To recover lost Trust

Before going to sleep last night, I read this topic suggestion in The Daily Post. Sure needed to sleep on that one.

It’s all so individual and differs from one situation to another, but broken trust is like anything else that breaks … a cup, a bowl… if you try to put it together with glue it might look the same, but in your heart it will always be broken. You might want to be trusting again, but there’s always the nagging, little voice in your head whispering ‘it happened once — it might very well happen again‘.

The classical example of broken trust is, of course, being betrayed by your spouse. I haven’t been in that situation myself, but I’ve often thought about it. I know that’s where there would be no way back for me personally. I’ve seen married people cheating on their spouses … even going into new relationships with that as a base. How can you trust a person who was cheating on another in order to be with you?! Can you build a new marriage on other people’s misery?

This topic inevitably leads to the issue of  Forgive & Forget. That’s a huge topic and a rather philosophical one. ‘Forget’, you can’t of couse, unless you come down with amnesia, but you can move on, and ‘Forgive’ … well, yeah! up to a point. Who am I to judge, anyway?

The ‘Forget’-part is more about letting go. I’ve had a hard time with that … I’ve carried around a lot of anger, because I have a good memory. The person in question might not even remember the issue, so it was rather wasted. I was the only one dealing with all this anger, hurting myself instead of the one it should have been channeled towards.

For many years I felt hate [such a strong word I rarely use] towards my first husband, for reasons I won’t go into here. It would be too long a blog, but it’s a good example of letting go. After more than twenty years after our divorce, he found me on Facebook (!). He wrote me a message … asking how things were going and so on. I thought long and hard about whether to reply, but curiosity got the best of me so I did … telling him I was no longer in Sweden.

He answered back and told me he’d had a stroke so he was in a wheel-chair, had cancer in the lymphatic nodes, he was on chemo, his kidneys were shutting down «so I guess I got what I deserved!». That last part of the statement startled me … I saw the whole issue I’d had with him … how futile it seemed in the light of all this … and it felt like the weight of all that hate that I’d felt towards him was physically lifted off me! Not so much because of his being seriously ill and all that but because it was the first time he’d recognized that he’d even done something wrong.

This happened a year or two ago, I wrote about it in some other blog I had at the time, and I don’t know how he is today … if he’s alive or not. It sure made me stop and think! How much energy I’d wasted on all this hate, and how I really have to work on the ‘letting-go-concept’.

To sum up this post … I have a hard time being trusting again once the trust has been broken.


22 thoughts on “To recover lost Trust”

  1. Such a thoughtful post full of honesty on a difficult subject. My first husband, who is no longer alive, broke my trust also. But I didn't hate or wasn't even that angry, I think because I needed to leave anyway. It was time. Last summer I had a trust issue with a friend where she indicated she didn't trust me. Or maybe didn't trust my husband whom she doesn't even know. Too long to go into here, but it hurt me terribly. There was no reason for it and I am having a hard time letting go. And I have been able to let go of things that seem a lot worse than this. I guess it is the broken cup you put back together again. A Humpty Dumpty of a relationship. Thanks for this.

    1. Inger,
      Thank you! I like a subject like this every now and then. Since we're all here, blogging most every day, I thought 'why not share a little bit of myself?!'. It sounds like a really odd story you have there, as she didn't even know him! Interesting stuff 🙂 I had another one once, an 'online person', accusing me of being phony, but that whole story was so far-fetched so I just disregarded it. She had so many issues with herself and that's a good thing about the web … the DEL-key.

  2. Well written with thoughtful insights. The Throw Under the Bus incident lost a volunteer for the person and agency because I did not think I could trust again. I go and speak; do not feel angry but do not trust either.

    Thank you for the global perspective.

    1. Linda,
      I couldn't have either, in that case. In fact, that what I wrote about the first husband, was the one case where I'd actually felt anger/hate. It was truly liberating to get rid of it. As the years have gone by, I guess I've developed as a thinking person, and become better at ridding myself of feelings like that.

  3. I often say that I got the worst of both sides of my ancestry. I'm Irish and German. The Irish part of me hates quickly, and the German side hates forever. I try to work through this, but, it's very hard. I have lots of good examples of how not to be in my family, though, so that makes it easier to learn to let go of that hatred before it eats too deeply into you.

    1. Louise,
      Now, that you mention it, I start to think perhaps it's genetic too 🙂 I have lots of examples from my family history where people haven't been able to move on and instead allowed for hatred to hang on.

  4. I have been betrayed by a couple of friends. One I worked with. And her betrayal was the beginning of me deciding to quit work. It was devastating that someone I cared about and thought she felt the same could be so mean. With that issue, she should have come to me personally first. I have not forgotten but can be friendly when I see her, which is very rare. I never tried to keep the friendship up after I quit.

    A really close and dear friend told me something that was a lie. And he told me to see how far it would spread. I found out after only telling a couple of others, whom I quickly called. He did not tell me it was a secret so I was not betraying his confidence. When I found out the truth I was very hurt. I have never felt the same towards him. And never will. I have moved on but will never trust him ever. And I have never told him anything in confidence again.

    Never had it happen in my marriage. Not sure how I would feel. Or if there would be a way to forgive and move on with him. I just don't know.

    1. Julie,
      After that story, I wouldn't be able to have any confidence in this person either … what a story!
      I've often thought about cheating spouses, and doing some soul searching, I realize that I could never move on in such a case.

  5. This post must have been very difficult for you to write Rebekah, so you have my admiration for your honesty and bravery in opening yourself up to us.
    Hate can consume us if we let it, it's negative and destructive, and we can waste so much of our energy on it. Wouldn't it be wiser (and healthier), to use that energy on more positive things? Sometimes we just have to let go, but as you know, it's not always easy to forgive and forget.
    It's a shame your ex didn't admit he'd been in the wrong at the time of your parting. But at least now the weight has been lifted from you because of his admission, and you can put your energies to a more positive use, and learn to trust other people again – like you have with Gerry.

    1. Barb,
      Actually … no! 🙂 I like to write about stuff like this … perhaps more than the other posts. Over those twenty years, I wasn't consumed by hatred or anything, but as soon as I thought about him, that gnawing feeling of anger showed its face. In this particular case, he knew very well what he had done, but in other cases … if I were to bring it up, the other person wouldn't remember whatever I was talking about! And there, I'd spent all this time and energy being mad.

      I must say it has become so much better over the years. The more I've learnt to think about the concept of «letting go», the better it has become.

  6. I takes courage to be transparent and share like this. thank you for doing so. Letting go, releasing, is healing and transformative. As you say, the other person isn't thinking about you or the situation at all and here you (me) are investing all this energy in being angry and unforgiving. It's just not a good use of our life energy!
    walk in beauty.

    1. Joceline,
      We all evolve [hopefully] as the years go by, so I’ve learnt to think differently. It’s all good.

      Wonder if you got the same storm…?!

      1. it's what makes this journey so interesting, that we can change our thinking! Well, it tried to storm here, blizzard conditions for a couple of hours, with thunder, and then rain! The river has river about two feet overnight and it is cold and windy today. Oh Spring, where art thou?

  7. Key here : how much energy is wasted on the hating! It seems like once that really registers, it all drops away. It certainly does for me, who am old, and whose energy is on the wane, and therefore so precious I WILL NOT waste it if I can possibly avoid doing so.
    Good on you, Rebekah. You often write about things that are difficult but valuable.

    1. Judith,
      I too, can certainly use all whatever little energy I can muster up. It's so easy to talk about stuff like this … say all the right things about letting-go and all that, but then — to transform all these thoughts into action, that's a whole different story. Quite often I find that you say all kinds of wise things, or you think them, but to anchor them in your heart …that's the hard part.

  8. I'm not good at letting go… and I know that I have wasted too much time on trivial matters… I feel cheated with letting go…even though it is not a win win situation…

    Yeah, I need to learn that lesson… letting go

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