This is so very true. And trust is such a huge component to any healthy relationship, whether it’s a family member, friend, or companion. Lack of trust leads to suspicion of any number of things such as questioning someone’s loyalty, commitment, faithfulness, intentions, motivations, actions, and so on. It can really drive a wedge between two people.
Some people are naturally suspicious and question the other person’s actions either because of their own prior experiences, beliefs, or insecurities. For example, my husband does not believe that a guy and a girl can be friends without one or both of them being physically attracted to the other. Even though I wasn’t giving him a reason to be suspicious, he automatically assumed there might be something going on between a particular guy friend of mine and me or at least that the interest was there, especially because it was someone I had a relationship with back in high school. I understand the natural suspicion because of the history, but it never mattered what I said or did, we were assumed guilty and he would snoop through emails waiting and hoping to gather some information to catch us in the act of something that was never going to happen. He would always claim that it wasn’t me he didn’t trust but my friend, which I never believed. I don’t think he ever really trusted me from the get-go because of whatever insecurities he had. He has been suspicious of EVERY guy friend I have ever had whether I had a previous relationship with them or not. So not only did the lack of trust itself play a major role in the demise of our relationship (technically we’re still married because of logistics but haven’t functioned like a married couple in many years), but all of his negative behaviors became worse when he was suspicious, which definitely pushed me away.
It’s funny though that when I was filling him in on a situation that our daughter was dealing with pertaining to another person, he was quick to say, “It’s like he doesn’t think a guy and a girl can be just friends,” as if anyone who thought otherwise was a moron. So I don’t know if his views have changed or whether he sees things one way when it pertains to him and another when it doesn’t. I just know that I don’t trust that he is not going to snoop through my things even at this point, and he probably still doesn’t trust me not because of anything I did or didn’t do.
Even in non-companion relationships, once a person has established a pattern of not being trusted, it is easy for someone else to make assumptions about that person that are negative. My sons tend to sneak things like books out of another’s room, candy, food, time on the computer or other electronics, etc. So when I hear the basement door open slowly, I am often quick to assume someone is trying to sneak computer time down there. Or if I hear the pantry door open or see my one son disappear quickly up the stairs, I am quick to assume that he probably just snuck some food or a book from his brother or maybe has his DS tucked away in his bedroom when he shouldn’t, and then I react accordingly. I am often right, but sometimes am wrong. If the pattern of behavior hadn’t been established though, I wouldn’t make those assumptions. I am not the only one in my immediate family who makes these assumptions either, as the rest of the family has seen the same patterns. So it’s important to act in a way that is trustworthy if you want people to trust you, especially since some people naturally don’t want to trust others to begin with even without factoring in the other person’s behavior. It’s also important to not be so quick to jump to conclusions and make assumptions, as I addressed in my last post titled “Jumping to Conclusions“.
If you have any thoughts to share on this topic, please feel free to click on “Leave a Comment” below the title to this post. You can easily read any or all previous posts by clicking on the “Home” page tab and scrolling through the topics, or you can search by clicking on a category or tag word or by using the search box to the left.