Dealing with trust issues in relationships is an important part of your divorce recovery. After you have been lied to, cheated on, or taken advantage of, it's easy to believe that no one is trustworthy and that close relationships will only end up hurting you. But by keeping this mindset, you might miss out on getting to know someone who will actually treat you right. The article below offers tips and suggestions to help you learn how to trust again.
Written exclusively for WomansDivorce.com by Timothy Cole, PhD
Divorce takes its toll on women in different ways. Some of the effects are immediate, like the loss of companionship, love, and economic security, while some of the effects only come to the light long after the fact. The loss of trust is one of those hidden wounds that tends to surface long after a marriage has come to an end.
Dealing with the loss of trust is important. It is impossible to have a close romantic relationship without trust. The ability to trust is one of the most basic factors of being close to another person. Trust involves knowing that your partner cares about you, that he has your best interest at heart, and that he is available when you need him.
Divorce takes it toll on one's sense of trust because it tends to bring out the worst in us. A painful divorce can turn a cooperative partnership into competitive free-for-all destroying a sense of trust in others in the process.
So learning to trust again is critical. As issues of trust arise in your next relationship, it is important to talk about them early on and directly. If you fail to discuss it, the issue will not go away. And it will most likely find a way to come out through your behavior, usually making matters worse.
When trying to regain a sense of trust, the first step involves explaining how you feel. Everyone wants to be understood, but most people go about it the wrong way. The best way to get someone to understand your point of view is to focus on your feelings and not their behavior. But, when people are hurt or upset, it is common for them to blame or attack others. For instance, if you are upset because someone did not follow through on a promise, it is common for people to ignore the situation or blame the other person for what happened "I thought you said that you would...."
Again, ignoring the issue does not make it go away nor does it help restore one's sense of trust. Rather than blaming the other person for what happened (even thought it was most likely his fault), it helps to focus on your feelings rather than his behavior "I am kinda of sad and feeling a little hurt, and I don't like feeling this way." When you focus on your feelings, it makes it easier for him to hear what you have to say. And having him understand your point of view is the first step when trying to regain trust.
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By Timothy Cole, PhD, a relationship expert and instructor teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at DePaul University. As an Associate Professor, Timothy focuses his research on interpersonal communication, deceptive communication, and romantic relationships. To find out more information on how to rebuild trust again, please visit www.truthaboutdeception.com. Article may not be republished.
Dealing with trust issues in relationships is just one of the things you'll experience after divorce. The articles below deal with the other emotions you may be feeling at this time: