How to Deal With Trust Issues
The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
Music Credits: Monk Turner + Fascinoma, “Trust (Is Just A Word)”
How to Deal with Trust Issues
Having “trust issues” can be a good thing. It takes a long time to get to know people, and not all people are trustworthy. Part of having healthy boundaries is practicing discernment. When you figure out who is emotionally safe for you (and who isn’t) and then act accordingly, you are helping your own personal growth to develop.
What Are Trust Issues?
You might think that people have “trust issues” related to a partner who has betrayed them in the past. This a reasonable assumption: many people wouldn’t trust someone after they’ve been betrayed and their trust has been damaged.
However, having doubts in a relationship where trust has been broken is not an “issue.” It’s a normal, healthy response to be suspicious of someone who may not be trustworthy. (As evidenced by past experiences.) Repairing trust in a relationship is an entirely different thing than having “trust issues” that you carry around with you.
Please check out “Sorry’s just not good enough: How to repair trust,” and “Repairing Trust After Infidelity” for more on this topic.
There’s a distinction between broken trust and the trust issues I’m going to talk about today. I will talk about feeling mistrustful or not feeling safe in a relationship even if nothing terrible has happened.
Learning how to deal with trust issues and insecurities in a relationship in which nothing bad has happened is challenging. Having these types of trust issues are also really common.
5 Signs of Trust Issues
These are the signs you should watch out for to recognize whether or not you have some trust issues to work on:
- You’ve been hurt or betrayed by people in the past.
- You doubt your partner despite the absence of betrayal.
- You often question if your partner is trustworthy or is telling the truth.
- You are extra-vigilant for any signs of lying, cheating, and concealing.
- You perpetually feel anxiety or insecurity about your relationship.
People With Trust Issues
Someone with trust issues will often have feelings of anxiety, worry or doubt about their relationship. This can result in big feelings, and attempts to get more information from your partner (which can wind up feeling to them like they’re being accused of something they didn’t do). For example, a mistrustful person might ask for additional evidence regarding their partner’s whereabouts or what they were doing… but have a hard time believing anything their partner says.
If their partner can explain their whereabouts, or provide reassurance, that additional information might temporarily soothe the anxiety or insecurity, but it’s a trap — it doesn’t resolve the underlying cause of trust issues. Even if, in the moment, the explanation or reassurance helps, it’s only a matter of time before you start to worry again.
Unfortunately, the constant cycle of worry – requests for information / reassurance – temporary soothing – more worry is exhausting for your partner’s emotional health too. If you have trust issues it feels like you’re always asking for reassurance that you’re emotionally safe. But your partner may feel like nothing is ever enough, and that they are not emotionally safe with you. It turns into a negative pursue / withdrawal relationship cycle that just keeps spiraling down.
Trust Issues in a Relationship
Trust issues — if not dealt with and worked through — will eventually damage a relationship. Someone with trust issues will be worried most, if not all, of the time, which will place a great deal of pressure and strain on the relationship. This negatively impacts communication and emotional safety for both partners.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who has trust issues you may feel like:
- You are walking on eggshells.
- Your partner is always upset with you.
- Your partner doesn’t respect you enough to trust you.
- You feel exhausted from having to provide constant reassurance or affection.
Over time, if your partner has unresolved trust issues you may begin to view them as being excessively needy or demanding. The problem is that without lots of reassurance, the mistrustful person might think that you don’t love them, or that you’re doing something behind their back, or that you are angry with them.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is always thinking bad things about you, you aren’t going to feel loved, respected, or trusted. The relationship will stop feeling emotionally safe for you as a result.
Over time, you will feel yourself withdrawing emotionally — a self-fulfilling prophecy of your anxious partner’s worst nightmare come true!
How to Deal With Trust Issues and Insecurities
Trust issues will not heal or go away on their own. You need to actively address them. The first step is to recognize that unresolved trust issues are damaging your relationship. Therapy for trust issues is particularly useful if you become aware of longstanding patterns of feeling anxious or insecure in your relationships.
If you decide to pursue therapy to resolve trust issues, you should be sure that your therapist knows how to handle this type of relationship problem. Ask your prospective therapist these questions:
- Why do you think people have trust issues?
- What is your process for helping someone overcome trust issues?
Your therapist should provide you with a coherent answer and explain it in ways that make sense to you. In particular, a therapist with a background in attachment theory, emotionally focused couples therapy and / or cognitive behavioral therapy can help.
Relational Trauma + Attachment Styles
Sometimes people develop trust issues after having had bad experiences in past relationships. It can be helpful to understand these past experiences as a “little t trauma” that needs to be resolved and healed.
Other times, particularly if trust issues are longstanding, you may discover over the course of individual therapy that the cause has more to do with your attachment style than with one specific “relationship trauma.”
What are attachment styles?
Attachment styles are the ways we relate to others that we developed through our early life experiences.
Most people are generally secure in their attachments to others. They trust people until given a reason not to do so. However, people whose earliest relationships were not always safe or consistent can develop “protective” attachment styles.
- Avoidant Attachment Style — You can become overly critical of others or actively reject other people. Avoidant people don’t trust anyone enough to get close to them and think they don’t need anyone.
- Anxious Attachment Style — People with an anxious attachment style feel insecure and doubtful of their romantic partners and may need extra reassurance. They might also unconsciously anticipate rejection. This anticipation isn’t something they consciously do.
Even people who are generally or were formerly secure in their relationships can exhibit qualities of the above attachment styles after having experienced a relationship trauma, which is wholly natural and valid. Particularly after ending a toxic relationship, you may need to heal and recover to feel safe in your relationships again going forward.
Why Do I Have Trust Issues?
If you’re reading this and beating yourself up because you may have trust issues, it’s time to stop. Having self-compassion and understanding that there is a reason you feel the way you do is the first step of healing.
Being compassionate with yourself cultivates healthy self-awareness, and this is vital. Without awareness of your trust issues, you may find yourself becoming hyper-vigilant and suspicious of your partner. Instead, the work ahead of you is learning how to provide yourself with soothing and reassurance to manage your anxiety in relationships.
How to Heal Trust Issues
To heal trust issues, you need an understanding of what’s going on inside your head, self-awareness, and compassion for yourself. People with trust issues have experienced relational trauma, and it would help both partners if they understood that these feelings are real and normal. However, their feelings are not related to the current relationship.
If you have trust issues, you need to learn how to manage your anxiety and respond to your triggers effectively. Having individual therapy or relationship counseling can be helpful. Be kind to yourself, your partner, and your relationship by taking responsibility for your feelings.
How to Overcome Trust Issues
Here are a few resources that can support your work to overcome trust issues.
- Go through a process of evidence-based cognitive behavioral therapy with someone who understands relational trauma and attachment styles.
- Take online courses, such as our Happiness Class. It will not explicitly resolve your trust issues, but it will set your expectations.
By undergoing therapy, you can reprocess your relational trauma, learn how to handle your anxiety, and know your triggers. These things will lead to a healthier relationship and set you on the path to healing.
Just remember, that this type of healing can be quite slow. It’s important to be committed to the process of therapy. Especially if you’ve had trust issues for a long time (or trust issues that stem from early life experiences) this is not going to go away overnight.
But you can learn to understand them, manage them, and cultivate safety and security in your most important relationships.
For now, I am wishing you all the very best on your journey of growth and healing.
Our authentic relationship experts know how to help you learn, grow, and move forward into a bright new chapter.
Trust Issues In Your Relationship? Here’s What to Do
If you’ve ever felt insecure in a relationship or found it difficult to trust your partner, and thought to yourself, “I think I have trust issues…” today’s episode of the podcast is for you.
Listen: I know from years of experience as a Denver therapist, marriage counselor and relationship coach that being wary of others after being hurt is normal and healthy — at least to a degree.
In my opinion, having “trust issues” can be a good thing. It takes a long time to get to know people, and not all people are trustworthy. Part of having healthy boundaries is practicing discernment: figuring out who is emotionally safe for you (and who isn’t) and then acting accordingly.
If you’ve been burned in the past, it’s normal to feel twinges of anxiety as you become increasingly vulnerable with a new person. You’re still getting to know them and figuring out whether or not they’re trustworthy. Let’s not label healthy apprehension as problematic “trust issues” that need to be eradicated. It’s your emotional guidance system’s way of being protective of you, and telling you to slow down and take your time to get to know people.
How to Deal With Trust Issues
Particularly if you’ve been hurt in past relationships, it’s absolutely normal to have “trust issues” that need to be worked on in your new relationship.
But here’s the thing to know: There is a difference between healthy caution and strong boundaries, and persistently feeling anxious about your relationship even after your partner is showing you they are trustworthy and emotionally safe.
If you are in a relationship with someone who is (generally, if not perfectly) kind, emotionally safe, and consistent, and you’re still watching their every move, feeling like an over-caffeinated feral cat ready to run for your life at the slightest twitch… you might have trust issues.
What are trust issues? Having trust issues means that the source of your mistrust and feelings of insecurity are not due to what’s happening in the relationship, but are stemming from unresolved wounds you experienced in past relationships. If you have been hurt in the past (particularly if you’ve survived a toxic relationship) and never really worked through it, you could be with the most honest and trustworthy person in the world and still struggle to trust them fully. Because your feelings of mistrust have nothing to do with them, specifically. You’d carry armloads of anxiety with you into every relationship.
If you’re reading this and thinking, “Yep, that’s me.” [Raising hand] “Right here. I have trust issues.” I’d like you to know that it’s really important that you work on trust issues and not blow them off or live with them for too long.
The reason is that if you have unresolved trust issues in a relationship that run rampant, they can wind up harming your relationships. Even sabotaging them. And as your unresolved trust issues implode your relationships, one after another, it will only create more hurtful experiences and increasingly entrenched “trust issues” for you to work through down the road.
If you’ve become aware that you might have trust issues, especially trust issues in relationships, it’s important to take action to resolve them.
How to Get Over Trust Issues
That’s why on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast, we’re talking all about how to overcome trust issues. I’ll be answering questions like,
“What are trust issues?”
“What causes trust issues?
“Why do I have trust issues?”
And most importantly: “How to get over trust issues?”
I will share with you the signs of trust issues. You will also learn how a lack of trust can hurt you, your partner, and your relationship. As a licensed psychologist and relationship coach, I will discuss how you can start overcoming trust issues and start feeling more secure in your most important relationships.
Tune in to the full interview to learn how you can let go of your trust issues to:
- Learn how to overcome trust issues that create problems for your relationship.
- Find out the causes of trust issues.
- Learn how to manage feelings of anxiety in relationships
- Understand how and why you should take responsibility for your emotions and response.
- Know the effects of trust issues on your relationship and partner.
Ready to start? You can listen to this “How to Deal With Trust Issues” podcast on Spotify, on the Apple Podcast App, or scroll down to the bottom of this page to listen to it on GrowingSelf.com. (Or anywhere else you like to listen to podcasts.) While you’re listening to this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast!
If you’re more of a reader than a listener, keep reading to learn more about about “how to deal with trust issues” and get an overview of what I’m discussing in today’s show…
Listen & Subscribe to the Podcast
How to Deal With Trust Issues
The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast with Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
Music Credits: Monk Turner + Fascinoma, “Trust (Is Just A Word)”
Free, Expert Advice — For You.
Subscribe To The Love, Happiness, and Success Podcast
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self. She is a licensed psychologist, a licensed marriage and family therapist, and a board-certified coach, as well as the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.
Let’s Talk: Start With a Free Consultation
If you’re ready to grow, we’re here to help. Connect with us, and let us know your hopes and goals. We’ll follow up with recommendations, and will help you schedule a first, free consultation.
Marriage Counseling Questions | Couples Therapy Questions
If you’re considering getting involved in marriage counseling, couples therapy, or relationship coaching you probably have questions! Get your marriage counseling questions answered, right here.
Our relationship experts have tons of free, helpful relationship advice on numerous topics to support you both on your journey of growth together. View our relationship advice.
How Healthy Is Your Relationship?
Take our free relationship quiz to discover your strengths and growth opportunities, and get expert recommendations.
When To Get Marriage Counseling?
Was that just a yucky fight? Or is your relationship really in trouble? Here’s how to tell when to get marriage counseling.
What To Expect From Marriage Counseling
Learn what to expect from marriage counseling, from your first free consultation to the triumphant “graduation” from couples therapy.
Relationship Coaching vs. Couples Therapy
What’s the difference between relationship coaching vs couples therapy? Learn about both approaches, and which is right for you.
How to Find a Marriage Counselor
Not all marriage counselors are the same. Getting involved with a bad one can be a disaster. Here’s how to find a good marriage counselor…
Pre Marriage Counseling
Couples counseling before marriage is not the same thing as premarital counseling. Many couples need to grow together before they can move forward. Learn more…
How Long Does Marriage Counseling Take?
You shouldn’t be in marriage counseling for years. Learn the average length of marriage counseling, depending on your situation, and your relationship goals.
How Marriage Counseling Works
Marriage counseling works, but how? Learn how marriage counseling works, and how the process can help you grow, together.
Does Couples Therapy Work?
Couples who successfully work through rough patches come out stronger than ever before. If you’re wondering, “Does couples therapy work?” read this article for the inside scoop.
Can We Do Marriage Counseling Online?
Online marriage counseling can be incredibly convenient and effective — but not always. Learn when online marriage counseling is the best bet, and when it’s a bad idea…
Can You Do Long-Distance Couples Therapy?
Yes, we provide long-distance couples counseling from all over the world through secure, easy, three-way online video.
Does Insurance Cover Marriage Counseling?
Insurance can pay for marriage counseling (aka, family therapy), but only sometimes. Learn when insurance covers marriage counseling, and when it won’t.
How Much is Marriage Counseling?
Getting expert help for your marriage can be the best, most life-changing decision you ever make. How much do couples therapy and marriage counseling cost? Get all the details, here.
Gift Relationship Help
If you have a loved one who is struggling in their relationship, you can help them get help by “gifting” couples counseling or coaching. Here’s how…
Discernment Counseling For Couples
Before marriage counseling can work, both partners need to want it to work. Discernment counseling helps you resolve ambivalence, and get clarity.
Why Evidence-Based Therapy Matters
Marriage counseling can be a huge waste of time if your counselor doesn’t practice evidence-based approaches to marriage counseling. Here’s why…
Online Couples Therapy
We offer Denver couples therapy and Denver marriage counseling as well as online couples therapy. Learn about our online couples therapy services.
Our Relationship Services
We offer premarital counseling, sex therapy, perinatal counseling, parent coaching, affair recovery, blended family counseling, financial therapy for couples, and more. Learn about all our couples counseling services.
Meet Our Relationship Experts
Growing Self relationship experts are marriage and family therapists with specialized training and experience in effective, evidence-based approaches to help couples grow, together. Meet our team of relationship experts…
The Best Marriage Counseling
Curious to hear what others have to say about their experience with “the best marriage counselor?” Read their stories…
Free Resources, For You.
Our experts are incredibly generous and have put together an entire library of free resources and actionable advice to support you on your quest for Love, Happiness, and Success. View our blog + podcast.
More Questions? Let’s Talk.
We’re available by phone, email, and chat, and happy to answer any of your questions personally. Get in touch, anytime.
Start Couples Counseling or Coaching
Ready to begin marriage counseling, couples therapy, or relationship coaching with Growing Self? Start by scheduling a free consultation meeting with the expert of your choice.