When someone willfully breaks or damages the trust that you once had in them,
It is hard to believe in that person again.
When their actions and words (or perhaps their inactions) are no longer reliable or acceptable,
The connection you once had with them has been damaged, and it may be gone, for good.
When someone breaks your trust, there is no person or thing: not sex, earthquakes, tornadoes, alcohol, drugs, a material thing (like a new house, car, apartment, money, or job), a new lover, or the threat of impending death that has the power to bring it back.
Yes, a temporary remedy may stop or numb the pain that you feel when what you valued, or made you feel safe, is absent and no longer there.
But trust is an abstract thing; it is something that you give to the ones you love.
It is not readily available, or growing on trees for anyone to gain at will.
When the trust you have with someone is broken, or taken for granted, it is hard to be trusting or to give it again.
What will mend a broken trust?
For me, it takes many steps, and thus many thoughtful acts of penance, for a person to regain my trust.
The first is to “fess up,” to be honest, and to break through layers of denial.
However, a person who has learned to be dishonest cannot and will not sustain honest behavior,
And definitely not when being dishonest has become their way of living and moving in the world.
And, if almost everyone around them is being dishonest; or, if their environment enables them – and others – to pretend that everything is “all good”,
At best, there will be many empty and broken promises.
They will often repeat the words “I’m sorry”, and more times than you probably care to remember.
Perhaps, they will also say that they intend to change, but their actions will make them contradict themselves, a lot.
Does this make the dishonest people that you love “bad” for you?
Should you write them off, throw them away, and try to forget about them?
Only you know the answer to that question.
Unfortunately, I have also learned that a dishonest person cannot be trusted
Until they are willing to be honest with themselves about who they are and about what they have done to discredit themselves that damages your ability to trust and believe in them.
When someone breaks your trust, there’s really nothing you need to do until the one who has broken it is willing to admit their mistakes, and their problems.
But, I don’t believe that many people have that kind of fortitude.
In this world, it is much too easy to hide from the truth and numb the pain we have caused with all kinds of fixes and elixirs.
And, it is not your responsibility to make anyone an honest person when the world that we are living in enables us all to lie and pretend, as if that is the best that we can do.
The world is full of those who have mastered the art of lying, manipulating, and behaving badly to get the results that they want.
Being dishonest is a dominant way of relating to others and to the Earth; many believe that it is acceptable and normal to act this way.
Therefore, when someone breaks your trust, you must decide if they are simply worthy enough to get it back.
© 2019 annalise fonza, Ph.D.