If you’re new to this series and haven’t read part 1, I suggest you stop here and start from the beginning. We’ve been focusing on the age-old relationship question, “Will this last?” by breaking down the answer into a series of more questions for you to draw that conclusion for yourself.
You might find that your answers aren’t as black and white as you’d hoped. But, is any relationship ever so straight forward? In my decades of coaching, I’ve helped clients answer this question enough to know that there may be some gray areas. However, be mindful of the majority of your answers to help you better determine, “Will this last?”
Here in part 5, we will examine the issue of trust.
Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who didn’t trust you? Can you remember constantly walking on egg shells? It seemed like no matter what you did to reassure them, they still had suspicions!
The reason for this is that your partner is looking for evidence to support the idea that you can’t be trusted. And a lot of times, whatever we look for we find. If I’m looking for evidence of committed love, everything that comes to my attention will validate my belief that my partner is committed and in love with me. But just the opposite is also true. If I’m looking for evidence of dirty dealings, everything that comes to my attention will bear that out.
Both trust and distrust develop and increase over time. If your relationship started on a foundation of distrust (maybe caused by their last or last few relationships) you might be better off cutting things short until your partner can deal with it, rather than spending your time working to gain a base level of trust that might not ever show up.
How do you know whether your partner really trusts you? Here are some easy questions you can use to determine if they ‘trust’ you:
1. Does he/she respect your boundaries? Believe it or not, your cell phone, your emails and your texts are just that; yours! They are your private property. You are not compelled to share what your receiving from anyone else.
And don’t ever fall for the old, “Well if you had nothing to hide, you would let me have complete access to all your communications with everyone else.” My wife has complete access to my cell phone all the time and she has never asked for it.
If your partner is overstepping boundaries on a hunt for evidence against you, your relationship probably won’t last.
2. Does he/she constantly question you about your activities? All you did was go out with your friends just like you’ve done a hundred other times. And the next day, you have to give a blow by blow of everything that occurred. Who did you talk to? Where did you go? Who ate what? What time did you get home? Who did you dance with? Did anyone hit on you? When are you going out with them again?
Having a relationship that requires all these questions will become tiring very quickly. After a while you’ll find yourself not wanting to go out simply to avoid the post-event questions. If you’re starting to feel like you’re in a relationship with the FBI, it probably won’t last.
3. Is he/she controlling? All good relationships have elements of both interdependence and independence. You don’t give up one for the other. Interdependence is a mutual reliance that exists between two independent people. Interdependence cannot exist when one is controlling, and the other is controlled.
Does your SO (significant other) put forth effort to manipulate and handle your money, your social life, your friends and family? Does her or she get angry when you have the audacity to make plans, even when he or she is invited? As your relationship develops, there will be some mutual dependence on each other, but when control takes over, that’s when you start to experience interdependence without independence. If you starting to feel as if rather than being with them you’d rather try to escape, it probably won’t last.
4. Do they try to smother you and your time? I have found that time away from my SO generates a longing for when we can be together. That’s probably because I have a pretty good degree of confidence that she feels the same way. I love those times when we can have some ‘Us’ time. But I wouldn’t want to give me my ‘Me’ time. It’s part of how I enjoy life. If you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed ‘Me’ time and feel as if they’re smothering you, it probably won’t last.
Distrust in a relationship plays itself out in a lot of ways. If your significant other has behaviors that include:
· Not respecting your boundaries
· Constantly questioning you about your activities
· Being overly controlling
· Trying to smother you and your time
· Putting down others that are a part of your life
I’m sorry to say it…It simply won’t last!
Stay tuned for updates on Part 6. If you need a relationship check-up based on these questions, schedule your initial consultation with me here.