Trust Issues Exposed
By: Dr. John D. Moore
Do you suspect you have trust issues? Has someone told you that you have problems trusting others in relationships? Do you avoid intimacy because you are afraid of being hurt? Finally, do you look for flaws in a person as a way of road-blocking romance?
If you answered yes to these questions, you likely suffer from serious trust issues. In plain speak, this means that deep inside, you are resistant to becoming emotionally attached to another because you don’t want to get hurt.
This article will offer 7 specific signs that may suggest you struggle with trust issues. The material presented below is based on observations our counselors have made with clients who have been historically challenged by this problem.
We’ve also consulted a number of scientific journals on the topic of trust that come to use from the world of relationship psychology. Common traits have been offered with resources for creating positive included.
Are you ready to learn more about trust issues in romantic relationships? Let’s jump right in!
Trust Issues - A Closer Look
What are trust issues?
At their core, a person who has trust issues has trouble placing their confidence in another person. In the context of intimate relationships, this typically means being resistant to attachment because of long held concerns over emotional or physical infidelity.
The fuel empowering the engine of mistrust emanates from past hurts that occurred in: 1) prior romantic relationships or 2) unhealthy familial relationships from childhood.
The cruel paradox with trust issues is there is often a degree of codependency as part of the dynamic.
Who has trust issues?
Anybody can have trust issues – meaning women and men – straight or gay. Trust issues are considered to be the “thief in the darkness” because it robs the person of what they so desperately want – love.
While there is no “test” to clinically assess for trust issues, there are a number of universal characteristics and traits that people with exhibit as part of the dynamic. We’ll go into this a bit more in a moment.
For now, let’s examine why this problem happens in the first place.
What causes trust issues to happen?
There are a number of reasons a person might develop trust issues. We’ve listed a number of the “biggies” below to help you better understand some of the “why” behind the behaviors.
Look at these in their totality and try not to focus on just one thing. This will help you gain a better perspective.
You may have developed trust issues if:
- Your parents got divorced
- One or both of your parents were alcoholic
- If you were adopted
- If you lost a sibling or parent
- History of abuse in your childhood
- If your caretakers were emotionally unavailable
- You had previous partners who cheated on you
- History of low self-esteem
- If you hold fears of being abandoned
Trust Issues: 7 Signs
What follows are seven signs that you may struggle with trust issues. It is important to note that the characteristics and traits listed below are not intended to be exhaustive.
Some of what you will read may seem obvious while other points will cause you to pause and reflect. We encourage you to read them all in order to fully absorb their deeper meaning.
As you review this material, avoid the temptation to judge yourself. That’s not why you came here, it? Additionally, it is best to look at these traits as themes and not through the singular lens of the relationship you are currently involved with.
1. Difficulty getting close to others
If you have historically struggled with allowing yourself to get close to others – meaning going beyond the superficial and developing something deeper, it’s often a dead giveaway of trust issues. People who exhibit this characteristic are often described as “cold” or “distant”.
2. Rapid, intense relationships that suddenly die
You become involved in romantic relationships with others quickly. Characteristically, these connections are intense but short-lived. Some people described being addicted to the newness of the relationship but the moment things get familiar, the romance suddenly dies.
3. Suspicious, paranoid thoughts about family or friends
People who have trust issues often live in a world of paranoia. These thoughts can run the gambit, from “being talked about” by others, lied to or somehow deceived. Very often, there is a familiar component involved under this characteristic that is hallmarked .
4. Constant thoughts of infidelity
People who have major trust issues live in a world where they constantly believe the person they are attached to is cheating on them. An example may be believing that the person you like is a simply playing you. If you can relate to this point, it is important to determine if this trait has been a regular theme in most all of your relationships.
5. Unrealistic expectations in relationships
For many people who have trust issues, there is the strong characteristic of expecting perfection in their mates. This means you hold your mates (or potential mates) to an impossibly high standard, which paradoxically sabotages true romance from having a chance to blossom in the first place.
6. You have problems being vulnerable
Many people with trust issues have problems opening up. This means you may struggle with sharing intimate details of your life because you fear being judged or having information used against you. As a result, you don’t share your inner reality with people.
7. You need to be in control
Folks who have trust issues have a hard time allowing others to be in the lead. The reason is simple – they don’t want to be disappointed. If this point resonates with you, look for any patterns where your previous partners have accused you of always needing to be in control.
Trust Issues Intensity Scale
Trust Issues Intensity Scale Based on Responses
|Minor Trust Issues||Moderate Trust Issues||Severe Trust Issues|
|3 out of 7||4 out of 7||7 out of 7|
|You exhibit a few trust issue signs.||You exhibit moderate signs of trust issues.||You exhibit strong trust issues|
|Issues may intensify over the course of time. Some impact to your relationships but not catastrophic||Your issues likely have caused you serious relationship problems||Relationships (if any) are difficult at best to enter and do not last very long|
Working Through Trust Issues
If any of the information above strikes a chord of familiarity, know that you are not alone. Lots of people struggle with fears of being hurt – particularly on the romance front. If you were emotionally traumatized during your childhood, these fears can become amplified.
The good news is that you can do some things to help you with your trust issues. One of the best ways to empower positive change is to gain the insight and expertise of a psychotherapist that specializes in relationships.
Here, we are talking about someone who has unique insight into how people form bonds with others.
FYI: One thing that may help you is understanding how you attach to others. Be sure to read the following post on love and attachment styles for more insight.
Trust Issues Resource
The path towards healing your trust issues and moving about the business of change is through education. Here, we are talking about understanding the source of your trust issues and recognizing how they have become manifested in your love life.
A great book we recommend to people is: Trust Issues by Jessica Riley. What’s great about this read is the unique insight the author offers on the entire issue of trust in the context of romantic love.
The book also provides a step by step approach to help you overcome trust issues using concrete, easy to follow tasks. The material is direct yet compassionate, which may be just what you need to bring about change.
As couples counselors and relationship experts helping clients in Chicago, we encourage individuals not to be hard on themselves when it comes to trust issues.
The way love is learned and is often handed to us as a blueprint from early childhood. That’s why it is important not to label yourself as “broken” or deeply flawed. Instead, it might be more helpful to think of yourself as a person who is learning and evolving.
Remember this – you are worthy of happiness and love. Once you take those first few steps towards emotional healing, you can move about the business of entering into satisfying, loving relationships. This won’t happen overnight because it takes time to learn new approaches.
Be sure to take our trust issues poll below as a way of anonymously sharing your own struggles with trust. Come back to see how your response compares to others who have visited the website.
Thanks for visiting the Couples Counseling Center online. Please Like us on Facebook and Tweet on Twitter!