We should learn to first work on being trustworthy before looking for someone we can trust…
TRUST: THE CRUX OF THE MATTER
It is a better compliment to be trusted than to be loved. I read that from John C. Maxwell, and ever since Ive wondered what makes trust such a scarce commodity even in places where love is superabundant.
Now, it seems quite ironical that trust should be central to such a concept as pretence because the two seem to harbour mutual animosity. Im sure, however, that even you reading this would, at one time or the other, have dealt in pretence, prevarication, or even outright lying to someone just cause you knew they trusted you enough to hang on to your every word. Thus, I dont need to remind you that the trust they had in you was the very reason you got away with that act.
Right, weve established a connection, so lets begin to cut a little deeper. Ill start by telling you something about myself. Basically, Im a lawbreaker; a lawbreaker in the sense that I learn the rules of my environment just for the purpose of knowing how best to break them and recreate them to suit my preference.
I have this pet aversion for rules because they are, by their very nature, made to be restrictive. But Im of the opinion that rules are made to restore confidence and trust. Have you ever heard that Justice must not only be done, but must also seem to be done? Well, it tells you that justice is essentially a psychological feeling. Forget all the idealistic talk of conscience: most people dont listen to the conscience when theyre determined to do something.
If you reason things out, you discover that rules are set to establish standards upon which justice should be premised. There really is no justice without laid-down rules. Thus, if youre able to pretend to keep the rules, then justice is on your side for as long as it takes to deliver the blow you have been preparing.
Now you see why they say that everything is fair in love and war. In conditions of perfect love or perfect war, the rules mean nothing because no one really gives a damn. Rules are made to be broken; that is a standard fact. Else, why is man so bent on defying every law of nature? Take gravity, for example. Man has been on the go trying to make nonsense of gravity. Aerial vehicles were made and are still being made for this purpose. People travel by air with brazen abandon, secure in the power of the aeroplane, helicopter or jet to shut gravity up for as long as they want. Tell them to try letting an eagle take them so far high.
Dont forget where were coming from. Were saying that trust is essential for pretence to work, and that trust works best where rules are absent or not enforced. We are saying that the necessity of restoring trust, for which rules are made in the first place, is the selfsame reason why those rules must be broken. I dont guard myself when talking with my friend cause I know they cant shoot me, but with a stranger or enemy Im on my guard because the rules for safety and security ensure that I should not give myself away. Remember this: Trust is absolute where rules are unnecessary.
Let me tell you a story from my childhood days. We used to have a house-help who was roundly maltreated by my parents, especially my mum. She thus resorted to self-help: she would steal from them, lie, and also have illicit dealings with men. One day, she persuaded me to take her into my parents room (it was usually locked, but on this occasion it wasnt) to get something. It was my elder sister who gave us away, and I knew two things for sure. One, being labelled an accomplice to a thief would earn me many strokes of cane. Two, my parents would believe anything I said. (That was then, not now; growing up makes you more crooked.)
What did you go to do there? was my mothers inquisition. I was trying to check my weight on the scales, came the equally swift reply from me, with all the confidence I could muster. Now catch the gist. I dont exactly remember what we took out of that room, but I do know that it had to have been incriminating. My best move was to put up as big a show of confidence and truthfulness as they had always thought of me. Instead of answering the question of what I had gone in there to do, I replied with something else which I also did and kept back my mission.
You know why that incident trips me? I could not have been more than six or seven years old at the time, but I was already learning to bend my way around the rules and regulations of the house by taking advantage of my parents trust. (Kids, dont try this at home!)
As I am writing this chapter something else has just happened that I wish to share with you. Dad and I had discussed plans to give me the key to the penthouse so I could get some items downstairs. True enough, I got the key, retrieved the items, and delivered his key back to him.
The knot here is…
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One of the best pieces of relationship advice I’ve come across goes thus: “A great relationship doesn’t happen because of the love you had in the beginning but how well you continue building love until the end”. Thus, the first step in building a great relationship is finding the right person. As such, in bid to avoid a wrong and abusive relationship, some folks tend to look forward to finding the ‘perfect one’ but as you would have come to learn, this is just a myth.
Hence building great and healthy relationships
requires the coming together of two ‘imperfect’ people who are ready to make a conscious effort to
create their own kind of ‘perfect relationship’. Against this backdrop, below are traits that make a great
Even though it takes more than love to sustain a relationship, true love is still a key factor in sustaining a relationship. Overtime, the word ‘love’ has been used confused with ‘lust’, hence some people have
given up their hope of finding true love because they found themselves in relationships with people who
didn’t really love them but just had a lust for them, which unsurprisingly couldn’t stand the test of time.
Thus, you should know that true love will stand the test of time. True love transcends beauty and other
physical qualities. Any relationship built on material things without true love would surely collapse. Let
love lead the way.
Trust is very vital in sustaining a great relationship. Without trust, there will be gross suspicion capable
of destroying the relationship. You can never have a great relationship with someone who you cannot
trust. The fact is that you can trust someone without loving them but you can’t build a great relationship
with someone you don’t trust. Trusting someone doesn’t necessarily mean you wouldn’t ask them
certain questions but when asking sensitive questions you must ensure that you don’t send the ‘I don’t
trust you’ vibe to your partner. Also, trust when broken takes time to heal, so you have to learn to give
your partner time to learn to trust you in the event that you break their trust at any time.
Communication in relationships is very important, as without effective communication, there will be lots
of assumptions and misunderstanding. You both must be able to express yourself in a way that you will
both understand. Talk plainly, not in parables. Don’t assume your partner knows what you’re thinking
when you never said anything to him or her. Don’t assume he or she should know what you’re passing
through. Talk about your plans and visions with your spouse so that you both are able to align your
goals. Also, remember that your body language is part of communication in relationships. Thus, when
you apologise for an incidence, also show it with your body language.
One recurring theme you’re likely to hear in a marriage counseling session is the word ‘understanding’.
This is the bedrock of building great and healthy relationships because if you understand your spouse
you’re more likely to be accepting of their shortcomings. No couple has exactly the same needs at any
time or feels the same intensity when they do occur. Whether it’s about sexual frequency, social
attachments or family obligations, it is important that you do not invalidate the desires of your partner.
In other words, understanding each other helps you to have respect and honour for unequal desires.
Understanding your partner also helps you to trust them better as well as avoid allowing seemingly little
issues lead to a mountain of problems. This factor can also bridge any form of communication gap, as
some partners who are introverts may tend to struggle with be open always. However, when you
understand your spouse, you would appreciate his or her uniqueness as well as be patient with them.
According to Mark Twain, a man known for writing good relationship quotes, forgiveness is the
fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. Thus, it’s important to note that no
matter how much you both love and care for each other, times will come when you will offend each
other and have some form of disagreement over issues. You should know that holding a grudge against
someone can be a very heavy burden and you’re just going to be hurting yourself. This factor is one of
the major pieces of relationship advice handed down to couples during relationship counseling sessions.
Learn to discuss and settle differences. Discuss not argue. Don’t hold on to past errors and mistakes. No
one is above errors. Having an unforgiving attitude leads to bitterness, strife, hatred, and lack of trust,
which are all great relationship killers and create room for an abusive relationship. It is important to
note that bitter relationships never get better.
One of the most commonly asked relationship questions during marriage counseling and relationship
counseling sessions is the issue of what makes for a great relationship. It’s often said that sometimes we
don’t choose whom we love but we choose whom we stay in love with. Thus, fostering a great
relationship requires constant efforts from both parties in a relationship.
Regaining trust in marriage is no easy feat. Losing trust in your spouse is one of the loneliest and desperate feelings that a man or woman might experience. Whether due to finances , infidelity, distance, communication , or more, not knowing if you can still safely have faith in the person you love can be a difficult feeling to overcome for the strongest of marriages. Here are 7 tips for regaining trust in marriage.
1. Write Down Your Feelings
The first step to overcoming your feelings of distrust is to identify them. We highly recommend starting a journal . In your journal include entries about what happened to cause your feelings of distrust – was it something your spouse said or did? Or was it something deeply rooted within yourself that happened during childhood or another tragic event prior to marrying your spouse? By identifying the root cause of your feelings of distrust you will be able to get to the heart of the matter.
Let us be clear: this isn’t an easy thing to do. Be prepared for a fight. Not a fight with your spouse – but a fight within yourself. It is totally normal to feel insecure and scared to delve into the root cause of your distrust – but if you want to have a healthy marriage, it is something you have to do. Journaling gets your feelings out of your head and in the open where you can look at them from a different perspective. Acknowledging your feelings and allowing yourself to feel as you do will help you to take steps forward to rebuild trust with your spouse.
As you continue to work through your feelings and take steps toward a stronger marriage, make regular entries in your journal so that you can review the road that you took along the way. It will amaze you how far you have come in your personal growth as well as the progress you’ve made in your relationship.
2. Be Honest with Each Other
Once you have come to terms with your feelings, be completely honest with your husband/wife. Share what events caused you to feel as you do and how your trust in your marriage has been bruised. Talk with your spouse about what you plan to do to rebuild your trust and ask him/her what steps he/she plans to take so that you may work together to rebuild your marriage.
Don’t rush this part of the process. This is the time when you will realize just how important focused listening, loving one another, and leaning on God for wisdom and patience will get you through this process. Also, don’t be afraid to seek outside help if you are finding your communication is breaking down and you are not making the progress both of you desire to see. It is very important to diffuse any arguments between the two of you and find some one to help you work through this obstacle.
3. Identify Your Needs
As you work through your plan for rebuilding your trust, share with your spouse what you need from him/her. Explain what emotions and commitments you need so that you are in a place to continue to grow. In turn, ask him/her what you can do so that you can grow and rebuild your relationship together.
Don’t be afraid to admit if you aren’t able to give them what they need. Sometimes this happens. But if you are willing to at least try and learn to be able to give them what they need (so long as the need is healthy and not abusive) let them know that, too. There is no shame in admitting you need help in any area of life and it is best to be able to admit that and deal with it than let it linger and silently grow into resentment.
4. Give Yourself Time to Heal
Regaining trust won’t be a process that happens overnight. It will require you to remind yourself of the steps each of you are taking and how, together, you’re working to rebuild what you had before the challenge to your marriage. Over time, the reminders, in combination with continued growth (from both of you) will lead to a renewed sense of trust.
5. Take Baby Steps
As you work together to regain your trust in your marriage, take tiny steps until you are ready for larger ones. Perhaps the passion disappeared with the trust…then don’t expect yourself to regain it immediately. Taking small steps such as making his/her lunch (for work) or sending a “thinking of you” email during the workday will help you to begin adding the romance back to your marriage…a little bit at a time.
6. Date Each Other Again
Once trust has been lost, it’s important to go back to your beginning: dating each other again . When you’re emotionally ready, you must start from scratch at proving to one another why you were meant to be. Going out on a series of dates, complete with working to win one another’s heart , will help you to refocus on how your relationship began and where you can go (again) together.
7. Review Your Growth
Once you feel that you have renewed your trust in your marriage, review the entries that you made in your journal as you grew. Look at how far you traveled. Reviewing your journal will help prevent the challenge from getting in the way of your marriage in the future, as well as help you to see the personal growth that you’ve endured. Sharing your journal with your spouse will allow him/her to see into your journey and the steps that you’ve taken so that your trust in your marriage could be restored.
If you broke your arm, one hour wouldn’t pass before you got the right team in place to start its healing. Yet, when our marriage is broken we often keep the pain hidden from those around us. Shame and disappointment keep us from reaching out, so we shoulder the burden alone.
If you want to heal from this, you both need help. Counseling is necessary if you want to work through the fracture. The numbers show that when a couple seeks counseling, over 90% feel positive about the steps forward, however measured. Those steps, in turn, act as the first movement toward reconciliation.
To start, the partner who cheated must confront the parts of her that are broken. The infidelity reflects a lack of self love or an insatiable need for outside validation. Her brokenness could have brought about this betrayal in your marriage, but if you want to save it, you both must find a way forward together. Seeking an outside, neutral perspective will guide you through the pain.
If there is still love between you, reach for a counselor, reach for your friends, but most importantly–reach out to save it. Now.