10 mistakes men with trust issues make in a relationship

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How many times have we been told that trust is the bedrock of any relationship?

So what happens when a man brings trust issues with him?

Whether he’s been hurt badly in the past or has some self-esteem issues, it can spill over and create some serious problems for a couple.

Here are some of the classic mistakes a guy with trust issues is prone to making…

1) Punishing their current partner for the transgressions of past partners

Once bitten, twice shy, right?

It’s smart to learn lessons that we can bring with us through life. But it’s not a good idea to hold onto the pain.

Because when we do, we end up carrying with us emotional baggage that is hard to put down.

It’s totally unfair to judge someone else based on your own personal history.

I know, it’s easier said than done, but unless we try to let go, we can end up building a wall around ourselves and our hearts, in an attempt to protect it.

That’s never good.

Especially if that protection involves inadvertently punishing your current partner for something they haven’t even done.

As scary as it feels, we have to give people the benefit of the doubt rather than tarring everyone with the same brush.

2) Becoming over-protective

Men with trust issues are ultimately afraid of losing what they have.

So he may show signs of over-protectiveness in holding onto what he values most.

That can lead to some unhealthy emotions and behaviors around:

  • Jealousy
  • Neediness
  • Possessiveness
  • Control

His mindset is one of scarcity and guardedness.

That may come out in aggressive and suspicious ways — such as not liking their partner to be around other people.

They may try to dictate what their partner can and cannot do.

Or their insecurity could lead to clinginess. Their fear of loss causes them to hold on even tighter. 

3) Using emotional blackmail and guilt trips to try to control someone

Of course, not all forms of control are overt.

Some men with trust issues may well feel like the victim.

So they may turn to more subtle forms of manipulation to try to get their own way and make themselves feel better.

One’s where they can paint a picture of them being the one who is wronged.

Rather than try to tell their other half what to do, they may use sulking or silent treatment as a form of pressure.

Do something they are unhappy with, and they might withdraw from you.

This isn’t always a conscious tactic. As we’ll see next, it can be a self-defense mechanism.

4) Shutting down and pushing their partner away

Not all trust issues lead to hyper-vigilance. Some men will simply start to shut down when they feel vulnerable and threatened.

Remember those walls we spoke of earlier?

Well, their tactic for dealing with the uncomfortable feelings that are coming up is to build them even higher.

When this happens, a man with trust issues in a relationship may:

  • Start to distance himself
  • Make excuses
  • Refuse to open up
  • Show resistance to commitment

5) Spying and snooping to keep track of their partner

Have you ever checked a partner’s phone without them knowing?

Maybe you had a sneaky suspicion and were looking for confirmation. Or perhaps you were just curious about what you might find.

But these types of behaviors highlight issues around trust.

Men with trust issues may:

  • Want to keep tabs on their partner’s whereabouts
  • Expect their partner to constantly check-in
  • Get mad when their partner doesn’t immediately answer a phone call or text
  • Monitor their social media to see what they are up to
  • Invade a partner’s privacy by reading their journal, checking their computer, or snooping on their phone

The bottom line is, it’s not our job to police a partner. If you feel you have to, then something isn’t right.

6) Being unforgiving and holding onto grudges

It’s an unfortunate reality for people with trust issues to face:

But all of us can make mistakes.

That means we may unintentionally or inadvertently hurt the ones we love.

Sometimes, we just screw up, and even though we know doing something is wrong, we do it anyway.

Regardless of whether the error was small or big, men with trust issues can have a harder time with forgiveness.

They may hold onto past grievances and drag them out at any opportunity.

They use them as fuel to justify their way of seeing things and their suspicious behavior.

7) Believing the stories they have created in their heads

Men with trust issues can very quickly turn their feelings into facts.

They lose all grasp on reality, and before you know it every fear they have feels very real.

We are all:

a) Hardwired for negativity

It’s a survival tool that was meant to keep us on the lookout for danger.

b) Are prone to confirmation bias

So we also have a tendency to seek out, interpret, prefer, and recall information that already backs up our existing theories and beliefs.

That can create a very unfortunate combination for men with existing trust issues.

Rather than question and second guess what goes through his mind, he may automatically believe it.

Which usually leads to the next mistakes on our list.

8) Blowing things out of all proportions and jumping to conclusions

Their partner is half an hour late.

Rather than imagine they are stuck in traffic, their go-to thought is that they’re with someone else.

They use a negative framework and make the worst possible assumptions.

Instead of interpreting things in an innocent way, they go full steam ahead to the worst-case scenario.

They may even present this to their partner, despite little to no evidence for it.

9) Making false accusations without any proof

It’s like a pressure cooker, and all those suspicions start to build up.

The vivid imagination that leads them to believe something untoward is going on can no longer be contained.

So they voice their fears, confront their partner, and make wild accusations.

It doesn’t matter whether there is any justification or proof.

They may want to hear denials for themselves, in the hope it will put their mind at rest.

Or, strangely enough, they may just want to feel that they were right in their mistrust…

10) Waiting for the worst to happen 

Men with trust issues are waiting with bated breath for the day that:

  • They have their heart broken
  • They are let down and betrayed
  • They are cheated on
  • They are abandoned

And when it does happen, they get to say:

“I knew it all along!”

It’s almost as though there is some vindication in them having been proved right.

But what they may not be aware of is they could have inadvertently contributed to (or directly caused) it.

Whatever we expect, we have a habit of getting in life.

I’m not talking about any mystical manifestation either, it’s far more practical than that.

Our expectations set the tone. They deeply influence our thoughts, feelings, words, and behaviors.

When we expect the worst, we can quickly end up creating it in the process.  

Working through trust issues

If several of the mistakes on our list are ringing true for you, your relationship may be suffering from some trust issues.

Whilst that doesn’t have to spell the end, it does need addressing.

Because it’s almost impossible to have a happy, secure, and healthy feeling relationship without it.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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