Most of us take our time getting to know a new partner and deciding when and how much to trust that person with intimate details about ourselves. The time taken in building trust varies from person to person but once a commitment is made, trust becomes one of the glues that ties couples together and enables them to survive life’s vicissitudes.
In abusive relationships there is a slow and painful dawning that a partner may not be dependable, honest or trustworthy. Verbal abuse, emotional neglect, controlling behaviours and physical attacks or threats tear away the fabric of trust and women are left reeling with an array of confusing feelings. For many it is a gradual slope towards confusion and despair. They expect their partner to be there when needed but he falls short; they expect him to be loyal but he isn’t; they expect him to be trustworthy but they are no longer sure that he is. How do women deal with these contradictions between expectations and behaviour? They may listen to his reasoning and accept what he says; they may search for reasons and excuse him or they may blame themselves. Women who are empathic and caring are generally quicker to forgive so that any serious doubts they have about him are likely to be set aside for the sake of peace and quiet.
If you want to get off this merry-go-round of abuse, struggle for clarity and finally forgiveness and temporary respite then it’s essential that you ask yourself: Is my partner behaving like someone who can be trusted? Does he share with me his deepest thoughts? Do I know what he says about me when I’m not there? Do I know how much he earns and what he does with his money? Does he treat me like a loved person? Is he kind to animals? Is he a loyal friend? Does he work on building relationships with others? When considering these questions, don’t be swayed by what he says but by how he acts. Anyone can use words to persuade but it is behaviour that reveals the truth.
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