I’m Afraid Of Guys Cheating On Me

Don't worry -- you'll gain trust in guys one day.

Dear Heather,

I’m extremely scared of guys cheating on me. I grew up in a family where my dad has cheated on my mom, my grandpa on my grandma, and so on, and I’ve seen how much it hurts to be cheated on. It seems like every time I get a boyfriend I’m always scared that they’re cheating on me. The few times that I’ve been cheated on I’ve ended up really hurt and feeling like I can’t ever trust any guy again. Now I’m with a guy I really love. Even though he promises he won’t, I’m constantly thinking that he has or is going to cheat on me. What can I do to get over this fear and be able to trust him?

People learn about intimacy through their relationships with their families and friends, and also through cultural “chatter”–tune in for one episode of Jerry Springer and you’ll see what I mean. So with a family history of “cheating” and statistics about the percentage of people in relationships who cheat, I can certainly see why you might be worried.

But what concerns me is that your obsession with this issue may not only be making you miserable, but may also be pushing your boyfriends away–the very thing you’re seeking to avoid.Adolescent psychologist Dr. Sharon Budd says when obsessions begin to affect the quality of your life–your ability to have friendships and relationships, your ability to concentrate on every day things like studying, sleeping, etc.– it’s probably worthwhile to consider some form of therapy. If you feel that this issue is affecting you on that level, I would recommend looking into it. A school counselor may be able to help you find someone, if your parents don’t know where to go. You could also consult the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’swebsite, which has a directory of mental health professionals who specialize in treating teens.Being intimate with someone requires trust and communication–a therapist can help you increase your capacity for both. Building these ingredients into a relationship could help you worry less about this issue so you can relax and enjoy the relationship more. It might also help to make you more resilient in case conflict–any conflict, not just cheating–arises in the relationship.

take care,
heather


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