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How do I trust again after a breakup?

When someone shatters your trust in a relationship, it can really throw mud over your internal natural compass of trusting yourself, your "intuition".

For many of us post-divorce, our ability to trust another isn’t quite working ideally. That’s why I recommend you build your trust in yourself first, then build your trust in friendships, before trusting someone in a committed relationship. The question I always get from my clients about this is how do I know if I can trust someone?

Divorce is the result of a betrayal of a trust. A trust we place in another to love, support and care about us. It’s also a trust we encourage our partner to place in us – to trust us to love them, to support them and to care about them. When you really think about it, trust of this magnitude is amazing. It’s a beautiful energy when two people decide to merge their lives and live together in partnership. And when a trust like that is broken, it can be a terrible, ugly thing which causes many people to not want to trust anyone else for any reason.

I know it was true in my case, and I suspect it is true in yours also. When I got divorced I realised I had trusted my ex-husband to be someone I wanted him to be, instead of who he was. Because he didn’t meet my expectations I got hurt. I got hurt a lot because I had deceived myself for years by expecting him to be who I trusted him to be and not who he was!

I wasn’t sure if I could trust anyone as I started on my divorce journey. I was suspicious of just about everyone and as a result, I felt really lonely. And the more lonely I felt, the more depressed and fearful I became.

Now I understand that building trust takes action. It requires focus, commitment, and, most importantly, vulnerability.

When you start a new relationship, imagine that you are holding your heart in your hands, offering it to someone else, and essentially saying, “Here is this loving, sensitive organ of mine—please don’t hurt it.”

So if in the past your ex cheated on you or abandoned you or any other action that made you feel like you made a huge mistake in opening up your heart, your natural reaction was to "close" the shutters to your heart, to protect yourself. And that’s a challenge to get over and start to trust again.

When trust is broken, it's natural to ask yourself,

‘Am I being a fool to trust again?’

‘Will I be hurt again?’

People block themselves from trusting again because it feels so painful and so vulnerable to do so after it has been broken.

Knowing how to get over trust issues is key.

When I met my present partner, I had to learn to trust myself, my gut instinct, my intuition and that's exactly what I want for you. I want you to know that it’s OK to trust yourself, that it’s OK to trust yourself to meet new people and that you’ll know if they’re worthy of your trust. And if they are worthy of your trust you just might meet a trustworthy man to support and love you like I did.

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