Trust is the endearing faith and confidence that your partner will respect you and not take advantage of or hurt you. It’s a feeling that he is genuine, authentic, dependable, and sincere. This connection allows you to be completely uninhibited and open yourself up to being vulnerable and share your most intimate thoughts and feelings—spots and all!
Time and experience with your man has enabled a climate of safety to evolve in your relationship because you’ve both consistently demonstrated honor and strength of character in your actions toward each other and those around you.
While trust takes time to develop and is a hallmark of a successful relationship, it can very quickly be damaged if not nurtured and cause severe consequences for the future of the partnership afflicted by an indiscretion. Once trust has been compromised, it can be very difficult to repair, and in some cases that damage can be irreversible. This article will offer some tips for those couples invested in bridging the gap and attempting to restore the impaired trust in their relationships.
The Shattered Foundation
All that a relationship has been built upon comes crashing down once trust has been violated, which is why it’s typically not a quick-fix and requires a lot of time and energy dedicated to its repair. Maybe he cheated on you. Perhaps you told him a white lie. He might have broken a promise to you. No matter how minuscule or severe the crime committed may seem, the dynamics and the sense of security the relationship once shared will likely be shifted.
Developing trust in someone can be made difficult when there’s been a history of emotional/verbal/physical abuse, when one’s feelings have been minimized or ignored, or when there’s unresolved grief or hurt from the past.
Your family background and prior experiences in relationships can also be contributing factors to difficulties with trust, as well as significant stress, low self-esteem, and addictions. Just the nature of being gay can make us prone to being mistrustful because of the years we spent hiding behind masks or “closet doors” to protect ourselves against homophobia.
When the man we fall in love with betrays that ultimate brotherhood bond, it can be devastating and lead to an almost paranoid state of always assessing his every move and action and becoming hypersensitive to any possible indication of disloyalty to compensate for and protect against getting hurt again. Intimacy suffers and the level of involvement tends to become distant.
( Part Two Tomorrow - "Tips For Rebuilding Trust" )
© Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, The Gay Love Coach
The suggestions and feedback offered in this column are but one perspective of multiple approaches to dealing with problems or challenges. Information provided in articles and advice columns should not be used as a substitute for coaching or therapy when these services are needed. None of this information should be your only source when making important life decisions. This information should not be used for diagnosing or treating a particular problem, nor should it take the place of a consultation with a trained professional. It is your responsibility to consult a professional prior to making any life decisions.
Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, contributing author to GAYTWOGETHER, is one of the leading love coaches for the gay community. As a licensed dating and relationship coach, Dr. Brian Rzepczynski, DHS, MSW has over 18 years experience as a psychotherapist and life coach specializing in helping GLBT individuals and couples develop and maintain successful and fulfilling intimate relationships. He holds a doctorate degree in human sexuality from the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality and a master’s degree in clinical social work from Western Michigan University. He also runs a successful private therapy practice, Personal Victory Counseling, Inc. http://thegaylovecoach.com