Cannot Trust My Girlfriend
July 10, 2000 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I am 18 she is 17. . . . Please help me i have a major problem. For some reason i cannot trust my girlfriend. We have been together for a year and I have every reason in the world to be able to trust her but for some reson i cant.
I am constantly worried if she is trying to impress other guys, she says she doesnt and i want to believe her so bad. How can i start to trust her. I just get to feeling so jealous because if she goes dancing she would wind up dancing with another guy. . . . that made me SO MAD!!.
. . she got upset that it made me mad and that i wasnt trusting her. . . She says i go there to DANCE and i would never cheat on you. I DO NOT KNOW WHY I CANNOT TRUST HER!! I feel SO BAD THAT I CANNOT. . . . . cause she is gonna go to college far away and i wont see her and if i continue to feel this way it is gonna RUIN us.
I love her to death and i want to be with her for the rest of my life and she says she wants the same thing too. . . . butnot unless i trust her. . . . PLEASE HELP ME!! thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOo MUCH. . . . . .
Whenever a person finds himself having feelings that don't fit reality, in this case when you feel jealous even though your girlfriend gives you no reason to doubt her, then there is only one explanation: your past is intruding on the present.
The human mind works by association. So, when you find yourself in a situation that reminds you of a past hurt, your mind automatically links the current event with similiar instances from before. All kinds of painful memories get churned up, and with those memories come strong feelings.
The problem is that all this is happening on an unconscious level. You aren't aware that your mind is making any associations. All you are aware of is the feelings, and you are clueless as to why you feel the way you do. In order to heal this problem, you need to become conscious of the associations that your mind is making.
To do this, ask yourself, 'What happened to me when I was young that shattered my trust?'You might also ask yourself, 'When my girlfriend dances with other men, what part of my past does this remind me of?'Somebody left you, dropped you or betrayed you when you were young, which explains why you are programmed to expect that your girlfriend will do the same. Hence, you are constantly on the lookout, jealous and braced for what you know is going to happen: she is going to screw you over.
The sad thing is that you may actually drive her to drop you if you keep on accusing her. That we don't want to happen. So here's what you can do. Each time you feel jealous, keep silent and ask yourself to find a memory from childhood in which you felt similar feelings. Remind yourself that the feelings that you are experiencing are ghosts from the past. Take stock in the ways in which your girlfriend differs from the people who betrayed you years ago. Doing so will help you separate then from now and will ease your jealousy toward her.
f you find it hard to do this work on your own, then by all means find a good therapist to help you with this. Being conscious, separating past from present, and reminding yourself of how your girlfriend is different from the people who hurt you way back when will help you heal the wounds of childhood, which will free you from this jealousy.
Let me know how you progress.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book is mandatory reading for every couple that wants to build lasting love.”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show