“It’s not that I don’t trust you, it’s that I don’t trust them.”
Reasons this phrase is a clear sign to RUN.
Almost everyone has heard this phrase at one point and time. “I trust you, I just don’t trust them.” This phrase has so many negative implications rosed over by an appearance of caring, when in fact it is simply an example of distrust, control, and sometimes (in my experience) sexism. Allow me to break it down.
Let’s say that for some reason, “Toni”, the old friend or potentially new friend, cannot actually be trusted. Let’s give the benefit of the doubt. That would mean your SO does not trust your ability to pick your friends carefully with the ability to not pick inappropriate people as friends. In that case, all of your friendships will soon come into question under close scrutiny, and that is a flashing warning sign of control. If your SO says that they trust your ability to pick friends, but just not this particular person because “they message you inappropriately” or “they like too many of your posts”, either you are allowing inappropriate behavior without asking this person to treat you and your relationship with respect, which is on you, or you have a bad case of jealousy on your hand, which will soon turn into control. If your SO is worried because they could potentially “overpower you” to get what they want, then this would probably be some sort of sexual action, and this line is usually fed to girls with guy friends. Sexist. It usually takes two to tango, but if for some reason you should fear unsolicited sexual content, because statistics show that most rapes come from people that you know very familiarly, then you should probably also stay away from your SO because they stand just as good a chance if not better of raping you, because you already know they are interested in you sexually, and will be even if you are not feeling up to it at that time. Most SOs will also question friendships with exes, but, especially after enough time has passed, friendships with exes can work and work well, given that you already have the grounds for a good friendship just based on knowing each other so well. If an SO has an issue with a friendship between an ex, chances are this is still an issue about sexual contact and a distrust of you to say no. If you make sure that anytime anything that even seems inappropriate gets handled immediately and properly and your SO is notified, then you should still have the freedom to make your own decisions on friends, which if things go too far you will end yourself, and if after all of these actions have been taken and your SO still doesn’t trust your friendship, you have a big problem on your hands.
The argument basically falls apart under any amount of scrutiny. It becomes obvious that this line is dropped due to a lack of trust, jealousy, a want for control, or all three, and anyone who cannot trust your judgement in an innocent situation just because of the gender of the person or because of a lack of trust for you to do the right thing is not to be trusted. Talk with you SO about this issue if it is an issue, and eliminate it as soon as possible. If things don’t seem to improve, it may be time to consider leaving. More than likely, eventually the stress will exhaust you and make things even worse. Assess for yourself how to handle the situation, and if no compromise can truly be met, it is probably time to say goodbye. Don’t ever let anyone try to control you with this line. It is a pretty sounding piece of poison.