Trying to Trust Through the Fear

31 Jul

Trust is such a difficult thing for me for a number of reasons.  One is because of my personality.  I’m a very type-A, get things done kinda girl.  I’m usually firmly in the camp of “if you want something done right, do it yourself.”  My husband’s sex addiction and affair don’t do anything to help my trust.  His lying habit virtually demolished any vestiges that remained.

Despite all of that, I have come to realize that I can’t go through life without trust.  I can’t be in this marriage without being vulnerable, without giving up some control.  I have to trust him with some things, whether I really want to or not.  Whether I feel 100% confident that he will follow through and do it in a way that I would have or not…  Cue stomach knots.

I am now working on my codependence issues and learning to let go of things that aren’t in my control.  It is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  How do you all do it?  What keeps you trusting?  What helps you reassure yourself that it won’t be the end of the world no matter what happens?  How do you keep your hope?  I really want to know.

Being in this community is so rewarding because I get to connect with so many people, hear their stories, get support, and gain understanding of myself and what we are all going through in one form or another.  Reading blogs gives me a fresh perspective, challenges me, and makes me really ponder things.  At the same time, I see and hear so much disappointment, pain, fear, and oh so many lies.  It is disheartening.  Sure, there are lots and lots of stories of hope and healing.  Still, those painful ones really stick around in my gut.

Those thoughts ping around in my head and make this struggle to trust so much more difficult.  Especially after nights like last night.  Mr. Mess and I are fine – great even – so don’t worry about that.  It’s just that disappointment crept in, slowly but surely.  I was able to support a friend, but not in the way I had hoped.  Our carefully laid plans (so we thought) were blown out of the water.  I could feel how despondent she was, and there was really very little I could do about it.  I didn’t have any control over the situation, the outcome, or her feelings.

I wanted to, because boy do I hate seeing someone I care about in pain.  But I had to let go of that desire.  I had to just be there.  Just listen.  Just be supportive by caring – not by controlling the situation in any way.  I had to remind myself that I didn’t fail.  That I wasn’t the cause of the disappointment, I couldn’t have changed anything, and just being there was enough.  Even though I couldn’t have done anything to fix her situation, that was my utmost desire.

I wish I had a magic wand that could solve all of the problems in the world.  That is such fantasy-land thinking, though.  I have to let go of it.  I have to just do what I can do and be content in the knowledge that even a glimmer of normalcy, fun, comfort, validation or care does make a difference.  Small things can matter a lot.  I know that has been true for me.  Seeing that “Like” on my post, getting a response – positive or negative, just knowing that there are people out there that care enough to take time out of their day to read what I have to say, and then offer their thoughts…  Those things are huge in a way that is hard to describe.

But trusting that things will work out?  That is tough.  Trusting that I really am enough – no matter what happens – seems nearly impossible.  I have this internal battle going on inside.  It is between what I know in my head and what I fear.  Those fears, some irrational and some completely possible (maybe even probable), well up inside of me.  The urge I have is to freeze, to let them paralyze me.  I am fighting it with all that I have.  Because the reality is that I will be fine.  I am strong.  I am capable.  I am worthwhile.  I have to trust my own decision to trust (twisty I know), because that is the only way to defeat my fears.

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21 Responses to “Trying to Trust Through the Fear”

  1. shawn8811 July 31, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Great post!! I do not do vulnerable well either! It goes against every instinct I hold dear! I went from trusting FWH completely, to barely knowing what to believe anymore. A 180 like that will make your head spin for a long time.
    I’m so grateful for the blogs and message boards that offer support, compassion and empathy. Without those, I am fairly certain I’d be a single woman by now.
    Hope & Hugs, Shawn

    http://ayearaftertheaffair.blogspot.com/

    • beautifulmess7 July 31, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

      Yeah, it really does make your head spin. I don’t want to trust blindly (never again!!!), but I can’t just stop trusting him completely about everything. It’s just not possible to live and be sane that way.

  2. forgivingforme July 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    I know how you feel. I also feel I have to trust in somethings or it will all eat away on us and propell our relationship to its end. All I know is that my trust has now come at a price, it takes away all the naive hope and dreams I had for our future.
    It takes away all the things that came for “free” before, such as blind faith, trust and openness. I now am in the moment with him, but I no longer talk about our future or plan things too far in the future. This because I am with him on a day to day basis. I will not promise a tomorrow,before I see that he is keeping his word this time. Our advantage is that we are not marrried, so I can basically leave whenever I want. I keep my options open. I stay faithful but I don’t do more than he does anymore. I don’t manipulate either. If he asks he gets an honest answer, wether he likes it or not. I keep myself busy and work on being independent. I am with him – for now.

    Like Samantha in SATC said: I love you, but I love me more.

    • beautifulmess7 July 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      That’s so true. I love you, but I love me more. What a great philosophy!

      The naive trust is over for sure. The trust that I do give now is done so with great effort on my part (and continues through great effort on his).

  3. Ariella July 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    I still have yet to learn how to trust. I find myself saying all the time, “I just have to trust him”. How do you do that? The truth is, I trust John when I am around him, but as soon as he is out of my sight, my mind starts wondering and I am sick to my stomach. I also find myself saying “I don’t want to live like this.”

    Trusting after what we have been through is very difficult. Please, if anyone finds out how to just trust, let me know because everything I am trying is not working. . .

    • beautifulmess7 July 31, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

      I know the feeling you are describing exactly. In my case I had it the most right before DDay. When he was around everything felt wonderful – all was right with the world. I would chastise myself for ever doubting him. Then almost as soon as he was gone the feelings of paranoia and misgiving would return full force. Of course, I realized I should have been listening to my intuition more back then.

      I think the funny thing about trust is that it is earned just as much as it is given. The more he does what he says he is going to do, the more he is honest and open without prompting, the more he says the right thing at the right time or “gets it,” the more relaxed I can feel trusting him. The more he pays the bills on time, balances the checkbook right, and makes sure our bidget is correct the less I feel the need to double-check. The more responsible, positive decisions he makes about his own recovery the more my hope grows.

      The tough days – when everything around me is crumbling, when I’ve had a bad day, when I get discouraged, when something unexpected happens to someone I’m close to – are when I find it the most difficult to call on that “reserve” of positive emotions. It’s those days – when I feel like every man is a dog because of the hurt one has inflicted on a friend – that take the little extra “something” to find the trust.

      I’m working on it one day at a time.

      • Ariella July 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

        Im trying to work on it too. Please, if you figure it out let me know! I hate living like this. . .

  4. Castimonia July 31, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

    Trust is something that needs to be earned, through actions, not words. For my wife to trust me again, I needed to show that I was committed to a life of recovery, take polygraphs, meetings, counseling, etc…

    Even after all of the above, she still doesn’t trust me 100%, and that is ok. She has no reason to trust me 100%, my past actions have proven so. Trust is like a piece of paper that has been wadded up into a ball then pulled back out and laid flat. No matter how much one tries, it will never be the same again. But that too, is ok.

    • beautifulmess7 July 31, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

      You know what? I read that quote earlier today and it has stuck in my mind. I will never have 100% trust again. It will never be “shiny and new.” Like you said, though… that’s okay.

      Maybe I like paper with a little character! Would I trade that for the pristine piece of paper? Maybe not. I know that sounds weird because I would SOOOO love to trade out the affair and sex addiction. The truth is, though, that isn’t possible. And that “new” piece of paper before wasn’t really new. It was covered with invisible ink. The real truth was hidden, but it was there all along. I would much rather see an imperfect image fully than be fooled by a false one.

      • Castimonia August 1, 2012 at 8:55 am #

        What an awesome comment and analogy, if you don’t mind, I will use it in my recovery group.

  5. hiddinsight July 31, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    I know that the most amazing gift my husband gives me every day is that he trusts me. It’s a miracle really. And his confidence in me keeps me on the straight path :) I want to be that person that he knows I am…

  6. emotional tornado July 31, 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    I don’t think I can ever really trust WH again, maybe not even others. I find myself saying what the character Dr. House said, “Everybody lies.” I don’t think I always lie but I sure second guess everything around me, especially WH. I’m always going over the tiny details in my head looking for discrepancies. When I think I might have found one, it goes to panic attack.

    This stuff really messes us up, huh?

    • beautifulmess7 August 1, 2012 at 8:41 am #

      I, too, am a House fan. I think his quote is more accurate than not. Which is pretty sad to me.

      Yeah… This stuff really does mess us up.

  7. Caroline August 1, 2012 at 3:06 am #

    Learning to trust again is the tough one – but definitely possible.

    You might find this book interesting:

    http://www.surprisedbylove.com/

    I wish you all the luck in the world and hope you’ve found a good Relationship Coach to help you both. The one I went to was brilliant – sadly too late to save my marriage (as you’ve probably read on my blog) but helped me no end to refocus on my future.

    Caroline
    x

  8. Elsie August 1, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    I’ve already given my blind trust to my husband and it was ruined. Now, a year and a half after DDay, my husband has more trust from me than he had one month after DDay, or six months after DDay but he’ll never have my full trust again. He knows that and while he isn’t happy about it, he understands he is responsible for destroying it. It is no longer something I worry about on a day to day basis, it’s something that may pop up from time to time and we both deal with it when I have a trigger and work through it together as a team. I think time has helped me rebuild my trust in him along with his actions and his behaviors.

  9. DQueenWannabe13 August 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    I once proudly announced that I didn’t trust anyone 100% and I never would.
    Then someone said “thats really sad”.

    It was a simple statement and comment and it struck me. It made me realise how wrong I was to be proud of trying to guard myself from anything that would hurt me. Because that person was right; living life without trust would be a very sad life to live.

    I, like you and others, am trying to find the balance between being vulnerable and open and being strong and guarded.

    • beautifulmess7 August 2, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      I know what you mean. I can’t trust blindly. I won’t trust someone as my immediate response anymore. However, going through life completely guarded is not the right choice, either. I am trying to find a middle ground between naive and jaded.

  10. Our Journey After His Affair October 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I guess I never commented the first time I read this.

    But it was in your sidebar/widgets area as I was reading your most recent post and I think it was something I needed to read again.

    We really do have a lot in common as far as our personalities and coping mechanisms.

    You wrote this in the comment above mine^^ “However, going through life completely guarded is not the right choice, either. I am trying to find a middle ground between naive and jaded.” Meeee, too! It’s freakin’ tough.

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