Q Recently I have been in a love relationship where my boyfriend did something that normally would erode all my love because it made me very distrustful. However I still have the love, so I am hoping I will have trust again. Even though certain actions have taken place I still have an overwhelming unconditional love for this person but I think there is fear on my part. It's the not knowing that scares me. Not knowing what they are doing is one thing but not knowing where you are being led to is another. Yet I am supposed to be able to trust in this universal flow that is meant to be guiding us. Coming into the relationship I really trusted that I was being guided into the right place, but because I opened up so completely I feel I can't trust the universal process in terms of where it is leading me.

The fact is that you did meet this man and you do feel what you feel for him. I am assuming that it's the way that he has treated you that has somehow left you not knowing if you can trust.

Q He is a wonderful person. He hasn't treated me badly at all. But he was in another relationship, which ended while I was still under the illusion of me and him being together. He only recently told me this, he didn't tell me about this other woman.

This is a real situation which would destroy most people's trust: you are with somebody, you find out they hadn't mentioned another relationship. That would certainly shatter your trust even though the other relationship was ending. It doesn't mean he is a bad person. But do you talk to him about trust? Can you say to him, 'The fact that you handled things like this means I have lost the trust that I had in you'?

Q No, we are no longer in a relationship, although there is a chance that we may be again in the future. But even beyond him I don't know if I can trust anymore.

Yes, your trust has been betrayed and you don't know when you will be able to trust again. You can't decide in an abstract context, it will only be when there is a man who you feel you want to trust. Then I would say that a large part of establishing the trust would be the way in which you are able to communicate with him. If it's the same man returning to try and re-establish your relationship, a big part will be you communicating that you love him but you can't trust him. It would be down to him to behave and act in a way that would re-establish your trust. He would have to ask you, 'What do you need in order to trust me?' It would probably be a number of things. That is how you could re-establish trust with him. But in a way it's right not to trust him now, because he behaved that way. It's a wholly appropriate feeling that you don't trust him. You had an intimate relationship with him and your feelings were opened and he has gone. Now you just feel the love and the loss. There is a possibility that you can re-establish trust. It's not that you have lost trust completely, even though it may feel like that. The key is always communication. If you make it part of your communication early on, to communicate what sort of relationship you want to have, as you get closer you can keep redefining the boundaries. You can let him know that it's ok the way he is, but you need him to be honest about his life. Then you can choose if it's the sort of behavior you are willing to put up with. It is hard work because this is where love and trust are relevant. He also has to be able to trust you enough to reveal that he has all these secrets. Men spend their whole life looking at other women, it is genetically programmed. I no longer act on these feelings. When I was younger I felt compelled or felt as if I had to do something with it. Now I just notice that if I am walking down the street my attention will be drawn to attractive women. I can't stop those feelings, it's just something that happens, but I don't need to act on it.

The feeling of love makes you want to trust. It's almost natural that when you feel love it makes you want to trust, but the reality is it's intelligent not to trust. It's intelligent not to trust when you feel that love because your experience has been such that lots of men have hurt you. You can deal with that by communicating. You have to gradually establish trust with your friend or partner and say, 'Can I trust you on this?' You can say, 'It's fine how you are, we are just getting closer to each other but if we are going to get even closer can I expect you to want to be only with me?' If you are lucky he will be honest with you. He may react to begin with because men aren't used to being communicated to in that way. You have to override your natural inclination to trust when you feel love with your intelligence that says due to your experience you can't rely on what men say. Men also have a lot of hurt from relationships.