Those who don’t trust can’t be trusted. Sounds a little harsh, right? But, isn’t trust one of the key elements to a healthy relationship? Some psychologists suggest that, from infancy, we look for – and need – relationships in which we feel cared for. So, while you may be completely trustworthy, if you’re not choosing to trust your partner, what’s it all worth?
This is a tough one, though. Trust doesn’t come easy. And, some days, it feels like the heart’s very slow to mend. But here’s a thought… What if we’re dooming ourselves to a permanent state of broken heartedness because we look at life through eyes of distrust? How exactly do we change our lenses and brighten our vision?
This is a relationship dilemma that’s totally solvable. We can take back some control and choose to live the life we desire. Trust is a two-lane highway but, today, we’re going to tackle our own thoughts and emotions, setting our sights on happier days. So, how can we build and maintain trust in a relationship?
Like so many other things in life, trust is a choice. We can’t control what our significant other may or may not do. So why not roll the dice on some good ‘ol fashioned trust?
Not long ago, I was cruising down the back-country roads of North Carolina and, somewhere along the line, a fantastic song came on the radio. Check out these Old Dominion lyrics:
“You know you can’t keep the ground from shaking, no matter how hard you try. You gotta love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart.”
Sure, it’s easy to say we should take the plunge and choose trust. But, in truth, making this decision can be a game-changer. Since it’s so pivotal, let’s dig one layer deeper.
Do those waves of mistrust rolling around in your belly come from your partner or from you? If, at the heart of it, your partner hasn’t given you any reason to doubt, then it might be your wounded heart who’s running the show. In no world is it good to lead with our wounds. Try peeling back the band aid and seeing how a little bit of trust feels.
Let Trust Build
Okay, so you’ve promised yourself you’re going to give trust a try. While part of it’s a conscious choice, trust builds slowly. You won’t wake up tomorrow morning magically free from any trust issues.
But, if you allow your partner the chance, you just may find they’re not going to let you down. Here’s a hopeful sentiment:
“[Trust] is what allows people to gradually reveal to each other the deepest recesses of their hearts and minds, which keeps love ever fresh.”
Give yourself the opportunity to remember what it feels like to have someone stand by you and protect you. Allow both yourself and your partner some time to see that this could be a lasting relationship. And don’t look back at that band aid you just peeled off.
Keep the Trust
Why do we padlock our hearts and throw the key into the ocean? Because we never want to be hurt again! That was an easy one. So, let’s say you’re in this wonderful relationship. He’s full of kindness and thoughtful gestures. Sure enough, his actions line up with his words. You may have found a keeper, my friend.
That said, don’t toss your partner overboard the moment a harsh wind blows through the sea. “Just be aware that every relationship comes with its ups and downs, and that its totally natural.”
Do you know anyone who’s never made a wrong move? The lines in life get crossed all the time. Decide what’s an unacceptable wrong turn and what’s simply a part of those choppy waters we all must swim through.
Everyone’s meter here is different. It’s your life; live it the way you want. Just be careful that you don’t throw someone away simply because you’re white-knuckling the wheel to avoid being hurt again. Those smooth sails will only ever exist in our loveliest dreams.
Give Trust Another Try
I know you’ve been hurt before. Surely, you didn’t deserve even an ounce of that pain. But, if having a partner is important to the vision you have for your life – please – give trust another try.
After all, you gotta love like there’s no such thing as a broken heart because you can’t keep the ground from shaking, no matter how hard you try. Why not let go a little and enjoy the ride? Worst case scenario, you have your personal strength to fall back on. Best case scenario, you’ve finally found the one.
Feature photo: Alice Donovan Rouse / Unsplash