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Asked by Last Updated:

Why won't my girlfriend trust me?

I've been dating a girl for over seven months, and we're getting really serious.
She had a rough upbringing, and has been through some terrible shit.
She's trusted me with several extremely personal and terrible stories from her past, but recently there's been something else.
She told me that she's been feeling guilty, because there are still some secrets from her past that she hasn't told me.
She thinks that these secrets would change the way I feel about her, and ruin our relationship.
The stories she's told me have been about things done to her, and these seem to be mistakes that she herself made and deeply regrets.
I've told her that she has grown immensely, and that no matter what mistakes she made in her past, she's an incredible and kind person that I deeply love.
I don't want to pressure her into telling me something she's not ready for, but she is feeling really guilty for not telling me, and I do not want her living with the fear that these secrets would change/ruin the way I feel about her.
​I'm crazy about her and I'm seriously considering asking her to marry me.
I don't want these secrets to haunt her, and I want her to trust me enough to tell me about them, but I also don't want to force her to do anything or make her feel pressured.
I don't know what to do about this.
What should I do?

1 Answers

Hanna Baker Answered:

Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Let's back up for a second.
First of all, DO NOT propose to her. This is a woman you have known for 7 months. That may not be long enough to get to know someone and forge real trust or love.
Second, I believe you have answered your own question of why she doesn't trust you when you said that she had a rough upbringing and has been through a lot in her life.
She obviously has been hurt at the hands of people she once trusted, so it's naturally going to take some time for her to feel comfortable enough to open up to you.
All you can do is wait it out and show her that you are trustworthy by being dependable and following through with your promises.
Third, I feel troubled by the fact that you said that the things happened to her in the past and "these seem to be mistakes that she herself made and deeply regrets." Obviously, I do not know the story, but the way you phrased it sounds a little like victim blaming.
In the end, you can simply let her know that it’s up to her to share what she feels like and that there’s no pressure from your side.
In the meantime, there's a great article that talks about 17 trust building exercises that you can do to strengthen your relationship.

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