“How can I be sure to trust again?”
This is the question we fear answering the most. Fear that having the courage to ask might make us question our investment in a relationship, our willingness to put up with suffering, our willingness to give up what we think we want.
The fear of the question is familiar — it’s the fear that follows us into our lives like a shadow — it consumes and erodes our confidence and our self-worth. It makes us feel like we’re broken or that our partners have failed us.
Yet, despite the fact that we fear the question, we must ask it — we have to have faith in ourselves and the trust will only happen if we ask it. The question we ask is the answer we get.
The Question I Was Afraid to Ask
I’ve been with my partner for almost five years now. I’ve been with him for a period of time before the start of our relationship, but it was never a regular part of our relationship. It never felt like we lived in a unified unit or that we had a deep connection.
We often spoke in metaphors and I thought that we spoke alike. I trusted him and he in turn trusted me. I thought we had a similar mind-set and that we shared the same goals.
I asked this question over and over again and it never made sense to me. I asked my therapist the same question and she suggested that maybe I was naive and that he didn’t truly trust me.
After all, I thought it was normal to talk about the things that we did and didn’t do. I thought that what we did and didn’t do was normal. It just meant that we were together and that was it.
It’s this quote from Warren Buffett that I’ve been using ever since:
“When you don’t trust yourself, you can’t trust anyone else.”
My problem was that I didn’t trust myself. I worried about everything that I did, every hobby that I had, every relationship that I was in. I worried about everything that I thought I could have done differently to make it not work.
I was always afraid that I could be the reason my partner wasn’t able to trust or like me as much anymore. I had to start trusting myself and finding other ways to be in touch with my emotions and my receptiveness to receiving love.
The question I was afraid to ask was: “How can I be sure to trust again?” What did that even mean?
I finally asked the question and to my surprise, it gave me the answer I was looking for. I realized that I was actually able to be confident in my relationship even when I wasn’t able to trust myself. I was just not receiving the love that I should be receiving because of that fear I had.
From that experience, I was able to stop worrying so much about whether my partner liked me or not and just love me for who I am. I started waking up every day and doing things that make me happy. I started doing the things that I thought would make me feel more secure in my relationship.
I asked myself: “How can I be sure that my partner likes me?” And then the question started making sense to me. I asked my partner the same question and he gave me the same answer. We were now in a relationship of two individuals working towards the same goal.
We started seeing a therapist who focused on our emotional intimacy, which is what we both talk about when we talk about what we like and don’t like. We started being more open and honest with each other. My partner started coming to me for a therapy session when he was upset or when his anxiety started to flare up.
That took the pressure off of me to feel that I was “perfect” and I started feeling comfortable in my own skin again. I felt confident in who I am and I started feeling loved. I started seeing a specialist because I was suffering from extreme anxiety and depression. He prescribed medication that helped me sleep better at night and boost my energy levels. I was stable again.
I hope that you will take the effort to trust yourself and open up to your partner when you’re in the midst of a rough time. Don’t let someone else do it for you. The best thing you can do to protect yourself against being taken advantage of is to be open and honest with your partner about what’s going on.
If you’re open about your emotions with your partner, you’ll be safer when you both feel comfortable and secure with your relationship.
If you’re not open about your emotions, your relationship will eventually become uncomfortable. When you don’t trust yourself or you’re not able to open up, your relationship will eventually become uncomfortable.
If you’re not comfortable trusting yourself, you’ll end up taking on all of the emotional responsibility for your relationship. Your partner will have to pull back sometimes.