Monday, April 1, 2013

The Trust Unicorn


{In response to a friend asking about trust and rebuilding trust and love}

July 2012

The trust unicorn.  So, so elusive.  

I've been able to look back at my experience with Mr. Scabs and break it down into phases. First, there were the phases of shock, depression, confusion.  Then there was the hate-phase, then the phase of indifference and then the hate-phase again.  Then there was pity-party phase.  After that there was the phase of feeling sorry for him.  Then a phase of utter disrespect and apathy.  And, a million other phases that changed daily or didn't change for month after stagnant month.  

All this seemed to lead my path to the strangest outcome of all, compassion.  But just a bit of compassion because it seems so unnatural, as if compassion doesn't deserve a place in our life.  The compassion is fleeting, coming and going but finally it takes hold, bubbles over and reaches out to all the corners of my life.  Compassion, like all the phases before me, led me to chapter I'm currently in...a little bit of love.  

But, let me reiterate what I said to you the other night...i don't trust him.  He has broken every vow and does not deserve trust.  Trust is not my job to give.  He's working to earn it each day with his actions, and when his actions match his words...I might begin to trust him.  Trust is like a unicorn.  I never think about it.  I never look for it.  I don't have a rainbow poster hanging over my bed fostering the unicorn delusion.  No pushing, begging, screaming, crying or carefully contrived therapy sessions will make the trust unicorn appear.  And so, I let it go.  The unicorn is a myth.  

And when trust comes to me, iI don't believe it will be mythical.  

For now, I'm tentatively feeling out the phase of falling back in love.  Maybe it's just a crush.  Just a month ago I was telling another friend that I had no feelings of love for him at all and couldn't imagine it.  Each phase bridges me to the next, navigating the impossible.

So yes, if you are both in a place to heal your marriage I believe all isn't lost.  You can fall in love again!  All things can heal.  But if he chooses his addiction and our marriage dissolves I know that I'm still capable of falling in love.  Although, I tell myself I would never get married again.  I'd invoke plan B where I wander the world with my kids, midwifing for chickens or a bucket of rice and living a gypsy life.  

But who knows, maybe I'll run into a unicorn.



  1. I hope you find the unicorn too.

  2. I like this metaphor. All the different phases are what I am going through, so thanks for the acknowledgment.

  3. The Trust Unicorn! That's beautiful!
    My trust metaphor would be more foreboding like...the Trust ALIEN from the Planet "Monkeys Might Fly Outta my Ass".

    Too cynical?? Maybe a tad. I just can't fathom ever trusting FWH again. On my blog, I preach trust but verify, but that's not really trust. I trusted completely before DDay. Now I run Hot or Cold, Black or White, Right or Wrong. I just don't see any happy medium where my Trust Alien is concerned.
    Lucky for me...I do see the potential for happy without trust. Most people can't fathom that.
    Most people don't know the pain of betrayal.

  4. an alien! haha!

    I'm like you. I can see life and love without trust and I am happy with that. I think I've learned a lot about trust and relationships. Maybe it's not so much trust as its the feeling of being willing to take a chance. Maybe it's giving your teenager a chance to take the car out on a Friday night. I'm sure I wouldn't trust them but I would be willing to give them a chance.

    12 step has taught me that there is only One who I can trust. What else do I need?

  5. Thank you. I did kind of come to that conclusion. Trust is not my burden. It's his. He lost it. It's his job to rebuild it. I can look for trustworthy actions and behaviors, but I don't have to worry about it or look for it.

    I love the Trust Unicorn. I hope one day we both find it, but I don't want to worry about it today....


  6. Great metaphor:) I know I can trust God and that's about it right now. My husband is showing little pieces of trust here and there and then he'll do things that confuse me, so I am not sure.

  7. Very timely for me as trust has been on my mind a lot lately. I loved what you said about the different phases too because after several months since disclosure, my initial shock (which really lasted for weeks and weeks) and hatred have now turned to indifference -- which worries me a little bit. I've pulled back, I guess kind of detaching, waiting for the next phase of emotions. I guess it's okay to be accepting of yourself and these phases because they will definitely change....and hopefully heal us as we turn them over to God.

  8. Love this analogy :) and it's nice to be reminded that I don't have to trust right away. It's crazy how my husband most times has expected me to just trust him again. It was so enlightening to learn that forgiveness and trust are two different things. Am I the only one that goes to being forgiving to being angry? It depends on the day for me but thank goodness for detaching, I'm not perfect at it but I am learning.

  9. Great post. For me its the trust unicorn, the forgiveness fairy and the love leprechaun. all three are outside of my existense. i work on finding the fairy ... she's for me i think. having all three might give me great happiness... sometimes i don't know.

    this weekend it struck me that i cant say "i love you" to my CS. he said it hurt. i was like, welcome to the club, i used to ADORE him. i dont know, throwing him out made me see i don't NEED him to survive. perhaps i was unhappy alone but i'm not over the moon happy with him back. his cheating did this to me - this constant flux of emotions, temper and desire.

    maybe its just not in the cards for me & my marriage. i too would never remarry... i married TWO self centered babies. i gave birth to two of my own (WONDERFUL) babies. i don't need anymore.

  10. You are relentlessly amazing and beautiful love you so much! = )
    Superhero in spandex on a bike....

  11. This really resonated with me today. I love the idea of trust being a unicorn that I have just let go of. I feel like I am in a better place than ever, but also more apathetic and indifferent, so maybe not ;) Thanks so much for your blog. I learn so much from you. You have become truly amazing through all of this!

  12. Not trusting your partner means we yet believe that he can hurt us once again in the same way that he did before.

    If you love him enough to live like that and you think that is how love is and that you don't deserve better so be it.

    Are there any guarantees that the next partner will not betray you? No there is not.But does that mean you keep waiting for this partner to metamorphosise into the man you thought he was/think he should be? That's a very very personal choice that is shaped by how your formative years have been.

    If this is what is your idea of love and relationship and this is what you think is the general normal standard then yes one can love without trust.



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