Being a Man a Woman Can Trust
Sooner or later, trust becomes an issue in just about any relationship regardless of roles or gender. For now, let’s look at trust in romantic relationships. Let’s explore the possibilities of intentionally creating trust and rebuilding it if it gets damaged. Both men and women are equally afraid of being controlled, dominated, or betrayed. Do you ever wonder why that is so or how you can avoid this kind of pain?
Real trust is hard won and easily lost. Trust can be whittled away little by little with small transgressions, as in failure to keep promises with no acknowledgment or apology, only excuses; or all at once as in an affair.
When trust is gone a relationship begins to die. People end up just going through the motions of being in relationship. Love and connection withers. Emotional connection dries up. Communication suffers, becoming stilted and mechanical, concerned mostly with the logistics of life. Eye contact becomes fleeting and uncomfortable.
Trust is to relationships as gas is to automobiles. You can sit in a car all day long, but if there is no gas in it, you aren’t going anywhere. You can stay in a relationship as long as you want, but if there is no trust in the relationship, it isn’t going to go anywhere, either.
Our first breach of trust usually occurs in childhood with our parents who, in all likelihood, are carrying some emotional baggage of their own. This baggage is bound to assert itself into their relationships with their children to some degree. Lack of trust usually shows up in our adult romantic relationships when we are struggling for love or power.
Before we let ourselves open to deep trust there is a part of us testing to see if it is safe. It is so automatic, many of us aren’t even aware when we are doing it. We are trying to avoid pain. And paradoxically, sometimes the ways we avoid being hurt actually assures that we will be.
I can say that I have not always been trustworthy. I have hurt people I loved and cared about. And I have also been hurt by people I trusted who let me down. My attitude was, “That’s the way it goes, that’s just how it is.” My own struggle with trust was a constant source of anguish and confusion.
As a young man I was inspired by my father who was a wise spiritual teacher. He sparked in me a fervent yearning to live from my own true, spiritual nature. That, combined with a series of profound mystical experiences, launched me on a spiritual quest. I read lots of books. I meditated. I studied with wisdom keepers.
But, I felt a huge gap between my spiritual work and my “real life” relationships. Still, I was driven to make sense of it all and to become an awakened, open hearted, relationship savvy man sharing my life with a partner I trusted and adored.
I was married twice between the ages of 19 and 25 and was completely unprepared for deep commitment. Any romantic notions I might have had about committed relationships were quickly dispelled by the depth of emotional drama and trauma that ensued. I was so out of my depth, I literally had no idea what was going on to produce the confusion, pain, and blame I was caught in. I felt like a complete failure and soon found my life turned upside down with the wreckage of two divorces behind me.
Then something happened that began to turn my life right side up! I was introduced to a group of people who combined spiritual work with deep emotional clearing. I had two male mentors take me under their wing and help me confront the pain and guilt I was carrying from some ignored aspects of my childhood. They helped me see unconscious patterns that were being played out in my marriages. And they taught me some techniques that could change it all.