whether he has given you valid reasons to think he's lying to you. Or are you laying old baggage at his door? For example, did an ex betray you, and so now all men seem "skeevy"? If that's the case, you've got some pondering to do -- perhaps with the help of a therapist -- to help you learn to separate the good guys from the bad.

If after all this, however, your gut says he's lying, he probably is. In that case, the only thing you should throw to the wind is this relationship.