Often times when we talk about trust in marriages, our minds go directly to infidelity. However, there are so many other ways we loose trust in our spouse and vice versa without there being issues of infidelity. I do not dispute the fact that just the smell of an affair is enough to break down the walls of trust but I am also not blinded to the fact that, there are a thousand and one couples who do not have any issues with infidelity but have lost total trust in each other in other little ways. It is those other little ways that I seek to address today. The lies, the half truths, the lack of responsibilities and a host of others.
At the beginning of our marital journey, we often have a hundred percent faith and trust in our spouse and they in us. We believe every word they say, we would defend them at every turn, we find them absolutely reliable, we believe they would deliver on every promise and be always there as they vowed to on that special day. And on one faithful day, he/she reneges on a promise and there goes a crack on the wall; and another day, we discover something they said was either not true or not the total and complete truth and there goes another crack; and another day, he/she does something you had always believed they could never do and there goes another crack; and by and by, we begin to loose that trust. We begin to doubt every word and every action and we question the integrity of our partner.
It is absolutely difficult to love somebody we cannot trust because we do not then know the person we are loving. How do we keep loving someone who says they have no money when we are in dire need when they actually have? How do we keep loving someone who says they came home straight from work but actually went to one or two other places? How do we keep loving someone who shares our confidence in them with a third party and blatantly denies it? How do we keep loving when they constantly break that trust? It becomes mandatory that we communicate our feelings and growing distrust with our partners. It takes two to tango. The trust is broken by another person's action and we need that person's acceptance of the situation and willingness to work on the issue to earn that trust again. We cannot have a happy and peaceful home if we do not trust our partner. We cannot trust them again if there is no opportunity for the trust to be earned again. It is a learning process, it is a journey we choose to embark on. We do not regain that trust in just one conversation but it is rebuilt when our partner constantly acts in ways that helps us believe them once again.
On the other hand, it is easy to see our partner as no more trusting when even we ourselves have lost sense of that person we were when we got married. Our partner now finds it such a daunting task trusting us. We speak half truths that we justify by saying we are protecting our partner. We tell ourselves we are avoiding fights and trouble by hiding little facts when we are actually breaking our partner's trust in us. How many times do we put ourselves in positions when our partner is absolutely disappointed in us. We should never compromise on honesty even when we feel it would do more harm than good. Marriage is too long term to make short term mistakes that would cripple our home in the long run. Honesty is the bedrock of every home. We need to be matured enough to tell it as it is. Bear in mind that your spouse is not your dad/mum, he/she will literally not beat you if you tell the truth or if you simply say you are unable to perform a task. Be the person you want to see your children emulate, be the person you want them to aspire to be. We should consciously be that person who can stand by his/her words. Growing defensive when caught red handed does nothing to restore our spouse's trust in us, it makes them question us further. We need to do all we can to restore trust in our marriage and if it is not broken yet, do all we can to hold it firm. Trust can never be demanded, it is earned and constantly worked on. That we are trusted today does not guarantee trust tomorrow if we do not build on it and work to make it stand.
Let us live, love and learn for the journey is still far and it is not for the fainthearted!!!