I can't trust my boyfriend. It's driving me crazy!

He says he's changed and I want to believe him, but I'm so suspicious!

Published September 22, 2010 1:01AM (EDT)

Dear Cary,

I cannot trust my boyfriend. I've tried but it seems as if I am getting nowhere. He's done very hurtful things to me in the past, and our relationship didn't start off honestly, so I know that's where it comes from. But that was almost four years ago. Things are different now. He's changed, I know that much, but I am suspicious of every little thing he does. I feel as if he is out to get me. I always think he's cheating on me, too.

I tend to create scenarios in my head that haven't happened and probably never will, but I make myself believe they will. I've even flat-out accused him of cheating without any proof just because I felt it in my gut that something was going on. I can't figure out if that feeling is just from me being insecure or because something is actually going on.

He tells me all the time that he would never do that to me. That he loves me and wants a future with me, but my friends all say that it's obvious he would say those things to me and of course he's gonna deny it. All this makes me so anxious that I even vomit because I get so stressed and worried that he's doing something.

I wish I could trust him, but when my mother and best friend are telling me that he's hiding something from me it makes it so much harder. I don't want to look like a fool, but I don't want to push him away either.

He has no reason to cheat on me, but that doesn't mean he won't. People cheat all the time, even married couples do. My father cheated on my mother and every man after him mistreated her so what hope is there for me? I really don't know what to do. I'm torn between believing my friends or believing him.

I really would appreciate any advice you can give me on my situation.

Thanks so much,


Dear R,

I suggest you change your life.

Nobody has to know. The change can be inside. It can be a change in what you believe. The change is this:

Admit to yourself that you do not need this man. You are free to leave him.

Knowing this, imagine a life without him.

Don't think about the downside of breaking up. Just think about if this had never happened and you could start fresh with no boyfriend, just living your life with the freedom to choose whether to be in a relationship or not, what would you do? Imagine that everyone important to you says it's absolutely OK whatever you decide to do, that you'll be taken care of and they'll respect your decision. Whatever you want is fine.

What would you decide? What would be your ideal? That's the direction you want to go in.

You know, a person can get stuck thinking the way we're doing it is the only way. We go on doing what's painful and degrading because we haven't considered that there is a different way. It's like we're scrubbing the same spot on the floor in the same dark corner when we could just go find another apartment, or another city, or another country.

For some reason I relate this to drinking. I used to drink to excess. I knew that sometimes things went wrong when I would drink. But I truly believed that I had to drink, so drinking couldn't be the problem! It was just these things that happened while I was drinking!

And then one day I realized, well, what would happen to me, really, if I didn't drink? Would I die? Would I collapse? Well, no, I was just sort of uncomfortable for a while, like a man in a foreign country. I found help and changed my life and nothing all that bad happened.

So you can change your life. That I know. And it's interesting to change your life. It's interesting to just stop doing the one thing you thought you had to do, and see what happens.

Relationships can be like that. We know things seem to go wrong a lot, and we try to fix the things that go wrong, but maybe we just don't need a relationship at all. You think if you don't have a relationship, or you don't have a car, or don't have a job, that things will just fall apart. But they won't. Or, to be more accurate, things already have fallen apart.

So relax.

Start paying attention to what makes you feel good and secure, and do those things that make you feel good and secure.  

Keep in mind that you do not need this relationship. You can leave whenever you want.

The SYA eBook is here!

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By Cary Tennis

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