Trust issues; spending little time with family

Hi Mary Jo,

I have a boyfriend but before him I was dating someone else, and now he has trust issues. How can I fix that?

Thanks, Dom

Dear Dom,

You don’t mention why he doesn’t trust you. Unfortunately, if trust has been betrayed between two people both people need to change. Learning to trust someone and having the courage to be vulnerable is an inside job. You cannot make someone trust you; he must decide that loving and trusting you is a worthwhile risk for him to take.  Here’s how you make yourself a more trustworthy person.

  1. Listen to why he doesn’t trust you. Instead of getting defensive, evaluate your behavior and accept responsibility for times you may have shown a loss of respect for him and then work on changing.
  2. Be transparent and open with information.
  3. Be and act dependable. When you make a promise, keep it.
  4. Don’t rush him in the process. Stay stable and committed to your relationship.

Hi Mary Jo,

I’m a busy college student, and I always feel guilty when I hang out with my friends over my family. How do I deal with that?

Thanks, Alina

Dear Alina,

There is nothing wrong with feeling guilty. In fact, people who feel guilty are more compassionate and think before acting. However, guilt feels terrible, and it can lead to anxiety. Practicing these suggestions will help:

  1. Don’t make a mountain from a molehill. Be candid with your parents and explain your need for both.
  2. Practice self-acceptance. You can’t be all things to all people.
  3. Let go of being perfect. Your parents love you; you don’t need to be more than you are.
  4. Find small ways to show your parents you love them.
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