Having little trust is not such a bad thing. We think we have to immediately begin trusting people as soon as we meet them. Phooey! Being suspicious (especially after what we’ve all experienced) is a way to protect ourselves.
You don’t want to trust people right off the bat. Trust must be BUILT slowly and let me tell you, it’s a very delicate construction. You can start to build trust in someone and you’re going along and everything seems to be building OK, and then, one day, you catch him or her in one little lie and the whole foundation of trust crumbles. Is that you being over-reactive? NO! Should you learn to be more accepting of “little lies”? I think not. You’re in recovery. You need time to heal and grow. If a flower pops out of the ground in early spring, it will die instantly under the effect of one night’s frost. You too may lose something you have worked hard to build if you remain with someone who cannot respect the basic tenets of trustworthiness, reliability, dependability, sincerity. Let’s be honest, in order to be stronger, happier and healthier, we all need honesty from others to thrive.
Before D, I had NEVER met or dated a man who didn’t lie. I thought it went with the territory. I thought every man lied (this is toxic thinking that comes when your trust has been violated most of your life, by the way). So, when I met D, I proudly exclaimed that one of my best talents was that I could sniff out a lie in a matter of seconds. I had become such a pro at this that I was proud of my talent. His response? He looked at me with a rather blank stare. “Um, I’m not sure what you mean. I don’t lie,” he said plainly. And I laughed. “Every man lies” I said.
“Well, think what you want…” he responded.
And I did. I didn’t trust him at all. I remained alert. On the look out. I called him on things that I didn’t understand. I asked him to explain events that in my mind, seemed like perfect opportunities to lie. I kept my eyes wide open. And I was on high alert. Thing is, he never lied. All his stories backed up. His actions matched his words every day, every week, every month, every year. ANd it wasn’t until maybe a year into the relationship when I FINALLY started to believe that maybe he was right. He doesn’t lie. This, in fact, caused me to mourn my marvelous talent for sniffing out lies. It was a talent that had been rendered obsolete. In its place, I finally felt SAFE and able to trust again. Of course, now that we live together, I am still triggered by him staying up late at night (my ex would stay up late at night and chat with other women). But every time I wake up and seek him out, he’s watching TV, or reading, or exercising. It might take a while to begin trusting in this department, and toss out my old triggers. But I am being patient with myself and with D.
Love addicts need to find someone with high morals and ethics. SOmeone who believes in honesty and respect of men and woman. It’s not that we need PERFECT. It’s that we need conscientious. Because our process of recovery is a delicate one. And remember that trust equals intimacy. Without trust there is no intimacy–only intensity.
So don’t rush in and expect yourself to start trusting others right away. Bad idea! Take your time and mistrust everyone. Let them prove their worth and honesty to you by their actions first. Not just a day or a week…but many, many months. And be willing to walk if they don’t meet your high expectations in this department. Here’s a great article in learning to build trust in others AND, equally important, being a trustful person yourself.
Lastly, remember that trust will not come from just you. It is build between two people. It will come at a point in a long relationship (romantic or otherwise) where you finally feel comfortable again based on one fact: that your spidey sense for deceit and your superhero radar to sniff out lies or betrayal has not been used in a very long while. And while nothing is ever certain, you will at least be moderately content knowing with good probability that you are in a safe relationship. 🙂
4 thoughts on “Trust”
Great post! A good reminder to those of us who trust too quickly. My problem has always been mistaking charisma for character. Later on, I’m burnt and disappointed in the person I shouldn’t have trusted in the first place.
Mistaking charisma for character. I love that. Yeah, that’s totally what I used to do. And it sounds like you recognize it too! Good job.
Thank you for the timing of this article. I really needed to read some of it’s plainly stated wisdom- which for me read like revelations. Though I consider myself a cynic and very suspicious, I do not live my life accordingly enough. I’ve even heard myself say to a S.O. “Trust needs to be built,” while acting completely opposite of that notion- that is, putting my emotions, my body, and even the necessities of my life at risk with that very irresponsible “partner.” Not only have some of these individuals not been worthy of trust, I didn’t give them the TIME to prove if they were or not. This is where I personally became the facilitator of my own pain- by willingly putting myself at risk for hurt and other consequences. I need to gain some foresight, but I think this is easier to do when I am not in the heat of giving into instant gratification and letting caution go to the wind. This is where my choices come in, and though there are times when you’ve come so far with someone you’ve known for a while and they turn around and do something reprehensible, it is really a gamble to put your “trust” in someone prematurely. It’s probably a no brainer to a healthy person, but certainly behavior that needs to be learned by me, and eventually through hard work someday put into practice.
I like when you say, ” it is really a gamble to put your “trust” in someone prematurely.” You are SO RIGHT. What do any of us know about anyone when we first meet them? And let’s face it, our radar isn’t all that great when it comes to dating because more than wanting to trust someone we want to be loved by someone. WHen love becomes the priority, other important values are overlooked. Healthy people put their values FIRST and we need to do the same. 🙂