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When Trust Doesn’t Matter to Love…

May 23rd, 2011

The year is 1983. The sun is shining. A man steps outside.

He wears a pink tie and matching shirt, a tangy melon-colored coat, beige slacks, light pink socks, and white dress shoes. He’s smoking a cigarette while he walks towards his car. His dark brown hair is meticulously in place… as are his thoughts, “When you love someone you’ve got to trust them. There’s no other way. You’ve got to give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise what’s the point?” The man opens his car door, turns on the ignition and the car explodes across the movie screen, revealing a chorus of fire and opening movie credits. Who remembers this scene? It’s from one of my many favorite movies. The man is Ace, played by Robert De Niro… and the movie is Casino, a Martin Scorsese Picture.

“When you love someone you’ve got to trust them. There’s no other way.” Is that true? Merriam-Webster defines trust as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

It can be very difficult to have “assured reliance” or trust in someone without first attaining deeper knowledge this person’s tried-and-true character, don’t you think? The act of “trusting” someone without this knowledge is (at my polite-best) naive. I realize that when we are in a relationship with someone it would be nice to know that we can trust that person to do (or not do) whatever it is that they have promised, but the reality is that the people we often love the most don’t always follow through with their promises.

On one of his recent blogs, John Buri, a Professor of Psychology at the University of St. Thomas, boldly wrote, “Love without trust is not love at all,” and then added, “We give to the person we love a special access to us as human beings.” Interesting to me, considering the stark idealism in his first sentence preceding a statement that acknowledges we are human beings… and really aren’t all human beings fallible? I know I am. Certainly there is a difference between being fallible and being untrustworthy though… or is there? As an example: If someone has an addiction to gambling (and that addiction either hasn’t been addressed or isn’t commonly known) and this addicted person promises that they will let you borrow money tomorrow but then gambles it away tonight (believing, of course, that if they were to gamble they would win enough to let you keep all the money you needed instead of just lending it to you!) are they untrustworthy? Of course they are, but what if this person were someone you love and someone that you already knew had a gambling addiction, would you have gone to them for money in the first place? If not, why? Wouldn’t you trust them? If not, would that mean you don’t love them?

There have been times when someone’s untrustworthiness has really challenged my love for them. This thought reminds me of a time when I was living in New York. I have a very dear friend, someone whom I’ve known for years… She is the kind of person who makes everyone want to confide in her because she is so easy to talk to and so loving, but if anyone talking to her has half a brain they can’t tell her anything in strict confidence! No one can. Not unless they want their deepest secrets coming out in tomorrow’s morning press release. This friend of mine does make fairly diligent efforts to keep things to herself, but eventually the moment arrives when she’s emotional or has a similarly passionate tale to share. Then everyone’s previous confidences come wailing out through her manic megaphone! It’s simply who she is. Suffice to say she has been in my life for many many years. When we first met I would tell her everything… until the day she really broke my trust and I read my prior confidences in a magazine that had nationwide distribution! Her defense, “It was an accident.” Ever since then there have been several times over the years when I have wished that I could tell her about some of my juiciest fruit but because I truly love her and enjoy all of the other aspects of our friendship, I’ve learned to accept how, in order for me to remain friends with her, there are certain things that I won’t be able to trust her with, and because she is fully aware of her weaknesses she completely understands this and gladly accepts it.(Right, Madame X?! lol! I know you’re reading this!)

What happens to love when a sexual partner has betrayed the trust that their partner has placed in them? When trust is broken in an intimate relationship and a couple tries to reconcile sometimes their desire to be with one another outweighs the reality of the damage between them, and/or the likelihood of this same kind of betrayal happening again. The trust is gone – maybe forever or maybe for the moment… Is the love gone too? If the love’s gone, wouldn’t the relationship simply be over? Let’s go further… What if the person who has been betrayed is too wounded to ever trust that other person again, period (no matter what the other person does or how sincere their resolve is to be faithful) and so the wounded person ends the relationship. Now the relationship is over. Is the love over too? Sometimes, sure. Always? Hmm…

There’s weighty emphasis in our society related to trusting the person you love. Great! I just hope that if we really do love someone, that we are putting our trust into their tailor-made capabilities as a unique, flawed human being, and not trusting everyone to live up to an unrealistic blanket-ideal that could easily end up in betrayal. “‘Smelling isn’t everything,’ said the Elephant. ‘Why,’ said the Bulldog, ‘if a fellow can’t trust his nose, what is he to trust?’ ‘Well, his brains perhaps,’ she replied mildly.” ~ C.S. Lewis

The year is 2011. The sun is shining. A woman steps outside. She wears a pink silk tank top and matching mini-skirt, a tangy melon-colored sweater, and a pair of white strappy stilettos. Her toenails have been painted a bright cantaloupe-colored glitter that makes her steps sparkle. She’s carrying a Green Tea Creme Frappacino from Starbucks and is taking slow sips out of her straw while she walks towards her car. A fresh watermelon-colored flower has been placed at the bottom of her loosely braided blonde hair, each strand of her hair seems as if it’s held in place by the grace of the wind… as is her life, and she thinks, “When you love someone you’ve got to know them well enough to know how far you can trust them. There’s no other way. You can’t give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise… love becomes an excuse to point fingers… and even betray.” The woman opens her car door, turns on the ignition, and the car explodes in a frenzy of excitement, revealing a chorus of children, “Mommy, mommy why don’t you ever leave your keys in the car?! Don’t you trust us?” “No!” she laughs. “Not at all!”

Amber Guidara Copyright © 2011
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14 Responses to “When Trust Doesn’t Matter to Love…”

  1. morrison Says:

    in God we trust,,,,,and that is the ultimate hope,,,,or faith,,,,that in the end God will see us through and take care of us,,,,the rest is just human stuff,,,, which bond is the most strong,, ,,mother,child,,,lover,,,,husband,wife,,,,,,,i think we can only put trust in the moment and then let go,, and have faith that we won’t be betrayed….
    honesty comes in nicely here ,,,lets say you are in a relationship and at the begining you both swear to tell the other partner ahead of time if you are going to stray,,,,and hold to it,,, i think that is as good as it gets ,,,being honest with each other is a form of trust,, the character and strengh of a person to be that honest is a very commendable thing,,,,there are no aplogies when being honest, the most one person can do to safeguard their feelings is to be at peace with their own self no matter what and have faith in the future, or not care about the outcome of things ,,,go with the flow ,,,have fun on the ride,, trust ourselves first, so people will be more willing to trust us……….

  2. inspired Says:

    love all your bright, fun adjectives and yummy, mouthwatering yearnings, i think you should be an editor and change all the mundane writings of the boring into visual celebrations -give us happier days with exciting colorful, sensual evenings to dream about… xo thank you happy..

  3. “Madame X” Says:

    Yes, I am. :) I love you, Amber. You are right… “gladly” – although, honey it was hard at first. That was a big, painful lesson, and unfortunately, I still open my trap when I shouldn’t sometimes… Don’t ever tell me a secret (I have the world’s worst mouth-filter), but love me forever, honey… You have it down to lovely science. “Madame X” Ps. Call me, honey. I have such a secret to tell.. just teasing…. xo

  4. “Madame X” Says:

    Ps. I love that you named me “Madame X.” (makes me laugh) Enjoy a flirt of fun melodram from the original film “a creature of refinement, pleading, begging for one more chance…” lolol..: http://bit.ly/l7pudw Toodles & Love from the City, honey..

  5. Bree Says:

    Hi! I just discovered you. Very cool. I really like the way you used the two car scenarios to wrap up the blog and really illustrate your idea. I totally agree too. Have a great day. I’ll be back for more. Bookmarked! :) Bree

  6. your friend Says:

    I do believe . When you love someone you’ve got trust them.

  7. Karl Says:

    Trust is earned and the level of trustworthiness varies… Love or no love. Even the bible says to not put your whole trust in “man” (meaning human beings). If we love someone we have to trust that they are human and realistically hope for the best. We need to put our whole trust in God and work from there. If somone doesn’t have faith in a higher power then maybe this perspective doesn’t apply. I do, and my discernment in these matters has comforted and correctly guided me everytime. My best to everyone, Karl

  8. CJ Says:

    Some people we can trust. Some people we can’t trust. Love is an act that we can choose to give all people. Boundaries and honesty, folks. -CJ

  9. G. Walker Says:

    Trust is an honor that is earned, not a selfless act of love that should be expected.

  10. Kate Says:

    This can be a scary concept to embrace for some people. I think it’s difficult for people to let themselves love without trying to control, but you, dear author, have beautifully illustrated truth from beginning to end. Keep writing! Best, Kate

  11. Cyber Audience Member Says:

    BRAVO!

  12. your friend Says:

    Dear Ember : When you Love some one . Made sure you show him that you LOVE him 100% head to toes. SO on i till want my smoothie sometimes it’s made me feel so good :)) hihi

  13. This is a Says:

    Wonderful story, believed we’re able to mix a few unconnected data, nevertheless really worth looking, whoa performed 1 learn about Middle of the Eastern has more problerms as well.

  14. JimmyK Says:

    Great tie in at the end. Perfection.

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