Anger in the Age of Entitlement

Cleaning up emotional pollution

Trust and Betrayal

The secret of trusting wisely is to forget about trust and focus on self-compassion. Read More

Trust and Betrayal

Trust is specific to individuals and the expectations of the individuals in any given relationship, and individual to issues in the relationship.

For instance, I had a man whom I considered a friend. He had some kleptomaniacal issues. You could not trust him to not take your stuff, but you could count on him in nearly every other way.

Another could not be trusted in social situations. He was coarse and sometimes crass, but he would also take great risks to help a friend.

And so on. So many people can be trusted in some areas and not in others.

Then there are circumstances. Like loyalty. Some people are loyal only as far as things are convenient, others loyal to a fault, and our aim is probably somewhere in between.

Then there are expectations. Some think they can expect loyalty even when they do not do the things to keep that loyalty, or when they outright betray it, or they choose to not hold up their end of the bargain and still want the other one to - and so on.

You were right that

You were right that compassion and acceptance helps. I was demanding the impossible from her: absolute certainty. It made see her as an adversary/enemy(someone who is out to hurt me), instead of someone whom I care about. Now I see that even if I can't trust her completely, I can still care about her and see that she is still the imperfect girl I love.


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Steven Stosny, Ph.D., treats people for anger and relationship problems. Recent books: How to Improve your Marriage without Talking about It, and Love Without Hurt.


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