How do I learn to trust again?

Dear Edahn,

I've been dating a man for a few months now and we've had a rough relationship. When I found out he was being dishonest with me, I ended it and distanced myself from him. We talked and got back together but I'm so afraid of getting hurt again. I feel like my fear of getting hurt is going to break us up again. I really think we could grow into love, marriage and kids! Any suggestions on what we can do to build trust and have a healthy relationship?

IN ANY RELATIONSHIP, YOU never get a 100% guarantee that your partner is going to be honest with you, or even faithful. Instead, you have to talk to them and learn about them, their body language, and their personality until you feel sure enough. It's not really an intellectual process, but more an intuitive process that just happens.

If that confidence in your partner has been shattered, then your perspective changes because your "raw data" changes. To rebuild your confidence, you need reasons to build your confidence rather than suppressing thoughts of betrayal (how other people tend to do it). In other words, if you want to rebuild trust, you need to see what's changed. Has anything changed? Has he grown? Does he truly understand what he did and why it was wrong? How will he respond if the situation presented itself again? Picture him in that situation and, as realistically and honestly as you can, try and picture how he'd react. As long as you, objectively, you picture him betraying your trust, then he's hasn't earned your trust--for good reason. Focus on trusting yourself, not on trusting him.