How do I learn to trust myself or others again?

How do I learn to trust myself or others again?

Many Straight Partners and Partners of Trans People experience severe shock after discovery or disclosure. Acquiring unexpected material information about their relationship that was previously hidden can create severe distress. They wonder how they missed the signs, or if they saw signs, how they misinterpreted them. They question if they ever really knew who their partner was, and they question the authenticity of their entire relationship (“Was it all a lie? A fraud? Was I used as a beard?”).

If there has been infidelity, whether one time or repeatedly over the course of the relationship, Straight Partners experience “betrayal trauma” just as they would have with unfaithful heterosexual partners, only there is the added confusion of not knowing who their partners are on a fundamental level. It’s not just the behavior of infidelity that must be processed, it’s the very identity of their partners that must be processed.

Because of this, Straight Partners and Partners of Trans People suffer a blow to their confidence in being able to relate to people. They question their own judgment. They wonder if they will ever be able to discern truth from lies, or authenticity from deception again. They are experiencing the effects of relationship trauma.

It takes time to grapple with what we may or may not have known or seen, what we may or may not have dismissed and why. It takes time to forgive ourselves for not knowing or seeing what the person closest to us was concealing, perhaps for decades. It takes time to recover confidence in our own decision making and judgment, and we do that slowly, by making small decisions and testing the results, by learning to listen to our bodies – our bodies give us clues as to whether or not we can trust ourselves and others. Learning to “trust your own body,” is part of this process of learning to trust others again.


Comments are closed.