3 years? Whew, chile. Today marks my longest relationship- ever. While this would be the perfect opportunity to glorify our highs, I’m gonna take this moment to go against the grain and talk about our lows. My mission for this new lifestyle blog is to help people. And I feel like highlighting the not-so-perfect aspects of my life will do just that.
My boyfriend and I are often called “perfect”, and I wanna get rid of that notion because we are far from it. Perfection isn’t what we care to look like and isn’t what we aim for. We are real people, with real problems, trying to grow individually and together at the same time. We are all about progress.
Today’s post will show you that I’m not afraid to keep it 100. I hope that through this storytelling, I’m able to help others overcome the same obstacles.
With that being said, today’s post and (relationship) confession: I didn’t trust my boyfriend.
The tea is scorching today, sis. Here is the list of points I’m going to discuss:
- How I knew I lacked trust
- Background: Why I didn’t trust him
- How I gained trust
- Checklists: – Is your partner worth working on trust issues for? -Do you “fully” trust your partner?
How I knew I lacked trust
These are my personal examples (and yes I am aware that I’ll probably sounds crazy, but I found that in order to get rid of my issues- I had to be real with myself and admit I had them).
- I got upset when he didn’t text back within a time frame that I wanted
- (On the rare occasion that I wasn’t out with him) I didn’t trust when he was out (i.e. blew his phone up, didn’t let him enjoy his time, asked a lot of questions “who’s there?” “who are you with?”
- I overthought situations that didn’t need overthinking and always assumed the worst. (Okay this isn’t my proudest moment, but my overthinking was so bad that I even questioned why he had cologne on one day. “You never wear cologne. And today you did. What for? Is there a specific reason you chose today to wear it?”)
- I got upset when other girls were around. (In college he shared an apartment with 2 other guys, so when the other guys had guests over I didn’t trust them. Even though they weren’t my bf’s guests, I didn’t trust that they were over and in the same vicinity as him.)
- I dumped him. I think it was the first few months into our relationship, but his phone died while he was on a boy’s trip and negative thoughts just swarmed my mind to the point where I just broke it off. I didn’t wanna deal with the “possibilities” so I just called it quits. He even called his best friend devastated and didn’t understand why things had to end
Sadly, I could go on forever with the examples. But those are just a few to show you guys how bad it was. Which leads me to my next point: WHERE IS THIS ALL COMING FROM? Why can’t you trust the man???
Background: Why I didn’t trust him
Here is where you lift your pinkies up ladies and gentleman… because here comes the tea.
I’ve been cheated on in every single relationship before this one. And let me tell ya… my last one (2 years) took the cake for the most painful.
Just to give you an idea of how disrespectful my ex was… it’s story time. I was in Vegas for a few days celebrating a friend’s 21st when I get a text from another friend saying “Aren’t you in Vegas? Lol” I replied that I was, and then asked her why she was asking. She replied “Well I just saw your car, (he who shall not be named) was driving… and he had a girl in the passenger seat.” …….Sis. My ex was driving girls around in MY car while I was out of town. And of course, he denied the allegations. Claimed that people were just trying to “ruin what we had”, played the victim, and said I was “acting crazy”.
That was just one example of the bunch. At the end of our relationship (for closure that I thought I needed), I asked him to be straight up and tell me the truth about everything. He admitted he cheated the entire time. Admitted to changing names of girls in his phone to guy names, admitted that he was never actually where he said he was, even admitted having girls in the apartment we SHARED (pictures up, my stuff out, everything- the nerve of those girls, right?)
So after that nightmare, I did what girls are “supposed to do” post-breakup: heal. Then along comes my boyfriend, knocking on the wall I built around myself. After years of self-discovery, building my confidence back up, and learning about why people hurt others like that, I thought I was ready to let him in. BOY WAS I WRONG.
I found out I had relationship anxiety. In a nutshell, it’s a “never-ending worry about infidelity, or an overall fear about the relationship’s viability.” (You can read more about it [here])
This relationship anxiety came from PISD. (Post Infidelity Stress Disorder) (read more about it [here])
To give you an analogy, it’s like when a veteran has PTSD from a war. Certain things like fireworks/loud noises or even certain visuals trigger the bad memories and give them panic attacks, make them nervous, or cause unwanted thoughts. That’s how I felt with PISD. Certain things in my relationship triggered bad memories from my past.
This is a real life example of my trust issues & how my mind worked (in the beginning of my relationship).
What would happen: Tai (my boyfriend) didn’t text back in a timely manner
Triggered memory: Whenever my ex went M.I.A. from texting, he was always with another girl.
My thoughts after trigger: Tai must be with another girl
What was actually happening: Tai was taking a nap after a grueling day of football practice or he was playing video games (if you guys watch my InstaStories- he’s literally playing video games 24/7)
Some of you may read all of this and think it’s dramatic to put “victim of cheating” in the same category as “war vet”, but listen to me when I say- being cheated on causes forms of PTSD. It has much more of an effect on our brains than we all think.
This is the exact reason I decided to share this info, I too had no idea it was that serious.
To women reading this: we are resilient in that we can get cheated on, get back up, dust ourselves off & eventually open ourselves up to new relationships afterwards. But (as studies have shown in the articles I linked), being cheated on affects your brain. And since your mind runs your life, it’s important we heal from that trauma. If we neglect the healing, we end up hurting those we love. Just as I was hurting Tai. He gave me every reason to trust him, my mind just couldn’t get with the program.
How I Gained Trust
I Googled my situation (“How to trust my man after being cheated on” or “How to fully trust my partner”) & read the summaries to find books that fit me.
These are the books I read (click the image & it’ll take you to the option of buying)
Books are important because going through the stress and trauma of being cheated on rewired your brain. Reading books helped me practice better thinking patterns and detached me from the consistent negative thoughts I was having. I truly owe my progress to books.
Now before you do all this work and try to conquer your trust issues, I need you to go through these checklists first.
This first one is to determine if it’s YOU that needs working on (I had a friend who asked about one of my books so that she could trust her boyfriend more, but the harsh truth was… her boyfriend wasn’t even trustworthy. Therefore, the books wouldn’t have helped her.) You can obviously still get these books if you’re single also, because they are good reads and it’s a great way to get ahead of the game for when you do get into a relationship. But I made this checklist for the women that are currently in a relationship.
Signs your partner isn’t trustworthy
(I got this checklist online, and it is also extremely accurate with all the men that cheated on me):
- Behavior that doesn’t add up they aren’t where they’re expected to be, you catch them up on lies
- Accuses you of cheating
- Person has become more secretive
- Lies often
- Hides their phone from you
- Spends less and less time with you
- Their battery “dies” more than it probably should
- You have a gut feeling
- No longer affectionate or intimate
If you found yourself check-marking items on this list, then it’s not you sis. You don’t trust him because he is untrustworthy.
Now if you didn’t check any of the stuff on that list, here is the second list.
Signs you don’t trust your partner:
- You have each other’s locations on (trust me when I say I’m fully aware of women using the “I just wanna make sure he’s safe at all times, you never know what could happen” excuse. My cousin passed away in a car accident years ago, so I get very worried when my boyfriend drives at night, distant places, or in bad road conditions. But you don’t need a tracking device on your boyfriend. It’s just not necessary, and it also doesn’t help you trust him.) This article explains why it is unhealthy [here].
- You make him turn on his read receipts (the article I linked also addresses why this is unhealthy)
- You keep an eye on their social media activity
- You watch his phone
- You are picky about his friends
- You never give him the benefit of the doubt when things pop up
- Any of the things I listed that I did (at the beginning of this post)
Here is a link for more in depth explanation for the items on this list: [here]
Again, the purpose of this post is not to personally attack anyone or their relationship. To me, trust is an absolute necessity. I learned that you must make yourself vulnerable if you want to reach your full potential as a couple. After committedly working on my trust, my relationship did a complete 180.
Looking back at the girlfriend I was and how far I’ve come, I can say with the utmost confidence that our relationship has been taken to new heights- heights we wouldn’t have reached if I didn’t choose to do the work. I can admit, I still have my moments here and there, but like I said in the beginning of this post:
We don’t aim for perfection, we aim for progress.
Thank you guys for taking the time to read this post. Please let me know what you think! (in my comments on here or on the Insta post). I’d love to get some feedback.
& to the LOML- Happy 3 years! I grow into a better person everyday because of you.
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If you loved this post, check out my [Two Year Anniversary: Self Love] Post!