Billingsley’s bullets: What happens to trust when you divorce?

By From page A5 | March 21, 2012

Trust revolves around the notion that you have confidence in the integrity of someone or some idea or even something. Trusting someone also implies that you believe them, you can count on them, and you are willing to gamble with your belief in them.

When you agree to marry someone, you are saying to yourself and to the world, I trust this person. I will put my love and my hope in their hands. Marrying someone may be the ultimate gamble.

So what happens when the marriage fails and the onus of divorce becomes a reality? You no longer trust the person who you believed represented the truth. Not only can you not count on them to love you, you don’t want to gamble away any more of your life with them … not another day. The trust you once had disappears.

When the divorce is final, can you ever trust again? Will your anger and disappointment spill over into your opinion of all men or women for the rest of your life?

• The bitterness and anger of divorce can alter your opinion about men or women for the rest of your life, resulting in more divorces or a decision to never marry again. Fifty percent of the people who become married in the USA will be divorced, according to current figures. Marriage, indeed, is now a 50-50 gamble.

We have all seen divorced people who recover from the trauma of divorce and go on to enjoy a happy second or third marriage. These people did not give up trusting people and found new trust with a different lover. These gamblers still believe in trust. They still believe in love.

• People, ideas and even things will sometimes disappoint us. We will all experience setbacks. Our journey through life has lots of bumps.

• We learn a lot from every setback, every negative experience. I believe we learn the most from negative experiences. Even negative people can be great teachers. They teach us that we don’t want to be like them. A negative marriage presents very important lessons. Hopefully, the lesson is that you will not marry such a person again, or you may learn that you need to make changes to avoid a similar marriage.
We can’t give up on trust. All of us need someone we can believe in … someone we can count on, especially during the difficult times of our lives.

In his book, “Inspiration,” Dr. Wayne W. Dyer states that, years ago, he wrote an article called, “Who do you trust?” In the article he explained “that the trust issue rests on who we seek out when we want truth. Are we drawn to those who’ll tell us what we want to hear or those who are unafraid to be honest with us, even if it might be unpleasant or difficult for us to hear? We prefer to hear the truth.”

A great friend is one who understands that sometimes it is better to be honest than to be nice. True friends understand that there are occasions when tough love is very appropriate.

• If you are beginning to allow drugs or booze to create problems at home or at your job, you need a friend who is willing to step up to the plate and confront you about your destructive behavior. Sometimes great friends say things like, “Are you crazy?” or “What you are thinking about doing is stupid!”

A wonderful friend is even willing to jeopardize the friendship by confronting you about your destructive or stupid behavior. They absolutely love you enough to gamble with a confrontation with you, to protect you from continuing with destructive behavior. They want you to be happy, and they will do whatever it takes to get you back on the right track.

If there is a person in your life that you can absolutely be truthful with, you are blessed beyond imagination. Tell that friend how much you love and appreciate him/her … and listen when he or she gives you life lessons.

Bob Billingsley


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