The topic of “Trust” has been brought up a lot recently with my clients, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts with you too. I work with mostly women who have experienced betrayal trauma in their intimate relationships. So this idea of trust is talked about a lot in the coaching I do.
Trust is a deeper concept that I bring to my clients after we have been working together for a few weeks, but I think you are ready for it. So here it is: The FEELING of “Trust” can only come from within yourself. I’ll say that again: there is no way for another person to make you FEEL anything. All of your FEELINGS come from your own THOUGHTS. All of them, even trust! When your partner does something, it is neutral until you have a thought about it. All feelings you feel come from within your mind. That means, if you want to be in a trusting relationship, you create that with your thoughts. In other words, the sentences in your brain are what create your feelings.
You are not alone if you are wanting to scream “No! My partner has to change their behavior in order for me to trust them again!! THEY BROKE my trust and THEY have to FIX it.” Don’t worry, you can yell that at me like some of my clients, it’s ok. And it makes sense if you are thinking that. That is a common belief in society today. (A belief is actually just a thought you have thought so many times that it has become an automatic thought/belief.)
When I say that the feeling of trust is created in your mind, that also means that the feeling of distrust is created there too. Don’t worry–I’m not blaming you for your partner’s actions–I’m here to help you understand how to truly hold them accountable, and how to rebuild trust in such a way that it can never be broken again.
Boundaries help a lot with this. If you feel trust when your partner tells you where they have been and shows you everything they do on social media, it’s because you have a THOUGHT that that is what trusting partners do. So you can set a boundary in your relationship that you and your partner both do those things. However, the important part about boundaries is that YOU be willing to enact the consequence if the boundary is not followed. A boundary is an if/then statement for YOU.
For instance, this might be your boundary for the above scenario. “If you don’t share your social media accounts with me, I will not date you.” Or “If you are an hour late getting home and you don’t tell me ahead of time where you are, I will not sleep in the same bed as you.” “If I discover you have lied to me, I will do whatever I need to to feel safe again, including distancing myself from you.” Or “If you sleep with someone else, I will leave the relationship for good.” Those are a few examples of possible boundaries.
The most important part of the boundary is not what is said, it is your ability and accountability to yourself to follow through with the consequences you’ve set. If you want help setting and keeping boundaries, I am here, and happy to help you!
The question that almost always comes up when clients are talking to me about boundaries is this, “Do I have to tell my partner my boundary beforehand?” The answer is no, you don’t have to. I have a boundary that other humans can not hit me at the grocery store or I will call the police. But I don’t have to walk around the store announcing “Hey, just so you know, if you hit me I will call the police!” The thought of it seems silly, right? The important thing is that I am clear in my head of what I will do if someone hits me. My consequence was decided long before they hit me, and I will for sure follow through if it were to happen.
Growing up, most of us are not taught how to set and hold healthy boundaries. We are not told how complicated relationships can be, and often aren’t really equipped for the realities of adult relationships. So it makes sense that you are where you are right now. You’ve been doing the best you can. AND, you can choose to do differently in the future. You CAN create a new, healthier life for yourself moving forward. You can change your mind at any moment!
The first step to rebuilding trust in your relationship is to learn to trust yourself again. If you can’t trust yourself to hold the consequences of your boundaries, then they aren’t boundaries, they are simply requests to your partner. If you are new to setting and holding boundaries in your relationship it’s ok if you feel a little wobbly at first. Practice will help you grow those boundary muscles and you will be stronger in no time.
Learning to trust yourself happens step by step. Start small, and hold yourself accountable to follow through on what you are promising yourself you will do. Sometimes it also helps to start with the situation or behavior that is driving you the most crazy or causing you the most pain, because you are more likely to follow through if you know that thing may stop.
For instance, many of my clients they have made repeated requests to their partners to stop looking at pornography, close their Only Fans accounts, or stop talking to a past affair partner. If you set a really firm boundary around one of these things, it will not only help you trust yourself, it will be a good gauge on how committed your partner is to changing and working on the relationship.
“If you talk to, or message your past/current affair partner in any way, even one more time, you will have to move out.” That is a possible boundary you could set. And then, be ready to hold yourself to the consequence of telling him to move out. Otherwise choose another consequence, like maybe sleeping in another room, or you moving out, or whatever feels better to you. No relationship or situation is exactly the same, so only you will know exactly what you should do.
Paying attention to times when you follow through on holding a boundary, even a small one can be a great anchor to building trust with yourself too. I recently had a client who was terrified to set boundaries with her husband because she said he never listened, and can become quite angry. We celebrated when she told me that she had set the boundary with him that he needed to clear his own dishes after dinner, and help her clean up the meal. If he didn’t she wouldn’t cook for him for a whole week and he’d be on his own to eat.
The first time she told her husband the boundary he laughed and said, “Yeah right!” And he didn’t help her clean up. The next night when he came home from work she was out to dinner with a girlfriend. He called to ask when she’d be home and what was for dinner, and she said nothing for was dinner, she wasn’t cooking, she was holding her boundary. For a full 7 days she didn’t cook for him. On the 8th day she cooked again and ate with him and repeated her boundary. This time he took her seriously and has helped clean up every night since.
Her previous pleas to him to help clean up had gone unanswered because he didn’t believe her that anything would happen if he didn’t. For years she had always cooked, and cleaned up after him, so why should he start now? Well, when she trusted herself to follow through, she was then able to help create change in her relationship.
She also had worked on believing why she deserved the help, and how fed up she was with feeling like the maid. As she continues to work on loving, trusting and caring for herself, she is able to also work on her relationship with her husband. But you can’t just try to work on the relationship with your partner if you aren’t also doing the self work on learning to trust yourself.
I call this building trust with yourself, and I also call it self-confidence. My definition of self-confidence is the ability and willingness to feel and experience ANY EMOTION. I can now trust myself completely to feel any emotion. I’m not afraid of being scared, embarrassed, abandoned or alone. And because I know I can feel any emotion, I am not afraid to set boundaries and hold those boundaries with others in my life. I know I have my own back no matter what. I trust myself, which allows me to choose to feel trust for others. And if the others ever “break” that trust, I trust MYSELF enough to have my own back and make it through anything.
If my partner cheated on me, I would break up immediately, because I’m not afraid of feeling alone. I trust myself to follow through with my boundaries about my relationships. I’m not reliant on the other person’s actions to feel secure. I feel totally secure in my own ability to love and care for myself.
Learning to rely on your own trust, and not having to put trust in others is one of the great works you will do in this life. It changes everything! This is some of the work I do with my clients, and I would love to do with YOU too.
I work with clients for 6 months, so that we can work on both acute issues that need to be dealt with immediately, AND so we can work on this longer work of learning to fully love and trust yourself again. What would you do if you knew that 6 months from now you would be able to fully trust yourself? Would you believe that was possible for you? If not, why not?
I have had clients that were quite skeptical of so much of this thought work that we do together. This is what my client Lori had to say: “The idea about changing thoughts, I had previously viewed as some silly concept that was trivial, artificial, and an ignorant way of not dealing with reality. Then to learn and actually understand that not only are my thoughts optional, but that I can control them? All of a sudden, my thoughts became a powerful tool!” She has learned to examine her thoughts and trust herself again!
I want to help you and I want you to experience this change for yourself, so you don’t have to rely on what others have said. I want to offer you a complimentary consultation session with me. We will discuss what is bothering you most, and what needs to change in your relationship in order for you to feel trust and happiness. You will then experience coaching with me on your issue that you brought to our session. I promise, you will start to feel better starting at this very first session. And if you choose to coach with me for 6 months, you will experience the transformation that comes with learning to fully love and trust yourself again. And because you trust yourself, you will have more trust in your relationships, I promise. Come see for yourself and schedule a complimentary call with me TODAY!
I am here and ready to help you! Use THIS LINK to schedule your complimentary consultation call. There is help, and there is hope, and it’s only a click away. Schedule now!
If this post has resonated with you, and you’d like help finding your own emotional freedom, I’d love to help you. I have devoted my Life Coaching practice to helping people just like you find freedom and happiness after betrayal. Schedule a complimentary consultation call HERE to see if Life Coaching is right for you. Taking this step will change your life. Schedule your call today!
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