Tag Archive | trust

Can You Totally Trust Your Partner?

Morning After Christmas Party

I often receive emails on the topic of trust so I think this might be a good time to talk about it. This is especially so as the Christmas season is upon us and for so many organisations this is also the time of the office Christmas party with potentially lots of alcohol and sometimes a little too much “merry”.

Trust, as defined in the dictionary, is the reliance of one person on another for honesty and sincerity in their relationship. Everything is open for discussion and, as a committed couple there is an expectation that as no subject is taboo then also there is an expectation that both of the couple will say what the truth is for them even when this might be hard to say.

So when we feel we cannot trust our partner, is that saying more about us or is it saying more about them?

My hunch is that maybe it says something about both of you.

Our distrust of another may well be about our own insecurities. While we might say we expect truthfulness from another we actually might find it difficult to be truthful ourselves and consequently not really believe that it is possible to get that from the other.

Alternatively it might be that if I have grown up with dishonesty, either between my parents or from my parents to me, then it is also more likely that I will be unsure about the ability of someone else to be totally truthful in their conversations with me.

The alternative of course is that your partner has already done something which was less than honest leaving you suspicious of their every word and action. If your relationship has come to this then you are in serious danger of losing your relationship unless you do something about it and quickly.

Where these two possibilities might intersect is at the place where, if you already have a distrust of your mate, then they actually might act upon it as they feel that they’re dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t.

What can you do about it?

If you feel that the issue is more about you then go and speak with a professional about it. You might benefit from doing some personal psychotherapy. In this case the therapist may explore some of your early life history to discover the past experience of your distrust.

The process would be similar if you are the one struggling to stay honest. The reason for this might also be discovered in exploring your past.

Once you know where it came from you can then do something about it.

If on the other hand you are married to someone who has behaved in such a way that no longer deserves your trust then you need to talk about it as quickly as possible either with your spouse or with a Couple’s Counsellor.

The Couple’s Counsellor will help both of you in articulating what your concerns are about hearing or telling the truth assisting you to communicate this to each other. This is because it is only in the truth that you will find true happiness and a promise that your relationship really can make it to become a long-term committed relationship.

If you don’t have access to a Counsellor try this exercise:

Make a time with each other to sit and talk. Choose one of you to have the entire stage first. You are “The Speaker”. That means that for whatever time you have chosen you get to speak without interruption other than for the other person clarifying what you are saying or to ask questions to help both of you get as clear a picture as possible about what it is “The Speaker” has chosen to speak about.

The other of you is “The Listener”. Your job is simply to listen. This must be without judgement or response in defence of yourself. That means that the other person can say whatever they want while you remind yourself that this is only their opinion even if you don’t agree with it.

And whatever you do, and whatever it is they say, just keep listening. And when I say listen I mean really listen: with your head, hour heart and your spirit as you just might be surprised at what there is to learn.

Try it one way and then next time you come together it will be the listeners turn to become “The Speaker” and the speakers turn to become “The Listener”.

This is what a real conversation is. As we speak and listen we will come to hear the truth and maybe even rediscover the trust that might have been lost making it once again the glue for a truly healthy, loving relationship.

Remember you were designed with two ears and one mouth for a reason!

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Can I Ever Trust Her Again?

Can I Ever Trust Her AgainPeople make mistakes. Sometimes people make big mistakes and sometimes people make mistakes that regrettably follow them for the rest of their lives. This week’s article is about whether when someone has made a mistake it is possible to ever trust them again.

The short answer is because everyone makes mistakes they should be given a second chance to redeem themselves.

This however has qualifiers – sometimes those mistakes are so big that they are unrecoverable.

So where is the cut-off point?

Maybe a more appropriate question would be to learn about the values that underpin a person’s actions. If those values are sound then it might be entirely appropriate to forgive and get on with it. And maybe this can only be discerned by looking at their behaviour overall rather than just one isolated behaviour.

Let me put this into an example.

Dale, not her real name, is engaged to Allan, not his real name either. Dale is committed to Allan and is looking forward to being married and all that comes with the promise of forever. Dale and Allan still live separately from each other though spend most weekends together. One Friday night Dale is out having drinks with some of her work colleagues as it is a regular Friday night activity. They all have had a few drinks and are enjoying each other’s company.

One of Dale’s male work colleagues makes a pass at her and she responds in an innocently flirtatious way. Finally the night comes to an end and everyone goes their separate ways except for Dale and the office flirt. On the pretence of escorting Dale to her car and realizing that maybe neither of them are fit to drive he offers to walk Dale home.

She accepts the offer and once there welcomes him in for a night-cap before he heads on his way. However one thing leads to another and the two end up sleeping together. Afterwards, when they are sober again, they are both remorseful and vow not to let it happen again.

Sometime later Dale tells Allan of the indiscretion. Needless to say Allan is shocked and disappointed and now unsure if Dale might do this again.

So is this enough of a violation for Allan to sever his relationship with Dale and to not go ahead with the marriage?

In truth only Allan can really answer this question as he now needs to decide whether this is too great a violation for him to be able to find forgiveness and move on. The questions that Allan may need to ask himself may include questions about whether this was indeed a single moment of thoughtlessness or is it a pattern that distinguishes Dale’s values from his own.

Allan may also need to determine the degree of the remorse insofar as whether Dale sees what she has done as indeed a slip or whether her value of monogamy is not as strong as Allan’s.

Allan might actually get more clarity about this by observing Dale’s parents and other family members and what their actions say about the value that they may have passed onto Dale regarding fidelity and trustworthiness.

If after discussions with Dale and a clear understanding of what it was that prompted the infidelity Allan can then make a good decision for their future together.

One thing that Allan should remember here is that it is his life he is making a decision on and this decision is for him to make alone with Dale. Everyone will have their own opinion but to ensure that neither Allan nor Dale should have any regrets they need to make any decision about their futures together for themselves and themselves only.

The other action which would be futile and negative to this relationship is to confront the office flirt who may or may not have taken conscious advantage of Dale. I hear so often people saying that the error was someone else’s. The truth is that we, like Dale, must all assume responsibility for our own actions, all of them.

So can we ever trust again after there has been an indiscretion?

After deciding that it was really only an indiscretion and not reflective of a regular pattern of someone’s way of being then maybe Allan should just move on if for no other reason then that people will make mistakes and everyone deserves to be forgiven so that life can be continued.

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”

Why Women Cheat?

Recently I was surprised to hear news of increasing number of websites promoting affairs. So it maybe a bit of a surprise to hear that men are not the only ones who cheat on their partners.  It is becoming more and more common for women to be guilty of cheating.

And while years ago a woman cheating on her spouse was unheard of more recently the number of women who enter into affairs and cheat on their spouse is growing exponentially.

However while women may be cheating as often as men, the reasons why women cheat are very different to the reasons why men cheat.

Men Cheat for Physical Reasons and Women for Emotional Reasons

Research is showing us that the principle difference between men and women cheating are that men often cheat for physical reasons while women often have emotional reasons for cheating on their partner.

The reasons why women cheat include loneliness, revenge, and boredom or as an attempt to raise their self-esteem.

A partner who becomes excessively involved with his work or some pastime may no longer make time to spend with his partner. This often results in the woman feeling as if she is all alone. So if a woman is not receiving the attention she feels she deserves in a relationship, she may be tempted to seek that attention elsewhere and become involved in an affair.

Loneliness has amazingly become one of the primary reasons that women seek out affairs and cheat on their partner. Although it sounds contradictory that they should feel lonely while being in a relationship, it is because that relationship has simply become emotionally unfulfilling.

Revenge has also become a growing factor in why women cheat. The modern woman is no longer willing to sit back and accept the fact that their partner may cheat on them. If a woman confirms or even just holds a suspicion that her partner is cheating on her, she may be driven to engage in an affair of her own as an act of revenge.

An Eye for an Eye

They may be extremely hurt by their partner’s actions and seek a way to hurt them in the same way.

Boredom may also factor into why women cheat. Their current relationship may have fallen into a rut and lost the excitement that it possessed in the early stages of its existence. They may feel that their relationship has become dull and predictable so rather than trying to bring excitement into their current relationship they may pursue affairs in the hopes of rediscovering the excitement they felt when they first became involved with their partner.

While an affair may bring about a temporary solution of making the woman feel excited about love again it may ultimately destroy both their current relationship as well as their cheating relationship.

An affair is exciting not only because it involves a relationship with a new person but also because it involves sneaking around and ultimately getting away with doing something wrong.

To many women this is very exciting and they are willing to risk losing their relationship over the affair.

Another reason why women cheat is a lack of self-esteem. Women may feel that they are not getting an adequate amount of attention from their partner and they may be tempted to cheat to confirm that they are still attractive and desirable.

Being found desirable by another compensates for the lack of appreciation they feel from their partner which helps to boost their self-esteem. While women with a healthy self-esteem are more likely to remain happy in a relationship, and do what needs to be done to find it, those who lack self-esteem may be more driven to cheat on their partners.

So if you are finding yourself lonely, bored or feeling like your self-esteem is failing you think twice before embarking on an affair. Maybe there is a better way out. This might be to seek some counselling and then to find a way to confront your partner about what it is you’re experiencing.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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How to Create a Happy Marriage?

Happy couple embracing and laughingSome of the issues that disrupt a relationship can include a history of stereotyping or mistrust, blaming the other person for the difficulties that will and do arise, excluding or discounting the other’s feelings when focusing on a task, having no clear and defined objectives as well as where roles and expectations of each person in the relationship are undefined or not defined clearly.

Relationships are often seen as fragile requiring huge effort to maintain. However, a relationship can also provide a safe haven for you to be and can be long-lasting despite the potential pitfalls.

Creating a happy and lasting relationship can be achieved in several ways:

Society may be seen as a web of relationships, which requires all members to work and contribute their share in order to achieve a common goal. Having a relationship that is happy, where cooperation and respect are valued, simply makes the whole society work better.

This can only be achieved when all those involved work well together and for relationships it’s no different.

Happy relationships are defined by you and your partner openly expressing your feelings and perspectives on all matters relevant to the relationship. Assuming that your partner understands your needs and gives without your asking for it is neither realistic nor desirable. What happens if they get it wrong?

The easiest way to understand what is important to your partner is to ask them what they want and listen to what they have to say. This might mean putting aside your own wants for the time being. You will get your turn to speak as well.

The benefit here is that when the they realize they are being listened to they are more likely to feel the importance given to them which frees the way for them, in turn, to be more open to what you have to say.

Understand first and only then act on each others feelings and perspective.

Another key to a happy relationship is respect. You show respect by listening to your partner and by trying sincerely to understand how they function. You can also show respect to each other by confirming that they are doing everything they can.

The opposite of respect is being too quick to form judgements based on unfounded facts and prejudices.

Respect is really the foundation for a great relationship. This also means respecting yourself as well as respecting the other.

And yet another key area in creating a happy relationship is to tackle the differences between you immediately.

Work towards a win-win solution for both parties.

This can be done when both of you acknowledge that the relationship is important. That each of you is willing to exert the time, effort and energy necessary to understand the each other’s perspective and needs, and work at it until it is resolved.

Effectively listening and no pre-judging are important if you are to really understand each other.

Informal discussions from time to time are also beneficial for ongoing good will with each other. They bring out issues and concerns comfortably. You also feel more relaxed allowing you to think more clearly and maybe come up with some resolutions that you might not have been able to come up with when dealing emotionally with an issue in the heat of the moment.

Develop an atmosphere where each of you can express your feelings when needed.

When people fail to express whatever is on their mind or their feelings about an incident that has happened, it can get in the way of building an effective relationship.

Relationships are important to everyone, addressing issues and problems right away is a must to further improve your relationship and to creating the happy relationship that you want.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Is It In His Kiss?

Many of you are asking ‘how to …’ questions so in this week’s article/blog I have selected ten of the most common ‘how to’s …’ to answer. These are just my thoughts so do go to the comments link and add your own.

  1. How Do I Know he/she Loves Me?
  2. How Can I please Him?
  3. How Do I know he means it?
  4. How can I make him happy?
  5. How do I know what women want most in a relationship?
  6. How do I prove I love her?
  7. How do I let her know I love her?
  8. How do I know it will last forever?
  9. How do I show him I love him?
  10. How do I know if I can trust her?

The song written by Rudy Clark in 1964, and made famous by Cher in 1991, titled ‘It’s In His Kiss’ may answer some of these questions. Here are the lyrics:

kiss on the stepsDoes he love me?
I wanna know!
How can I tell if he loves me so?
(Is it in his eyes?)
Oh no! You need to see!
(Is it in his size?)
Oh no! You make-believe!
If you wanna know
If he loves you so
It’s in his kiss!
(That’s where it is!)

(Oh yeah! Or is it in his face?)
no girls! It’s just his charms!
(In his warm embrace?)
no girls! That’s just his arms!
If you wanna know
If he loves you so
It’s in his kiss!
(That’s where it is!)
yeah!! It’s in his kiss!
(That’s where it is!)

Oh, oh, oh, honey !
Squeeze him tight!
Find out what you wanna know!
promise love, and if it really is,
It’s there in his kiss! …

Is it really in his kiss, or in his eyes or face or arms? Or is it in none of these? Does this song really sum it all up or is there more to it.

Well, I think there is a whole lot more to it. And if you think the answers are to be found anywhere outside of the relationship, I think that you might also be looking in the wrong place.

So if the answers are not in their kiss, and not out there, where are they?
I’ll answer that question in a moment. Let me firstly say this: What these kinds of questions echo for me is that either you’re not asking the right questions or you just don’t trust yourself, or your intuition, enough to believe that what you’re hearing is the truth, or that they are actually lies.

Or maybe you’re just not asking any questions at all out of fear of what you’ll hear or worse, that you might get an outright rejection. Maybe this is because you’re not yet sure enough about your own love; either of the other or of yourself or do not have an absolute belief that you are worthy of love. What happens then instead is that you try to guess what’s really going on or hope that someone else may be able to help with the answers.

Maybe the issue here is really about trust: Trust of yourself to know the truth when you hear it and/or trust of the other to believe that what they are saying will answer your questions truthfully.

So where do you find the answer to these questions? Ask the person who really should be answering them. The truth really is there, and is plain to see when you open yourself to it. Be brave – ask the questions you really want to know the answers to and trust that he or she will answer you honestly. Then look into your own heart to determine if the response actually is the truth: If it is you’ll know it. If it’s not or you still are not sure maybe this person is not the one you should commit yourself to.

If, after getting the answers to your questions you feel sure about the answers then kiss him or her often and take the time to make it heartfelt. Show him or her through your kiss that you truly love them. The only question I have for you then is ‘how could they not love you forever?’

So until next time – Relate with Love

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How to Make an Affair Work for You

Couple talkingOne of the most hurtful events of a relationship is when someone is discovered having an affair.

Generally one of three things happens when someone discovers that their spouse has been cheating on them.

1. The affair is ignored. This may mean that the affair continues but nothing changes in the relationship. This is often because the party being cheated on just doesn’t want to ‘rock the boat’ for fear of what might come of it.

2. Sometimes one or other of the couple decides that they can no longer be in the relationship and so the relationship ends.

3. Ideally the affair stops. The old relationship discontinues and a new relationship begins.

Whether the relationship ends or not, some serious losses will be experienced. Losses can be physical or symbolic and may include:

• Loss of trust

• Loss of security

• Loss of hope/dreams

• Loss of faith

• Loss of intimacy and affection

• Loss of self-esteem

Sometimes it is these losses, over and above the affair, that pulls the couple apart and sounds the death knell for continuing the relationship.

If the third option is the case the challenge then is for the non-offending spouse to overcome these losses and find trust again for the other person. This is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome.

The Way Forward

The way forward then is to take the time with your spouse to talk about all these issues and to realign them with a new way of being.  More than anything for a relationship to make it through there needs to be forgiveness: forgiveness of each spouse of themselves and of each other for the part they played in the affair.

And yes, as hard it sounds, even the non-offending spouse might need to look at their part in causing the affair. In saying this I don’t mean to imply that the offending party should be absolved of what they have done. They must take full responsibility for the hurt they’ve caused but, as I’ve said before, the reason this affair has happened is because there was something amiss in the relationship to start with. For this both spouses need to assume responsibility.

To help you both along the way it might be useful to start a journal. Express all your thoughts and feelings in this journal; the good, the bad and the downright ugly. And besides making the time to talk about what happened there might also need to be some new, if only temporary, rules put into place regarding letting each other know where you are and what you’re doing and how long that will be. This can be the only way forward if trust is going to be re-established.

And by the way the spouse who decides the ultimate outcome of the affair will be the non-offending spouse not the one who cheated. Your role is to just grin and bear it, as this is the consequence of having erred. If there is enough love and a renewed commitment and trust you will find a way to reconnect. For both of you don’t be in a hurry. It will take as long as it takes.

Sometimes all this might seem too hard to do on your own and you might need some professional help. Take that help even if you don’t yet know what you should do now that the affair has been exposed. Counselling will help you find your way through the mess to then be able to make a clear decision to either leave the relationship or to recommit. It’s only as you come to make this decision that you can start to move forward.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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