Trust is something that we strive for in a healthy nourishing relationship but which can often be a little elusive. Trust means different things to different people. To one person it may mean being honest, to another being faithful, to someone else it may mean never hurting anyone's feelings, and a whole range of other meanings we give to the word 'trust'.
Many of my clients are struggling with issues of being able to trust someone and many come who are struggling because they are currently finding it difficult to be trustworthy and trying to make sense of why that is. For others they are struggling to trust in themselves to cope when a relationship breaks down.
Choosing to place our trust in someone and then to feel betrayed can be one of the most painful feelings that we may experience. It rocks our world and we may feel like we can never feel open to trusting either that person or any person again. We may also end up blaming ourselves and thinking "What's wrong with me?" that that person chose to betray me.
Often there is nothing 'wrong with us', its just that the other person perhaps didn't have the capacity to be trustworthy and we placed too high an expectation on the relationship.....perhaps more than they were capable of giving.
Sometimes it may be that they are trustworthy but our own history of hurts and wounds from past betrayals contaminates our view of the relationship and we are constantly anticipating the crisis point happening when they will let us down in order to try and 'soften the blow' to ourselves. This can end up with us projecting all our insecurities onto the other person and then the other person gets fed up of being accused of things they haven't done, and then the relationship disintegrates at some future point.
Sometimes we also try to do 'deals' with the other person in order to protect ourselves from future pain by saying 'Now promise me you won't ever be unfaithful to me' and then end up feeling doubly hurt when they do.
So there are often three areas for potential growth in ourselves:
- Working on healing our own Incapacity to Trust because of past betrayals
- Choosing a partner who is capable of being trustworthy
- Learning to trust ourselves whatever may happen and know that we can survive even if someone else does let us down
I found a great book on trust for those who are interested in exploring the subject more deeply - 'Daring to Trust' by author David Richo, published by Shambhala Publications Inc., 2010