Can I trust you? Part two

puzzle-2515123_1280In my previous post, can I trust you part one, I spoke of trust in general terms, more high level.  I’d like to dig a little deeper here and see how trust impacts our personal relationships and some factors that can lead to loss of trust if not kept in check.   There is so much that can be said about trust that what I share here is just the tip of the iceberg.

Trust is huge in all relationships. Not being able to trust someone can destroy a family just as much as it can destroy a business. We walk into relationships be it at work or with someone we’ve just met giving them the benefit of the doubt. We trust them.  In most cases, the thought doesn’t cross our minds if we should trust or not.  It’s just there.  Similar to the “innocent until proven guilty” declaration of human rights. (this is a great article in and of itself)

We can usually tell if we can trust someone by how they speak, their mannerisms, the statements they make, how they look at us … and get a good sense of their trustworthiness. In a personal relationship, we embark on this journey of exploration in getting to know someone on a deeper level.  We start to see who they really are and the fabric of their being.  We believe and want to believe everything they tell us because our emotions and hearts get involved.

We fall in love which tends to blind us from the truth.  Blind may be too strong a word, perhaps shelter us is a better way of phrasing it. In most cases, this is never an issue because if we found fault in every single thing that our partners did, no one would ever be in a relationship. What kind of world would we live in if we had to look over our shoulders constantly and simply didn’t trust one another?

I’m focusing on trust because as I mentioned trust has always been one of the harder lessons in my life.  In my case, I did something deliberate that broke trust in my relationship.  Not the proudest moment in my life for sure.  It brought me to my knees as I realized the impact of what I had done and how it affected those I truly loved.  Trust that was naturally there between us was broken, gone or at the very least is now questioned.

Breaking trust places into question everything we may have ever done whether right or wrong, true or not, good or bad … the intention is questioned … everything can be questioned.  It’s not a pretty place to be and certainly not the sort of space the nurtures or harbors healthy thoughts and relationships.  Our love will get questioned.  Because if we truly loved one another, would we do something to break trust?

The reasons behind what drives decisions that ultimately places us on a collision course with our partner can vary from infidelity (varying forms and degrees of infidelity) to keeping secrets, to cheating at home, work, school or just lying.  Some are easier to work with than others.  In all cases, it chips away at the bond that developed between two people; a bond that essentially is the glue that holds families and friendships together.

An even bigger question is how do we win that trust back and can it ever be reestablished?  Can things ever go back to where they once were?

I believe if two people work at it and are open about where they are in their hearts and thoughts, things can change to a level where there is trust once again.  This is hard work and it starts with true remorse for what was done. On the opposite side of the pendulum is forgiveness.  In order for healing to take place, we must be able to forgive.  These are not easy things to deal with. There needs to be transparency that may not have existed before.  There has to be a mutual respect for each other that will allow for the trust to flourish which in turn will allow the relationship to grow and help mend the hurt or damage that was done.

It will take both parties to work together to make it happen.  It cannot be a one-sided undertaking. The individual who broke trust will bear a lot more if not most of the responsibility, but it will be something both parties must work at together in order to bring the relationship back to a healthy place.

There will be cases in which trust may never be re-gained and this is where two people simply cannot be together as it would be an unhealthy environment.  In this case, the damage or hurt may have been too great for the injured party to recover or want to recover and this will end the relationship. As awful or bad as this may seem it may be best for both individuals to learn from the experience, move on and start the healing process.  To retaliate or do things that hurt the other (although this may feel good in the short term) while working through all this is pointless and causes more damage.

One thing in my mind that often times may help those involved is to look back to when things were good.  Find photos, cards, letters, anything that is a reminder of what the relationship was like when in the beginning.  There are some good memories there.  Like Barry Manilow said in a popular ballad The Old Songs:  “Maybe the old songs will bring back the old times and make her want to stay.”

Love was strong when two people start out and there existed a space that sheltered everyone in it.  Use those thoughts and feelings to help work through the hurt, uneasiness, and pain of walking away or in making it work.  If two people want to really make things work and are genuine about their feelings, they will also reach out to a professional for advice.  Friends and family, as much as they may want what’s best, will have biased opinions and may not be the best to help in a given situation.  They may actually make things worse.

Trust is a four-letter word that carries an enormous amount of weight.  It can make or break us. It can be given in an instant but can also take a lifetime to regain once it’s gone.

I’d like to dig a little deeper into some of the things that cause the trust to be broken and maybe start with secrets.  Stay tuned.

Do you have any secrets you don’t want anyone to ever find out about?

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