There’s a good reason why relationship experts and marriage counselors constantly say that trust is a cornerstone of a relationship.
Because a relationship is bound to crumble without it, much like a building constructed on a cracked post.
You can be as in love as you could possibly be with your partner, but if you don’t fully trust them, it won’t be a healthy relationship. You might even hesitate to commit.
You see, trust is what makes us feel secure. It’s what makes us feel like our partner is an anchor we can rely on.
If you can’t do that, if there’s a tiny seed of doubt in you, you’ll feel a little on edge and anxious.
And you know what? No matter how miniscule that seed is, it will show up in ways you might not even realize.
Here are ten behaviors that show you don’t fully trust your partner:
1) Checking their phone behind their back
Let’s begin with this most common sign of distrust. As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve been guilty of this in my past relationships myself.
This is the modern-day version of hiring a private investigator to spy on your partner. Except that this time, you’re the one playing detective!
Technology has made it so easy for us now. With a few swipes, we can find out what our partner has been doing online.
Are they sending suspicious messages to other people or vice versa? Are they posting stuff that they’ve cleverly hidden from your view? Are they liking and commenting on photos of half-naked women or men?
You might say, “I’m just curious!” but c’mon, you know it’s more than that. No judgment here; like I said, I’ve done it myself in the past.
But – the bigger question here is this: Why are you even doing it?
That should point you to the underlying issue behind this behavior, which is that you don’t fully trust your partner.
2) Getting suspicious or angry when they talk to other people
Those suspicious thoughts can carry over into real-life scenarios, too. Especially if the other person in question is attractive.
Maybe you’re at a party and you see your SO talking to an attractive person. Not only do you feel intimidated, but you actually get angry.
Why are they even talking? Why is your partner’s attention on that other person?
I get it – there may be some insecurities at play here, and I can’t really blame you.
Regardless though, it’s still not a good look. We should be able to overcome those and be okay with our partners having friends from the opposite sex.
And if we can’t, then you know what it means – there’s some distrust there.
3) Feeling nervous when you’re apart
In fact, even just feeling nervous when your partner is away should clue you in to the fact that something’s off.
The problem isn’t necessarily with your partner’s actions but with your own level of trust – or rather, lack of it – in them.
I do understand this. Being physically separated amplifies every little doubt and insecurity because you’re not there to see and feel what’s happening.
Still, that’s not healthy. Your relationship should feel stable despite time and space apart. You shouldn’t feel like your partner needs to be with you 24/7 before you can put your worries to rest.
What’s more, you shouldn’t need constant reassurance, which brings me to my next point…
4) Constantly needing reassurance
“Do you love me? How much?”
“She’s pretty, isn’t she? Are you sure you’re not interested in her?”
Questions like these point to a need for constant reassurance, which ultimately means that on some level, you don’t fully trust your partner.
Because if you did, you’d feel secure. Loved. You’d feel like you come first, no questions asked. No constant validation and proof needed.
5) Asking for proof
Speaking of proof, I have a friend who has to take a picture with me whenever we go out. You know why?
It’s not because she wants it for the memories. It’s because she’s got a suspicious husband who asks for proof of who she’s with.
Basically, what that tells me is that her husband doesn’t trust her. It’s awful to have to present evidence every time you go somewhere – it all feels rather controlling, doesn’t it?
So, if you’ve ever found yourself doing this, that’s a sign that you’ve got trust issues. And as harsh as it sounds, maybe even some control issues.
6) Harping on their past relationships
How about this – is your partner’s past always on your mind? Do you insist they tell you everything about their romantic and sexual history?
Talking about it one or a few times may perhaps just be out of curiosity. But constantly obsessing over it? That’s a clear sign of distrust.
Real talk – your partner’s past is in the past. Let it stay there. Let it not ruin what you have right now. Their history is irrelevant to what you share together.
All that matters is that right now, you’re their only partner.
7) Being secretive about your own life
Ironically, while you may demand that your partner tell you everything, you might not be so forthcoming yourself.
Why is this a sign that you don’t trust them?
It’s pretty simple – trust requires vulnerability. If you find it hard to open up about your own life, that means you’re not all in yet.
You’re holding back and keeping your cards close to your chest because you’re not sure how your partner will handle knowing the “real you”.
It’s a different kind of distrust from the jealous kind. But it’s damaging just the same. Because as long as you’re not willing to be vulnerable, true intimacy can’t happen.
A lovely quote by artist Walter Inglis Anderson encapsulates this so well:
“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.”
8) Avoiding serious conversations
Naturally, it follows that if you can’t open up, you can’t get into serious conversations as well.
This was me many relationships ago. I would always dodge serious convos, either by cracking a joke or changing the subject altogether.
You know why?
Because I didn’t trust my partner’s reactions. I was afraid of rejection or of being dismissed.
What I failed to realize at the time was that I was missing a crucial component of a healthy relationship – trust.
I should’ve trusted my partner to understand or respect my views and to handle our disagreements maturely.
In the end, what we had was a shell of a relationship – pretty on the outside, but empty inside.
So learn from my mistake. See difficult conversations not as an avenue for potential rejection, but as a bridge to better connect you to your partner.
9) Finding it hard to apologize
Similarly, not being able to admit you’re wrong is just as strong an indicator that you don’t trust your partner.
Again, this comes down to the willingness to be vulnerable. After all, when you admit you’re wrong and apologize, you’re baring yourself in all humility.
You’re admitting you’re flawed, and you’re trusting that your partner will still love you despite those flaws.
If you can’t do that, and you continue to dig your heels in instead of apologizing, it’s tantamount to putting up a wall around you. Your ego isn’t allowing you to be truly intimate with your partner.
And you know what the irony of ironies is here?
You can’t apologize because you don’t trust your partner well enough yet. But equally, that very act of denying your mistakes makes them trust you less.
Sadly, no one wins here.
10) Not sharing your financial info with them
Finally, we get to a topic not everyone is comfortable discussing.
Money is a sensitive topic for sure, but if you fully trust your partner, you’d be okay discussing it with them.
But if you feel the need to:
- Hide how much you really earn
- Refuse to share a joint account, or if you do…
- Micromanage that joint account
- Make your partner account for every little expense…
…that clearly shows you don’t fully trust them yet, whether in general or with finances alone.
Now, some couples do have a separate bank account or refuse to share a joint one. But they do it simply because they’d like to maintain independence. That’s different from being distrustful.
I think you know the difference because distrust is something you’ll feel in your gut.
What to do if you have trust issues
Trust issues come from the fears and insecurities we hold within us, which may have nothing to do with our partners themselves.
They may simply have been caused by factors like past trauma, abandonment, and low self-esteem.
Recognizing that you have trust issues is the first big step, and from there, you can take concrete steps to overcoming them.
You could have an open and honest conversation with your partner about it, or seek advice from a therapist or counselor.
The bottomline is that it’s a solvable problem. The sooner you can act on it, the better your chances of having a strong relationship.
Why spend your days feeling jealous and anxious, when you can, as Anderson said, be full of love and joy?