Listening to your Gut: Trust Issues or Trusting Yourself?

Today I’m answering a question from a 24 year old woman who is divorced after a young marriage and is wondering if trust issues from her past are getting in the way of her new relationship.

She grew apart from her husband after he pulled some things that were “inexcusable”. She now realizes she didn’t give herself time to grow up and gave up too much herself to marry. She’s gotten her life back on track…has a great job where she is respected, is raising two happy, healthy boys and is following her dreams.

She was cautious getting into a new relationship but seven months ago she met a man who is goal oriented, smart and supportive of what she wants to achieve. She loves him…but her gut is telling her something is off.

Q. At first I had no regrets about being with him. I couldn’t imagine being treated better. But now I can’t shake this strange feeling. There was definitely a trust issue in my marriage, so I don’t know if it’s just the old wounds that is making me think like this.  The issue is that I have caught him in a few lies.

I found pictures of he and an ex-girlfriend in Vegas. He had told me about this birthday trip to Vegas a few years ago but he said he went with friends. When I told him he apologized, saying he didn’t want me to get mad. If he had told the truth to begin with that would of been the end of it. Couples go on trips!

Also, I recently found out he is still chewing tobacco when he’s told me he quit months ago. There have been a few other times that he hasn’t been completely honest and it drives me nuts.  I just can’t shake this weird feeling and I don’t know what to do. I keep thinking that it’s issues from my marriage that are just still taking a toll on me, but I don’t know. Any advice would help.   Thanks!


A. The gut is usually a good indicator something is wrong…and we get better at listening to it as we get older.

We’ve all heard the “everything is perfect …but”. The “buts” usually override even the longest list of positives. It’s easy let all the good things about having someone in your life put a rose colored hue on the red flags. But if the one negative is something that goes against your values it carries much more weight.

There are times when it’s okay to tell a lie, most often to not hurt someone’s feelings. But these are not white lies they are unnecessary lies. You gave up too much of yourself for your last relationship. Don’t fall into that trap again by wanting to believe in someone more than you trust yourself.

Any of these incidents on their own could be harmless. Guys I consulted say lying about an ex-girlfriend is typically motivated by not wanting to hurt feelings by opening up the “past relationship” questioning. The tobacco…maybe he is ashamed by it. Maybe it is a slip and he needs support.

But when you add them up they suggest a pattern that could lead to bigger lies. You have so much going for you…continuing to learn to trust yourself will be your biggest ally in learning whether to trust others. You don’t have to decide right away. But tune into your feelings and talk to your boyfriend about these issues. If he is not willing to talk, gets overly defensive or starts blaming you…I would say, cut the ties.

These 40-something ladies, who each have had their share of relationships, had a few interesting perspectives some for and against. Here’s what they had to say:

Forget your baggage…his lies are the baggage you don’t need.

“Sounds like you have your life together, and while you may have some baggage from your old relationship, lying is lying and it would seem this guy has a pattern.  My best advice is to drop him like a hot potato!  Yes, they are little lies, but ones that are not necessary to tell in the first place, which makes them even more offensive.  You have two kids to think about first and foremost, this guy and his lying is not a good example for them.” – 40-something, Brooklyn, NY

Small lies lead to bigger lies…

“Follow your gut!!!  Regardless of past relationship issues, your gut knows best so don’t let the past influence your feelings today.  Of course, you learn from your past, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll always shy away from things and make the wrong decisions today because of that past.  When someone lies about small, somewhat insignificant things…. It’s a sign that bigger lies are in the future.   If he can’t tell you the truth about these things it is a huge issue. If you don’t have trust in a relationship, there is no relationship.  Trust = respect.  If he doesn’t respect you enough to give you the truth, in my opinion, there is no relationship. Follow your gut!! – 40-something, San Diego, CA

Don’t worry about these little lies. Deal to your trust issue.

 “You clearly have trust issues clearly, which you admit, and that is where you should focus your attention.The reality is that most of us tell white lies because we project onto others what we think they want to hear, or how to be.  So I would let the Las Vegas trip go. He thought he was trying to do the right thing.   Lying about the tobacco is more difficult to accept.

As women I think we ALL have stories about being lied to…you are not the first!  So you have to evolve and move beyond that.  There are lots of men out there that are NOT going to do inexcusable things.  But I don’t think you will meet someone who isn’t going to tell a “white lie” at some point.

So for now I would tell you to focus on the bigger picture because you have to remember that we are all human.  Can you tell me that you have NEVER told an untruth, a little of a “white lie”. If you say yes, I don’t think I can believe your answer.

But the most critical issue here is you moving on from your ex.”




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