Learning to Trust Again After a Divorce.
Trust is earned. It’s something we’ve heard time and time again, but did you know that trust is also learned? Trust is an action, and it’s a skill that takes time to master- especially if it’s been broken due to a divorce. Learning to trust again after a divorce is more than possible, but you must first recognize why you have trouble trusting, and then take real steps towards shifting your mindset on trust and relationships.
It’s not always cheating that breaks trust.
The most obvious source of trust being broken is the act of cheating, but there are so many other instances that can cause trust to be lost. Maybe your former spouse failed to pay bills on time, leaving your credit score floundering. They might have lied about their feelings towards you for years, until they could no longer fake it anymore and eventually filed for divorce, leaving you unable to believe what someone is saying is true.
It might be a lot of little things, like arriving home late without calling to give you a heads up, forgetting to pick up a prescription from the pharmacy that they promise they will grab, or even half-listening when you’re telling them how you feel about something. These big- and little things- can chip away at trust, leaving you having to relearn how to trust all over again.
Recognize that the trust issues start with you.
Your ex may have been the most terrible person and given you very valid reasons to have trust issues, but your new partner is not them. Your inability to trust starts with you and that means you have to let go a little bit and give your new partner the benefit of the doubt. Instead of entering a relationship thinking that trust has to be earned, start off by trusting them until they give you a reason not to.
Learning to trust really is an internal issue. Someone your dating cannot do this for you. You have to make the conscious decision to give people the benefit of the doubt until proven otherwise. If you don’t do that, you’re going to self-sabotage every relationship you get into. Even the most patient partner will become frustrated if you’re constantly questioning their actions and intentions.
Ask yourself whether you are trustworthy.
Sometimes, we project what we’re doing onto our partners. If you’re constantly accusing your partner of cheating, is it possible that you’re doing something untrustworthy yourself? Listening to your gut instinct is important, and you shouldn’t ignore the red flags in a relationship, but being suspicious about every little thing is unhealthy and can be a huge barrier towards building something healthy.
If you find yourself questioning everything your partner is doing, try asking yourself if you’re trustworthy. Are you being your true, authentic self in the relationship? Asking your partner to be patient with you about your trust issues is perfectly acceptable, as long as you aren’t projecting onto them the things you are doing yourself.
An overthinker must date a good communicator.
If you have trust issues, the biggest thing you should be looking for in a partner is good communication. A willingness to be open and honest can go a long way in dispelling any potential barriers with trust.
Don’t be afraid to discuss with your partner why you have trust issues. You don’t have to go into every little detail, but the person you’re dating is not a mind reader and deserves to know what they’re up against in terms of trust so that they have an actual chance at building a healthy relationship with you.
You’re going to have to let go at some point.
Whatever caused your trust issues is unfair, but what’s more unfair is allowing what happens to hold you back from living the rest of your life. Not everyone is your ex, and if you go into every relationship expecting them to be, you could be ruining something really, really good.
At some point, you have to let go of what happened so you can move on with your life. You deserve to be happy, and you can’t allow those trust issues to steal another second of your happiness. Keeping your eyes open when you enter a new relationship is important, but so is keeping your heart open. With proper communication and a desire to have a healthy relationship, trust can be relearned- and even better- it can last.
Could you use some support while learning to trust again? We are here to help. Our Split.fyi Community is a great place to ask questions and get resources, clarity, and build caring connections.