Trust is the cornerstone of a healthy and deeply satisfying relationship. In a trusting relationship, partners, friends or colleagues are honest with each other.
In a trusting relationship, words and actions are not shrouded in deceit; a partner doesn’t sacrifice the other’s needs for their own or pursue their goals at another’s expense. Most importantly, they make a full commitment to help both parties in the relationship feel emotionally supported, nourished and when necessary, comforted.
In relationships, trust is the single most important mark of lasting happiness.
The most common breach of trust in a couple or marriage happens through infidelity. Sadly, when adultery occurs, the core issues in the relationship that could have catalysed the betrayal are overlooked because the unfaithful partner’s mistake takes centre stage.
In my personal and humble belief however, the concept of trust goes far beyond sexual fidelity… it in fact intersperses itself into every aspect of a couple’s daily life.
A lack of trust can go unnoticed at first but with time, can become a huge strain on the relationship. Slowly but steadily, mistrust chips away at the foundation of the relationship.
The long-term effects of living with someone you cannot trust are devastating. Why? Because when a partner doubts their significant other’s integrity or authenticity, he or she can become insecure, anxious, doubtful and even fearful.
I experienced this in my own marriage and parental relationships. For years, I blindly ignored the signs warning me of the violations of trust occurring in my relationships. As a result, I felt trapped, guarded and very vulnerable. I started to act out unkindly, pushing those whom I loved away. Many of my clients over the last 15 years working as a coach and counsellor, have shared similar stories of their own. When trust is broken, it is natural and instinctual to no longer feel safe emotionally, physically, intellectually or even spiritually. This is because you are brought to question the person in front of you, no longer recognising them due to their distrustful behaviour.
Restoring trust takes time, but can be done, but being the bedrock of relationships, it’s the most difficult aspect of one to repair. Re-building a sense of self-worth as the hurt partner is just as difficult and takes just as much time but is essential to do.
When a relationship is shattered by a betrayal, continuous lack of commitment or because of any of the above reasons, we can still move forward by learning to unpack what caused the shift in trust to begin with. We must look at the breach in trust as a red flag that underlying issues need to be recognised, addressed and managed, rather than as the catalyst for the inevitable conclusion to your relationship. With a change of perspective, the actions of mistrust can be observed and discussed in order to transform them from a negative to an opportunity for change and growth.
Many fear that once broken, trust can no longer be restored. I sincerely believe otherwise, that through unraveling the crisis, a couple can heal and share intimacy again and that, in time, a new foundation can be built for an even stronger relationship than before.
Read my blog post, Why Am I Addicted to Toxic Relationships, for more information on some of the topics touched on above.
Originally published at www.elisabettafranzoso.com