I’ve been thinking a lot lately about deception, the conflicting feelings associated with being lied to and how when trust is broken in a relationship, although it’s totally not okay…
Is it EVER repairable?
Trust is the foundation for every solid, healthy, mutual and enviable relationship out there. And it’s taken me so much time, heartbreak, failure and humiliation to realize that if you don’t have trust in your relationship, there will never be an actual relationship, only the idea of one.
Without trust… Passion, meaning, intimacy and connection cannot exist, no matter what you do or how enthusiastically you search for it with no pants on.
And without all that, what do you really have other than relationsh*t status, limbo land HELL?
Stagnation, emotional constipation and Too Scared to Flush Syndrome begin to take over, through gradual infiltration. We usually confuse the emotional paralysis that we’re experiencing with “being committed,” “in love,” “not being selfish for once,” “weathering the storm,” “not giving up or quitting,” etc., when really, we’re just a not-so-undercover (or cute) doormat; an ATM for excuses without an ounce of dignity left in our emotional bank.
When trust is broken in a relationship, the foundational crack that is that lack of trust, immediately becomes the ONLY thing that needs to be focused on or else, the house comes crashing down.
If you don’t have your health, it doesn’t matter if you have all the intelligence, money, degrees, looks, wardrobe, charisma, charm and opportunity in the world, right?
TRUST is the definition of optimal relational health. If you don’t have it, NOTHING.else.matters.
It doesn’t matter how amazing all of the surrounding factors are, how mind-blowing the sex is or how enticing the potential.
Where there is an absence of trust, there’s an absence of reality (and an abundance of “pulling-the-wool-over-your-own-eyes-in-hope-of-the-toad-turning-into-a-prince,” delusion).
And where there’s an absence of reality… there’s an absence of a real relationship.
Trust is the nucleus, the “control center,” of all relational cells. And yes, just like there are relationships, friendships and even marriages that exist without trust, there ARE cells that exist without a nucleus – these are very basic, simple cells known as bacteria. Bacterial cells need absolutely nothing to thrive and multiply other than an unhealthy, toxic environment. The relational equivalent to a bacterial cell is known as that thing your relationship became once the trust was broken: A relationsh*t.
Deception of any kind robs your relationship of having the nucleus it needs to live a quality, healthy, functional, rewarding and everlasting life.
But, I have to admit… It’s really easy to sit here and type away about how any hint of deception should never be tolerated and that when trust is broken in a relationship, you need to immediately bounce and never look back.
It’s not so easy when you’re in the thick of it, being lied to by the one person who you wanted so desperately to be “it;” the one who you can’t help but see all the good in – the person who has your heart.
The only person you ever trusted with not breaking it.
What do you do when trust is broken in a relationship?
How do you proceed when your gut senses deception that directly contradicts with what your heart wants?
I’ve not only tolerated, but I’ve excused deception, lies and have chosen to believe the most asinine, outrageous and hindsight-laughable bullsh*t you could ever imagine. I’ve had people tell me versions of the truth, and while they were doing so, straight-up acknowledge my allergy to bullsh*t, the pain that this “misunderstanding” has caused me and even the “harder to believe,” aspects of their own story.
Why was I so quick to tolerate and excuse in the past?
I used to think it was because I really loved the other person and that it was some inverted sign of maturity, because I was choosing to “work through it,” at the expense of my intelligence. I also wanted to avoid potentially being viewed as a drama queen.
Now, looking back with self awareness, the ability to be vulnerable and a disintegrated ego, I continually tolerated and excused deception (in others and IN MYSELF – YES. I used to habitually lie, have talked about it many times here on the blog and will continue to do so). This was all due to my un-dealt-with trauma and shame from the past, my insecurity, abandonment issues, daddy issues and low self esteem, which made me a sitting duck for accepting lies.
Because of this, I had an inability to let go of how I wanted things to be because I couldn’t see them for what they currently were.
All I could see was a barking cat. It was too painful to acknowledge (and ACT upon), the fact that the cat was actually meowing, despite telling me that it was just a bark with a French accent. It was too embarrassing to face all the time I had wasted, wondering whether or not I could hear and even apologizing for my inability to recognize a meow with a French accent.
Nowadays, I’ve retired as sergeant of The Gotcha Police. I no longer get emotional orgasims from playing detective, catching people red-handed and then getting my ass kissed because they were caught.
I’m sure a lot flies over my head, but ultimately, because people can’t help but communicate who they are, they eventually unfold and the truth now holds a higher value than my subscription to hope. I’m more reliant on my gut than I am on words. I’m happier. I’m calmer. And I no longer feel guilty for assuming that I’m dealing with a duck if it’s in a pond, quacking and has feathers. I’m not so ashamed to connect the dots in a way that correlates with REALITY, as opposed to someone else’s version of it.
If I notice deception, I bring it up in the most clear way possible, AFTER I’ve had some time to process it. Once I address it, I’m then able to make a rational decision that I feel good about acting on. I used to need to catch people in the same kind of deception that I would to engage in with myself because for a moment, it allowed me to feel like I wasn’t as contradictory as I knew (and I’m sure everyone else knew), I was.
Today, deception no longer triggers me into a month long “discovery phase,” back-and-forth, “I’ll never be enough,” journey. Frankly, it bores me. I don’t have the time for it. And I no longer feel guilty about not wanting to continue a relationship in which doing so would undermine my emotional eyes and ears: my instinct. This is why I keep my circle microscopically small.
When trust is broken in a relationship, you need to press the STOP button immediately.
Although there is a great deal of shock and pain, your disgust by the other person’s contradiction needs to outweigh your level of desperation.
Desperation is not cute, never sexy, nor does it EVER garner respect.
And if you’re desperate, you won’t be able to make the right decision with how you want to proceed.
No level of deceit is ever excusable and no amount of desperation to hang onto the threads of truth in an unbelievable fable, should ever require you having to be THAT desperate.
Just like where there’s dog sh*t, there are always flies… where there’s a liar, there is always an enabler.
Stop enabling other people’s deception to impulsively jumpstart your own self-deception. Pull the plug and know when you need to flush.
As far as what to do when trust is broken in a relationship, make sure that you first have a healthy relationship with something that I have always struggled with: Intention.
I used to always fall hard for the “it wasn’t my intention,” explanations. The only reason that I ever hung onto my partner’s excuses for dear life was because those very explanations and excuses catered to the Happily Ever After hope that I wasn’t yet ready to let go of. This was a hope that I would rather have intact, despite the cost of my backbone and self respect. A hope that was rooted in the belief that I needed someone to complete me, never compliment me. I didn’t feel like I had anything to compliment.
When someone says something to you that just doesn’t add up and your gut knows it – whether it’s just partially untrue or completely untrue – what they’re trying to do is control the situation by disallowing you to have the 2 things that you’re always entitled to: A reaction and the truth.
If they start to defend or deny in any way, not only can this rapidly progress into gaslighting, but at the very LEAST, it’s a window into their OWN issues with control, trust, respect, honesty and an indicator of just how low their self esteem really is.
I remember one time, I was told a lie that was so incredibly obvious, I began to question whether it was even a lie. I thought to myself: “There’s no way this person could risk not being believed and say something so outrageous if it wasn’t true. I know I wouldn’t!”
As far as what to do when trust is broken in a relationship, remember this: It’s SUPPOSED TO be heartbreaking. Deception hurts, and when you’re in the process of connecting the dots, it’s about as painful and unnatural as having to perform open-heart surgery on yourself. You obsess over every word and play back every scenario. At times, you’ll feel like your senses are deceiving you because they are. EVERY sense will attempt to deceive you except your gut.
Your life will speak for itself no matter how much you try to justify your decisions with excuses rooted in “I am not enough.” When you choose to buy into the deception of others, you will drain your life, your spirit and your soul of substance. You’ll deprive the world of the gift that is YOU… until one day, it’ll be too late to do anything other than regret the F out of a life half lived.
When trust is broken in a relationship… I’ve learned the hard way that it’s better to be kindly honest and own your truth than is it to waste your time lying to yourself while hanging onto the lies of f*cktards.
It’s OKAY to not want to roll in the mud of bullsh*t and pretend that you’re in a marble-lined, salt water pool.
When trust is broken in a relationship… Own the narrative, independent of your value. The moment you stop arguing with reality and own your truth, instead of being ashamed or feeling guilty… That’s the moment you’re no longer emotionally handcuffed or physically bound to accept deception. Yes, you’ll still be hurt, but you will see it for what it is: THEIR karma, YOUR northern star – pointing YOU on YOUR way.
I’ve never been deceived or lied to in my life more than I’ve lied to and deceived myself. I kept subscribing to a self-limiting story that created a dependance on being emotionally dependent; allowing others to control what THEY wanted me to be exposed to in what was supposed to be OUR relational environment.
Lies should have no place in your life. Make the decision today to adopt a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to deception and bullsh*t.
And remember, when trust is broken in a relationship – not this post, not your family or friends – ONLY YOU can decide what you’re 100% comfortable with as far as how you want to proceed.
No one can tell you what’s best for you, especially the person who caused the breach in trust and heartbreak. No matter how you choose to proceed, here’s the one thing you should always do when you feel like you’re being deceived and things just aren’t adding up – Take a moment to stop and process the information before you act/react on impulse. “Where there is reactivity, there is a wound.” Don’t give someone that’s totally fine with lying to you, a roadmap to your wounds.
Stay on your white horse, rely on your instinct, your actions and be the enviable class act instead of the certifiable banshee.
Don’t feel guilty about hitting the STOP button until you are both clear as to what happened, feel mutually comfortable and respected on BOTH ends.
You deserve so much more than a version of the truth…
… and the world deserves so much more than just a version of you.
+ if you need further or more personalized help, please look into working with me here.