Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

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SilentDawning
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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by SilentDawning » 30 Apr 2019, 12:51

Minyan Man wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 11:10
Trust is not a light switch that you turn on at a specific moment. It is built & restored over time. I think that's what you're saying?
I don't want to put words in your mouth.

No one can say: I forgive you therefore I trust you again the same way I did before you offended.
Jesus is the exception. I am working on it.
I believe what you say above...although I was asking for people to share what they think restores trust.

Here are my thoughts.

1. Apologies -- not one, but many if the wronged person requires it. Just as some people need frequent affirmation of love in a relationship, some people need frequent reassurance that the wrongdoer is truly sorry and won't do it again.

2. Avoiding any actions that imply the wrongful behavior is still part of the person's character.

3. A good attitude on the part of the wrongdoer toward the process needed to restore trust. I've seen people make comments like "you're bringing that up again? I already apologized". Annoyance at the wronged person's needs for further amends to restore trust is a sign, to me, that the person really doesn't care as much about restoring trust as they need to satisfy the other person.

I'm reminded of the show Back with the Ex. It's Australian, I think. There was one couple who had a really really good relationship, but the woman cheated. They broke up. I believe they were even married. They got back together for the show. They had to view videotapes of the other person's candid feelings. Although the cheater had apologized, called it the biggest mistake of her life, and had tried to make amends, the guy in the relationship, the wronged person, indicated there was still a need for trust to take root before he could get back to her.

The cheater was shown on camera alone, viewing the videotape and exclaiming "Bloody 'Ell"!!!! when he mentioned the need for trust to be restored.

It was a kind of "He's still on THAT AGAIN????". Sure she'd admitted and tried to make amends, but the guy wasn't ready yet to trust her. SHE might have believed she'd done enough, but trust is in the eye of the beholder.

Thoughts on this?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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LDS_Scoutmaster
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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by LDS_Scoutmaster » 30 Apr 2019, 13:18

This one's a tough one for me SD. I've been on both ends the issue having had linked trust and forgiveness together, forgiving and being taken advantage of again and again.

I've forgiven and not trusted as well. This is where I am today after having been accused of some really nasty things by extended family members, I forgive them, but I no longer trust them. I could say that I trust them to be exactly who I have found out them to be as people.

I've also done stupid things and been the offender, and needing to restore trust.

The restoring trust issue is the hardest part of being the offender, because I know that even with all the good that I can do in changing habits, and striving to be trustworthy, memory lingers. Every now and then it will raise and boil to the top. I realized a little while ago that there is nothing that I can do to fully restore the trust. It is something I and we have to live with. I want to just start from today and move forward forgetting about the past but I know that's not possible. To clarify, my offence was not adultery, but trust was still broken. I thought many times about what it would be like if the roles were reversed, and I had to deal with what she has had to deal with.

I came across this article which was one of the only that dealt with the offender, most others were concerned with how to deal with being cheated on (which is horrible in and of itself).

For the Betrayer: 8 Things You Must Know and Do to Rebuild Trust After an Affair
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/for-the- ... 9648315864

It deals with how to rebuild trust. Some couples can overcome an adulterous problem, some can't. I don't know how they do it, but it is probably one of the hardest things to do.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6311&start=70#p121051 My last talk

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AmyJ
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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by AmyJ » 30 Apr 2019, 13:51

I feel that that trust landscape between those 2 people will not return to the original landscape view (nor should that necessarily be the goal).

I think that the knowledge that both parties gain can be used to make the trust landscape look and be different. That may look like a mutual acknowledgement of the extent of the steps (and the cost) taken by the offender to show the offendee that they were listening and trying to change. That may also look like trusting that the offendee will make the same level of mistakes as got them there in the first place. It might liberate the offended person to reevaluate and see what they really wanted (and why they got offended).

I feel that we are not moving along in life to compare/match against our previous situations - but to progress (within our selves and within growing our relationships) /move away from what used to exist.

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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by Curt Sunshine » 30 Apr 2019, 14:36

"Restoring trust" is tricky for a lot of reasons, but one reason that gets overlooked a lot is that, often, trust is held / placed in the wrong thing. To put it differently, people tend to trust ideals and not real people (or a possibly incorrect view of God). Too often, trust is unrealistic - not because someone is "untrustworthy" but because the focus of the trust is unrealistic. Trusting people to be who they are not is a bad foundation, and trying to restore that type of trust with someone who hasn't changed is a bad plan.

Solid trust is understanding someone well enough to know what they **probably** will do in any given situation, understanding something might make them act differently at any given time. So, restoring trust takes doing what someone expects enough times for them to trust you will do that again in a similar situation.

The key for me is whether or not the other person's trust in me is worth doing what they expect me to do. If someone trusts me to help them steal something or defraud someone, 99% of the time ot higher, that trust will be misplaced - and I won't be able to restore it, since I won't do what they expect me to do. Ideally, they could trust me not to help them, but if they continue to expect me to do it, I won't be able to restore their trust in me, since I won't do it. That is an extreme example, but it illustrates that particular core issue with trust and restoring trust.
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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by Roy » 30 Apr 2019, 15:00

I was on the receiving end of financial deception and betrayel in my marriage.
I feel that there were some steps that were helpful in rebuilding trust:
1) I did not amplify the issue. It was about credit card spending and did not need to carry over to other areas.
2) Provide a path forward. For a time there were reduced freedoms and increased oversight. As trust is regained freedom should increase and oversight reduce. (there can still be some sort of non-intrusive verification, alert, or audit system in place. Trust does not have to mean closing one's eyes)
3) Still today I will ask questions when a new item pops up around the house. I awknowledge that I am curious and that there is probably a simple explanation. I do not see this as related to the credit card spending incident directly but rather a request for information. Communication and transparency as needed is important.
4) Today I tell her that I admire her management of our finances, her ability to minimize expenses, and how well she is able to "stretch" our budget dollars. In this way, I am still bringing up the general issue and expressing that financial stewardship and trust is important in our relationship. But I feel that I am doing so from a positive angle.

I know that these steps may not apply equally well in other scenarios.
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SilentDawning
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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by SilentDawning » 30 Apr 2019, 20:42

Curt Sunshine wrote:
30 Apr 2019, 14:36
The key for me is whether or not the other person's trust in me is worth doing what they expect me to do. If someone trusts me to help them steal something or defraud someone, 99% of the time ot higher, that trust will be misplaced - and I won't be able to restore it, since I won't do what they expect me to do. Ideally, they could trust me not to help them, but if they continue to expect me to do it, I won't be able to restore their trust in me, since I won't do it. That is an extreme example, but it illustrates that particular core issue with trust and restoring trust.
I think there is a lot of wisdom in the post above. This very thing occurred to me. If in a marriage, you have someone who behaves in an untrustworthy way, the betrayed must decide if this person is capable of meeting standards of trustworthiness in the future. The wrongdoer also has to decide whether restoring trust on the other person's terms is worth the effort given their personal inclinations/character.

If it's not worth it, or perceived as too difficult by the wrongdoer, the only alternatives I can see are a) the wronged person accepting they will never have the level of trust they want in the wrongdoer and reluctantly stays in the relationship or b) the wrongdoer or wronged person leaves the relationship.

I also think providing a concrete plan for the wrondoer is helpful. For me, repeated apologies show me the wrong is at the top of the wrongoer's mind. It provides reassurance. My wife has done things over the years, primarily with extreme neglect of hygeine regarding animals or simply not dealing with extremely annoying animal behaviors, while increasing the animal population in the house. This was to the extent it started affecting my mental health and our relationship.

We talked about a plan for her to restore trust. It started with recognizing this isn't about forgiveness. I'm prepared to forgive the past behavior, but I need x, y, and z to restore trust in her ability to have animals in the home while also NOT disturbing my inner peace.

I am reading books on the subject now, so my orientation may change on this. One book's description indicated people have unrealistically high expectations of wrongdoer's after a betrayal. Perhaps that's me. I will see as I read more.

I also want to thank everyone for participating in this discussion -- after starting out in the forgiveness camp, we have moved into the trust restoration camp, which is where I want to be.

I really appreciate Roy's comment about financial betrayal and his approach to trust restoration in that situation...
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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SilentDawning
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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by SilentDawning » 01 May 2019, 10:37

This discussion is really helping me. I am now able to separate my "grudge" tendencies from lack of forgiveness. I don't trust the people who wronged me, some of them. I do hold their act against them in that respect since they haven't behaved in ways that demonstrate trustworthiness.

If you go off my earlier definition of what forgiveness is, it's letting go of the hurt and emotional pain associated with their actions. I reflected on many things that people have done to me in the church and otherwise. Do I feel emotional pain from them? Not really. Time has dulled that pain. Do I feel a lack of trust and desire for a relationship with those people? Definitely. They really hurt me once, so I'm not about to go for it again. It's kind of like steering clear of an intersection that you find is inherently dangerous.

Is failing to give someone privileges, get into close relationships with them, etcetera, considered holding a grudge after you have let go of the emotional angst? Particularly when the withheld privileges and close relationships are based on lack of trust and self-protectionism?
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by dande48 » 01 May 2019, 11:06

SilentDawning wrote:
01 May 2019, 10:37
Is failing to give someone privileges, get into close relationships with them, etcetera, considered holding a grudge after you have let go of the emotional angst? Particularly when the withheld privileges and close relationships are based on lack of trust and self-protectionism?
I believe a perfect man would be willing to restore relationships, trust, and privileges, should the offender demonstrate true repentance and change. But the thing is, not everyone who claims "repentance" has changed, even if they believe they have changed. And sometimes the victim is hurt bad enough that to maintain that relationship would continually remind them of the offense. Neither side is perfect.

What's important to look at, I think, is the reason why you continue to withhold privileges, and close relationships. Is it because you're honestly afraid they will betray your trust again? Or it is because you're still ticked at them? At first glance, you might put yourself in the first category, but I think it's worth a deeper assessment. For example, would you be willing to maintain a relationship with them, if they were literally unable to betray your trust the way they did before?
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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by Minyan Man » 01 May 2019, 11:25

I'm going to take another run at this. If I'm wrong please tell me & I'll back off.
There was a time when someone injured my daughter. (I'm not going into detail again.)
I can quickly work myself into a frenzy that has no positive outcome. Needless to say, I was in a state of mind where I could of
easily justified revenge to protest my family from further injury.

Having said that as an introduction: I like the way some support groups try to rebuild lives in recovery. Such as: Alcoholics Anonymous.
First they encourage new members to get a sponsor who walks them through the 12 step program. This includes:
- staying sober.
- working the steps.
- reporting back to your sponsor or therapist regarding your progress.
- special emphasis on this topic is steps:
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

They emphasize the progress through slogans: Progress rather than perfection.

I try to follow these steps. One amends I made was by letter. To my ex-wife.
In the letter I said that I didn't want to hear from her but I wanted to apologize about my anger towards her & let it go.
I'm glad I did it but it didn't really solve how I felt. At least the revenge part is gone. That's where the slogans are helpful.

IMO the Church could learn from programs like this. Especially the part of working through obstacles in our life with other people
who have been through similar situations & come out whole on the other side.

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Re: Thoughts on Forigiveness and Trust in Committed, Long Term Relationships

Post by SilentDawning » 02 May 2019, 10:55

See, Dande's comments and Minyon man's do suggest that trust, to some extent, is often construed as part of forgiveness. I think it can come packaged with forgiveness. But I think it's easier to trust when the person comes to you in sackcloth and ashes than when they don't even give an apology. Or when they apologize once and then go back to the same, or even similar, but less intense behaviors that caused the hurt in the first place.

I also agree with MM's assessment that you can easily use privilege withholding and lack of trust as a form of non-forgiveness. But in this case, it's only when the person deserves that trust given their level of repentance.

I am going into a counseling visit with some of these ideas in hand. I hope to deal with this further here, and in counseling, as I sincerely want to taste the fruits of forgiveness -- real forgiveness - without conflating it with trust. And I want to trust again, but it has to be earned.

I wish the scriptures were more explicit on the trust issue. I don't turn to them as much anymore -- they are so slippery in terms of how they can be interpreted, and often, don't give enough specifics. But on forgiveness they have a lot more information -- some of it downright wrong in my view (like the person who doesn't forgive is worse than the offender), but I believe trust and the role of repentance is murky in the scriptures. It's almost as if God reserves deep repentance for his own trust, but doesn't give a lot of guidance for how repentance can restore trust to the person who was injured. Perhaps because he knows humans will abuse the scripture if it says that people who wrong you should do the same level of repentance necessary for divine forgiveness to get human trust back.
"It doesn't have to be about the Church (church) all the time!" -- SD

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. No price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself."

A man asked Jesus "do all roads lead to you?" Jesus responds,”most roads don’t lead anywhere, but I will travel any road to find you.” Adapted from The Shack, William Young

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