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What's A Relationship Without Trust?

Written by Prachi Gangwani

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"I mindlessly flip through the pages of my book... seeing the squiggles, but not reading the words. My tea has gone cold. I don't care. I drink it anyway.

None of it seems to matter. The tepid tea. The book I'm not being able to concentrate on. The dust on the mantle. The dull ache in my neck. The empty fridge. The wilting flowers for centre piece. 

It's nearly 10 pm. The wine is nearly over. He's not home. He said he was working late today, and that I should have dinner. I don't buy it.

I'm not hungry. I finish the wine, though. It silences the thoughts plaguing my mind - Where could he be? With whom? Doing what? I'm certain it's that college friend of his he recently re-connected with, or the colleague he thinks is "aspirational". F*#$ that."  

lack of trust in a relationship

Lack of trust - whether justified by a past discretion, triggered by ongoing misconduct, or a manifestation of one's own personal love map - is a heavy burden on the relationship, as well as the two individuals involved. It slowly corrodes all three, becoming its own worst nightmare!

The emotional experience of mistrust is so raw that we often miss the practical costs involved. Yes, there is a tangible, practical price you pay for lack of trust between you and your partner, reasons notwithstanding. Perhaps this will remind you of the importance of trust in a relationship.

Disclaimer: We recognise that in many cases, lack of trust is the result of a broken vow, of one partner having had consistently and repeatedly lied, or cheated in the past, or doing so in the present. We respect that those situations are difficult to contend with, and that there is no "right" way to behave or respond. In such cases, we recommend seeking professional help, and should you choose to stay in the relationship, strive to rebuild the trust, together.  
lack of trust in a relationship

It is detrimental to your mental health.

What would you say about the psychological state of the narrator of the opening quote of this article? That he or she is depressed? Perhaps anxious? Or, abnormally paranoid? An alcoholic? Certainly, unproductive. Not being able to trust one's partner is often mentally draining, and consuming.

Preoccupation with one's partner's whereabouts and intentions can keep us from other pursuits. 

Not being able to feel secure in one's relationship is distracting. If you are constantly worried about what your significant other is up to, it is unlikely that you would be able to fulfil your potential in the professional, vocational, or even social spheres.

It leads to high levels of stress.

This one is fairly obvious, isn't it? You are worried. You are stressed; always waiting for something awful to happen, or be revealed. But, the adverse effects don't stop here. Stress causes havoc on the body! Many illnesses including cardiovascular diseases, IBS, and even some cancers are associated with unmanaged stress. Now, of course, we are not saying that not being able to trust your partner will inevitably make you sick, but any health practitioner will vouch for the ill effects of stress, regardless of its source.

lack of trust in a relationship

It keeps you from being able to rely on your partner.

One of the gifts of being loved, and loving someone, is that you have somebody who's got your back. If you can't trust your partner, how can you lean on them? If you can't rely on them, and feel the need to look out for yourself, what is the point of being in a relationship?

It causes a barrier against intimacy.

If you don't believe what your partner says, how do you expect to be emotionally close to them? How do you expect to develop a friendship, which in most relationships, forms the strong foundation that can withstand the ups and downs of sharing one's life with someone? What's a relationship without emotional closeness?

Lack of trust in a relationship is a serious issue that must not be romanticised, minimised, or ignored. It needs attention, and resolution, for the sake of all parties involved, including the health of your relationship. Don't let it fester! Consult a couples therapist. Everybody needs therapy at some point in their lives!

Image Source: Pexels, Unsplash

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