Some say that the foundation for a good relationship is mutual trust. Personally, I believe that it's sharing the same preference in pizza toppings, but there's still no denying that trusting your partner is crucial if you want to be happy. Of course, it isn't always easy to completely put your faith in someone who isn't, well, you. Plenty of relationships come to a messy end when one partner makes the decision to cheat on their S.O., and with all the horrible stories of infidelity we hear about, it's really no surprise that so many of us have some serious trust issues in relationships.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a pretty jealous person. I've had multiple relationships with some pretty sketchy folks, and as a result, I've developed some habits that I'm not proud of. Luckily, my current partner has been extremely patient in helping me work through my trust issues, and as a result, we now have an extremely strong relationship. Neither of us worry when the other person stays out late with friends, and we get excited to meet each other's opposite-sex friends rather than regarding them with suspicion. Sometimes, it's hard to believe that I ever let myself settle for anything less than 100 percent trust in a relationship.
Being as a study by the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy reports that 57 percent of men and 54 percent of women have admitted to being unfaithful in a relationship at some point in their lives, it's no wonder that so many of us are on high alert for any red flags that might suggest our partner is betraying our trust. But if you find yourself engaging in any of these activities, it's a clear sign that there's a major trust issue going on in your relationship. Whether your fears are completely unfounded or you have plenty of reason to be so suspicious, it's important to get to the root of your insecurities before they destroy your current relationship... and possibly future relationships as well.
1. You Go Through Their Phone Or Social Media Accounts When They're Not Around
Most of us have at least been tempted to go through our S.O.'s phone when we find it lying on the table while they're in the shower. When you consider the study by University of Missouri School of Journalism doctoral student Russell Clayton that suggests people who spend more time on social media are more likely to stray from their partners, it's honestly a shock that more people aren't constantly checking up on their partner's social media profiles. But wanting to snoop is a much less serious problem than actually going through your S.O.'s phone without their knowledge or permission. Snooping is a major breach of trust, and while it's totally justified if you genuinely believe your partner is being unfaithful, going through their messages "just in case" (and especially continuing to do it even if you found nothing of interest the first time) is a sign that there is a pretty deep trust hole in your relationship.
2. You're Extremely Selective About Who They're "Allowed" To Hang Out With
Nobody is going to blame you for shutting down your partner's request to hang out with their ex. However, it's totally normal for everyone to have friends outside the relationship. Maybe those friends are even really, really, ridiculously good-looking. However, unless you have reason to suspect that they and your S.O. are anything beyond "just friends," there's probably nothing to actually worry about. If you find yourself having to draft a list of people your partner can't hang out with, you might want to take a long, hard look at your relationship and figure out where your trust issues stem from.
3. You Have Frequent Dreams About Them Being Unfaithful
Cinderella believed that "a dream is a wish your heart makes," but that was probably before she met Prince Charming's hot maid who was totally checking out his package the other day. Our dreams are sometimes comprised of ridiculous scenarios that have no basis in reality, but other times, they represent our subconscious desires and fears. You probably won't need to see a couples counselor over that one dream about your partner making out with your ex's mother at a concert, but if you consistently see your S.O. cheating when you snooze, you should start asking yourself if those unconscious fears have a basis in reality.
4. You Need To Be In Constant Communication With Them To Feel Confident
Texting your partner throughout the day because you like them and enjoy speaking to them? Great. Freaking out when you know they're out with friends and they haven't responded to the text you sent twenty minutes ago? Eh, not so great. When you trust your partner, you don't need to be in touch with them every second of the day to know that they're not doing something sketchy.
5. You Get Irrationally Jealous Of Their Interactions With Other People
Personally, I love seeing other women hit on my boyfriend. I know he doesn't get that sort of attention nearly as much as I do, and it's nice seeing him get a confidence boost. A big part of why I'm OK with it, though, is because I know he never reciprocates the attention beyond my comfort level. I also don't blame anyone who isn't cool with seeing their S.O. get hit on by other people, especially if they have a partner who likes to flirt back. However, there's a fine line between being a little jealous and having a bit of a meltdown when you see someone flirting with your partner, and if you find yourself crossing it on a regular basis, there's probably a bigger issue at hand than a bit of extra attention from a stranger.
6. You're Always Trying To Catch Them In A Lie
If their message said, "I crashed at Mike's house last night," but the photo they were tagged in on Instagram suggests that "Mike" is actually their attractive young female secretary that always gives you the stink-eye, you have plenty of reason to be weirded out by things not adding up. The problem comes in when you never believe what they say and frequently find yourself trying to figure out how you can trick them into admitting they were unfaithful. Some cheaters are really good liars and require this kind of treatment if you're ever going to get any proof, but for the most part, constantly trying to play the part of a private investigator in your relationship will usually end in you realizing that your insecurities have really come to a head.
7. You Peek Over Their Shoulder When They're Messaging Someone
It would take someone truly brazen (and stupid) to send inappropriate messages to another person while they're right next to the person they're dating... not to say that there aren't plenty of people who haven't done it. If you're curious about who your S.O. is texting while they're right next to you in bed, just ask them. It's a minor, but annoying invasion of privacy to read someone's messages as they're writing them, so if you're so suspicious of your partner that you can't even trust them to behave when they're literally inches away from you, it might be best to admit that this is a relationship that wasn't built to last.
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