Today I want to touch on how hard it can be to trust again after betrayal.
Trusting yourself AND learning to trust somebody else is hard, deep work.
I’m not going to tell you that I’m all good now and the work is over. I still (sometimes) freak out over something my husband Jeff has (or hasn’t) done.
Jeff and I, over the years, have worked really hard to build trust in our relationship…even in the earliest days. Here’s an example…
Early on when we were dating, Jeff was a huge mountain biker. He would go off on rides for HOURS. I was happy for him to do this because:
- It’s good for him
- He loved it
- It was important for the health of our relationship for him to have a life outside of us.
However, I noticed that as soon as he would take off on his bike I would freak out.
My body would become super dysregulated, and I would feel so triggered.
I didn’t understand why I was freaking out so much about him going on a bike ride, and yet I couldn’t help it. This kept happening until finally, in a session with my therapist, she said, “Jenni, didn’t your ex-husband act out while he was out riding his bike?”
She was right! Even though my mind had totally forgotten about it, my body still remembered and reacted to it.
So this meant it was time for yet another talk with Jeff. I say “another” because we had already had several at this point. I had been very upfront with him from the beginning that I was healing from some pretty serious betrayal trauma.
I needed him to know what to expect from being in a relationship with me.
In other words, he was going to have to be up for being in a relationship with someone who experienced fear, anxiety and dysregulation on a fairly frequent basis – especially in those early days.
Spoiler alert: He totally was. Of course, because he’s awesome. He had an app on his phone he used to track his bike rides, and it allowed him to start sharing his location with me.
That way, when he was out on a bike ride, it would be sending me updates about where he was and his route, so I knew where he was. And I could feel safe.
Even though Jeff was not responsible for my trauma, he did not take my reaction personally or get defensive. He looked for how he could care for me in this situation – and in many situations since.
THAT is what it takes to heal in a relationship and learn to trust someone else again.
I wanted to share this sweet story as a concrete, specific example of how I reached out and asked for what I needed. Jeff was able to lean in and lovingly give me what I needed to feel safe.
He did this because he LOVED me and because he knew that I was WORTH it. He knew that WE were worth it. He was RIGHT.
If you are in a new relationship and building trust, start asking yourself:
“What do I need to feel safe?”
Teach your person to ask:
“How can I care for you in this moment?”
Give yourself so much grace.
And know that you can trust yourself and someone else, and that it’s okay to still want to experience big, big love.
P.S. Speaking of being worth it, did you hear that I am hosting a FREE workshop on July 8th?!
Registration for Worthy of MORE: Reclaim Your Authentic, Feminine Power & Stop Settling for Less in Love
This free, online event is for the woman who is “moving on” after betrayal.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve left the relationship. But you are ready to let go of any shame or self-judgment that you have about wanting more and to level up the ways you expect to be loved.
You can read about it and register RIGHT HERE.