5 Signs Your Partner Doesn't Trust You, According to Therapists
Take note if they often use the phrase "I thought you said..."
Trust is one of the most essential aspects of any romantic relationship. Without it, your communication and actions toward one another break down—and once that happens, your romance can be difficult to revive. Of course, mistrust can be caused by so many things, including anxiety, being unfaithful in past relationships, and breaches of trust earlier in your current relationship. But in order to fix mistrust, you need to know it exists. Here, therapists tell us the key signs your partner doesn't trust you, from the behaviors they may exhibit to the phrases they may say. Read on to note these red flags now so you can get things back on track before they spiral.
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They go through your phone.
Digital snooping—including looking through your text messages, phone records, emails, DMs, or location data—is a sign your relationship may lack trust.
"Now, more than ever, there are more ways to trace someone's activities and whereabouts through devices that almost everyone owns," says Rachel Eddins, therapist and executive director at Eddins Counseling. "Some partners will request to have phone access at all times as well as having knowledge of passwords to social media accounts or emails. And if you share a phone plan, it's possible to gain access to your phone records, which they can check at any time."
If your partner does this, it's worth having a serious conversation about why they feel it's necessary—as the behavior can signify they mistrust you in a big way.
They ask lots of follow-up questions.
If your partner constantly barrages you with questions about your whereabouts, acquaintances, and future plans, they could be doing it because they don't trust you or think you may be cheating.
"For example, if you are out with friends, you may be met with 'Where were you? Who were you with?' when you get home," says Amanda Levison, a licensed professional counselor at Neurofeedback & Counseling Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "They may also, throughout the night, call you or even your friends to make sure you are actually with them or follow you to your destination."
READ THIS NEXT: 5 Red Flags That Spell Divorce, Therapists Say.
They try to catch you in contradictions.
Sometimes, after your partner asks you that barrage of questions, they'll try to catch you in a fib. "This is the partner who says things like, 'I thought you were coming straight home from work, but that drive only takes 15 minutes. Where did you go?'" says Elizabeth Brokamp, a licensed professional counselor with a private practice in Virginia.
"This can even extend to events or relationships from the past," says Brokamp. "If your partner regularly begins sentences with, 'I thought you said…' take heed." The fact that they're hunting for ways that you've lied signals they think there's something to find.
They feel uncomfortable when you socialize without them.
If a night out with friends puts your partner on edge, it's likely because they don't trust you completely.
"If your partner insists on being with you when you want to spend time with your friends, they may struggle to trust you, and [are wary of] what happens when they are not around," says GinaMarie Guarino, a licensed mental health counselor. "Terms like 'I trust you but I don't trust them' imply that your partner is struggling with fears that circle around distrust, even if they do not have evidence that you are untrustworthy." You'll want to get to the root of the issue before it gets worse.
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They become agitated when you don't respond to calls or texts immediately.
A double text or two is harmless, but if your partner constantly becomes upset when you don't respond to them right away, you may have some trust issues to solve.
"People who struggle with trusting their partners tend to quickly begin to wonder and jump to conclusions when they do not hear from you right away," says Guarino. "These feelings and their resulting behaviors and anger are typically unreasonable and are an indicator that their anxiety and distrust are causing them to jump to conclusions, even if they know that you may be busy or unavailable when they message you."
Set reasonable boundaries and expectations around your digital communication and see how your partner responds. Sometimes, an honest chat is all it takes to get things back on track.