August 31,2001
August 31,2001

Trust is the magical prerequisite of any stable long term relationship. It is the exact opposite of a Fear relationship. It requires a belief in someone that they will be reliable and caring. Trust allows a person to be exposed to hurt. They allow themselves to be vulnerable. Anyone who has lived with a loving cat knows that the most exposed area for being killed is the stomach and yet the affectionate pet will lie in your arms with its limbs outstretched and its tummy exposed for you to stroke. Because of the precariousness of such a "love," the greater the sense of betrayal when that Trust is abruptly lost.

In relationships, we usually start with the presumption of honesty, but lies of any kind can destroy that trust. It doesn't have to be a lie about seeing another party for a tryst. It can be that one partner does not not feel able to be honest. The manipulation of the truth may be a long term reaction to his/hers family of origin. Often these deceptions have developed out of fear of punishment,(sometimes severe) from his/her parents. Sometimes dishonesty has merely become habitual in order to obtain what one wants. Having colored the facts for a lifetime the person is very experienced and has cleverly obfuscated reality.

In order to reestablish peace, cooperative effort is needed from the deceiver to radically monitor his/her thoughts and create huge changes in ones outlook. It is a frightening concept for the Liar because the individual's entire fabric of being needs to be rewoven. However it can be done, but it is difficult because one has to deal with the old nemesis of Fear again. "What does one replace the old warp with?" Amazingly in all cases, Fear hides the happiness that one could have, given the straightening of the weaving. My mother understood this, when she coquetted and found that she'd made a mistake in the first two stitches on a nearly finished product. She would, then, rip it all out and begin over again. Others has experienced such rage from their partners over mundane issues that they are timid about exciting such wrath again and begin misrepresenting minor things such as: a fender bender that they blame on the other guy, or about the time it took to stop off on the way home (even if it is to get a gift as a surprise). The prefabrication grows as other people report a different story. And as it grows so does the sense of disloyalty between the loved ones.

On occasion, the maturation process does not evenly develop with two intimate others an a unit. One may no longer wish to party and want to settle into family life. The other may be resentful that the spouse in "fun" has now turned into the stick in the mud stable saver of money. The goals are no longer the same. The goals need to be realigned, this may not always be possible if one has not grown into that stage as yet. This may happen at a latter time, but the biological clock of motherhood may be running out for the woman as she feels she can't wait. Or the Males patience may be stretched thin as he longs for the familial unit of his brand new dreams.

One may have had a unilateral experience that has created a mind altering state, such as a near death experience that turns his/her former views on end. The partner can't begin to understand not having gone through a like occurrence. This is an over dramatization just to make the point that each of us perceive life differently based on our own perception of events. Since couples are not joined at the hip, they have varying reactions that can lead them in opposing directions. In each of these situations, a distrust can develop because the parties may feel that there was intentional lying from the start because the goals coincided initially and seemingly now without warning the discord is confounding each others needs.

In each happenstance there needs to be straight forward openness. Even with this approach one may need an objective party to sort out the subliminal process that most laymen can't understand and therefore can't even begin to explain how they developed their opinions.

Men more often than women find emotions unsettling and better left alone than tackling. A mistake that leads their marriage further astray. Women discuss emotions almost exclusively with one another and find it unfathomable to accept the fact that men's minds work on a different track. Although this is part of the problem, it is too large an area to discuss in this column today. Male/female differences will be tackled at another time. Since men and women need each other it behooves them to build whatever connections they can to create a more harmonious life. A carpet woven from weak thread will not survive, nor will a marriage built on that basis thrive.