How do you cope when your trust in someone is swept away?
A PERIOD OF MOURNING
Trust is such a precious thing, and when it goes you may feel bereft. There’s no way to reason this away. Loss of trust is just that – a loss.
Try to accept that there will be a time of mourning for that lovely, safe feeling that has now gone. Things aren’t the same – how could they be? You are now entering a new phase in life where that trust is absent – at least for a while. However, after loss comes healing. Although you may not be able to imagine how, you will find a way forwards and be happy again.
There is a saying ‘To understand is to forgive’. It may be hard to forgive – see below – but understanding is something you are well-advised to strive for, for the simple reason it will make you feel a whole lot better.
If you can truly understand why your dear one betrayed your trust, then you’ll find it so much easier to accept the situation. You will know where you are and there will be a real possibility that you can one day trust again, depending on the circumstances.
Understanding what is going on in the heart of another makes sense of their behaviour and can even bring you closer. Maybe your friend or partner was driven by needs, fears or conditioning from the past. Exploring all of this could enable you to grow as a couple, and the bond between you could be stronger.
ACCEPTING YOUR PART
You may feel you are the innocent party, and you may well be right, in a sense. You are not the way who did the betraying. But try not to be self-righteous.
It may be a positive step to ask yourself what you could have done differently. Was there something in your behaviour that made it hard for your friend or partner? Did you, even a little bit, push them into it, or give them few alternatives? Have you been blind, stubborn, or even unkind?
Even if you have truly, sincerely tried your very best and have still been let down, maybe there is a lesson to be learnt about being perhaps too trusting, picking the wrong people to rely on, or similar? These can be harsh ways to think, but if you can learn from this you will come out stronger in the end.
With understanding and forgiveness it’s possible that trust can be re-established. In fact the deeper understanding that you’ve reached could mean that the new trust is even stronger.
But it’s possible that you won’t be able to trust again, at least not for quite a while, and that’s reasonable. If you are in a committed relationship you may chose to stay together, for instance, even though your partner has been unfaithful, but they cannot reasonably expect you to trust them again. Nor should you expect this of yourself.
Can you continue with a relationship when trust has been shattered? Possibly, but it will need a great degree of honesty, and a willingness on both sides to look for solutions. There will also need to be some ground rules, which you can thrash out between you.
Will your partner face up to their responsibility for the rupture of trust, and do what they can to ease the situation? Will you try to be tolerant, able to deal with injured feelings? These questions are totally individual for every situation. There are no shoulds and oughts, but honesty and kindness – especially to yourself – are essential.
HOW WE CAN HELP
We’ve looked at several important factors in dealing with loss of trust, including mourning, understanding, forgiving, accepting your part in the situation and moving on. When your trust is shattered it can be devastating. You may feel you can’t continue with life, and be full of despair. Why try to cope alone? Our Readers are always there with insight and kind support so call us today and begin your journey to healing.
PUBLISHED: 18 April 2017