People often ask me how, after being lied to and manipulated, I found trust again in my relationship with Adi. Trust is not easy to come by and in any relationship it can make or break you. Trusting a friend, family member and partner is even more difficult to achieve when the things creating it have been broken. Difficult, but not impossible.
If you haven’t read about our history, read an article here that recaps most of it.
I wanted to take the time today to share some tangible steps to rekindling your trust and more important, your love.
BOUNDARIES. Boundaries are an incredible way to communicate your needs, which also give your partner a chance to prove him/herself. If he/she has cheated or lied to you, they need a safe space to work in. Our boundaries are ever-evolving and changing. In the beginning, boundaries with Adi were very restricted, so much so that he couldn’t speak to other women, have friends that were women or go out for drinks with male friends. Over time, as he proved himself by continuously telling the truth and live within the boundaries made me trust him (slowly) and feel safe. Now you wouldn’t believe the boundaries we have in place and how free we are. It’s truly a miracle, but we continued to show up to each other and the work, and here we are!
COUPLES THERAPY/GROUPS. I can’t say enough about healing and therapeutic connection. From individual therapy, to couples therapy, to therapy groups, we did it ALL and continue to maintain a healthy attendance. Adi went to a therapist several hours a week when everything first fell apart. We also went to a couples therapist and I saw an individual therapist. Find someone you really love. If you can’t afford therapy, find something in your community that’s more affordable. For the first 4 years we saw a sliding scale therapist and on average we paid about $40 a session (significantly less than most therapists). You can also connect with other people in your community going through similar issues. If you like 12 steps, there are tons of supportive 12 step groups out there. If you don’t, there are tons of other types of amazing groups that will be practically family by the time you’re finished.
TIME. Time is something we can’t control and always wish we could speed up. Several times in my journey with Adi I would say, “Okay, I trust you! I’m not jealous anymore!” and try and will myself into believing I was okay. I WASN’T OK. I wasn’t ready. And you can’t fake it! Focus on the first two steps, and as you continue to engulf yourself into the work together, you will find that time is passing and you feel slightly better. Week by week, month by month, you will be growing closer and more connected. You will have a new relationship that looks way different than when you started, and that’s a good thing.
BONUS: ABSOLUTE transparency and willingness from your partner. WHATEVER it TAKES. And I mean, WHATEVER IT TAKES. It may seem insane or crazy but if it makes you feel better and makes you feel like you know deep down what your partner is saying is true, then make it happen. Example: FaceTime set on an iPad when traveling in a hotel room; having locations set on his/her phone so you know their constant whereabouts; telling the other about thoughts as well as real flirtations or encounters with others. This can be really triggering for people initially and feels really scary but I promise you, time after time, it will get easier.
Feel free to leave any and all questions below to encourage conversations within this beautiful community.
If you’d like to connect with me on any of the above, please reach out on any of my social media channels. I may not get back to you immediately, but I will listen and help as best as I can. Follow me on Facebook for more on how I navigate my relationships with my friends, kids, and husband.