By Dr. Molly Barrow
Are you suffering with a deep gut ache
wondering if you can trust this person? Does trust require a
restriction of inquiry? Have you locked yourself into a damned if
you ask and potentially damned if you do not ask quandary? Are you
willing to risk damaging your relationship and hurting your
partner’s feelings? Will your inquiry prompt the inevitable
response? “Now since you do not trust me I might as well do what you
have accused me of doing!” How can you proceed with out making a
mess of your relationship?
Runaway feelings and emotions so
characteristic of falling in love or the excitement of a start-up
company can make you put a person on a pedestal. Do you prefer to
view the world and your partner through the rose-colored glasses of
trust until proven unworthy? The silent trust deal says you do not
ask your partner to prove their trustworthiness and demands that you
know without asking. You bestow trust upon him or her without proof.
If one invests carelessly too much of their lives into the
relationship and is betrayed, the extradition can be difficult and
involve a wide circle of friends and family. Initially more pleasant
and less work, this attitude is fraught with risk and vulnerability.
Most people remove their rosy glasses after their first heartbreak.
On the other hand, do you choose a
position of mistrust until you acquire proof positive of the ability
to trust demonstrated with consistent behavior. This requires a
holding back of your feelings. To lead a life of bitter
disappointment devoid of the uplifting flight of heart that comes
from just believing in someone or something is also risky and
unprotected. Opportunities for love may be lost if you are too
The fake it until you make it philosophy
is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you behave like your partner is
trustworthy, the trust can help to support your partner when tempted
to cheat. The act of trusting creates its own momentum in a
relationship. Positive creates positive reactions and pessimistic
negativity creates negative reactions.
The most important element of trust is
the lack of suspicion felt in the pit of your stomach. You happily
move forward in your day assuming that your relationship is just
fine. There is an absence, a silence that one takes for granted
until something out of the ordinary causes you to doubt. Once that
doubt creeps in a chain reaction starts. Your adrenals flood your
body and you can hardly breathe or function. Doubt, suspicion,
jealousy eat away at your tranquility leaving you a pile of jangled
nerves. Unable to function in your work and the inability to think
reasonably or to recover your sense of balance may lead to rash and
sometimes violent actions. Whether true betrayal or just imaginary
mental scenes have transpired, you must quiet your reactionary rage.
Innocent until proven guilty counts in relationships, too.
If your partner admits to betraying you,
you have several choices. If you are deeply in love and isolated
from the support of friends and family, do not abruptly walk out the
door. You may need to rely on the shreds of your relationship to
help you through the deep grief of losing trust in someone you love.
What is the true cost of betrayal? Have you assessed the amount of
potential damages to your world if you cannot trust your partner?
Illness, divorce, hurt for your children and even death are
consequences that might result from betrayal.
Once you sort it all out, do you risk
your heart and trust again? The assumption that your relationship
will never be tested is unrealistic. There is no way to guarantee
that trust will never be broken again. If you love the person, give
them a second chance if you possibly can. If they make no effort to
protect you from hurt or to change their behavior, you may need to
question if his or her love is strong enough and worth investing
your welfare and future.
To rebuild trust as a couple, remember
Get the facts before reacting, be honest and
Allow yourself or your partner a desensitization
period to rehash the hurt over and over until they heal.
Accept or give a sincere apology and make it up
to your partner any way you can.
Know that it can take a year for your partner to
grieve and learn to trust you again.
Learn to be more open with each other to deepen
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