In a relationship, trust is everything.
Love is many things, but it should never be possessive. You should be able to trust your partner as much as you trust yourself. That means emotionally, sexually, financially, and every other way.
Your partner should be the person who has your back the most in the world. However, many people have a really hard time trusting the person they are with.
Sometimes, this is related to past trauma and bad experiences. Other times, your partner may have given you a reason not to trust them.
If you don’t fully trust your partner, it may show itself in these ways. And if you notice that you are doing any of these things yourself, it’s time to make some serious changes in your relationship.
1) You ask for proof
Naturally, you can’t spend all your time together. You have to go to work and run errands, and so does your partner.
But when your partner comes back from being somewhere without you, you find yourself wondering if they are telling you the truth.
Even worse, you might start asking them for proof.
Maybe you want them to check in with you when they are going somewhere. Maybe you ask them to send a photo of where they are so that you can be sure they are being honest with you.
The trouble is, this is controlling behavior. And it almost always signals a relationship that is on the rocks.
Even if your partner is being completely honest with you, this constant mistrust will eat away at their love and affection toward you.
If you have to ask your partner for proof of where they have been and don’t take their word for it, it’s a sure sign you don’t trust them.
2.) You don’t share your finances with them
Look, I dated my wife for years without moving in together. We maintained separate bank accounts and separate houses for years. Even now, while we have a joint account, we also have our own accounts.
But it’s not because I don’t trust her. It’s just because I like my independence.
There’s no rush to share your finances with another person, and it’s something you should think carefully about before doing.
It’s also important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to manage your finances as a couple. Whatever works best for you is the right way to do it, and that can be anything from total financial separation to complete entanglement.
At the same time, if you can’t imagine yourself ever sharing a bank account with your significant other, that’s a red flag.
It means you don’t trust them financially. And probably, you don’t trust them in other ways, either.
3) You spy on them
I’m not talking about hiring a guy in a trenchcoat to take photos in the rain. I mean something a bit more high-tech than that.
Unfortunately, technology has made it easier than ever for us to spy on each other. Whether you’ve demanded the password to their emails or keep a close eye on who they interact with on social media, there are many ways you can display to your partner that you don’t trust them.
Here’s the thing: if you feel like you have to keep tabs on your partner’s social media usage and that their word is not good enough, it means you don’t trust them.
Maybe you’re right, and maybe you’re wrong. But either way, a relationship built on mistrust is unlikely to last.
4) You are intimidated by other attractive people
The world is full of attractive people. You can’t keep your partner trapped under glass.
But if you feel uneasy when they are around others, it’s probably because of your own insecurities and lack of trust for them.
And ironically, that lack of trust can sometimes drive them away.
5) You get angry when they talk or socialize with others
This is an even more extreme form of being intimidated by other attractive people.
If you get angry when your partner spends time with members of the sex they are attracted to, it’s a sure sign that you don’t trust them.
After all, responsible adults are perfectly capable of having friendships with other people, even people they might be attracted to, without acting on those feelings.
If you don’t think your partner can do that, it means you don’t trust them.
6) You get nervous when they spend time away from you
It might not even be when you know they are spending time with other people. It’s possible you just get anxious and suspicious whenever your partner isn’t with you.
It’s important to understand that this is very unhealthy. Your partner shouldn’t define you, and you shouldn’t need them physically present to feel at ease.
If you can’t be content when your partner is out of your sight, you definitely don’t trust them enough.
7) You accuse them of things
This behavior can be very destructive.
Do you find that your mind always jumps to the worst possible scenario? Do you find yourself lashing out, accusing your partner of things without having any substantial evidence that it’s true?
Very few people will put up with this for long, and no one should have to. Accusing your partner of wrongdoing without justification is a one-way ticket to Splitsville.
8) You obsess over their past
What’s your body count? And what’s your partners?
Confession time: I have no idea how many partners my wife had before I met her. I’ve never asked, and she’s never asked me. Because it’s irrelevant.
All that matters is that she hasn’t had any partners since we met, and neither have I.
But maybe you often think about your partner’s past. Maybe you can’t get past thinking about the people they’ve been with.
In that case, you’re clearly jealous.
What to do about it
Jealousy is an incredibly destructive emotion. So if you find yourself practicing any of these behaviors, it’s time you took a good hard look at yourself and figured out where it’s coming from.
It takes two to tango, and often, jealousy comes from the behavior of both parties. Maybe your partner isn’t doing enough to reassure you and make you feel at ease. Maybe they have even given you reason to mistrust them.
But at the same time, it’s possible that it’s your own inadequacy that is poisoning your relationship.
Here’s how to deal with it:
- Set a time to talk honestly and truthfully about how you feel. You can mention any behaviors your partner does that make you feel insecure, but don’t criticize or blame. Use ‘I feel’ statements to avoid accusing them of anything. For example, “When you spend time with your ex-girlfriend, I feel threatened.”
- Listen to what your partner says. Everyone has their reasons for behaving as they do. Maybe your partner didn’t understand how their behavior was making you jealous. Or maybe it’s not their behavior but your own fears and doubts that make you suspicious.
- Both of you need to think about the incident of jealousy and address any behaviors that may have contributed to it.
- Develop a plan that will keep any future incidents from happening.
Ultimately, jealousy arises when you feel that you are entitled to something and you are worried someone else is getting it.
In a romantic relationship, that means your partner’s time, affection, and intimacy.
Unfortunately, jealousy has earned its reputation as a relationship killer.
But just because you struggle to trust your partner doesn’t mean it’s definitely over. Working on your trust issues and identifying what caused them can get your relationship back on track.
It’s going to take a lot of soul-searching, and a lot of honesty and openness with the person you care about. But if your relationship isn’t worth that, it’s already over.
If you can’t trust someone, you can’t love them properly. So, ultimately, you need to either find a way to trust your partner again or go your separate ways.