Trust Issues and Relationships
Do you struggle with trust issues? Is there a part of you who has problems attaching to others romantically because you fear being hurt? In the past, did someone violate your trust through emotional or physical infidelity – or both? If so, you wouldn’t be alone. Many people in Chicago and elsewhere seek out the guidance of a relationship counselor for these very reasons.
At its core, trust is the act of placing your confidence in someone – or something – with the acknowledgement that being vulnerable is part of the process. In the absence of trust lives fear, a human emotion that if left unchecked can paralyze us in a number of life areas, including romantic love.
Do I Have Trust Issues? Common Signs and Traits
To be sure, all of us have trust issues to a lesser or greater degree. In fact, feeling a bit cautious about the people we bond with can sometimes be a good thing. To keep it real, sometimes that inner voice that tells us a person may not be healthy for us needs to be listened to (see our post on toxic relationships).
But if your fear of getting close to others is preventing you from meeting new people and keeping you hopelessly single, it’s a fairly good indicator that you may struggle with trust issues.
Signs of mistrust in others include:
- An intimacy void in friendships
- Difficulty formulating romantic relationships with others
- A series of successive, stormy relationships that end badly
- Ongoing thoughts about cheating and infidelity
- Strong beliefs that others are being dishonest without proof
- Feelings of terror during physical intimacy
- Commitment issues and challenges
When you mistrust others, it often can be traced to issues that happened earlier in life that caused deep emotional pain. As a result, it’s not uncommon to develop shielding so that getting hurt again becomes less likely. The problem of course is that by not letting others in, you miss out on the possibility of greater happiness.
How Does Therapy Help with Trust Issues?
One of the big questions people ask is: How can therapy help with my trust issues? The answer is multifactorial but generally speaking, counseling for trust issues can help in three specific ways. Let’s take a look.
1. Formulating trust with another person
Seeing the support and guidance of a relationship counselor can help you to create a trusting bond with someone in a safe and judgement free space. This process obviously takes time to evolve but can be an initial step towards healing. Additional benefits under this area include:
- Opening up and allowing yourself to be vulnerable
- Normalizing feelings and allowing for an emotional cleanse
- Facing deeply held fears with the support of a professional
2. Uncovering the root cause(s) of mistrust
When you work with a therapist on your personal trust issues, you allow yourself the opportunity to get to the root cause of what’s holding you back from achieving closeness with others. Examples of material often explored during the counseling process include:
- Past traumas and hurts
- A discussion of how previous wounds act as barriers to love
- Bringing meaning to the pain you may feel in the here and now
3. Teaching new skills
Perhaps one of the most powerful benefits of working with a therapist on trust related issues comes in the form of gaining new skills. Here, we are talking about learning new ways to identify and work through anxiety that comes up in personal relationships. Benefits include:
- Understanding past response patterns
- Identifying new ways of coping in the future
- Building upon newly learned skills for long lasting change
How Long Will I Need to Be in Therapy?
The amount of time you spend in counseling for trust related issues will largely depend upon how past events have impacted you in the here and now. Some people only require a few sessions. Other people find that they need to remain in counseling for a period of time to better understand their unique issues.
What is important to keep in mind is that when a person has issues surrounding trust, they usually didn’t pop up overnight. It takes time uncover the root causes, validate the pain and develop healthy narratives for the future.
If you would like to talk to a therapist about some of your relationship challenges, we encourage you to give us a call at 773.598.7797 or send us a confidential email using our online contact form.