Dating a man with emotional baggage can be like walking a tightrope. He may tell you exactly what's eating him or completely deny his issues altogether. But sooner or later he'll let it slip that something went wrong in his past with telltale behavior. So here are 4 more ways to keep the peace and help a hurt man trust you.
1. Help him check in with reality
A man who's been betrayed will go over and over in his mind what he missed in the past. His previous partners likely deceived him and deflected responsibility. He may now become hypervigilant and overly suspicious of what is in fact completely normal behavior. When he questions your whereabouts and motives, remind him of what is real and expose what is not.
He probably lives in his head and doesn't realize traffic can keep you an extra half hour. Or that you can have a close relationship with a male friend and not be having an affair. And everything you do doesn't need to be under a microscope in order to keep your inevitablebad behavior in check. Reality is not as devious and worthy of scrutiny as his exes made it seem.
Cheating and lying can chip away at anyone's self esteem. The best emotional manipulators can then turn him into the bad guy. So the people before you probably contributed to your man's low self-esteem. Someone so insecure will assume you're doing wrong, instead of giving you the benefit of the doubt. He may not believe you are telling the truth, even if you can prove it. He won't let go of you but they won't trust you either.
Putting things in perspective and outlining where his previous experience is clouding how he views current events can help. After all, he is probably judging you based on others' behavior, and this is not logical. You've never done anything to break his trust, yet to him you have to do all the work to gain it. That's unfair. What is more balanced is him coming to the table with a base level of trust, and you coming with a base level of trustworthiness.
3. Maintain your trustworthiness
Being honest and open in your own right is vital to keeping your standing in a vulnerable relationship. If you keep secrets, tell white lies, or remain closed off you won't be able to earn your partner's trust. Even if the things you tell him are what he needs, he won't be able to hear you. He'll be too focused on the things you've done wrong, and why you're like the women in his past.
Don't let him badger you incessantly. Shut down accusations of wrongdoing and vilifying of benign behavior. Don't allow him to wear you down and admit to something you haven't done. That will only make things much worse. And don't let him convince you that you are a worse person than you are. Don't let him make everything about you. Remind him you support him and want peace and contentment in his life. But you deserve to be treated well, too.
You'll have to work twice as hard to tread lightly for a hurt person while maintaining your own sanity. You will have to understand and be sensitive to his pain without getting pulled into his problems. Helping to guide him out of his suspicious past and into a healthy future will make you both better and stronger people in the end.