*Please note: I struggled with this post because it’s very personal, and because I feel like it’s a tough topic to put out there. It’s not warm and fuzzy. But it’s honest. As always, I welcome any of your thoughts…
After taking a hard look at the relationships around me, and talking with numerous friends lately about their own situations, it seems that one thing is severely lacking across the board in relationships – TRUST. It appears that trust is currently missing its “t.” In other words, it’s looking a lot more like rust. I’ll be the first to admit it’s a real challenge to be able to trust someone completely- to believe deep in your core that they aren’t going to do anything to hurt you or betray you. Why is it so difficult? Because trusting other people makes us vulnerable. And that’s a scary place to be. In my case, I think it’s fairly understandable that I’m wary of the big “t” word after living through a host of shit, piled on by people who weren’t trustworthy but who I let into my life just the same. Please don’t misunderstand- I’m not merely pointing a finger at everyone else; we’ve all made mistakes. But I see dishonesty everywhere, and it seems to be the rule, not the exception.
I commented recently that “everyone has a back burner these days” because everywhere I look there are guys who are in relationships hitting on other women, or texting/flirting/going out with other women behind their girlfriends’ or wives’ backs. That’s not to say it’s unique to the male gender. The female sex can be just as shady, just as dishonest, just as unable to commit. In fact, sadly it seems like hardly anyone is really “committed” anymore. Many people apparently like to keep their options open…even if they aren’t on the market.
Being a relatively optimistic girl who desperately wants to see the best in people, I have (in the past) allowed myself to become emotionally invested in someone, only to find out that they aren’t exactly “free”…but by that time I’d gotten significantly attached, and so I did what most naive women (or men) do when faced with that situation – I told myself that maybe this time it would be different… maybe THIS time I would be the exception to the rule. So I naively clung to the hope that despite all evidence to the contrary, this was an honest, decent person who was capable of doing the “right thing,” and that everything would somehow work out. But that’s not how the story ends, and everyone knows it. There are many people out there who will do whatever they can get away with, for however long they can. And the players in those love triangles are either the ones lying to themselves, being kept in the dark, or sitting on the back burner. But no matter how you slice it, when you become entangled in these situations, one thing happens. Every. Single. Time. People get hurt.
There’s a learning curve with relationships. We try, we fail, we get back up and brush ourselves off thinking we’re wiser and stronger, and we try again. But unfortunately, the stuff we’ve lived through and the experiences we have learned from the hard way leave scars on our insides. And those scars instill little pieces of fear in our hearts that make us question whether or not people can really be trusted. Those wounds make us ask in a small, quiet voice, “Am I safe here?”
Can we trust our significant others to not betray us? Can we trust that their actions are honorable and that they aren’t keeping any (just in case) back-burners? I hope so. But it’s rare to find a couple who is honestly, 100% together because there is no one else they’d rather be with- and not just because they’ve ended up there while waiting for the next best thing to come down the pike.
I want to find the “t” to put back on my rust. But we’re all going to have to step it up a bit.