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How do I learn to trust my boyfriend?

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  • How do I learn to trust my boyfriend?

    My boyfriend & I have been dating for a few months now and things have been going great until pretty recently. We have a little bit of a rocky past so it's hard for me to trust him sometimes. We started talking again last summer after 2 years of not talking (no specific reason, just drifted apart) and he showed me he was really interested but then I just think we were both on two different pages and he was all about being single & partying and I was looking for a relationship. I also always felt like his ex was still in the picture last summer too. He would ditch me a lot and it just seemed like he didn't care at all. I completely cut him out of my life at the end of summer and he actually came to me in late December apologizing for treating me the way he did so I accepted his apology and long story short, we decided to try things again.

    He really treats me how I should be treated, always telling me I'm beautiful and how happy he is to be with me. Well we're both 19 so instagram and facebook are ever so present in our lives. -_- I always look on his ex girlfriends instagram just to I guess be creepy lol and check in to see what's going on. I know I shouldn't and I'm only torturing myself but I guess I would check it to see if she's still in a relationship with the guy she's with now...which she is. Well I hadn't looked on her instagram for a while and yesterday morning after dropping my boyfriend off at work I came home and just happened to check it and big mistake on my part I guess. She constantly posts pictures of her and her current boyfriend she happened to post one pretty recently of her and her boyfriend together and my boyfriend liked it. That kinda weirded me out but I just assumed maybe he accidentally liked it, I don't know. So I looked at the other picture of her and her boyfriend and MY boyfriend liked that too. He didn't like any other pictures, just those two. I went back on his instagram and noticed that she went through like all his photos and liked them.

    Then i started to get nervous...I went to go show my friend the two photos that my boyfriend liked on hers and they were gone. So she deleted the two photos of her and her current boyfriend and the ones my boyfriend specifcally liked. I'm just kind of confused first of all, why would he even like them? And it's not to show support because him and her boyfriend don't like each other. I know it's a like and it's silly but it's just weird. And why would she all of the sudden delete them? She's still together with him..they didn't break up and the rest of the photos of him and her are still there...just those two were deleted. I went back on her instagram before I went to bed (I know torturing myself) and she posted a picture of just herself and my boyfriend liked it. It really bothers me that he liked the photo she put up of herself. I know it really does seem dumb but does anyone kinda see why i'm getting nervous?

    He's done nothing to make believe anythings wrong...it's not like he's distancing himself or anything. I think my senses are so heightened looking for something that's happening behind my back that I might even be pushing him away. Yesterday I got in the car and he's like "You're so gorgeous" and then continued to call me beautiful and he's usually always that nice but for some reason (could be me just being paranoid) I felt like he was being overly nice. So of course my brain made that up to be 'He's being overly nice to me so I won't find out about him & his ex'. I can't say anything to him about this because I'll admit it was creepy for me to even be on the instagram in the first place and I know he won't take that well. It's just...my ex has a new girlfriend and hes posted photos of them together but would I ever like it? Probably not. I just don't know if I'm reading too far into this and it's probably nothing or this is the start of them getting back together. It just sucks because I don't know what to do. If I take away all this random crap with instagram, I would never think anything was wrong with us. He was kissing me and being really affectionate like usual. I thought she was out of the picture and now she's back and I feel pretty hopeless. I'm nervous to even be affectionate with him because I'm afraid he's doing this behind my back but like I said, he'd be pretty creeped out if I told him HOW i found it. I lose any way.

  • Biology never stops!

    I still find my ex-girlfriend attractive...because....she is.

    But that doesn't mean I'm still having a relationship with her....because I'm not.

    And since this boy as you say has "...done nothing to make (you) believe anythings wrong" then I suggest giving him the benefit of the doubt....at least for now.

    Because there is nothing really wrong with me or him saying we like some pictures of our ex-girlfriends....so long as....that's as far as it goes.

    I know a woman who was married for years to a gay man....finally divorced him and then happily married a heterosexual man.

    And one of the things she noticed right away was her second husband's roaming eye for other good looking females that her first husband never had.

    But so long as he just looked and past comment (like "Wow, she'd beautiful...too!") she just took it as a healthy sign that he was heterosexual.

    Likewise he had no problem with her looking and passing comment on other men she found handsome too...so long as that was as far as it went.


    • You are being creepy and paranoid and self-destructive by poking around his ex-girlfriend's instagram. Stop it. You don't have the self-esteem to handle that. Your boyfriend recognized and apologized for his past treatment of you and is now treating you like a princess. Don't let your lack of self-control destroy a good relationship.

      As for liking the pictures on her Instagram, have you considered that he is messing with her and her boyfriend. It is quite possible that she removed the pictures because her CURRENT boyfriend got upset about them (just like you did). And I'll bet that she'll remove the recent picture that he "liked" for the same reason.

      If that is his reason for liking the pictures, I wouldn't necessarily feel good about it. It doesn't say good things about your boyfriend.

      The best, but probably hardest, thing to do is own up and tell your boyfriend what you did and ask him why he is "liking" her pictures. Then see what happens.


      • Maybe this is an odd observation.

        First off Leanna, I understand - I am an EXTREMELY curious person myself and when you only see a bit of data - without full context and motivation - you can drive yourself crazy. I'd have trouble not looking, but the second paragraph if Pollon's post was another interesting take on it. So, it might be better for you to fight the urge to look, or to have a discussion where you can both be more open.

        Re: Sonny's comments and about men looking - of course they do as do most women. I find it kind of interesting that my mother will still point out attractive women to my father. they have been married over 50 years and are not swingers and I don't think that they have cheated on each other. I am not sure how this could help you bring it out in the open, maybe someone else here could offer an opinion. (Since I don't know that saying that you were looking at her FB or Instagram would be best - but maybe if you ran into them... hey she looks nice today or did you catch that skirt. Or someone showed you the picture, hey I saw they went to ??? If you can discuss this openly and he is open and up front with you, I'd guess that it would be easier to keep jealousy more at bay?


        • I realize I'm completely doing it to myself by looking on her instagram but I guess I do it in hopes of finding something and ending things with him before he has the chance to really hurt me. I'm thinking it's just a defense mechanism I have. I thought maybe he was just liking it to mess with her but that just doesn't make sense. My boyfriend wasn't a great guy last summer but all around he is a good kid and he wouldn't do that. Normally if he just liked a photo of her I would probably get a little nervous but not THIS nervous. It was strange to me that he liked those photos of her and her current boyfriend, it seems kind of like a manipulative thing. And I know her current boyfriend quite well he was one of my closest friends a few years ago and he's not that into social media at all so I don't think he got upset and asked her to delete them. That could be a possibility but I doubt it. So I guess that's whats weirding me out. They're obviously talking again since they've been going through each other's instagram pictures and liking them.

          My biggest problem is I don't want to be made out to be a fool. If I think someones doing something behind my back I usually try to find anything I can to bring that stuff to the surface before they have the chance to really screw me over. I think by doing that I'm killing relationships. My sister basically told me to sit back and just be the best girlfriend you can be and if he ends up going back to her-so be it...he wasn't worth it anyways. But she mentioned to not accuse him of anything right now because that could potentially end the relationship and then I just accused someone of doing something they weren't even doing and lost them as well.


          • Simply put you were smart enough to cut him out completely once, you will be again.

            For a relationship to work, you have to give it 100%, it's a risk like everything else in life right? It's either going to work or it's not.

            If it doesn't due to another woman? Somewhere down the line, you are not a fool at all you can walk with your head high, you gave 100%, in that trust and had an awesome time because there was no fear however, what comes around goes around, he will be the one at a lose, loose as if he was to do that, he'll do it again, whereby you will go on giving 100% with trust but wary of whom you next date and you'll be putting it out there that you know what you will and won't accept so you'll attract the right people into your life.

            Life is too short. And, snooping always, always leads to speculation, fear, what if, your mind goes stupidly crazy and in that, you start the protection mechanism and in that you lose.


            • Your original question "How do I learn to trust my boyfriend?" is an excellent one. But let's expand on it a little bit and ask "How do I build a trust in a relationship?"

              The answer is, with care. That means we don't place trust in people who haven't demonstrated the ability to be trustworthy. This, of course, leads to the question of how someone demonstrates that they are trustworthy?

              This is a careful process that most of us do unconsciously and surprisingly effectively. Unfortunately, due to life circumstance, some us don't do it well and end up getting hurt.

              It goes something like this:

              1) I, the owner of something valuable or delicate, place the valuable (a secret, my feelings, information, something monetarily valuable) into the care of another.
              2) Then I observe if they treat it with care and return it to me unharmed.
              3) Having earned my trust with my valuable, I entrust something more precious to them.
              4) Repeat steps 2) & 3).
              5) As the other person continues to demonstrate the safe care and return of my valuables, I develop increasing trust.

              For example, I allow my five year old to wash the plastic cups. When he's eight and demonstrated care and coordination, he can wash the regular dishes. When he's 13 and continued to show care, he can wash the wedding crystal. When he's 16 he can drive the car. When he's 18 and has a good record and shows he's a careful and responsible driver, he can drive his little sister to her activities.

              All along the way, I am observing my son's level of trustworthiness. The more careful he is with my valuables, the more quickly and confidently I trust him with the more precious things. There will be times when mistakes or accidents happen. If he takes responsibility and corrective action, I continue to trust him. If he repeatedly shows carelessness, I slow down, stop or even withdraw my trust.

              Building relationship trust works the same way. We expose something of value or something vulnerable about ourselves to another such as our secrets, feelings, fears, dreams, ideas, etc. We then observe how he/she treats it. If he demonstrates he can be trusted, we share more and the connection and trust grows. If he is careless or insensitive, we stop and trust no further until there is a change.

              The trick is to only expose as much as you can handle losing until the person demonstrates trustworthiness. In other words, we don't want to risk being hurt more than we can handle.

              But to build trust REQUIRES taking risks. Without risk, nothing happens. No connection is developed and no trust is built.

              Where people, especially girls, get into trouble is their desire for connection and trust overpowers their caution. As a result, they expose too much and take too great of a risk BEFORE there is enough evidence that the guy is trustworthy. For example, the girl who wants so badly to have the boy that she has sex (a huge physical and emotional risk) before he has don't enough (or even anything) to demonstrate care and concern for her. When he ends the relationship she feels betrayed because she thought he cared for her when she had no basis--other than believing that he shared her feelings.


              This guy had a history of treating you badly. Therefore, you had reason to be cautious. But rather than being cautious, it seems you've taken a risk that is bigger than you're able to handle (being made the fool) and are trying to protect against it by snooping.

              You've found evidence that he is in contact with his ex. You are justified in withdrawing your trust--to some degree. However, if you want to get back on the right track of building trust again, you have to give him an opportunity to fix things. That means, you have to ask him what is going on. And you have to tell him what you need to feel safe with him. That also means taking the risk of exposing your vulnerability--that you have insecurities that drew you to snoop. And it means risking the relationship altogether.

              These are risks and they can be scary, but that's the process of building trust.

              If you continue down the path you've taken, you will continually take risks that are too big, drive yourself crazy trying to protect yourself and will ruin your relationships, and then repeat the process.

              Good luck



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