Learning to Trust Again
Eleven o - clock on a weeknight I found myself phoning a man whom I'd recently met. We had been talking regularly and I just wanted to hear the sound of his voice.
No answer. After four rings his answering machine kicked in and I hung up. How strange. This man made a point of staying home during the week in order to get up at 5:00 a.m. for work. 'Call me any time before midnight,' he had suggested. ' I'm usually reading or listening to music.'
There could only be one explanation 'another woman. I'd met him through a phone dating system. Obviously he had made a date with someone else and at this very moment could be in her arms. I stalked back and forth in my living room. Why had I expected him to be different? Just because he was punctual and said he 'really really' liked me didn't mean that I could trust him.
The next evening he called to say that he - d fallen asleep early. The phone had jarred him awake at eleven but there had been no message. He still sounded annoyed.
Probably a wrong number,' I said quickly. Good thing he couldn't see my face, because I could feel my cheeks flush.
That was when I realized that I had an issue with trust. Of course it takes time and experience to get to know someone 'but I'd been quick to jump to conclusions. I took a long, hard look at my life. I claimed to have no luck meeting suitable men over the age of 40 and none of my relationships lasted more than a few months. Why? Looking back, I realized that I had chosen men who were unavailable 'either physically (separated by distance) or emotionally.
Deep down I believed that men could NOT be trusted. Upon further reflection, I saw that my belief could be traced to feelings of betrayal in a long-ago relationship 'the disillusion and let down I had experienced in so many ways by the man I'd married.
In the years following my divorce I had dated men with charm and charisma, who were also unreliable or unpredictable. I just wasn't attracted to serious, responsible partners 'they seemed boring by comparison. I poured my energy into my career and creative work and largely ignored my here-again, gone-again love life.
What had changed? With time I grew tired of relationships that were going nowhere. I decided that I wanted to meet an honest man with integrity, someone I could truly respect and appreciate. I also decided that I'd rather remain happily single than be with anyone who didn't fit the bill.
That decision opened the door to a different kind of relationship 'one based on friendship and trust.
How about YOU 'are you ready to trust again? Here are some ways to tell:
What I discovered is that I don't need to trust a man as much as I NEED TO TRUST MYSELF. That is, to know that I am strong enough to leave a relationship that isn't working for me. To do this, I need a high level of self-esteem and I must be used to treating myself well. Moonlight and roses just don't cut it for me anymore 'not if that's all there is.
Copyright © 2004 by Thelma Mariano
Thelma Mariano, life coach and author, is dedicated to bringing clarity and direction to people's lives.