I was listening to the radio the other morning and the subject of establishing trust was being discussed on air. Callers were invited in to say whether they thought it was good or bad to expect their partners to want free access to their social media accounts. The general consensus was that if you have nothing to hide it should not be an issue. BUT if it’s a matter of dealing with someone who is an untrustworthy partner, this may not be such a straightforward thing.

As I explained to someone who was in the car with me at the time, if you’ve ever been in a relationship and been cheated on, trust is a little (lot) harder to give freely. It means that often we may become a little sensitive to lies, half truths, oddities … anything that doesn’t ring true might be grounds for suspicion.

How long until vague suspicions become full blown paranoia?  I don’t know, but it’s not a long journey to that dark place.  The only solution is total  transparency.   And that’s a commitment that is not always easy to enter into.

If you have reason to believe you’re being deliberately mislead about something ,you owe it to yourself and your entire relationship to tackle that head on, and be brutally honest.   If its your own stuff that makes you feel that way, you also need to own that.    ‘Sorry honey, but I’m mindful of this being a trigger for me based on …’  is one way to try and address that.   At this age, we all have triggers and history that makes it hard sometimes to bring something up with a partner.   It can be incredibly scary if you might be opening up a big can of worms, and also if you know there is a chance that you really are just being paranoid.  But best to open up about it either way than let that fester.  Because Rot soon moves into a festering mind.

Let’s take a simple example:

You’re in bed with your partner, and they suddenly pull out a brand new ‘move’.   The suspicious mind will wonder first if they have been with someone else to learn that, the calm and trusting mind will simply wonder whether there was porn, a chat with a friend, or a bit of online research is behind the surprise treat.   It may be something completely innocent, but how you react could make a huge difference as to how it is treated.

If you are with someone who has triggers and issues from a previous relationship, decide well in advance how you are going to deal with establishing trust and coping with triggering issues.   That really is the only thing you can do right from the start.   If trust becomes an issue through the course of your relationship, then maybe therapy or counselling is going to be option, because clearly other things may be at play such as ‘my dad always cheated on my mum’ or ‘my sister dresses like that and look at how she behaves…’

Establishing trust is a massive subject.    And one that can make or break a relationship.   ‘If you want to be trusted, give trust’ – this is easily said, not always easily done… but it’s a nice ideal.

In my book ‘That Sex Book’ I’ve addressed more about this issue of trust within relationships – it goes on sale on 1st November and is available on Amazon.