September 20, 2013 - submitted by Kirsty, United Kingdom

I have come to a time in my life where I want to settle down. I have been messed around by the opposite sex for too long. I have been through a lot of life changing experiences in my life and this causes me to be very paranoid in relationships. I do not trust anyone especially a male. I have recently got into a relationship and I do love him dearly but my past always comes back to me. I can not find a way of putting it behind me and trusting him if you know what I mean.
I would like advice on how I can overcome all of this and not be so paranoid or else the relationship will not work. I do not want to push him away because of what I have suffered with men from the past. Please I would love your advice, it would be much appreciated. Kirsty, UK.

The Oracle replies:

Being privvy to a little bit more information than published here, my advice is that it's very important for you to deal with this on different levels. If you haven't had any counselling about this, I urge you to do so. If you don't get help, it's not just this relationship that will suffer but probably every single one after it too.
People can let us down in all sorts of ways and it's a part of life we have to learn to deal with if we're to get the best from life.
I don't know if you have discussed this with your boyfriend but unless you do, I'm not sure how he is to understand the situation or your vulnerability. Hopefully he will be supportive and you can take things slowly.
What happened in the past is not your fault but not all men (or women for that matter) are the same so despite your (understandable) paranoia, try to remember that.
Abuse - whether it be physical, emotional, mental - leaves damage and scars (even if not visible). To overcome those you will benefit from therapy. If you don't feel up to that, please do talk to family, friends or someone you feel you could trust about your feelings. Trust is to be earned so maybe give your boyfriend that chance but don't push him out as it's not his fault either.
If nothing else, do not keep this bottle up inside - share it, as you did with me.
Over to you.

All of us in a near past have had a bad relationship, a relationship that even though if it was bad it will carry on with us.
If you truly love the man you are with, hold on to him tight, don't let your past ruin something beautiful. Think about him and about how he feels towards your old relationship, because it might also affect him not just you. Never forget that things happen for a reason and if things didn't work in your past relationship it didn't work for a reason. Something better was planned for you. So I say, keep your head up high, bury the past and enjoy the present. Carla.

Kirsty, if he loves you he will accept you no matter how paranoid you might be. And if you love him with all your heart you will learn to trust him. You should be wondering why you don't trust him, what is he doing to make you feel this way or what he's not doing. I recommend you to speak with him about it and if he does not understand then you should consider letting him go. Don't let the past affect your present, neither your future. You got to start to think why you didn't trust all those men and why you have to trust this man in particular. Is it really worth it? If it is, make him win your trust. MDLA.

Maybe you should try and let go of your fears. Not all dudes are bad, you've just had some rough experiences. Maybe his character will tell you something. If he's any different than the last guys then you should give him a chance. He could be your prince charming. This time you might get it right. He might be the true guy. Many people have the same problem as you. I think you should never
give up. Put your past behind you.
"Don't let the sun in your heart decay"- says a great man.
Hope this helps, Annie, UK.

This is my personal reply to your message, according to my capability of understanding people's emotions and feelings, such as if I were in their shoes.
The reply is just in your words. You DO love him, I perfectly understand what you mean, because without love we are nothing, worthless and lonely. You should appreciate this chance and catch it as it is the last one life gives you. I know, it is not easy to forget sufferings and pain, but you must be confident, especially in yourself and trust in your choice. Why did you fell in love him? Ask yourself about it. You need to be loved as he only can do, that's it. If you leave him and refuse his love, you won't be better, but regret for your silly behaviour. Marzia.

I strongly believe that your problems are not because you do not trust THEM, whoever they are - you do not trust yourself. You are afraid to make a wrong choice. And you are afraid to let your past go, to start again. Well, at least that is how I see the situation. I do not dare say I fully understand you, but still I want to tell you - stop being afraid. I see you've suffered before, but that doesn't mean you will suffer again.
You know how they sing - how Coldplay sing - that "every step that you take could be your biggest mistake"? Well, hope you see that these words are not meant to encourage you to stay where you are. Exactly vice versa. Don't be afraid. Don't let him go. Don't give up. I wish you all the luck in the world! With love, J.

Welcome to the club of human trust issues. I am not strong in this area but know that lessons come from every bump in life's road. Talking about your fears will help, ideally with your partner.
If he's not understanding , or available to discuss this, this could be a red flag to say reconsider the relationship.
A combination of therapy to heal the trust issues combined with focusing on what works and is beautiful in the relationship would be a good idea, Remember though, progress not perfection. We humans make mistakes a lot. Hopefully through time the amount of them lessen considerably.
Clear communication can clear up a lot of misunderstanding.
Love can be so beautiful or so I've heard. I wish you the very best, Andy.

It isn't easy for anyone to get into a serious relationship. Who loves is vulnerable. The fears to open up to a man exist and you are afraid to get hurt by the person you love.
In terms of love, not all people are equal. If you had problems with men in your past and feel hurt, your brain turns on warning sign and you cork up your feelings to not get hurt by people. By keeping them on distance, you offer them no attack surface, but you'll feel lonely one day.
You say that you don't want to push him away from you, because you think he is worth it, but you are afraid to trust him. Trust is the basis of a loving relationship. Every human is afraid of getting hurt, he too.
Why does he has to be like the men from your past?
What you need is to overcome your past and see this relationship as your future. It is not about the "what have been", it is all about the here and now.
You think that he is the right guy for you and when you learn to trust in each other, he can be your happy ending.
If you never try, you'll never know. I hope you'll try it. Love, Vivien.

I understand how you feel Kristy because honestly I have been through somewhat the same as you have. I was in a confused state about males and developed this hatred towards them but somewhere I always felt lonely, in need of someone to be there for me, talk to me or just give me a hug when I wanted one. But that was me waiting to be dependent or rely on someone. My advice to you would be to make it clear that you require a relationship that is equal on both sides. You have to make him promise that he is truthful because a relationship only works on honesty and truthfulness. However, a relationship is incomplete without faith which is what you are lacking. He cannot give in his 100% without you having complete faith in him. You need to give him a chance to make a change or be the person you want. You be truthful and faithful and it will all fall in place if it's meant to be. I'll pray this works for you. Don't you worry Kirsty.
Lots of love and hugs, Rita.

Reading between the lines it sounds like you've really suffered at the hands of a man and that's the root of your paranoia. Trust can be hard enough especially when it's been broken but it can also be rebuilt. If you really feel ready to settle down, you'll have to address this so maybe just take everything super slow and if your boyfriend is the right man for you, it should become easier with time to trust him. Don't force yourself into anything you're uncomfortable with just to keep him happy. You've got to look after yourself and hopefully he will too. Good luck. Dee. x

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