How I’m Overcoming My Trust Issues with Men

I felt sorry for every guy who ever tried to ask me out. To put it frankly, I was a difficult date.

Thankfully for the men, it wasn’t often that I found myself in a dating situation. If I wasn’t interested in a guy, I usually had “bug off” written in big, red letters across my forehead. They knew to stay far, far away from me.

I often wondered why I was so hard to crack. I wanted to get married. Why did I push so many men away? The answer always comes back to trust, stemming mainly from my parents’ marriage and from a relationship-gone-wrong in high school.

As I’ve written before, I grew up watching my father tell my mother what she wanted to hear—even if it wasn’t true. She had a volatile temper, and he responded to her in whatever way he thought would keep her happy.

Watching this play out throughout my childhood and teen years greatly impacted how I viewed men, especially the men I dated. I wondered:

Could I trust what he was saying?

Did he agree with me just because he wanted me to like him?

Did he say I was beautiful because he thought that’s what I wanted to hear?

These questions would play over and over in my head.

These insecurities were compounded by a long-lasting crush during high school. For years I had eyes for this boy, and we became good friends. As our friendship developed, he also developed romantic feelings for me. But there was another girl, and it seemed he couldn’t decide between us.

The mixed messages meant I was confused about his feelings for me. Each day I felt like I was competing with the other girl and wondered:

What is he saying to her?

Does he speak to her the same way he speaks to me?

Does he have more fun with her?

These questions would play over and over in my head.

As time went on, I began to wonder if I could truly trust him. The final straw came right after graduation. He became a different person, dabbling in drugs, drinking, and other things he told me he would never do. He fell in with a new crowd, and I rarely saw him or spoke to him. He had let our relationship fall to the wayside without blinking an eye. I was crushed.

The trust I had in him was shattered—and my trust in my own ability to judge someone’s character also took a hit. In my pain, I vowed that no one would ever hurt me like that again. I had learned my lesson and wouldn’t be fooled again, I told myself. I steered clear of every guy that came near me, skeptical of their intentions and character.

I could push away all the guys I wanted. But I realized that would mean I would never find anyone with whom I could share my life. I had to be willing to take some risks to find the trust that I wanted, that trust I knew was the foundation for love.

I knew I needed to put my heart out there again, even while knowing heartbreak was possible. My heart didn’t want to; my head knew I had to. It didn’t happen overnight. But by discussing my fears with wise friends I was able to slowly put my heart out there. I learned that not all guys were like my dad or my former crush. I learned there are good men out there.

When I finally met my husband, I was ready to give him a chance. Thankfully, he was and continues to be patient with me. My trust issues haven’t entirely gone away, but my husband is aware of them, and we talk about it when we need to. Through his compassion, love, and understanding I’ve been able to come a long way. I’m still a work in progress. But I continue to deepen my trust in my husband as our relationship grows.

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1 Comment

  • I love your story I can’t say the same about my parents but I’ve been in some bad relationships and that is taking a huge toll on my relationship now deep down I trust my boyfriend but I believe sometimes I put these thoughts in my head and than my stomach drops and I get depressed about it and I think me acting that way around him effects us I’m not good at communication I’ve been trying to change that so much telling him this makes me feel this way but idk I feel like I’m a terrible girlfriend we have been through so much since we started dating 2 years ago tomorrow and most of it is because of my past relationship with my son’s father (he’s not rele in the picture) idk what to do anymore I feel like the more I try the worse everything gets and he’s been patient with me as well and has helped me with so much I love him with all my heart and I don’t want to loose him but I feel like I’m pushing him away from me

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