I know it seems that trust is supposed to be automatic. We see a new couple who appear happy and in love at the beginning of a marriage. They have a bright wide-open future in front of them. They say the words and we pray for them as they start a new life together. We often forget that they had lives before this new chapter. All we see are the smiles, promises, and love of the event. What happens when the couple wakes up a few months or weeks later when the shiny new starts to fade?
Trus doesn’t just happen. It is something you decide to do.
We, humans, are a selfish lot. It is in our DNA to strive for filling our needs first. We seek what we want and for what satisfies us before we give to others. We have to consciously choose to put others first. Marriage is work. Do not let anyone sell you that fantasy that love is all you need. Love is the foundation that trust, compassion, selflessness and other pieces to a healthy marriage is built upon.
When you come to a marriage with past hurt it makes a marriage even more work. It is easy to carry over that old response pattern of hurt to a new relationship. Without meaning to you can project that onto your new spouse or partner.
My past left me scared and damaged emotionally. I had been told for years that I was fat. I heard names and labels applied to me more than I heard my name spoken. I was not touched, hugged, or kissed for years by the one who was supposed to love me most. I was told that no one would want me.
Then I was ignored.
What that taught me was that I was not a priority. I did not matter. I was not important. I was not loved.
When I moved out of that relationship, I was left with was a distorted view of myself.
I was middle-aged, overweight and depressed. Who would want me? I resigned myself to being unlovable.
God had other plans.
When my husband found me, I had no sense of self-worth. My past left me with no self-esteem. I put on a good face for people in my life, however inside I hated myself.
My husband saw past that to who I really was on the inside. He was completely different. We work at marriage every day. We do not leave the survival of our marriage to chance. We as a couple make each other a priority. It is the little things that add up. We spend at least thirty minutes every morning and every night uninterrupted with each other. We put the other’s needs first. We never call each other names even teasing. I tell my husband how much a adore him. He calls me beautiful. He uses my name and not pet names or words that he could use for anyone. He says I am enough for him. I am all he needs.
For a long time, I did not believe him. I can see I am overweight. I can see the age lining my face and the sliver in my hair. I am not as I once was.
I would tell him, “You have love eyes. You do not see me as I am.” To which he replied, “I see you as you are and I love you.” I still did not believe him.
He and I promised to always be honest. I trusted everything else about him. Why couldn’t I trust when he said good things about me?
My brain said that I was not beautiful or worthy of love. It is easy to believe what I heard in my thoughts since I had heard them for so long.
It was ridiculous to think he was so loving and kind but spoke lies, so I decided that I would just trust what he said was true. I decided to respond in a manner as if I truly believed it. If he said I was beautiful, I replied with “Thank you.” I ignored the internal thought process in my brain that instantly replied, “No I’m not.” Trust is a decision, not an emotion. I decided to trust. It did not matter if I believed him or not. If he said it, it was true.
Soon something amazing happened.
Eventually, the voice of doubt in my head got quieter. Over time my self-confidence is coming back. I still have times where I don’t feel like I am worth love. On those days, I tell myself, if he says it, it must be true.
Listen, life is better when you give yourself permission to believe it when someone tells you that you are beautiful and loved.
It is as simple as making a decision and choosing to trust love.