Do you have trust issues with your partner (and/or someone you’re not romantically involved with)? If you don’t, you’re a rarity. With so many couples I work with, it looks like communication’s a major issue (which it is), but more often than not, the more fundamental issue you’re dealing with is what you trust and what you don’t with your partner. If you’re in this dilemma, odds are that your willingness to mend your heart, and get majorly re-connected with your partner has become inextricably linked with your mind demanding that the other person prove to you that they’re trustworthy. They have ample evidence of their partner’s untrustworthiness, and they continually wait to hope they can find that trust, often with almost hopeless skepticism that frequently ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Granted, the other person who’s not being trusted has most likely earned that mis-trust. To the degree you’ve earned your partner’s mistrust, the responsibility is on you to be looking at your behavior, your integrity, and your follow-through. If you don’t do what you say you’re going to do often enough, your credibility is swimming around at the bottom of the commode, where it’s a looong climb out. But, there’s another monkey wrench that I feel can help you make inroads into re-establishing trust with whoever you’re separating yourself from.
Interestingly enough, it’s all about looking at yourself (surprised, if not annoyed?). Specifically, how trustworthy are you? As I write this, one of my Mom’s favorite expressions when I was a kid is coming to mind, which was, “I don’t trust them farther than I can throw them.” When I look back at the people she most mistrusted, I can see (now) how much her beefs with them were often begun by how she had made herself untrustworthy to them first.
You don’t mistrust your partner unless they have some kind of habit of breaking their word or doing things that are out of integrity with themselves and agreements you may have with each other, right? Well, again, not to take responsibility away for the other’s actions, but how often do you break your word…especially to yourself? I was listening to a recording of my colleague, Ronda Wada, and she spoke about how often people break agreements with themselves for “Me Time.” I do that ALL the time! And, it got me to thinking…if you can’t trust yourself to love and honor yourself sufficiently, how can you trust your partner to “take care of me or my needs?” It’s not inconceivable that that unconscious behavior could get projected over to your partner.
If you’re doing that, what goes with it are usually unconscious and/or unexpressed expectations that your partner/friend is going to handle the heavy lifting for your desires that you’re not. When those expectations don’t get met, then our ego-minds go into child-like temper tantrums that are held together with the mental construct that the other person’s going to have to work even harder to get your trust back…when, really, you need to work to get your own trust in yourself back! To get your trust in yourself back, you need to face what the fears may be that your lack of self-integrity are pointing to that need attention.
Sounds easy, right?
Not usually…the promises to ourselves (and our well-being) that we break are legion and often unconscious. When was the last time you didn’t put the toilet seat down, take your supplements, meditate, work out, balance the check book, surprise your partner with that gift you’ve been saying for months you’re going to give them, eat the right thing, forego the toy so you could put more dough in the vacation savings account, etc.? When WAS the last time you broke a date with yourself? Hell, when was the last time you worked for more than 10 hours and got to bed at half past way too damn late?
If you want to test this, pick three things in this next two weeks that you’re going to commit to…with your partner, with yourself, or both. Write them down, and when you’re going to do them. Be specific. Have them be measurable in time and space. Then, when you go to bed, get the list and see how many of them you did. Also, notice how much you’ve taken care that day to consciously connect with your partner. See what kind of correlation there is, and with your mood and “neediness.” If you notice the latter increases the more you’re not doing for you, then I rest your case. From there, it’s time to start looking at what you need to do to get back on track with yourself and your integrity. The more that happens, the stronger the trust levels your relationship will have, which will give you that sense of being able to trust yourself and your partner farther than you can throw them!