I have been thinking a lot about trust lately
Welcome, friends! I have been thinking a lot about trust lately. Trust is a strange thing. It is both fragile enough to break with the smallest of offenses; and strong enough to carry you through the worst trials life can throw at you. Broken trust shatters lives. Foundational trust builds.
There are so many little things that will break trust between a man and a woman. It isn’t just the big things, such as affairs, that damage the relationship between you and your partner. It is much more often the little things that just keep filing away at the trust you once had in your relationship.
Today, I am not talking about how HE can rebuild your trust. I am talking about how you can build, or rebuild, trust with your man. While he is in prison, one of his greatest fears is that you will leave him. So, everything you do is suddenly seen through the lens of “she is going to leave me.”
Trust takes work
This way of thinking causes many arguments between men in prison and their wives. If every action you take becomes a sign that you are leaving him, you have trust issues between you. And if you want to make it out of this situation together, you will need to work on building trust.
Distrust is ugly
Distrust is ugly. It accuses, undermines, and puts walls up to protect you. It is also really hard to kill. Knowing that distrust is hard to kill is important. It puts all the little things into perspective. When distrust is in the middle of a relationship, it means that we have to do extraordinary things to get rid of it.
Things that you would not typically think anything of, you will need to think about. This means everything you do must reflect building trust. The three major things this will affect are your friendships, your clothes, and your boundaries.
Friendships are really important. But when your husband is in prison, they are even more important. Finding the right friends and investing in those relationships are critical to the success of your family. If you have friends that exhibit either of these next 2 things, you will need to cut off those friendships:
1. People who are bad influences in your life or
2. Other men who your husband is not comfortable with
These 2 types of friends will be poison to trust.
It isn’t worth sacrificing your family
Your clothes may seem unimportant, but they aren’t. The way you dress sends a message to others. it conveys how much you care about your appearance, if you have low self-esteem, and if you are “on the market” for a romantic relationship. Yes, your clothing really does convey all of that and more. I am not talking about buying more expensive clothing. I AM talking about wearing modest clothing. If you are advertising something that is not on the market, you are slowly chipping away trust in your marriage.
What you wear matters. Dress conservatively and casually. No sweat pants, leggings, tight jeans, short skirts, or short shorts. As a precaution, don’t wear shorts at all.
Dressing modestly will stop most men from hitting on you
Simply put, if you can’t wear it to see your husband, don’t wear it. The only exception I had was shorts since I couldn’t wear shorts inside the prison. But any dress or top I considered, I asked myself how my husband would feel about it. Dressing modestly will stop most other men from hitting on you. This removes one battle you won’t have to fight!
Lastly, check your boundaries. Are you particularly spending a lot of time with other men? Are you allowing other men to come to your home when no one else is there? Do you often confide in a man at work things that you are not telling your husband? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to adjust your boundaries. Your husband is your BAE (Before Anybody Else) in your life. When you start investing time and energy in a friendship, work relationship, or other relationship with another man, you are killing the trust between you.
If you really want to build trust with your man, do what you say you will do, tell him the truth, think of how what you are doing might look to him (or his friends), and don’t hide anything from him.
Building trust is a HUGE task. But trust is what will help you go with distance—not just while he is in prison, but after he comes home.
I am rooting for you!