Trust issues could easily destroy a relationship when not handled properly. Maybe you’ve gotten them from your previous relationships, you have low self-esteem or your current partner could have been contributed to them as well, either way, trust issues are more than deal-breakers.
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But no matter how hard it can be, you shouldn’t allow your self-sabotaging thoughts to destroy your relationship. A successful, long-lasting relationship can’t exist if there’s no self-love. How could someone love you when you’re not loving yourself?
Read on to discover the 9 ways to prevent paranoia from ruining your relationship, according to experts!
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Be open-hearted and open-minded if you want to recover.
If your partner cheated on you but both of you agreed to give the relationship another try, focus on being open-hearted and open-minded. If you need extra help, you might want to consider talking to a psychologist. After all, these professionals are trained to help people improve their behavior and change their attitude, especially when it comes to relationship problems.
Forgiving a partner that cheated on you is very hard and painful while giving the relationship another shot can be even more challenging. Learning how to trust someone who lied to you again is not a piece of cake, this is why it might help you to speak to a professional.
It’s OK to let your guard down.
A person who has trust issues is someone who’s always on guard, feeling like people are lying to them all the time, trying to hurt them, according to an article on webmd.com. While being on guard all the time might make you believe like you’re being cautious, it’s actually feeding your trust issues making them even stronger.
Allow yourself some time off, understand that it’s ok to let your guard down. If your partner wants to lie to you or cheat, they will do it even when you’re watching their every move. Stop sabotaging your relationship and don’t let your thoughts control your life.
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Try to not obsess over social media.
According to Marni Amsellem, PhD, a licensed psychologist in Mamaroneck, New York, social media and the internet altogether make it really hard to control your paranoia, since you’re able to keep an eye on yur partner and their online activity.
You might find yourself insecure every time your partner is posting something on social media. Or maybe someone who commented on their recent photo might fuel your trust issues. You create a story in your imagination and you allow it to affect how you feel about yourself and about your partner as well. But the thing is, that story isn’t real.
As Dr. Amsellem recommends, instead of keeping an eye on your significant other’s social media why not ask them directly who the person that commented on their post is? You’ll save yourself a lot of stress and self-sabotaging thoughts.
Do not call or text your partner when they’re spending time with their friends.
While you might feel like you wouldn’t resist not calling/texting your partner while they’re spending time with their friends, you really need to try. Your trust issues might tell you that you need to check up on them, but you should also allow them to enjoy some alone time outside the relationship.
According to Kathryn Esquer, PsyD, MBA, a psychologist in private practice in Jacksonville, Florida, a good solution would be trying to think of something else. Firstly, you need to put your phone down. Then, try to concentrate on taking deep breaths and find new activities to take your mind off.
You can either exercise, watch a movie, call someone to have a chat or even go out with your friends. But no matter what you do, make sure you’re not checking up on your partner.
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Don’t just sit at home waiting for your partner.
Just because your partner went out with some friends, doesn’t mean you should just sit and wait for them to return. Go out with your friends, have fun and try not to let paranoia ruin your day, explains Dr. Esquer.
“Couples that pursue their individual interests have more to talk about when spending time together,” she added. Also, if you’re having fun, you won’t be so tempted to check on them every 5 minutes.
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It’s OK to open your heart and trust again.
According to Barb Schmidt, a Boca Raton Florida-based, mindfulness teacher and author of The Practice: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness, in order to trust that other people love you, you need to love yourself first.
“If someone is insecure in their own self-love, then this insecurity will carry over into their other relationships,” she says. And we’re not talking about being narcissistic or self-centered, but rather about reaching a healthy level of self-love.
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Start a journal.
I don’t know if you’ve heard, but journals are cool again even for adults. Writing your negative thoughts down has proven to be therapeutic so why not do it yourself?
According to Kim Chronister, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist in Los Angeles, you’re allowed 20 minutes a day to worry about your partner’s infidelity. You could use this time to write all your negative thoughts and concern in your journal, as a way of getting rid of anxiety.
“Next, spend the same amount of time ‘reframing’ your worry with alternative possibilities and positive affirmations like ‘I can trust my partner,’ or ‘I can find peace despite whatever is going on with my partner.’”
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Don’t forget to breathe.
According to Lisa Bahar, MA, CCJP, a marriage and family therapist in Dana Point, California, if you want to overcome paranoia, you need to focus on findings ways to help you react to a certain situation without allowing your emotional state of mind to control your actions. You need to differentiate your paranoia from an intuitive gut instinct, even though they might feel very similar at times.
Doing that won’t be easy and you’ll have to work a lot on improving yourself. Most of the time, we’re allowing paranoia to create stories in our heads that are not based on real facts. You can reduce fear by trying to understand the situation.
“Check in with your intuitive sense of self with mindfulness. Learn how to slow down reactivity and respond from a reasonable state of mind if you feel it will be helpful to the relationship and you,” explains Lisa Bahar.
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According to Allison Abrams, LCSW-R, a licensed psychotherapist based in New York City, mindfulness is about being present in the moment, both emotionally and physically, and not letting your thoughts sabotage your future.
Firstly, you need to identify the thoughts that are triggering these emotions and learning to control them. Learning to be present at the moment will prevent you from acting on instinct, Abrams added.
As Abrams explained, you can’t change your behavior when you’re not aware of it. In order to understand paranoia in a relationship and work on it, you need to take a look at your attachment theory. Understand your attachment style and learn how to work with it, but don’t let it work on you.