Your significant other says they are going to the grocery store quick. You find yourself doubting them. You even find yourself thinking they might be doing something completely different—and maybe even wrong. Are you in a relationship without trust?
This is an example of mistrust. How can anyone be happy in a relationship without trust? Even though they probably are just going to the grocery store, something they’ve done in the past makes you question whether or not they’re telling the truth.
I once had a boyfriend *key word being “had”* that felt the need to lie to me about most of the things he was doing. Now, I’m not sure why… because most of them were harmless. For example, he once told me he was going on a run after work, instead of coming over right away.
It seemed legitimate enough. But when I went over to his place later, his gym shoes *the only athletic shoes he owned* were sitting neatly on the rug. When I questioned him about it, he first got angry, then caved, and told me he just played on his Xbox instead. This led to immense distrust between us. [Read: How to stop lying to yourself and your partner]
How could I trust that what he was telling me was true? How could I trust him to be honest with me? The truth is, we ended up breaking up a few weeks later because I didn’t trust him. Now, there were other things that contributed to the end result, but trust was the main reason.
Can a relationship last without trust?
The short answer is quite simple: no. But let me tell you exactly why a relationship without trust can’t work.
#1 You won’t believe them. When you don’t trust someone anymore, you won’t trust that what they’re saying is true. This turns a quick “trip to the gym with John” into a full-blown argument.
Every time they leave the house, you wonder if they’re doing what they say they’re doing. You start imagining that “John” might just be a code name for “Jane,” and a “trip to the gym” might really mean the bar. Once your mind starts spinning with these ideas, it’s nearly impossible for you to turn it off. [Read: For better or for worse: When you should stop loving them]
#2 You always feel insecure. Once trust is lost, your significant other telling you how amazing you are seems like another one of their “lies.” You won’t believe them when they compliment you, or tell you how important you are to them.
#3 You begin to resent your partner. A couple needs time apart to be successful and functional. But if your time spent apart turns into you worrying about what they’re doing, and getting upset because you’re just not sure if they’re being faithful, you will start to resent them.
A weekend away with your friends won’t be enjoyable if you can’t stop thinking about what they’re doing the entire time. And if what they’re doing is appropriate. You will be unhappy and start to blame them for this. [Read: How to trust your boyfriend – 12 questions to help you decide]
#4 You lose respect for them. How can you be with someone you don’t respect? If they’ve lied, cheated, or caused mistrust in any way, you won’t think of them the same way as when you first started the relationship.
When you lose respect for someone, you also start to treat them differently. You may be meaner, not do as many things for them, or even hurt them, because you don’t have the same respect as you used to. This leads to many more arguments. In turn, it creates a deeper gap between the two of you. [Read: How to fight fair in a relationship and grow closer]
#5 You won’t hold them to the same standards. I’m guilty of this. Because I didn’t believe a word my ex said, I didn’t have the same standards for him. He told me we were going to get away for the weekend, just the two of us, and I would just say, “Okay, sure,” but make plans of my own, anyway.
The truth is, I accepted this. I accepted I knew we weren’t going on an awesome weekend vacation, because I knew he never kept his word. I didn’t trust he would put together a great weekend. By doing so, I accepted a standard much less than I deserved. After I realized this, I knew I couldn’t be with someone like that.
#6 Your anxiety will go through the roof. This part is really hard for a lot of people—especially me. When you’re always worrying whether your significant other is telling the truth or being faithful, it takes a toll on your body.
When your anxiety spikes, your stress increases and puts you down a very unhealthy path. Your insecurities increase. You just don’t feel happy with yourself at all. The constant nagging from inside is enough to make someone sink into depression. [Read: What it feels like to experience anxiety in a relationship]
#7 You fight a lot. Due to a loss of trust, you pick more fights. Arguments arise from them just being late from work one day. Simple things you never would have fought about before will be blown into huge disagreements that lead to a bigger riff, dividing the two of you. [Read: Emotional maturity: 13 clues to know if someone has it]
#8 You will be very, very unhappy. If you combine all of the above reasons why a relationship won’t last without trust, you come to the conclusion that your happiness will be destroyed.
Not trusting your partner leads to so many different issues within the relationship, it’s simply not feasible to continue on in a healthy relationship when trust is lost. You can’t be in a relationship with someone if you’re unhappy… which is a direct result of losing trust.
[Read: Trouble in paradise? How to know when to break up]
Without trust, you lose the special connection you once shared and, in turn, lose the happiness that once drove the partnership to success.
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