“Why doesn’t my hus­band trust me?”

Sunday Mail - Body and Soul - - B+S ADVICE -

ques­tion: My hus­band of­ten thinks I’m cheat­ing on him, but I never have. He gets it in his head that I’ve met some­one else and am pre­par­ing to leave him. I don’t do any­thing to prompt him think­ing this, and I’m as af­fec­tion­ate as I have al­ways been. He has been cheated on in the past and has self-es­teem prob­lems, but I’m grow­ing tired of the jeal­ousy, sus­pi­cion and lack of trust. I want to make the mar­riage work, but how do I get him to be­lieve I am his faith­ful wife? an­swer: When some­one has low self-es­teem and has been cheated on in the past, they may de­velop a fear of be­ing left again. They may feel un­wor­thy of love and be­lieve they aren’t worth stay­ing with. Their fear can grow stronger and some­times man­i­fest into re­al­ity. We can cre­ate what we fear by not un­der­stand­ing our­selves.

If there is no out­ward change in your re­la­tion­ship, it sounds as though from time to time his fear over­whelms him and his mind starts to tell him you must have found some­one else and dis­cov­ered he is not enough for you, and so he con­vinces him­self this must be the case. In­no­cent as you are of his fears, it must be frus­trat­ing to have to deal with them on an on­go­ing ba­sis.

Has he tried coun­selling to ad­dress his anx­i­ety? Have you tried cou­ples coun­selling to­gether to learn ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion? This is not just about talk­ing, but about lis­ten­ing and un­der­stand­ing what is in each other’s hearts and minds as well as the bag­gage we all carry from our child­hood and past re­la­tion­ships.

It’s im­por­tant that you both break this cy­cle of wait­ing for his fear and jeal­ousy to grow and then cop­ing with it when it rears its head. You need to cre­ate a healthy re­la­tion­ship in which you both feel safe, sup­ported, loyal, trust­ing and loved. Given your hus­band’s past and self-es­teem is­sues, it may take some time to achieve this, but even ini­ti­at­ing the process is a hope­ful and healthy step. So, if you want the mar­riage to work in the long term, the re­spon­si­bil­ity for heal­ing rests with both of you. bodyand­soul.com.au Look­ing for ad­vice from Gabrielle Mor­ris­sey? Visit bodyand­soul.com. au/re­la­tion­ships

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