This probably one of the most vulnerable blogs I have ever written....
The Webster's dictionary says trust is “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something. One is which confidence is placed.”
What Is Trust in A Relationship? Trust is the faith you have in someone. Believing that they will always remain loyal to you and love you. To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them because you feel safe.
Have you ever lost trust in a relationship with someone? Loss of trust events are experienced by almost all of us and can have a major lifelong negative impact. We can lose trust in a parent, God, a boss or our life partner and even ourselves.
Each significant relationship in our lives impacts our future relationships. Think about that statement and how does it apply to you. What are you still carrying from past relationships unresolved losses?
I’ll go first.
I learned very early on not to rely on anyone for anything because I had lost trust in everyone. I carried my lack of trust into each relationship I went into. I was always ready for the shoe to drop. So l learned to prepare myself.
Fast forward to the longest most loving relationship I have ever been in…my marriage.
When I met my husband of over 41 years, I was only 17, very insecure and desperate to be loved. Honestly, I don’t think I knew what I was looking for because I had a very messed up idea of what love was. You see at 16 years of age I had been raped. I had never even been kissed by a boy. I didn’t know what happen exactly but I knew it was bad because I felt violated and dirty. I didn’t tell anyone about what happened. I hid the pain, shame and guilt I felt by pretending to be confident and self-assured. I used sex as a tool to gain control, not be controlled. It had nothing to do with love and everything to do with power. All I felt during this time in my life was disgust, shame, fear and loathing. Every man I slept with I hurt before they hurt me. It was a cruel dangerous game that I thought would keep me safe in some twisted way. I shoved down the pain of all of this by eating, drinking, having more sex and by isolating myself from people who did love me. I hated who I was. Now, enter my future husband. Lucky him.
I met this young, beautiful, smart, funny, driven man when he was a private in the military working towards a dream of being in the Airborne. I remember I had never felt more determined to get to know someone in my life. Our first conversation wasn’t that great…I think he wanted to throw me in jail for defacing the uniform. To be honest I was wearing rainbow suspenders and mirrored sunglasses (it was 1979) He had grounds. I was 17, out for a good time (but never really having one), a mess and pretending to be FINE. He was 20, self-assured, determined and serious. He was FINE (wink)
The next conversation was better and I each time we spoke I think I actually fell a little bit more in love with him. I had never felt anything like this before. But I did what I knew, I got drunk and had sex with him. When I woke up, I felt humiliated and afraid…I actually cared about him. I had broken my own rule. I thought he would ignore me after this encounter because I had messed up and felt something so I felt he had the upper hand. I wanted to disappear. But no, the next day, he came up and talked to me like I was a human being, someone worth talking to. He didn’t ignore me…in fact he fell in love with this mess.
Ours was a whirl win romance that moved quickly…but my insecurities got the best of me. I didn’t trust myself and I didn’t trust him. He would hurt me and leave…the shoe was going to drop. I was told by people who I gave permission to be of influence in my life that he wouldn’t marry me. Why would he, I was giving him sex before marriage. I started to believe everything they said. I believed I wasn’t the kind of woman a man like him would marry. I wasn’t good enough. So, I decided I would hurt him before he could hurt me. While he was away my confidence shaken, I slept with another man, someone I didn’t know, didn’t care to know and someone who meant nothing to me. Someone who I used and who used me. I knew instantly I had made the biggest mistake of my life and I couldn’t change it.
I had broken his trust and he didn’t know yet. I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t go to work. I curled up in a ball. I was about to lose everything. It wasn’t until that moment I knew that I truly loved him. That I had found love, the love I had craved. Maybe it didn’t start out right. Maybe it was a young and impulsive kind of love…. But we had the best conversations, laughed together, liked each other and loved each other. Now, I had destroyed all of it. It was my own fault and I deserved to lose him.
I knew I had to tell him. He came home and just like every time before he was everything I ever wanted. I loved seeing him come through the door excited to see me. He loved me for me. I started to cry immediately when I saw him. The ugly cry, the cry full of regret and shame and so much guilt. And yes, guilt because I had intended on hurting him before he hurt me.
I told him the story through my tears and he took me in his arms and held me. He didn’t ask anymore questions, he just held me. I’m not sure why, maybe because it was too painful or maybe because he had empathy for the broken-hearted woman he had fallen in love with. Either way he heard me through my sobs and I think he really did believe I loved him and had done this to protect myself and that this would never happen again. That day he taught me what true love and empathy was.
Because of the scars of the losses of my past I almost destroyed the love of my life. I thank God for the love and kindness he showed me on that day and every day since. I learned he was someone I could trust and rely on. That he was steadfast, loyal and had such integrity. He didn’t make we work for his trust ever; he chose to love, trust and honour me. He loved the hurt, sad, messy, scared wounded me. He loved the me I was right there in that moment and for the woman he knew I could be.
I became the woman he could trust and depend on, a woman not perfect by any means but a woman who loved and loves him as he was, as he is and as he continues to become the man God intended him to be.
I have had many losses to work through and it took me 41 years to get to them. I’m still working on them. Even though this relationship is one of true love, compassion, respect, loyalty and overcoming the odds. It carried my messes, hurts, disappointments and loss. I needed to work through all the other losses to fully be me. I’m under construction. I’m here now and so is he. I am more open, truthful and present. We have way more uncomfortable conversations that end up with each one of us learning a little more about the other. Its exciting to know that even after 41 years together we can still surprise each other and learn something new about the other person. This is a mature connection and one I cherish each and every day.
I trust him completely I know I rely on him, always and he can do the same with me.
I am learning to trust myself even though I have made so many mistakes. I now have my own best interests at heart as well others, I don’t leave myself out of the picture.
Here’s to being fully present, open and honest in life and every relationship.
Photo by Lauren Dary