When we are recovering from unhealthy relationships we start to realize that we missed out on a lot of experiences that healthy relationships have. One major characteristic is trust. Trust is such a hard trait to establish in any relationship and even more so if our idea of trust was damaged from prior relationships. We carry with us a fear of trusting someone we are close to because we are afraid of that trust being broken again.
This is a very healthy fear to have, after all, we are trying to make better choices for ourselves and the relationships that we involve ourselves in. We do have to protect our best interest and not be so naïve to the fact that others don’t always have our well being at heart. However, there will come a time when we meet someone that we are actually able to open up to and begin to rebuild some of our issues with trust. This event will be a very interesting time for anyone who has had several unhealthy relationships as it will be a breath of fresh air. This moment may come soon after an unhealthy relationship, or it may come after years of self exploration. Whenever the time comes, be confident and know that this is practice for you to experience aspects of a healthy relationship. Any new way of life takes practice. As you begin entering healthier relationships, you will acquire this new way of living no matter how awkward this may feel.
After we have spent so much time in unhealthy life situations and events, we have to dedicate ourselves to re-learning a healthier and better way of life. When we are actually ready for this experience, we magically start having opportunities being presented to us. We might meet someone that is completely different from the type of person we are familiar to associating with.
This moment will baffle us and maybe even mesmerize us at the same time. Don’t give up, no matter how uncomfortable this healthy relationship may be. Be open to a change and you will be open to your own happiness.
Sometimes the best thing to do in this type of situation is to be honest with the person you are involving yourself with. Tell them that you have had some difficult relationships and that this type of relationship is very new to you. If you feel comfortable with them and you have some level of trust, you may even be able to talk about some of your prior experiences. You don’t have to get extremely personal with someone right away. Give yourself time to develop some level of confidence in your new relationship.
Sometimes when we expose ourselves too early on in the relationship we leave ourselves open to vulnerability. So, feel it out and see if this person opens up to you. Then see if you are able to reach out to one another on a common level. When we discuss our previous issues in life, not all people are able to feel comfortable with our pasts. That is mainly due to the fact that they don’t feel comfortable with their own pasts.
If this is a truly healthy relationship then you will be able to feel like you can say anything to one another. Healthy relationships are about being mutual, not about being one-sided. It takes two people to work as a team. Teams were not created by one person alone. When you develop a partnership, you have to be able to feel like you can trust someone and that trust can take time.
Trust is apparent in so many daily life activities and yet we tend not to realize it. Especially when you are coming from an unhealthy relationship, you may feel like very simple daily life events were taken out of proportion due to the lack of trust. For example, say your partner had promised that they were going to be in a certain place at a certain time and never showed up. Well, your trust in them was broken. You may have forgiven them and then opted to try it again, only to become disappointed when the same instance occurred.
This is an example of a very simple event, but it actually destroyed your trust because this person was unable to be honest with you. Once these instances happen over and over again, you no longer feel like you can depend on that person and therefore there is a link broken in that partnership.
When you have a healthy relationship, you can trust that that partner will be there when they say they will. You can trust that they are not lying to you, cheating on you, or providing you with a distorted reality of who they really are.
No matter who you begin your healthy relationship with, trust doesn’t happen overnight. So take one step at a time and enjoy the new discoveries you encounter together. Be willing to learn a new way of loving and sharing yourself with someone else.
To help you learn a little more about yourself and what you think trust is, take a moment to write down your definition. Make a section in a journal dedicated to ‘trust.’ Write down all the people you have trusted. Talk about whether you continue to trust them now or if your trust was broken by them. If you still trust them now, write about why. If you don’t trust them, write about what happened that broke your trust.
Write about what your expectations are in a partner that you would like to trust. Then take a look at yourself. Are you an honest person? Write about what makes you worthy of someone’s trust. Do you trust yourself?
If you are accustomed to being with people that are not trust worthy then being with someone you can trust is just incredible. People that are used to unhealthy relationships will often continue to exhibit some of their same behaviors. For example, let’s say you are used to your partner always staying out late and coming home at odd hours. Well, you might just continue to think that every other partner you have might do the same thing, so basically if you worried then, you may also exhibit worry now.
This is very natural and will subside as you rebuild your sense of trust with both relationships and people in general. If you have an understanding and patient partner then you should try discussing any fears that you have before you get too involved. This way you can also get an idea where your partner is coming from as well.
Learning to trust again will happen eventually. One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is when the universe hands you something you didn’t know you were ready for. So pay attention to its calling. You will know when the opportunity is right.
Excerpt from Recognizing Unhealthy Relationships: Guide to Healthy Love & Self Discovery By Meilena Hauslendale available in paperback or eBook at http://livingonintuition.com