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I can't convince myself I can trust my husband, or that he means what he says.

heart to heart About the Questioner
Philosophy: Christian
Hopes and aspirations: I hope to one day be secure, have self esteem and learn to trust people. I want to become a counselor.
I have been married for four years. Early in my marriage my husband lied to me, about a relationship with another woman. He wasn't having a physical affair with her, more like an emotional affair she lives in another state and they were talking for hours on the phone. He claimed they were just good friends. However, he felt it necessary to lie and hide it, which makes it seem suspicious to me. Then throughout the next year or so, there were other lies. With every new lie it seemed to make the trust dwindle away, no matter how small it was.

A little background: my ex husband came home one day and told me he was leaving, I had no idea he was unhappy or had a girlfriend. I was devastated and felt so ignorant for not even having a clue. Growing up my mother constantly talked about being worried my dad was "looking" at this woman in the wrong way. They fought a lot, I was basically judged on my looks growing up. So when me and my husband got married there were already! A lot of issues, and his one crack in the trust in our marriage seemed to open the floodgates. It's embarrassing the level of insecurity I have. If he is late, or doesn't call, or I don't hear from him throughout the day, I worry that he is with another woman. Any woman that works around him I see as a threat and a potential affair. I literally get sick to my stomach with worry.

He constantly tells me he loves me; he does things for me all the time. There haven't been any more lies. I can't convince myself I can trust him, or that he means what he says. I am terrified just the right woman will come along and he will have an affair with her. I don't know how to make myself trust him. I don't know how to believe that someone would value me enough not to hurt me or leave me. I have tried hypnotherapy, self help books, and nothing seems to stick or help. I want nothing more that to be secure in my marriage and to be able to say: He loves ME and believes it.

Reply by Coach Doris Jeanette Doris Jeanette
Wow! You express the universal problem of trust in intimate relationships extremely well. Anyone who has been in an emotionally close, sexual relationship has felt the same way at certain times during his or her relationship. This natural feeling of extreme vulnerability is what makes us afraid of loving another person. Fear, as opposed to anxiety, is a natural, healthy emotion that you need to respect, feel and express.

Unfortunately, in addition to the universal trust issue, you have a unique learning history where you were taught not to trust people by your parents. This is where anxiety, distrust and unhealthy, controlling behaviors come into play. It sounds like the trust was broken between you and your parents at an early age. The earlier the distrust occurred between you and your parents, the greater the difficulty repairing the trust. You did not have a good model for how to be in a loving relationship.

Instead, you are like many other people with unhealthy learning histories. You do not know how to feel your fear and let your authentic emotions bring you closer to your beloved. You defend against your feelings of vulnerability. When you defend against your feelings, you create an energetic wall around you, which blocks out love energy. If you want to be in loving relationships with people defensive behaviors are never helpful. Give them up as quickly as you can.

Hear me say to you, "Your strengths are in your vulnerability." Repeat, "Your strengths are in your vulnerability." Only when you are open and vulnerable can you access your natural talents and spiritual gifts. Only when your heart and solar plexus are open can you be in the energy of love with your beloved. To be open is to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is what makes you strong, healthy and vibrant.

Just imagine what it would be like if you could experience the emotional truths inside of you instead of defending against them. You would feel your emotions as they occur, get the essential information from these colorful energies, and express them in healthy life affirming ways. Then you would be slowly and gently opening your solar plexus and heart so love energy can be exchanged between you and others. This is what heart to heart means.

Currently, you try to control your husband and this creates a great deal of distant between you and your beloved. Your thoughts are telling you if you control your husband then you will be safe. When you try to control his behaviors you fool yourself by thinking that you are safe if he does not have close friends. However, it is not possible to control another person. And in reality, there is no guarantee he could give you even if he wanted to! He does not know the future either. You are never safe if you are trying to avoid change and control events. Sudden trauma, conflicts, disease and death can happen at a moment's notice!

In reality, anything can change and rearrange. This is where the bigger issues of trust come into play. Trust is a huge issue in soul development as well as interpersonal development. For trust is one of the essential factors that separates out those who enjoy life and those who do not. You cannot enjoy life and fulfill your soul's purpose if you do not trust the universe. The "Bigger Story" issues of trusting the divine, your soul, your emotions and your body need to be addressed as well as the interpersonal trust issues in relationships.

The best way to move through life is to assume that whatever happens will work out for the best. You need to know that you be there for yourself to make sure you become stronger and wiser from all your life experiences. I find that indentifying with my soul instead of my ego allows me to let go of control and trust. For this is what you have to do to achieve trust. You must let go of control.

When you let go of control you learn how to develop trust in yourself. Your ability to trust has very little to do with other people. In reality, when it comes to trusting other people, you can only trust them to be themselves and nothing more or less. Really think about this and absorb this fact. When you do, it will make you laugh or smile with deep knowing. For example, you can definitely trust your controlling father to be controlling! You can trust your manipulative mother to be manipulative! If a friend is always late, you can trust him or her to always be late!

Once you really get this, it will help you see it is not rational to trust others not to hurt you. Of course they will hurt you. There is no way your husband cannot hurt you. There is no way you cannot hurt him. Hurt, like fear, is natural, normal and unavoidable! When your husband hurts your ego, this is a very helpful experience for you. This experience will empower you because it will help you remove your sensitive buttons by healing your emotional wounds. If you want to be a counselor this is essential for you to experience over and over again. You need to break down your defensiveness in order to model open, healthy relationships skills. Otherwise you will react with your clients when they push your buttons and you will not be able to help them with their problems. You will make your clients worse, instead of better.

If you want to be a counselor, put this goal in the forefront and move toward it. There will be many adventures along the way and they will be painful at times. In addition to hurting your ego, your husband will also hurt your authentic emotional self. Hurt is what helps you grow and develop your personality in this life. These emotional experiences feed your soul for further development. From these human experiences you will learn to be there for yourself when your husband is acting out his emotional issues by being defensive and blaming you. Please note that he has already been there for you as you have acted out your distrust and blame of him.

You need to know that you will be safe and secure with or without your husband. Your husband could die and he could want a divorce in the future. You cannot control either of these events. Neither can he. You need to trust the natural flow of life to give you what you need as you grow toward your soul and purpose in life. To reach this trusting state you must let go of control and stop living in your ego.

When you let go of control you will meet your emotional self who learned not to trust others from her parents. She is the one who can feel her fear and hurt and become stronger and wiser. In addition, you have false beliefs about trust that need to be deconditoned and removed. Given your unhealthy past learning, I strongly recommend you choose a seasoned, experienced teacher, coach or mentor who you can trust. Then work with him or her in a personal relationship over time. This does not need to be weekly but it does need to be over time so you learn how to trust. You need the direct experience of a healthy, open relationship in order to learn trust. Working by yourself and reading books will never do it!

Your teacher will help you feel the difference between your false beliefs that are anxiety based and your authentic emotions, which are truth based. You will learn how to trust your soul and inner knowing to guide you through whatever life offers to you.

In this moment, you have a husband who loves you. Please accept his love and rejoice!

To learn more about the difference between fear and anxiety, ego and soul, follow the experiential guide, "Opening the Heart" audio. It helps you move pass your ego and find your emotional self.

To learn more about letting go of control read "Relationship Advice: Let go of Control to Let Go of Relationship Problems" in our free library at

Dr. Doris Jeanette is a licensed psychologist in the USA and director of the Center for New Psychology which offers a Certification Program in Holistic Psychology. In addition, Doris is head mentor of an Online Mentoring Program, which anyone in the world can join.

Coaching copyright © 2010 Dr. Doris Jeanette
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