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  1. #1

    Learning to Trust Again

    How Can You Learn To Trust Again?
    From Psychology Today

    ON TRUST

    DANIEL BORENSTEIN, M.D. Immediate Past President, American Psychiatric Association

    Once trust has been betrayed, most people will be less trusting the next time. The degree of mistrust that is engendered varies between individuals and with the sensitivity of a particular betrayal. However, over a period of time, your trust can be rebuilt with repeated positive experiences. For example, if your boyfriend is unfaithful, you won't initially trust the next man you date. But, when a man consistently demonstrates his reliability, despite your more critical evaluation of his actions, he might earn your trust. These common but painful human experiences contribute to your growth and development.
    TERRY MIZRAHI, M.S.W., PH.D. President, National Association of Social Workers

    Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust there can be no giving, no bonding, no risk-taking. To trust a partner again, betrayal must be acknowledged. The wrongdoer must admit that he or she has inflicted a deep hurt, and the victim must look at what he or she could have done to make things different. Seeking and accepting forgiveness is the first step toward rebuilding a more secure relationship. If the relationship is of a permanent nature (parent, child, spouse), both sides must agree to change specific behavior. In new relationships, at the appropriate time, discussion of such a past situation can alert a caring partner to the other's sensitivities and vulnerabilities.
    ALBERT ELLIS, PH.D. President, The Albert Ellis Institute

    You can learn to trust someone perfectly--but that's risky. Even highly trustworthy people can always change. You can most probably, but not certainly, trust people if they have been regularly honest up to now. That is, if they are not too emotionally disturbed and if they subscribe to usual moral rules. Even when you cannot trust some people, you can teach yourself to feel only healthily sorry and disappointed about their behavior but not unhealthily enraged and self-pityingly about them as persons. Trust yourself to stop damning people as a whole, no matter how badly they now behave. Then you may--yes, may--help them to become more trustworthy.
    MARY HOTVEDT, C.M.F.T., PH.D. President, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

    After an affair, or an equally disturbing revelation, most of us don't want the truth. We ask for reassurances from the very person who was dishonest with us. We demand details that are often torturous. We may "police" them, looking for signs of straightforwardness. The way back to trust is counterintuitive: The issue is whether we can trust ourselves to make wise decisions. We can ask, "Can I, and do I, want to be with this person? Will I be honest about my thoughts and feelings? Will I take the risk to further this relationship, knowing I cannot control the other? What would I do if my partner chose to, once again, be dishonest with me?" Hurt does not heal instantly, but it can calm us to look into ourselves and see our real choices.
    Published date: 20020301
    Source: Psychology Today

  2. #2

    Learning to Trust Again

    so, it's possible, but how do you go about it? i've had trouble trusting because i've been lied to and because i've been betrayed. also because of affairs i've seen going on around me.

    i've been watching as two people i work with have an affair. one of them is my friend (not married), the other my boss (married). it's been very interesting to see how they handle things. i see lies. i see them pulling each other in the direction each of them wants. i see manipulation and i see love.

    having trusted, lost that trust, and trusted again, i know it's possible. but i feel disillusioned because it's getting harder and harder to trust and have faith in people. :-(
    Mari

  3. #3

    Learning to Trust Again

    It is difficult sometimes when it appears that everyone around you is cheating and lyinbg their way through life...

    But it is essential that you are the effort to remind yourself that not everyone is like that. There are good, honest, trustworthy, and caring people in this world -- they just don't make as much noise as the others sometimes so they get overlooked.

    I think the answer is to continue to trust in yourself and to trust that somewhere there is an honest, trustworthy partner with a strong set of morality and values similar to yours... to continue to go out, socialize, meet new people, date when it seems interesting, etc... be cautious, don't rush into things, don't let yourself get swept away or pressured into something that doesn't yet feel comfortable... in due course, I think you'll find what you're looking for, as long as you don't give up before you get there.

  4. #4

    Learning to Trust Again

    thank you for your response.
    i was thinking earlier today that with all the negative and damaging things i've been seeing and have been involved in, i'm not sure i have a healthy and positive role model to compare to. i'd appreciate hearing what exactly a healthy relationship is like. what to expect, what not to expect. i feel kinda lost in that area lately. would appreciate your input greatly.
    Mari

  5. #5

    Learning to Trust Again

    Hmmm... it's hard to know how to answer that question in 25 words or less...

    But let me get it started and other people can add to the list...

    A healthy relationship:
    • makes you feel good, not defensive or apologetic or attacked
    • lets you be an individual with your own feelings, thoughts, interests, and goals, as well as part of a couple
    • lets you stand on your own to feet with the security of knowing that if you ever need to lean on your partner he or she will be there to help, willingly
    • gives you the opportunity to share your life with someone you love, not just the good parts but the bad parts too
    • lets you feel that you are accepted, valued, and loved unconditionally, not for what you do or say or whether or not you conform to someone else's expectations of you, but just for who you are
    • means you never have to pretend to be someone you're not
    • means you never have to worry about whether your partner loves you or whether your partner will hurt you
    Last edited by Jazzey; February 3rd, 2009 at 10:14 PM.

  6. Learning to Trust Again

    @David
    Quote:
    Trust is at the core of all meaningful relationships. Without trust there can be no giving, no bonding, no risk-taking. To trust a partner again, betrayal must be acknowledged. The wrongdoer must admit that he or she has inflicted a deep hurt, and the victim must look at what he or she could have done to make things different. Seeking and accepting forgiveness is the first step toward rebuilding a more secure relationship. If the relationship is of a permanent nature (parent, child, spouse), both sides must agree to change specific behavior. In new relationships, at the appropriate time, discussion of such a past situation can alert a caring partner to the other's sensitivities and vulnerabilities.
    I find this very valuable. In a nutshell the most important things. Acknowledging and willing to learn from it.

    How about if you don't get the acknowledgement? That is what I usually bump into. Then I don't trust a person anymore and then they complain I am detached. And I cannot understand why they don't understand. The only thing that seems to work then is keeping them at a safe distance.

  7. Learning to Trust Again

    Quote Originally Posted by hugsy
    so, it's possible, but how do you go about it? i've had trouble trusting because i've been lied to and because i've been betrayed. also because of affairs i've seen going on around me.

    i've been watching as two people i work with have an affair. one of them is my friend (not married), the other my boss (married). it's been very interesting to see how they handle things. i see lies. i see them pulling each other in the direction each of them wants. i see manipulation and i see love.

    having trusted, lost that trust, and trusted again, i know it's possible. but i feel disillusioned because it's getting harder and harder to trust and have faith in people. :-(
    Hi Hugsy,

    Perhaps you unconsciously feel attracted to or intruiged by the people with that behavior. Or you may not be aware that you may have been with the wrong people for a long time, who have a different attitude than you have towards honesty and the do's and don'ts in life.

    So if that is still in your mind, you will see many examples of betrayal. It is like when you are for instance looking for new glasses: while you are making your choice shopping for it you suddenly notice other people with glasses too. It attracts your attention because your mind is set on it.

  8. #8

    Learning to Trust Again

    thanks for the list. :-) sounds great to be in a relationship like that. have a question...unconditional love is hard to give. i've tried doing it, but find that there are things that i just can't allow. some years ago, i didn't have a clue about boundaries, now that i've learned about them, i just can't allow certain things. example...in my last relationship (ex-fiance) i didn't feel comfortable with him emailing/having lunch, etc. with women he felt attracted to. i thought it was damaging to our relationship. he said it was just friendship, but i always felt there was more. later found out (after we split up) that there were other feelings on his side. not sure if anything ever happened, i never found out if he had been unfaithful. he always said he'd been faithful. i don't think he acted on his feelings, other than talking to the women. thing is, he was so good with words he had me almost convinced that all men lie about other women and i just had to learn to live with it, "for my own sake". i had a very hard time with this. it made me depressed to think that i could never trust a man to be honest about his feelings, and that i couldn't trust any man to be faithful. there was a nagging feeling inside of me that didn't want to let go of the hope that there are men who can be trusted. i still struggle with trust. especially because of my own relationship, but also because of what i'm seeing in other relationships. much later on, he told me that he thought we could have worked things out. i wonder, did he want me to stand by and not react to the way he was behaving? and so...my question....how do you balance between healthy boundaries and giving unconditional love?
    Mari

  9. #9

    Learning to Trust Again

    unconditional love is hard to give. i've tried doing it, but find that there are things that i just can't allow.
    Unconditional love means loving the person for the person, not unconditional acceptance of any behaviors.

    You can love someone unconditionally and still say, "If you assault me or cheat on me, this relationship is over."

    On the other hand, in a long term relationship it isn't that uncommon for one or the other partner to develop certain feelings for someone else. The key is what one does with those feelings. Attempting to control who you partner can and cannot see is probably not a very good basis for a secure relationship.

  10. #10

    Learning to Trust Again

    thanks for the clarification on unconditional love. makes sense.
    i agree the important thing is what we do with feelings for someone outside the relationship. thats what i told him.
    truthfully, looking back i think we both handled it badly. we both made mistakes and dÃ*dn't know how to handle the situation. then sometimes i think we just weren't compatible when it came to that one issue.
    Mari

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