No matter how much you may try to pretend that you don’t feel mistrusting of your partner, that issue and those feelings aren’t just going to disappear.In fact, the more you try to ignore the mistrust, the more mayhem it’s likely to cause in your relationship.If you want to move beyond mistrust and turn toward healing and the connected relationship you want, the first step is to stop the denials and ignoring.
When you finally admit that something has happened that is standing in the way of you and your partner being as close and trusting as you’d like to be, you are beginning to make that move.
Philip feels like there’s a gremlin in his relationship. It seems like some unknown mischief-maker is causing serious mayhem between he and his long-time partner Kristie.
Philip wants very much to trust Kristie, but there always seems to be some warning bell going off in his mind. The mistrust “gremlin” causes Philip to question Kristie whenever they’ve been apart about who she’s been with and what she’s been doing.
He never openly accuses her of anything, but he’s also always on the lookout for signs. He knows that this questioning really irritates Kristie, but Philip just can’t seem to stop. And when Kristie does answer his questions, that mistrust “gremlin” is at it again– he has a hard time believing what she tells him.
Don’t let your mistrust “gremlin” cause mayhem in your relationship!
Acknowledge why the mistrust is there.
Let’s be clear here. There are no mistrust “gremlins.” Of course you probably know that but when your stomach is churning and your mind is reeling with doubts and stories, it can feel like you are out of control and even at the mercy of some unknown entity!
When you feel mistrust, there are real reasons for those emotions. When you can discover and acknowledge why the mistrust is there, you can start to move toward the relationship you want.
When Philip slows down his mind, he clearly knows that there is no gremlin causing mistrust in his relationship. And when Philip is courageous enough to take a deeper look at his past and his present relationship, he can better understand what contributes to the mistrust he feels.
From Philip’s point of view, women are naïve flirts. A series of past girlfriends helped cement that belief in his mind. And while he doesn’t think that Kristie intentionally flirts with other men, he does feel like it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens– and she is enticed into an affair.
As you begin to discover and acknowledge why you are experiencing mistrust, try to keep your attention on your own patterns and what has happened in your life and less on what your partner is doing or why you think it is his or her “fault” that you mistrust.
This is not about establishing blame, but about learning more about why you feel the way you do.
Ask yourself what you need.
When Philip– and you– can get a clearer idea of the beliefs and past experiences that contribute to mistrusting tendencies, his– and your– focus can start to shift.
Now that Philip is aware of his beliefs about women, he can start to ask himself what he needs to happen so that trust can heal.
The automatic response to this question, for Philip, is for Kristie to just stay away from other men and to always be faithful to him.
But when he asks himself the question again (knowing that Kristie completely staying away from other men is unrealistic), Philip realizes that it is time for him to begin staying present in this relationship and letting go of past hurts.
Everyone is different, has had unique experiences and will heal in particular ways.
At the same time, it is quite common for mistrust to stem from the past and unresolved pain that is carried into the present relationship and moment.
If you are confused about what you need right now, consider how rooted in the present moment you tend to be. If you find that, like Philip, you are bringing past hurts into your current relationship, you can start letting go and healing around that point.
Yes, mistrust in a relationship is often the result of a complex dynamic that involves both people. But when you focus only on what your partner is doing, you make yourself just as helpless as Philip felt about the mistrust “gremlin.”
Instead, look within yourself and discover what needs to be healed so that you can come to your relationship fully present and ready to turn toward trust.
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