I’m going to jump right off the deep end and go straight for the jugular right off the bat with this one.
What makes a strong, healthy, happy relationship? Is it communication? Well … that’s a big part of it. What about respect? Yeah … that’s definitely important. Honesty? You betcha. Loyalty? Commitment? Compromise? Patience? Fun? Yes. All of those are key components in making a happy, healthy relationship, but they’re only a part of it. Please don’t think I am trying to undervalue them because I definitely am not at all. They are all huge, important factors, but they are all components that come together to make up the most important thing of all … trust.
Why is trust the most important thing for a happy, healthy relationship? Because trust is the foundation and core to every relationship and without it you have nothing. Absolutely nothing. Can you love someone you don’t trust? Yes, but at the end of the day what do you really have? Doubts, insecurities, fear, anxiety, worry, anger, stress?
Once the trust is gone, all of these creep into your mind and cause arguments and, depending on how long the non-trust continues without honest communication, long lasting (if not permanent) damage to you, your partner and your relationship.
How do I know this? Because it happened to us. Heck, we’re still not 100% but what we are doing is working on it every single day.
How do you gain and keep trust in a relationship?
(Considering how important these areas are I’m going to be diving into each and every single one of them individually and more in-depth with their own post so keep a look out for them)
These are all factors that help build and maintain trust in any relationship.
But what happens if the trust has already been broken? What do you do then? That’s where things get complicated. This is the point when you have a very important decision to make. This is where you have to ask yourself is it worth it, do you want to and/or can the betrayal be worked through?
How do I know if it’s worth it? Well … there are a few things to think about and ask yourself:
Does the other person care about your feelings?
Do they understand why and how much you are hurt? Are they telling you that you are over dramatizing or that you simply need to get over it because they apologized? Are they understanding of what it’s going to take to work through this and are they willing?
If you could fix it and get back the trust, would you?
You may be angry, hurt or devastated (heck maybe all three), but try as hard as you can to see past all the hurt and think about the relationship as a whole. Are you able to still have fun and enjoy each other’s company? Think about the good parts of the relationship, as well, before just dumping it and all the love with it. Or is the lack of trust just another way to justify you wanting to leave due to other significant problems within the relationship?
Does this completely change who the other person is to you now?
This one can be tricky because when you’re angry and hurt things can become distorted in our hearts and minds, so, as for this question, I really want to implore you to take some time and think about this one.
If you don’t feel as if you can or should move forward and decide the relationship is not able to or worth saving then take the necessary steps needed for you to emotionally, mentally and physically move on in a healthy manner.
If you decide it is worth saving, then you BOTH are going to have to work on the issues that led up to, caused and are now affecting your relationship. And by both I mean BOTH of you. Not just the one who committed the infraction.
You need to work on yourself and healing after the betrayal, the other person should work on figuring out why the betrayal happened in the first place and how to work through those issues so they won’t become repeating issues, and you both must work on your relationship as a whole together.
Whether you decide not to move forward with the relationship or decide to move forward and work through the broken trust I urge you to do it in a healthy way.
Here’s a small list to get you pointed in the right direction for either decision:
- Set healthy boundaries
- Write in a journal
- Turn to your faith
- Communicate in a healthy manner with each other
- LISTEN to each other
- Seek guidance from a counselor, a leader in your faith, books on how to work through the issues and problems your relationship is having or whatever works best for you
Well, doesn’t that just sound easy peasy? Like the old saying goes, “Easier said than done”. Of course it’s easy to say to do these things, the hard part is learning to work past your anger to be able to get to forgiving and healing.
Trust me, I get it.
There were days where all I could see was red, and all I could feel was anger. Then there were days when all I could do was bawl my eyes out uncontrollably. I knew I loved him, but how could he love me if he could do that to me?
I knew I should listen to him but I didn’t want to listen to him. Matter of fact that was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. What I really wanted was to scream and yell and make him feel as horrible as he had made me feel, but love doesn’t work that way, though.
I got my wish. He felt horrible and the more I drove that knife in the worse he felt, but what did I accomplish? Did it change anything? No. What it did do, though, was cause a man who realized his mistakes and wanted to work through the betrayal to save our relationship to feel hopeless. Due to my handling of the betrayal, he felt as if he was unable to show how he was trying to change which caused him to shut down and it also caused him to feel attacked.
Love is hard. When you’re angry sometimes we forget to remember that the other person is just that … a person, and people make mistakes, albeit some are bigger than others.
I had to work my way through what I call “the process.” We all have a process (whether we realize it or not) we use to work through problems in our lives. This is no different.
To me this was like grieving. My heart was grieving what I felt was the loss of someone I knew and loved. I had to make the very decision earlier I had said you would have to make … was it (us, our relationship, all the love) worth trying to work it out. It was a hard decision because I felt so betrayed but when I allowed myself time think the answer was a resounding yes.
In the end, the decision is up to you on whether you stay or whether you go. No one else can make that decision for you. It will take hard work on both your parts to get the trust back, but if you love someone isn’t it worth it?
If you’re lucky enough to have someone’s trust, try your best not to screw it up. Don’t take a chance of losing something valuable for something temporary. And remember, trust is the foundation to any relationship.
Trust is a very fickle, fickle thing. It can take years to earn, mere seconds to lose and a lifetime to regain.