Being around people whom we deeply trust encourages us to be ourselves, to be open and vulnerable.
For many of us this trust is earned through experiencing a person’s reliability, honesty, confidentiality
and faithfulness. When our trust in our spouse is lost, the relationship changes. Lack of trust undermines
our commitment to our marriage, even the mildest struggle can cause the relationship to unravel. When
we are hurting, we tend to remember times when our trust was betrayed, which can further impede our
ability to trust.
Fear is the enemy of trust. We do not want to get hurt, so we put up barriers, and we miss out on the
intimacy that we all desire. We tend to think of trust and fear as opposite ends of a balance-scale. When
fear goes up, trust goes down, but fear is an emotion and trust is a decision and we can make the
decision to trust despite our fears.
Placing trust in someone who has the power to hurt us is often the scariest thing we are called to do.
Trust is the key to intimacy. We can choose to decide to trust despite our feelings of fear, jealousy, or
panic. We do not let go of the fear. We decide to trust despite our fear. Not fear of the person you are
deciding to trust, where there is danger or a threat to safety, but fear of opening ourselves to growth in
the context of a healthy relationship.
When we are open and honest, we decide to trust. Trust allows us to act despite our hesitation, to believe
in the goodness of our spouse despite our fear, and to believe what the other tells us. Only when we
trust someone who we feel safe with will we find the joy of being understood, the peace of being
accepted, and the feeling of closeness.
When trust is absent, each spouse expends energy keeping their defences intact. When trust is strong,
the relationship thrives and both spouses can be vulnerable with each other and more authentically
themselves, and grow and develop into the people we are created to be.
Trust is a decision – it is not dependent on feelings. Without it we will lose intimacy and a secure
relationship. With it we can continue the journey of reawakening.
Caroline & Michael
Co-ordinators, Retrouvaille England & Wales
This post was written by Caroline and Michael from Retrovaille who are part of the Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations. For more information on the alliance please