Conscientious trust yields healthy relationships

Crystal and Chevy, Columnist

This week Chevy and I are going to switch it up a bit and back off the sexin’ to discuss an issue that has recently sparked intense reflection in our lives: trust. As my Yogi tea bag informed me the other morning, “Love without trust is a river without water.” We don’t know about you, but we’d rather not be like California with a drought of a relationship – better to stick with something like Hawaii or Michigan. Building trust is an extensive process – and rightfully so! Trust is key to a healthy relationship; trust in oneself allows a person to be loved by their partner to the highest degree as well as return their partner’s love in kind. On the other hand, when trust is broken, rebuilding a relationship is painful, laborious process.
The way we see it, there are two types of trust that function within a relationship: external and internal. The former is the trust you place in your partner. When you tell them, “I trust you,” it often refers to functional things such as upholding a monogamous relationship. This external type of trust also applies to the words of affirmation you and your partner exchange. For example, when we tell someone, “I love you,” their most likely response is often to immediately repeat the phrase back. I, Crystal, find I spend so much time reassuring my partner of my devotion that I never pause to let those words and their beautiful weight sink in. I rarely stop and close my eyes, feel the words’ warmth, and accept them into my heart as something real and true and precious. I never pause to say, “I appreciate your love. I am thankful for your love. I trust your love for me is a strong as you say it is.” Perhaps these are words that can, in many situations, go unsaid. But Chevy and I find that, in the scramble for affirmation and balance, we don’t directly acknowledge that we do in fact trust that our partners’ love is credible, true, and heartfelt.
In addition to the external trust you must grant your partner, the second type of trust is internal and therefore often overlooked. When it comes down to it, trust, in its purest form, is the trust you must have in yourself. You must believe you yourself are worthy of the adoration and happiness and love that another – by some miracle! – has chosen to provide you. In many ways, it is easier to give love unquestionably than to receive it without questioning why someone has chosen to love you. Things get even more complicated when you realize you can’t love fully without accepting another’s love unequivocally into your entire being.
The most difficult thing about trust is that, when it’s broken, the only way to fix it is to somehow, against all odds, generate more trust. It’s a warped rule that feels like the universe’s private joke. But the most amazing thing is that, unlike fossil fuels or the chocolate chip cookies in Prentiss, trust is renewable. You just have to dig deeper than you ever have to find the spark that is your humanity and, with frightened hands, offer it to another. There’s no guarantee your trust won’t be trampled on – if there was, it wouldn’t be called trust in the first place.