Hi, thanks for taking the trouble to read this.
I'm dating this woman, this awesome, beautiful woman, who has trust issues due to a failed relationship in the past. She was cheated on by an ex-boyfriend multiple times a couple of years ago and was totally devastated by it.
I have also come off a relationship where my partner was unfaithful, so I can relate to it.
My question is, how do I earn her trust and get her to open up to me? I have done everything I can imagine trying to win her. I have been there for her, been patient when she needed it. I'm not willing to give up on her, not even part of the equation; I love her too much. She shows signs of slowly opening up to me, but every time we take one positive step forward, she retracts back into her shell.
Any of you gentle people out there have a solution to my problem?
And it's not helping that her ex contacts her from time to time.
Most Helpful Girl
Well, trust itself is something that develops over time and through your experiences with a person.
When someone has had their trust broken in the past, it makes it a lot more difficult to trust others. It's unfortunate that people often have to "pay for the mistakes" of their partner's previous partners, but its somewhat understandable.
I mean, it's true that you are not her ex-boyfriend, so why should you suffer for the things that he's done?
But on the other hand, she probably thought she could trust him and then found out that she shouldn't have. That kind of experience really brings to light the fact that anyone you trust could potentially break that trust and you have no sure way of knowing.
I don't think there's a simple answer to this, and its definitely not something that will be solved over a short period of time. You have to prove to her that she can trust you, and the only way you do that is by being a caring, honest, trustworthy person. Over time, she'll recognize those traits in you and hopefully be able to relax a little.
Some other things that might help:
1. Don't lie, even about little things. If she catches you in a lie, even if its about something completely unrelated, it might trigger the idea: If he lied about that, what else might he lie about?
2. Talk to her about it more in depth if you haven't already. Let her know that you can tell that she is having a difficult time trusting you and that you understand her apprehension. Let her know that you can relate because you've been cheated on in the past as well, but that its important for the two of you to give each other the benefit of the doubt instead of being in a relationship where you don't trust each other. You might even ask her if there's anything you can do that will help you earn her trust.
But also, I think it's important for you to not let her mistrust to cause you to govern your life in an unreasonable way. Sometimes people with trust issues have unreasonable demands of their partner and expect their partner to cater to their insecurities. For example, some people expect their partner to spend all their free time with them, discourage their partner from hanging out with his/her friends, expect their partner to check in constantly, or want to know where their partner is at all times. That kind of behavior is unfair to you and unhealthy for your relationship. I'm not saying your that your girl does these things, but they're something to keep in mind. If things like this do arise, then you need to sit down with her and have a conversation about it.