Anybody who says a relationship is easy, is lying. If our relationships with our friends and family are not easy, why would our relationships with a significant other be any different? It wouldn’t. When you put two people with totally different brains together – there are going to be issues, conflicts, disagreements… whatever you want to call them. And that’s OK.
But what do you know when one of the key components of a relationship is broken? I believe trust is one of the most important parts of a relationship and without it, unfortunately there is no way a healthy relationship could survive. So what do you do when that’s lost?
Trust is a tricky situation – you so easily give it to someone when you first meet them because you have no reason not to trust them. But once it’s gone, are you ever truly able to trust that person again? Can you ever believe what they say again? Will that little voice inside your head keep you questioning everything?
Everybody will tell you that if a person truly loves you, they will do whatever they need to do to prove you can trust them again; or some people even go as far to say that if they truly loved you, they never would have done something to break your trust in the first place.
The reality is: we’re all human, we all make mistakes and mess up, and we live in a world of overflowing temptation. Occasionally, the person you love and who loves you back, is going to hurt you; they are going to disappoint you. Trust should never be broken, but in the event that it is, it CAN be rebuilt. It’s not an easy process and it’s not a short process. It takes time and effort from both parties.
Jordan and I have been together for almost three years, and as much as I’d like to say we have a perfect relationship, I can’t. A little over a year ago, I was put into a situation that caused me to lose my trust in him, and it took months before we started healing. And being totally honest, those first months were rough. I didn’t believe anything he told me which in turn caused me to be in horrible moods, and ultimately caused a lot of fights in our relationship. The worst part is, most of the fights were about nothing! Nothing and everything at the same time.
My head was a mess and I was constantly feeling a number of different emotions at one time. I didn’t know what I wanted anymore, I blamed myself, and I drove myself crazy. I have a few people I trust and confide in, and every time we talked about it, there was always the question: “what would it take for you to trust him again? What do you need from him?” And every single time my answer would change, because I honestly didn’t know what would fix the situation. There were a few things he could do, but there wasn’t one big thing that would solve the entire problem. Then one day I realized, I had to start with myself. Holding onto all of the hurt and anger and negative feelings was never going to help me move forward. No matter what Jordan did, as long as I was still in a negative mindset, nothing would have changed.
I needed to decide whether or not I really wanted to make it work between us. The lack of trust made me question this, but ultimately, I knew I wanted to try and work past this. From there, I needed to let go of the anger and the hurt. This was a hard step, because there isn’t anything you can do other than to consciously decide you are no longer going to feel those emotions and let those thoughts invade your mind. It takes a lot of personal strength to do this step, but it is a crucial step. Finally I needed to again, consciously decide to give him my trust back and be happy. Don’t get me wrong, there were things I needed him to do to help with that, and he did. But until I made these conscious decisions to move forward in a positive manner, nothing would have ever really changed. All those negative feelings would have sat on the back burner and nothing he did would have made any difference.
Just a few months ago is when it hit me that I trust him again. There wasn’t a specific point in time where I was like, “Oh! I trust you again!” I eventually just realized that I no longer had fears or worries about our particular issue. Negative thoughts no longer crept into my mind and I was just happy again.
Don’t get me wrong, none of this is easy. In a perfect world, our partners would never do anything to hurt us. But opening your mind to the fact that everybody is human and nobody is perfect the first step in being able to work through a problem rather than throwing in the towel. Sometimes a person doesn’t deserve a second, third, fourth chance. But if they do, or if you are not ready to give up… you can make it through the stormy weather.
It has taken Jordan and I a lot of growth together and individually to get where we are at in our relationship – but I’m proud of who I am and who we are so, so it has all be worth it.
Kirsten Bell wrote an A to Z on a healthy marriage, and I absolutely love it:
If you ever need an ear or relationship advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out!