A Thriving Relationship Depends on Trust and Respect
As the song says, “Love is a many splendored thing,” and it is, but without trust and respect, a loving relationship may be doomed to failure. Love on its own isn’t enough. Let’s take a look at why that is.
Trust is “the firm belief in the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something,” according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. What the definition doesn’t point out is the courage it takes for many to put their trust in someone else. When we trust someone with our heart, we are committing fully to them in the belief that they won’t let us down by doing something that will be seen as a betrayal of that trust. It involves letting our guard down and becoming vulnerable. This can be scary. For that reason, our trust in someone else becomes even more significant. If that trust is broken, the effect can be devasting.
Even knowing this, we enter into a contract of trust that works both ways, when we decide to enter into a relationship. When we trust our partner fully, there is no room for jealousy or doubt about their motives. If these two perpetrators enter into the picture, they can break a relationship down with accusations and fears that may have no basis in reality.
Respect is “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others,” according to Google’s English Dictionary. These components are the various threads that make up the fabric of each and everyone of us.
They have been with us from our formative years and are not to be looked upon lightly. They make up our beliefs and the way we conduct our lives. Each of us has the right to be who we are and to be respected for it.
Once we have been in a relationship for a while, perhaps without meaning to, we may lose sight of our partner’s feelings and wishes. This may occur especially if we disagree with the way they do something or if they hold a belief we do not. In our desire to do things the way we see fit, we may put our beliefs above our partner’s, perhaps belittling them, thus not treating them with the respect they are due. The intelligence, thought, and experience behind them cannot be forgotten. Each of us deserves to be heard and to have our desires respected. When decisions need to be made, their solutions must take everything on both sides into consideration or the relationship will eventually break down.
It isn’t a stretch to say that without respect there cannot be trust or that without trust there cannot be respect. Together, they form the foundation of a healthy loving relationship. Their absence, however, can weaken that foundation.