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Culitvate Mistrust December 20, 2008

Posted by downton in Cultivate Mistrust.
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Cultivate Mistrust

     Adding mistrust to a relationship will undermine love in a hurry. One way people do that is failing to keep their word. They say they’re going to do something and then they don’t do it. They say they’re going to meet their mate for lunch at noon and they get there at 12:30. They say they’re going to clean the bathroom but don’t, defending themselves with that age-old excuse, “I forgot.” People who don’t keep their word hope to get out of hot water by using another age-old tactic, “I’m sorry.”

     When you give your word, do you give it as a real promise or a maybe? Does your word mean anything or is it worthless like a dry piece of toast? I can hear you saying, “Come on, Bob, don’t take is so seriously. People can’t keep their word all the time.” Tis true, tis true, but isn’t it a good idea to make keeping your word a part of your integrity? Wouldn’t keeping your word improve your relationship so more love can grow? In fact, wouldn’t it improve your life?

     Okay, here’s one of the secrets to converting romance into long-term love: Trust is the golden tread that keeps a couple together. And trust is one of the important building blocks of love. Take a minute to think about someone in your life who doesn’t keep his or her word. How much do you trust that person? How much do you love that person? I’ll wager a bet that the answer is not much trust and not much love. The reason? While trust will make love grow, mistrust will make it wither.

     Forgetting important occasions is another way to undermine trust. Forgetting an anniversary, birthday, or special day in the life of your mate will create mistrust in an instant. It means that your mate can’t count on you for caring. Indifference is heartbreaking to the person whose special day you’ve forgotten.

     Keeping your word and remembering important occasions are part of being mindful in a relationship, which means knowing what to do to make it good and then doing it. It doesn’t mean just letting everything take its course; it means guiding the course of things.

     If you’re in a relationship that isn’t working too well, how would being more mindful about it help you to improve it? Would keeping your word be a part of this mindfulness? Would showing special consideration to your mate by remembering important occasions be a part of it? What other mindful things could you add in what you say and do that you know would improve things and cultivate more love?

     Trust—it’s the golden tread that makes relationships work well. How strong is that tread in your relationship? How well do you tend to the golden thread so it remains strong? Reflect on this for a few minutes and then jot down at least two ideas about things that you, just you, can improve.

     Let’s say the destructive side of you wants to ruin the relationship. What’s the best way to cut the golden treat and bring an end to it?  Well, you already know the answer. Have an affair! In an earlier chapter (“Notice the Other Beautiful People”), I explained why people get sexually attracted to others as fantasies and how reality is always different.  How do we know that? Because some people who have affairs often realize that their dream boats are really tug boats. At that point, they try to repair the damage with the person they married, which is often too late, because that mate wasn’t stupid. Your disloyalty was too obvious, so mistrust entered the relationship like a knife. You hurt your mate deeply and then you expect to be forgiven? Would you want to offer forgiveness after you learned that your mate had an affair? I doubt it. You’d want to tear your mate’s eyes out to keep her or him from wandering again.

     If you’re having an affair now and think your mate will forgive you, think again. Okay, maybe the words will be spoken—“I forgive you.” But, here’s reality for you, your mate may utter the forgiveness words but never, ever forget what you did. By having an affair you undermined trust and even added a bit of poison to the relationship.

     One thing that happens when a mate discovers disloyalty is that the golden tread breaks. When it’s broken, it becomes a field day for having affairs. It’s revenge time! So, if you decide to have an affair, you’ve given your mate a ticket which says: “This ticket is good for one affair. Go out and have one.” When both mates are having affairs, it’s pretty much the end of the relationship. If children are involved, they’re the innocent bystanders who suffer the most.

     There’s one other thing that can damage the golden treat of trust. It’s suspicion which we bring on ourselves. Do you sometimes express to your mate how beautiful or handsome someone else is? God forbid, do you actually do that to make your mate jealous? Well if you do, you are sowing seeds of suspicion that will grow into mistrust, which is one step from your love going down the drain.  If you don’t want that, then quit cultivating suspicion and jealousy!

Coaching Tips

■ Keep your word. When you say you’re going to do something, do it! When you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, be there at that time!

■ Instead of being indifferent toward your mate, make a difference by remembering important occasions and showing interest in other ways. Ask your mate questions, like “How’s your spirit today?” Show interest in your mate’s interests. Have deep conversations about what makes a difference to both of you.

■ Whenever possible, work to strengthen the golden thread of trust in your relationship.

■ If you’re tempted to have an affair, think about how you’d feel if your mate had one. How much pain would that cause you? If you think you’d be forgiven if you got caught, realize that, even if you get forgiveness, you will have damaged the relationship forever.

■ Here’s a tip I hesitate to give because people sometimes don’t want to go to the trouble of making their relationship better. If your mind wanders and you begin fantasizing about having an affair, turn your attention to the questions: How can I add more romance to the relationship I’m in? What can I do to grow more love in it?

■ My final coaching tip? Never, ever, express how attractive someone other than your mate is and never, ever, ever express how attracted you are to that person. That’s just downright cruel! Instead, compliment your mate and express how much you love him or her. Where you pay attention is where love will grow.

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