A primary conflict within relationships gets labeled “trust issues.” He needs to trust her to be there for him and she must trust him to remain interested only in her. We have a social convention that sexual fidelity tells us who is trustable and anyone cheating cannot be trusted. Breaking trust constitutes treason within marriages and gets the maximum penalty—execution (aka divorce).

But when we look deeper into the dynamics of what are called trust issues, we see that those who scream longest and loudest about breaches of trust had not only the seed, but a flourishing plant of distrust long before the relationship began. In fact, the issue of trust in developmental terms is the first challenge we face, according to classic psychologies. We either resolve it in infancy or continue trying to work it out in every significant relationship thereafter. Therefore to say that anyone in particular violated our trust misses the point that it could have been anyone, and usually is part of a long history of betrayal and abandonment.

A rule of thumb amongst therapists goes something like, “like attracts like.” People with trust issues look for primary connection to someone who will provide some manner of solution. The sensible thing would be to choose a mate who is impeccably trustable. But doing so is no more than accommodation. It may suffice for awhile, but to depend upon someone else for a quality we failed to integrate ourselves never works well or lasts forever—any more than a wooden leg replaces a flesh one.
More often, we choose partners who exemplify untrustable qualities, then point fingers at them to prove we knew all along that they would fail us. That way we get the problem out into objective reality and make it all about them. The myth we tell ourselves is that if only we can just make him/her, the government, or those foreigners trustable, then we will feel safe.

Trust is not a management problem, despite the current fad with attempts to medicate or strategize everything. And it's impossible to work it out within important love relationships with but rare exceptions. No amount of counseling or strategizing gets to the core issue, because it began well before our thinking processes even used words. It shows up with the kind of energy devoted to basic survival needs—and in fact resides there. True rage and incapacitating fear are fuel for trust issues, and the reasons we espouse generally have nothing to do with what's really going on.

Trust reflects the quality of connection to our prime sources of what we must have in order to exist, whether it be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. Physically, we had the umbilical cord as our primary connection in the womb and when that fails to provide nourishment, our physical bodies die as a result (miscarriage, or still borne). Quality human contact has proved to be just as vital to psychosocial survival, as well.
Our personal evaluations regarding the quality of what comes down the connection line to nurture our bodies, minds and souls constitute what we lump together under the heading of trust. If we got the right stuff, we concluded that our caretakers are benevolent and the world safe. As adults, what we attempt to get from our fellow humans, pets, and objects we connect to, cannot replicate the conditions when our survival really did depend upon it. Picture this: when we were babes in our mother's arms the difference was enormous. She was over 20 times our size, meaning she could give us everything we needed from her breast and heart without endangering her own life force.

Now fast forward to present situation and imagine trying to get what we didn't get back then from people our own size. Or our golden retriever. Even the cutest kitty cannot provide but a tiny portion of what we want to have now to make up for deficits of what we didn't get back then. A sexual relationship certainly is no arena to derive sufficient connection, no matter how intense the orgasmic energy exchange.

An even better indicator is that people who got enough of what they needed back then are largely mystified at all the emphasis some of us place on trust. We cannot fathom how we failed our loved ones when accused of breaking unmentionable sacred tablets determining that we are untrustable. Just about everyone has different codes of conduct concerning trust, without much consensual agreement, and we consider it way too important to have to discuss them. These are viewed as inalienable rights to have others behave in particular ways that insure our very survival. We fight about our unspoken rules viciously, but never negotiate them. Charges of betrayal and abandonment are commonly levied against those accused of trust crimes.

When we got enough early in life, social standards demand that we make ourselves available to the “have nots.” Like being our brother's keeper. So we are required by many social and moral codes to be a source for others, until we are too depleted to continue, also. Because being a source doesn't resolve the recipient's connection issues, we still eventually get labeled untrustable and discarded when no longer able to provide vital sustenance. And no one seems to get the adage about pouring from an empty pitcher.

Those who attained that ineffable quality of enough would be in much better service if we establish means of assisting others resolve their challenges with connection, rather than attempt to be their source. We would not accept crippling requirements to be the supply in order to avoid blame for crimes concerning trust. Just like with airline instructions for in-flight emergencies, we would not surrender the oxygen masks on our faces in sacrifice to those who failed to do so. Only then would we have true capacity to provide viable assistance and be role models for what it's like to have lives in which trust is an entirely inside job.

The only person we really need to trust is ourselves. No one else can ever complete us emotionally past the age of two, nor do healthy adults rely upon anyone else to do our thinking for us. And we can always trust others to be who they show up as—not who we fantasize them to be. So we can trust an alcoholic to pressure us into being enablers, so they can continue their addiction. And expect energy vampires and emotional predators to try and take what we have, just like scam artists and sales people via for opportunity to take our money.

What we really lack are very many practitioners in the helping professions who have resolved connection issues themselves and offer viable models for successfully resolving foundational problems commonly labeled trust. Only then would we have proof that we can resolve issues about trust within us, where the solution really belongs. If we walk around knowing we have enough, are enough and thus need nothing from anyone else to complete us, we then have no interest in joining in the feeding frenzy we see all around. And know there hope for the satisfied person.

Much more on this and related topics can be found at HTTP://doihaftagrowup.com. You can take a test of just how well you mastered connection and subsequent foundational challenges and read related articles.

Author's Bio: 

Gary Robertson is author of DO I HAFTA GROW UP, THE ADULT GUIDE TO UNFINISHED BUSINESS OF CHILDHOOD. As director of Springs Foundation, a non-profit organization, he designed a program called Growing Bones that allows clients to reclaim missing elements of their developmental foundation and become truly grown up. Springs Foundation offers healing methods based in Energy Psychology and Energy Medicine. Visit springsfoundation.org for more information.