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
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.