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-   -   Advice About Trust (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=33668)

Letitbe 11-29-2012 11:26 PM

Advice About Trust
My husband and I have talked about poly and agreed on rules. He broke a rule. How can I trust him again? We have very good communication and have talked about this issue a lot. The question I posed to him was, "You promised you would never ever do this, and I trusted you wouldn't. But, you did. How can I trust you when you say you won't do it again?" He said that was a valid concern and that we will just have to wait and see. I want to trust him, I really do...and I trust easily, which is good. But it's just, I trusted him so much and he broke that trust. But, I guess it's probably normal to be tentative to trust someone again who has broken your trust. Maybe just give it some time?

LovingRadiance 11-30-2012 12:39 AM

Definitely takes some time-also takes some effort on his part to show that whatever triggered his willingness to break a boundary-has changed in him.

JaneQSmythe 11-30-2012 12:41 AM

Time can certainly help put things into perspective. But if nothing has changed in the interval than there is no reason to trust him to not break a boundary again. After a breach in trust, I think that trust has to be earned - it cannot be as freely given as it was before the breach (at least for me).

First you have to be able to forgive the person, before you can ever start to trust them. Then they have to be a.) genuinely aware of and remorseful for what it was that they did b.) self-aware of the factors that contributed to the decision to behave in an untrustworthy way c.) make changes in their life and attitudes that ensure that they will never put themselves in a position to betray your trust again. A superficial "I'm sorry, I won't do it again, trust me." - doesn't cut it.

You have to show me, not tell me, that you have done the work and made the changes, in yourself, that make you worthy of being trusted. I can love you and I can forgive you...that doesn't mean I will trust you, until you show me that I can.


Letitbe 11-30-2012 12:51 AM

Good advice. Thank you.

I have forgiven him. I understand everyone makes mistakes and it was stupid on his part. But, he acknowledges that and is seeking counseling to better himself. I can forgive him once, but I told him if it happens again I will not be staying with him. I'm really hoping that's enough motivation for him not to do it again.

SchrodingersCat 11-30-2012 10:32 AM

So he's basically saying "You're right, you can't trust me. But trust me anyway."

I'm with Jayne. Trust is a privilege, not a right. You can lose privileges by abusing them.

The onus is on him to prove that he's trustworthy. He has to show clear signs of improvement. Rule number 1: Never trust someone who says "trust me." It's dangerous that you want to trust him, because that will make you more likely to do so before he's actually earned it.

One way he can show that he's trustworthy is to temporarily agree to more stringent rules than before. Without details, I can't be more specific. He can show that he's willing to go above and beyond, putting his own comfort and desires on hold for a while to show that he's committed to earning your trust. That's a lot more evidence than his word, which has been proven to be meaningless.

I would also discuss why he broke the rule. Was it a rule that he was never really comfortable with in the first place, but he agreed to because he felt that he had no choice? Then he needs to learn to be honest and assertive. If you make a request that he just can't follow, he needs to tell you up front that it's not going to work.

The threat of you leaving if he does it again probably won't cut it. That will only motivate him not to get caught. If he's not genuinely committed to being worthy of your trust, then no threats or promises are going to change that.

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