No matter what happens between Husband #2 and I, eventually I’ll have to trust another person. It could be him (again) or it could be another who decides to visit my crazy optimistic world for an intimate relationship.
The thing is, the closer I let someone get, the more likely they are to step on my emotional toes and cause hurt, maybe even damage. But what is the option? A Fortress of Solitude with a deep moat and even higher walls meant to keep out the world at large?
So how can one build trust, especially in a crumbling relationship?
It turns out that consistency is the key. Trust is built through repetition, doing what is expected, what is promised, again and again so that the other person knows that you can be counted on. It’s not sexy. It’s not glamorous. It’s not exciting.
But being there in the little moments, the times when your spouse needs you to connect, will build the foundation of trust. It doesn’t take a Herculean effort, it just takes patience and persistence to follow through on the promises.
Many times it’s easier to turn away, to think only of ourselves, to let the other person wallow in their hurt and think, “It’s their problem, not mine.” But once you’re in a relationship, there are no individual problems, only joint problems. No matter what I bring to a marriage, it will impact my husband and his issues will impact me. There is no doubt we would want things to be easier, but life doesn’t operate that way.
From Brene Brown:
Be there for your spouse in the little moments. Choose to connect in the little moments rather than choosing to think only about what you want. One such moment is not that important, but if you are always choosing to turn away, then trust erodes in a relationship…very gradually, very slowly.
Part of my self-improvement project during the Summer of Me has been to be in the moment, fully committed to the person I’m spending time with. So many of us listen with the intent to formulate our answers rather than listen with the intent to understand. I’m fighting that impulse.
Slowly but surely I’m building my “trustability” with the people I interact with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It may be that Husband #2 never again trusts me, and that’s his choice, but I know consistently putting myself out there, getting close to people, allowing them in to my personal space where my toes are located, helps me to build my trust in myself.
And that’s the greatest trust of all.
Divorce Whirlwind says
That “fortress of solitude” you mention? Some of us live it for a quite a while. (You can still socialize and even let someone in – up to a point. But an emotionally intimate relationship? Another story.)
I still struggle with this, even so many years later.
I think you’re doing pretty well, but it takes times.
Déjà Vow says
There’s a little part of me that always has been held back. Just enough to make sure that the other person doesn’t get TOO close. Maybe it’s time to let go of that “protection”.
Thanks for the encouragement, D. A. Now we wait for MadMen…