Trust is not an easy thing. Actually, let me re-phrase that. Trust can be a very easy and natural thing; simple and logical…that is until someone very important to you breaks that trust. Now, you’ve got an issue; now you’ve got a choice to make. Do you trust him? Can you trust her? Why shouldn’t you trust him? Why should you…?
What Is Trust?
Well, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, trust means:
a) to have an assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something
Why Do We Need Trust?
For any relationship, be it romantic, friendly, or professional, you need to be able to trust people. It’s the foundation of any and all relationships. In a romantic relationship, trust is the ultimate requirement. Without trust, you’ll have nothing but chaos, drama, stress and uncertainty. According to loverecon.org, Why is Trust So Important in a Relationship?, “trust begins with you.”
Honestly, this is an excellent article chock full of basic, important, fundamental, and excellent information! I’ll let you read it for yourself, and I’ll give you my take on trust.
I can tell you this; regardless of the type of relationship, without trust the relationship will feel uncertain. You will feel guarded, maybe even suspicious. If it’s a work relationship, it may or may not matter quite as much if you feel you can trust your co-worker or employer. If you and your co-workers are part of a team, then you definitely depend on them to pull their weight, do their jobs and be accountable.
In a friendship, a tight relationship in which you share your deepest thoughts, your secrets, your fears and dreams for your future, yeah, it matters a whole lot! You need to know that your friend has your back, that he/she will keep your bond as a top priority. It helps you feel secure in the friendship when you share such personal thoughts and feelings and know with absolute certainty, that your secrets are safe. I know when I found my best friend Barbie, during the summer between grade 3 and grade 4, it was instant friendship. We were inseparable for years. Over the 50 years that we have known one another, we have carved out our separate lives, with some different interests, but our friendship and love for one another remains very deep.
In a romantic relationship the stakes can seem higher. Trust is such a delicate thing, like silk from a spider’s web, so easily broken, but when maintained and nurtured, trust between two people is stronger than any bond that can possibly exist. The two stongest bonds I’ve experienced are that of a mother and child, and that of a romantic partnership, in that order.
A spider’s web, while being delicate, is also quite strong, as it has tensile strength. The term tensile strength refers to the amount of stress a material can endure before breaking or failing. The strength of your relationship is dependant upon trust. How much stress can your relationship take before it breaks and fails?
If there is mutual trust, then your relationship has the ability to withstand hurts or misunderstandings that occur and you can, if you choose, heal those wounds. This delicate thing called trust is something you need to treasure. It’s the most valuable ingredient in your relationship. “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break, and forever to repair”-author unknown.
Is This About Your Childhood?
When Trust Is Broken
Here’s where it gets to the nitty gritty. In my last post, titled Forgiveness I mentioned that forgiving someone is a choice. But even if you want to forgive someone, even if you are able to forgive, how in the hell do you ever trust him/her again? Seriously. Why the f*%# should you forgive someone who hurt you so badly? Seems ridiculous and rather naive doesn’t it?
We all make mistakes. Some are minor and forgivable, some are heartbreaking yet still forgivable. Sometimes a mistake can break your relationship and hurt you so badly that you as a person, are broken.
What is the point then, of even trying to forgive and trust the person who has hurt you so deeply? Wouldn’t it be easier to just move on? Maybe. Maybe not. If love is there, if love has been there, and you have trusted him/her, then maybe you owe it to yourself to try and rebuild that trust. I promise you, it is not an easy thing to do. It’s absolute torture some days. You will have times when you shake your head and wonder why you’re even trying .
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE~
Can You Rebuild Trust?
First, you have to decide if you want to rebuild the trust you once shared. In order to make that decision, you must first evaluate if that person deserves your trust. Some people, husbands, wives, friends, do not deserve your trust. If you believe your person is truly sincere about rebuilding the trust and the relationship, you may want to accept that challenge. It is challenging. It is torturous. It is gut-churningly sickening some days.
If you’ve both made the decision to work on the trust in your relationship, then you both have to be open, honest and patient. You both have to be an open book and it is hard! For the sake of this blog, we will assume that he has broken your trust and you have decided to forgive him and you both have decided to repair the relationship. Great. You won’t believe how difficult it is.
Is It Worth It?
Yes, it can be worth it. Even if it doesn’t “work”, it is worth the effort. You will either repair your relationship, or you will realize that it won’t work. Either way, you tried and you have clarity.
Both people have to commit; commit to sharing feelings, emotional ups and downs, expectations and boundaries. The offender owes it to you, to listen to your fears and your anger, but that does not give you the right to badger him. As the one who has been hurt, you should express your feelings honestly. Be very clear about your desire to work on the relationship as long as you both honour the commitment.
When things get tough, remember the decision you made to forgive and to rebuild, because every time he’s five minutes late, it will trigger you. He may feel that your suspiscions will never end, but if his behaviour matches his promises, over time hopefully your suspicions will ease.
Together, you must treat this broken relationship as if it’s a completely new relationship. Commit to honesty, transparency and lots of patience. I truly believe that therapy, whether you on your own, or as a couple is a very beneficial investment of your time and money. Do NOT allow any more of the same bullshit. Do NOT accept one more lie. Do NOT accept any disrespect at all.
Are You Strong Enough?
This has been the most difficult of all the blogs I’ve written. I can’t honestly say that I would be strong enough to do what I’ve suggested above.
Years ago I left a man who cheated on me because I just knew that I would never be able to trust him again, ever. Since that day, my ability to trust people in general has been severely compromised. I am constantly “on guard”, alert to any sign that someone is not being honest with me. It’s exhausting.
If you are ever in a situation where you question whether or not you should trust someone, I hope you are strong enough to evaluate the relationship as it was before the offending event and choose your path accordingly. Give it a chance, but don’t let yourself be dragged through the mud so to speak. Evaluate your progress as a couple, to see if you both still value the relationship.
I don’t know that I would ever want to repair a relationship in which my trust has been broken, so maybe that makes me a hypocrite. Or maybe this is one of those “do as I say, not as I do” situations.
I appreciate your patience, waiting for this blog that is two weeks late.
Check in next Sunday for my next blog post.
Parts Of Ourselves~ Carol Paino