I’m re-reading I Love You But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship by Mira Kirshenbaum. I don’t know who this woman is, but her insight into betrayal and mistrust is amazing.
Why am I reading this book again? Husband #2 is long gone, not interested in fixing our relationship, so what’s the point, right?
It’s for me… and for any future person I get involved with when the time comes. I’ve given myself 2015 to peek into all of my dark corners and (attempt to) fix the things that need fixing. 2015 is my Year of Fulfillment.
Last night’s chapter covered Safety and Trust. Guess what, folks. Safety does not lead to Trust. In fact, the author explains how you have to let go of Safety if you want to rebuild Trust in your relationships.
Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength. ~ Sigmund Freud
Can it be that a broken relationship can heal to become even stronger? Yes, according to Ms. Kirshenbaum.
But you don’t know what the other person did to me! The pain they put me through! They must PAY for their bad behavior!
She understands all that. She dealt with her own betrayal in her marriage. And yes, they did hurt you, but the betrayer is here now wanting to fix things, you’re the one throwing your relationship away… a stunning statement for one facing infidelity or any type of betrayal.
Ms. Kirshenbaum contends once the betrayal occurs, it shows the truth about the weak parts in the union and together the couple can address the problems to make it a beneficial relationship for both parties. (click here for the 6 questions to ask if you are on the fence about mending your relationship).
So how is it that Safety, something we all want to feel in our intimate relationships, leads us down the path of destruction?
Simply stated, Safety builds a wall around us, protecting us from future hurt.
Safety works if the “goal is to put up a wall that we can live behind and keep your partner out.”
But those very walls isolate us from the people we love and keeps us locked in. “If you never want to be hurt by anyone, don’t let anyone into your life. It’s impossible to betray a hermit”.
Is anyone else thinking of the lyrics to Pink Floyd’s song Mother?
The very things we do to feel safe just damage the relationship further: anger, distance, stonewalling, secrecy, controlling. All are culprits that work to destroy any chance of rebuilding trust. Safety backfires if the “goal is to restore trust and repair the relationship.”
Distance creates more distance. Secrecy breeds more secrecy. Control morphs out of an aspect of one person’s need and how the other person handles it. Anger generates more anger (and wait until you read the part about how anger works as a way to scare the betrayer into not hurting you and how to stop the escalation).
After all of these bricks go into our Safety wall, we have a perfect barrier to entry that our spouse or another betrayer cannot get through. “And in the end, we’re safe but alone.” I don’t want to end up completely closed off and isolated. How sad.
Seriously, get the book. It’s an eye opener. What do you have to lose?
“You can always leave. But once you leave, working things out stops being an option.”
Only you know the depth of your betrayal. If you’re dealing with things like physical abuse or drug addiction, you know best what to do. All of the above deals with emotional safety.
The quotes are straight out of Chapter 5: The Secret of Restoring Trust. I have no affiliation with Ms. Kirshenbaum, just an appreciation of her work and advice. Her goal is to get you the answers you’re looking for.