I love my spouse, but I don’t trust him. He has never lied or been unfaithful that I know of; it is just a feeling I have. The last few weeks have been very hard for us because my distrust is causing problems. I am moody, unhappy and constantly grilling him about his secretary at work and other women he is around. What is my problem? Why can’t I just trust him?
The question is, “Is this feeling of distrust your intuition, or are you projecting your fear (of not being good enough or your fear of loss) onto your spouse?” If your fears are unfounded, you need to work on your self-esteem and choose trust, but you better make sure this nagging feeling isn’t your intuition first.
Studies have shown that 85 percent of women who have a gut feeling that their partner is cheating turn out to be right. Most of the time your gut feelings are highly reliable and worth paying attention to, but your subconscious fears can get in the way and muddle these messages, too. So you must learn how to tell the difference.
Intuition differs from fear in that an intuition message is usually a peaceful one that prompts action, while fear tends come with feelings of anxiety and stress that can paralyze you (like a deer in the headlights) and stop you from action.
Intuition is also more unemotional and based in the moment, while fear feels emotionally charged and focused on the future. Fear is also usually tied, at some level, to experiences you had in the past. If you were cheated on before or were raised to distrust men, you might bring those feelings with you into new relationships. These things could make fear a more likely suspect.
Most people who get an intuition feeling describe it as a quiet knowing, while people who are experiencing fear are more bothered and grouchy. This is not the case 100 percent of the time, but it's a pretty good tell.
I believe your gut can tell you if your feelings are founded in fact or not, if you really listen. You may want to try the following test and see if it brings clarity:
Make the decision that you are going to trust your husband from now on. Assume your distrustful feelings are based in your fears of inadequacy or abandonment. Then, spend the next few days fully committed to trust, working on your self-esteem, reading some books on the subject, and talking to a counselor or coach about overcoming your fears of not being good enough. During this time, see how you feel about your decision. If you feel peaceful and calm, you are on the right track and there was nothing to fear. But, if the feeling of warning won’t go away and continues to nag at you, you probably need to pay attention to it.
I had a client who had a quiet knowing her husband wasn’t faithful for years, but didn’t act on it because she lacked confidence. She recently found out he’d been cheating on her for 20 years. Now, we are working on her self-esteem so she will trust herself in the future.
Having said that, I have another client who let her fear of abandonment that she’d had since childhood create a fear of cheating in her marriage that was completely off base. After years of being questioned and second-guessed, her poor husband finally asked for a divorce. This woman didn’t believe she was worthy of love, and in the end, her fear pushed love away.
To make sure subconscious fears are not clouding your perception of your husband, ask yourself how often you suffer with insecurity or a fear of not being good enough. If this is a big issue for you, or if you have felt unloved, unwanted or unappreciated most of your life, there is a good chance that you are projecting fears onto your spouse.
If this is the case, you must do some work on your self-esteem. Once you can see yourself as amazing, lovable and valued, you will be better able to hear your intuition and know what's true about your husband.
Most of the time it is better to choose love and trust your partner, though. If you choose to trust your spouse and make him feel loved, cherished and wanted every day, and he ends up cheating, it will be his fault and his loss. He will carry the responsibility for wrecking the relationship. But, if you choose to assume the worst of him and live with distrust, fear and suspicion and he doesn’t cheat, it will be you who wrecks the relationship.
I believe trust and love are usually the best answer.
Besides, seeing the absolute best in someone can often push him or her in that direction. If your husband thinks that you think he is wonderful, kind, honest and loving, he will often try to live up to that. But if you think he is dishonest and sleazy, he might as well be that.
Tell your husband how wonderful he is and make sure he feels loved and wanted every day. People who feel adored, wanted and cherished usually don’t cheat. There are exceptions to this rule, of course. There are some situations where loving people who are fully invested in their relationship and are still rejected or cheated on, but they are the exception not the rule. Some of us marry people who are incapable of being honest and committed. If you are in one of those relationships, getting out is your best course of action.
I recommend you choose to be fully engaged in giving love, support, appreciation and affection to your spouse; work to improve your self-esteem; and fully commit to seeing the absolute best in your partner instead of the worst. If you try this for a while and something still feels off, listen to your gut and follow it.
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of ldslifecoaching.com and claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.