Love Vs. Trust
I meet with a couple who is struggling through a betrayal. He cheated. She is crushed. It’s been many months, and she can’t forgive, much less forget. Nearly every day a thought enters her mind, something like, ‘is he thinking about her? does he love her? how could he do this? will he do it again?’ She is alternately sad, angry and worried.
She is not even close to being ready to let go. She keeps wondering whether he is being honest. After all, he cheated and then he lied. He is beginning to wonder whether she’ll ever get over it, and whether he can do anything to prove he is now faithful.
I ask them about the bonds that hold them together. What is the “glue” that keeps the relationship going? She says, “I love him.” He says, “I don’t want to lose my family.”
I ask her directly if she trusts him. She says no. I ask, “If you don’t trust him, but you say you love him, what does that mean?” In other words, what is love without trust?
I ask him if he trusts that she will ever forgive him. He says, “I don’t know. I hope so.”
I ask him if he loves her. He says yes. I may say, “You say you love her, and, yet, you betrayed her. What does that mean?”
They are both living with a terrible uncertainty. In their own individual ways, neither one trusts the other completely.
The question is this: for people in a close relationship, when they say the word, “love”, do they know what they mean? When she says she loves him, what does he hear? When he says he loves her, what does she hear?
Then, we come to the more basic question. When trust is broken in such a heart-rending way, can it be restored? Since each situation is unique, no generic answer exists. It may require that both people re-think what their relationship means to them, and on what basis it was begun. Chances are, the very foundation of their coming together was shaky from the beginning.
If you are in a relationship that was not built on a firm foundation of trust – a trust that was based on proof of each other’s dependability and maturity – and if you’re experiencing problems, please reach out for a no-cost consultation. The phone number is 219-309-3928. I would be honored to be of service.
Thanks for reading!