As perfect as I like to pretend I am, I’m a really crappy friend!
… Just ask any of my friends.
Relationships are messy! Not just romantic relationships, either.
Family, children, friendships, co-workers. Any time there’s another person involved, things will get messy.
People don’t always act the way they’re “supposed to”.
Or you don’t.
Your parents will step on boundaries or judge your life choices, but no matter how much they drive you nuts, you still love them and will still visit at Christmas.
Your kids will be jerks, whether they’re 5, 25, or 55, but you’re not going to love them any less.
Your sister will “borrow” your favorite sweater without asking and “forget” to return it, but she doesn’t stop being your sister. You won’t give up on the relationship when you see her wearing it at Grandma’s birthday party.
Your best friend since kindergarten will snap at you, or forget that you had a lunch date, but you’ll make up over drinks.
Trust WILL be broken in relationships. It’s just part of being among people.
And sometimes, YOU will be the one making a mistake that will break trust in a relationship.
I’ve found, when a relationship is important enough, or constant enough, that most offenses can be moved past over time when one party makes the first move, and when both parties are willing to make amends.
But that’s often not the case in romantic relationships. If it were, divorce rates wouldn’t be so high, right?
Why do we set higher expectations for our spouses than we do for everyone else in our lives? (click to tweet this)
Money, sex, infidelity, lack of commitment, arguing, marrying “too young”, lack of equality in the marriage.
With the exception of abuse, when reasons for divorce are broken down, the majority can fall under two categories: Poor communication, and unmet expectations (realistic or otherwise).
But even those two categories can be under the “broken trust” umbrella.
Trust is broken any time a person doesn’t act in the best interest of the relationship. (click to tweet this)
During a conversation with my husband, the idea of “trust” came up, and how we trust each other more now than we did a decade ago. We discussed some circumstances in our marriage that might have caused our relationship to unravel, but instead we used those situations to better see each other as people, rather than how a wife/husband is “supposed to be.” (yes, these are how our casual conversations over coffee sometimes go)
Me: “I think, in marriage, trust is always going to be broken, and then have to be rebuilt.” (click to tweet this)
Eric: “Interesting. You should blog about that.”
So here I am.
Trust has to go both ways. When one breaks trust in the marriage, it’s up to the other to still be trustworthy in their response.
And vice versa.
Because there WILL be a time when the situation is reversed.
Maybe not the same thing, because you’ll both struggle with different things, but trust will be broken, nonetheless.
When my choices betrayed my husband’s trust, his supportive, loving, and grace-filled response showed me that I could still trust in him.
And when my husband was going through his own difficult time, I did my best to show him that he could still trust me to be there for him, even when he wasn’t himself, even when he wasn’t acting in the best interest of our marriage.
While I’m sure he has hopes for how a wife of his would be, Eric doesn’t only see me through the lens of “Eric’s wife.” He sees me for who I am, even with all my flaws. And I believe it’s because of this that he’s able to forgive me so quickly when I break his trust, so that we can move on to rebuilding.
And vice versa.
We both understand that neither one of us will ever be able to be perfect.
That’s exactly why Christ had to come.
We understand that both of us have our own struggles, and that through Christ we’re already forgiven for those struggles.
So to fail to forgive each other is like saying that Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t good enough.
Some new friends sat in our living room the other day and asked us how we can still be friends after being together for so long and having so many kids. I think that having the expectation of trust being broken, and already knowing that it will have to be rebuilt, has something to do with how happy we are.
Will we still have hard times in our future?
“Those who marry will face many troubles in this life,” 1 Corinthians 7:28
But I hope that we approach those troubles with even more love, grace, and trust than we have up until now.
“Love never gives up, always trusts, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:7