“Trust takes years to build. Seconds to break. And forever to repair.”
Below are some facts on deception and truth which help us to see why betrayal and lies are so destructive to relationships.
1. Trust is at the heart of our relationships, and especially our intimate relationships. We need to know this person can be taken at their word, and that their word is consistent with reality. Otherwise, it’s impossible to go into the world, and to feel we can relax – because we’re safe, and we’re protected.
2. So trust is fundamental … but its fragile, too. Hence, when secrets and lies have jeopardized that trust it is very, very hard to rebuild it again. It will likely always be precarious. And it’s likely you’ll also always be somewhat on your guard.
“Your one lie drags all your truth under suspicion.“
3. Trust is something we apply globally, and especially in our intimate relationships. In our mind that person is trustworthy – or they’re not. We don’t differentiate between scenarios.
4. Although we can choose to forgive, we can’t forget we were deceived. It’s hardwired in our brain for survival purposes. And because this is the case, it means there always will be times when we question if that person is trustworthy … still … Today. That is an unfortunate reality.
5. Intentional deception always changes how we feel about an individual we had once trusted and loved. Why? Because it strikes at the heart of that person’s character.
Think about it … Why would we trust someone who puts their own needs first, and pretends that they are different from the way they really are? And when ‘the rubber meets the road’ they are not dependable (at least that’s what we’ve learned from our experience with them).
6. Even if they are remorseful and have tried to make amends, giving them your trust will be a slow, tentative process. You need to take care of yourself, and be your own best friend. Your best interests and well-being are your top priority.
Something to bear in mind
Research findings from Wharton have shown that “trust harmed by untrustworthy behavior can be effectively restored when individuals observe a consistent series of trustworthy actions,” and that making promises to change behavior can help speed up the process.
However, the study also found that trust harmed by the same untrustworthy actions and deception, never fully recovers – even when deceived participants receive a promise, an apology, and observe a consistent series of trustworthy actions.”