Trust – A Balancing Act

Suspicion is your birthright.” (Miller, 2020)

As I work with children and adults who have been abused, I wonder how it feels to have suspicion as your birthright, your normal go to mentality. I was a panelist for a church youth discussion on sexuality recently. One of the questions that arose was, “If your boyfriend checks your phone, does it mean he loves you?”

Now, I believe in personal freedom. I believe that people have the right to choose. And I believe that people are essentially good.

Way too often, I see children, adults, people living into the expectations that have been laid upon them. So, I prefer to err on the side of goodness as so many people do, and respect and trust the other. After all, isn’t it tiring to live with all that suspicion?

But when you’ve been abused, when you don’t feel pretty – even though people tell you that you are. Inside you feel unworthy. Trust is a hard game to play.

And then (s)he cheats, or steals from you or breaks a confidence – you are torn right open. You feel hurt, wounded, raw. You feel traumatized all over again.

Deep soul searching is needed before you can heal. Take the time. Love yourself enough to stop. Feel the feelings. Process them. Grieve for what was, what could have been.

Broken relationships teach us that our judgement is flawed. “How could we have been fooled?”, we wonder. But that is not true. Your judgement is not flawed. You just happen to be human. Learn to trust yourself.

Interesting dynamics are intertwined in human relationships. Will being continuously suspicious make your relationship better?

To the young person’s question, “No”, checking your partner’s phone or email does not denote love. So, ask yourself, why are you feeling tempted to breach the other’s privacy? Why is he breaching yours? Maybe there are hidden rocks in the relationship that you need to unearth.