Today was a perfect example of the world looking to the media to help us decide who to believe is telling the truth in the #Comey_hearing (6-8-17). The human race has come to the place that we don’t know who to trust. I trust 5 people in my life. That’s it. Outside of my close circle, I literally trust no one, not the president, the politicians, the police, the teachers, the medical staff who treat me, even some of my family… literally 5 people. That’s it! Why is this so?
Trust comes from honor and transparency. Let’s face it: how many people are you willing to be completely transparent with? Really! I know that even in 99% of marriages, especially the ones I have counseled over the years, there are so many secrets between spouses that I can’t imagine how any trust is there at all.
For this very reason, my husband and I have sought out to be completely transparent, even if it makes us angry, hurt, or anxious. You can get over those temporal emotions. What a relationship can’t get over is a big trust issue.
In Psychology Today Abigail Brenner, M.D., a psychiatrist in private practice, writes that Trust is the first of 7 most important aspects to make a great relationship work. Any relationship: a friendship, a mentor/student relationship, a work relationship, a family relationship, and, of course, a marriage cannot and will not stay healthy without the oxygen of relationship, which is Trust. In my estimation that means full and complete transparency.
- Your partner wants to look at your recent emails? It’s fine.
- Your husband wants to review your phone log? Sure, why not. I have nothing to hide.
- Your boss wants to check your recent expenditures to see if you have been pilfering money from the company! Absolutely. Have at it.
What do you have to hide? That’s the big question. If you start out a relationship open and honest, the biggest trust issue becomes: will you continue to share the hard questions like:
- Did you just check out the hot dude that walked by?
- You called your ex? What’s up with that?
- You’re keeping in touch with an old lover?
These kinds of questions not only need to be answered, but discussed. “What is causing you to suddenly distrust me? Did I do something recently that seemed suspicious?” A great relationship starts to build tremendous trust when it gets over these initial hard places. I can now say without a shadow of a doubt, I trust my husband more than I have ever trusted anyone in my life. Truly.
In a great relationship, you not only want to be open, but you want to understand the nature of the distrust. Trust me, we all have issues around trust. I have been shat upon so many times in relationship that it’s a wonder I don’t have exterior stains on my skin. However, I do know that the stains are internal, because every once in a while something that someone will say or do causes a trigger or a PTSD moment when I lose my peaceful path and enter into a dark place of fear.
Let’s face it: abandonment is usually the primary fear. Someone in the past left us, hurt us, lied to us—a parent, teacher, pastor, friend…. You name it, I’m sure you have as many people as I have had over the years simply lie right to your face without the blink of an eye.
Usually, though, after you have had a hard look back at a relationship, you can see where you lost trust completely and should have bailed. For instance, in one of my first long-term relationships, I witness my new partner of 6-8 months lying to his mother on the phone. I knew it was a flat-out lie, because I knew the truth. I even questioned my boyfriend about it. Basically, he thought his mother could not have handled the truth.
But who was he to decide what his mother, the one who gave him life, could handle? Trust is almost always the best tact unless, of course, it is at the wrong moment (like at a funeral or after someone lost a game or is sick). Truth must be told, but it can wait.
Back to my original reason for writing this blog: Who can we trust?
I have decided about three years that when I moved from Nashville to Florida, every new person would go through a long vetting process before I allowed them into my life. Do you know how many new good friends I have in Florida—one! That’s right. One.
I also decided that the people I assume were my friends from the past I had to re-evaluate. Did they fit into the place of total trust? What I realized is that most people were in that second category: Trust for the most part. I have no reason not to trust them, but I don’t know them well enough to truly trust.
When you meet trust, you understand why that if you have one or two great, trusted friends in your life, you are fortunate. Be the most honest person you can be, be compassionate about it, and you will always attract the same. Like attracts like.
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