I find myself driving my children around town and writing my blogs in my head as I drive. I almost need to have a voice memo recording going as I’m thinking and driving because that’s where I get some of my best thoughts. Thankfully I remembered that I was inspired to write about one of my issues. I’m going to at least try.
This is a very hard topic to write about. The more I resist, the more I know I need to write about it. The more I hesitate, the more I know that this is a hot topic that I need to get down on paper. I’m not going to resist any longer. I’m lying – I’m still resisting as I type. I’m going to share with you in the hopes to help myself and to inspire others to form better, longer lasting and more quality in their relationships with themselves and with others. I told Ella I was writing about a hard topic this week and she said, “But it will help people.” If it helps one of you reading this, then I’m glad I pushed myself to get this down on paper. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to talk about this Wednesday night in my vlog, but writing it is the first step.
I allowed a few situations in my life to negatively affect my trust in people. I have worked really hard on myself to realize that it has nothing to do with Seth. Seth doesn’t deserve any of my issues. He deserves a wife who completely trusts him. I am aware that my issues have nothing to do with Seth and I do completely trust him. I am actually very proud of myself for having faith in my marriage and for actually getting married. Someone with trust issues may actually be afraid to get married or be afraid of commitment. I want to tell you not to let the fear stop you from having wonderful relationships. If you protect and shield yourself, you will only be missing out.
I had a huge realization today. When I was doing therapy, we called it an “Aha” moment. It may seem obvious to you, but it literally just came to me today. The only person I really need to work on trusting is myself. If I trust myself then the rest falls into place. If I work on my relationship with myself it will have a positive impact on all my relationships. Why did I think it had to do with my relationship with others? Why did I make myself feel powerless? That isn’t going to help me to make progress. I was thinking that if people were trustworthy in my life that my trust issues would disappear. I can actually mend the issue within myself.
Where have I come from and where have I gotten to? First, I must start with saying that I can’t believe I am typing this. My fingers are actually tingling because I am so happy that I am really doing this. When Seth met me, I was very honest with him about everything. In my heart of hearts, I knew with every fiber in me that he was the one for me. I knew that we would be married. I knew that I wanted to bare my soul to him so that he knew everything about me. I wanted to be very honest in regards to my strengths and weaknesses so that he knew exactly who he was in a relationship with. We never want to pretend to be someone else when we start a relationship. We want to be our true selves to form a meaningful and lasting relationship.
I recommend making a list of your strengths and weaknesses. I recommend being honest with your partner so that they really know you. What strengths do you want to improve on? What weaknesses do you want to work on? Pick one thing and focus on steps to improve yourself. Ask your partner what they would like you to do more of and what they would like you to work on. A coach told me that when her husband and children criticize her, she asks them to, “Tell me more.” She said put your defenses down and really listen.
I was very honest about my trust issues with Seth. I explained to him where they stem from and that it inspired me to make me capable of being an even better wife for him. Trust is my number one. If I don’t trust you, we probably won’t have a good relationship. If I don’t trust you, I may have already ended our relationship. Seth calls it my hot button and he knows how important it is to me.
When I met Seth, he had women calling his apartment at 11:00 PM at night. He quickly saw that wasn’t going to work for me. If he wanted girls calling him then he was more than welcome to do that, but I was just going to exit the picture. I knew I needed to be his one and only. I know how I operate. I have a lot of self-awareness and I knew I needed to see that he was going to focus on one woman. I know how fabulous he is, and I know why the ladies were calling him.
Note from Seth: I would like everyone to know that I was not dating any of the women calling me. They were female friends.
Every so often Seth would have to remind me that my issues weren’t with him. Once in a while he would tell me that it wasn’t fair for him (or others in my life) to have to deal with my baggage. I 100% agreed with him and I knew that he deserved for me to work on myself. Did I run to counseling? No. Should I have? Absolutely. I am going to tell you that every single one of us has issues. Every person could benefit from meeting with a good therapist. Every therapist is not good. Every therapist is not a good fit for you. You have to find someone you are comfortable with and someone who can help you with the issue(s) that you are having.
I decided to start with working on my cognitive thoughts. I knew that my issues had nothing to do with Seth. I knew rationally that I could trust him, and I kept challenging myself every time a negative thought would slip into my mind. I practiced over and over again. I kept rewinding the tape in my head and replacing with a positive thought.
There are irrational thoughts and there are rational thoughts. It’s important to know the difference and to look for concrete data. I have always known rationally that my issues have nothing to do with Seth and I also know that all his behavior and actions over the past 17 years have shown me over and over again how trustworthy he is.
My issues have gotten so much better. How did I reach the point that I am now?
- I challenged my irrational thoughts. I like to rewind and replace my thoughts. I find that if we do it enough times, we will find we don’t even need to rewind anymore because the positive rational thoughts are coming to us first. I also find that if an irrational or negative thought does come to me it is not very often anymore.
- I reminded myself regularly that my issues had nothing to do with Seth. Seth also reminded me of this when necessary.
- I explained to Seth that trust is number one to me. He is aware of how important it is. I have also told this to other important people in my life.
- I model the behavior that I expect from Seth.
- I explained to Seth my marital rules. Whatever you are saying, doing, texting should be something that your spouse could be seeing you do. Unless you are planning a nice surprise for your spouse. That is a different story. I follow my rules.
- Time heals all wounds. It is so cliché and it is also so true. Give yourself time.
- Repeated confirmation that Seth is trustworthy through his actions, words and behavior. He is extremely reliable and responsible.
- No one significant has opened the wound recently thankfully.
- Look for the good and expect trustworthy behavior.
- If something is bothering me, I communicate this. Clear and calm communication is the key to a successful relationship with anyone in our lives. When I communicate it, then Seth makes an effort to make the necessary changes and the same goes with me.
If your partner or someone in your life broke your trust, how do you rebuild trust in a relationship?
- Communication is always the key. Tell whoever broke your trust how you are feeling. Start thinking about what you need to rebuild trust and communicate your needs. You may not know, and it may take you time and guidance to figure out what you need.
- Forgiveness is just as important as communication. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean that you agree with what they have done. Make a decision to forgive and move on. It is a gift that you can give to yourself. Holding on to something is never good for us. One way to help you forgive is to be present focused. To keep yourself in the present and to stop going back to the past. The past is over. Having your feelings listened to sincerely and seeing remorse can also help you to forgive. Everything takes time and effort.
- Evaluate how things are going regularly. This can keep the relationship on track.
- Discuss what went wrong in the first place so that the same mistakes aren’t repeated. For example, we need to give each other time and attention. When needs aren’t getting met it’s our responsibility to tell our partner and our partner has to want to meet that need.
- Seeing the proof regularly and consistently that they are doing what they say they will do and are going where they say they are going. As you see the proof build over time the trust repairs.
If the behaviors continue that caused the trust issue in the first place, then that is a whole different conversation. If you have been the one who caused the hurt in the first place, I recommend a sincere apology, patience and a commitment to show your changed behavior. It is important to know why the behavior that caused the issue started in the first place before it can move to a better place.
I have come a very long way in my 17 year relationship. I sincerely work on myself every day. This is just one of the issues that I have worked on. I believe that my husband and my kids deserve the best. I also want to be a good daughter, sister, and friend too. I don’t think any of us needs to be perfect. We are human and humans make mistakes. I do believe that we are all works in progress trying to be the best versions of ourselves. We need to give ourselves grace, patience and understanding. I have a few scars that have healed a lot. I don’t expect them to ever completely go away, but I also see how far I’ve come. We learn a lot from our scars. Use it as fuel to make yourself and your life better.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
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The Whinypaluza Schedule:
Whinypaluza Wednesdays: My weekly blog comes out. I am always open to your topic requests. A new Vlog (video blog) also comes out every Wednesday night on Facebook and You Tube. If you would rather listen to a podcast than watch a Vlog, you can wait for the following Wednesday and the Vlog is released on my Podcast.
Family Fridays: Every Friday morning a new Podcast is released. Most of my episodes on Friday are my discussing parenting and marriage with experts on the topic. If you would rather watch the Podcast instead of listen, you can watch it on Facebook or You Tube. If you would like to be on my Podcast or know someone who would like to please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org