A Relational Assassin

Aug 28, 2022

I remember a statement that Trisha said to me five years ago like it was yesterday, “I forgive you, but I don’t trust you.”

It is impossible to earn forgiveness. Forgiveness, if it is authentic, is unconditional. Forgiveness is as much for you, the person that is offering it, as it is for the recipient. Trust is something completely different.

Trust has to be earned. Trust is a sequence of relational deposits, made with an authentic heart. Trust is the basis for intimacy. You can’t build a relationship in the absence of trust.

We know a lot of people that struggle with trust. Distance defines their relationship. Fear dominates their emotions. Worst-case scenarios flood their mind.  Suspicion and accusation lead most conversations.

A few questions we’ve had to ask as it relates to this area:

-Am I confusing forgiveness (unconditional) with trust (conditional)?

-Is my lack of trust based on my past, my insecurities, my fear or my worries?

-Are the trust issues in this relationship based on broken trust by the other person? If so, do you have a plan to restore trust? Is it reasonable, attainable and have a timeframe?

-Is the person you have trouble trusting aware of your struggle or do they just experience the symptoms of your struggle?

-Are you creating a self-fulfilling prophesy by not trusting someone who is actually trustworthy?

For us, these questions have not been asked just once in the last five years. They have been asked hundreds of times since the affair. We are committed to intimacy in our marriage. There is so much that erodes intimacy…a lack of trust is the most dangerous.

Hopefully, if you struggle with trust in a friendship; with a family member or spouse these questions will help you re-discover trust and in the process find intimacy.