Can't Trust Her
Q: I have just met the most amazing woman that I've ever been involved with. She sometimes seems too good to be true. I came out of a relationship almost a year and a half ago in which both my partner and I were guilty of cheating. And lately I've been having nightmares about my current mate cheating on me. We've talked about it and she has assured me that she is not. But I have brought up the issue, I guess, one too many times so that now it seems like she's shunning me altogether. Am I developing an insecurity complex or am I just too afraid to trust again since I got hurt? I really want to know because I really think that I'm falling in love with this woman and I'm afraid of scaring her off. Can you help me? -- Dylan, 34
Dr. Susan: Too good to be true? That should start a big red warning light flashing in your mind. Not that she's cheating now or will cheat on you. That's like the old joke where the guy is hunting for something on the ground under a street light because it's easier to see there, but he actually lost the thing somewhere else. Just because your last relationship was a mess with both of you cheating, doesn't mean this relationship will be anything like that. Could be some utterly different issue that causes trouble. Like your pestering her with the same old question that she's told you isn't something you need worry about (at least not yet -- after all, you barely know her at this point).
Your insecurity complex makes some sense, since you've experienced betrayal from both sides and know how painful it can be, and also how easy it is to slip. Certainly it pays not to trust anyone one hundred per cent until you know them a long time and really well. But simply asking her over and over is going to accomplish nothing besides annoying and alienating her, as you're discovering. So what you have to do is let go and let this relationship unfold however it will. She is not your old girlfriend. Ask her to give the two of you a fresh start, and then relax and get to know her as an individual. If she's as amazing as you think, she'll understand.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.