I was married for five years and then my marriage unraveled and ended horribly in divorce several years ago. I thought I knew the man I was marrying, but apparently I did not. I have been dating a man who I think is a great guy and he wants me to marry him, but I am afraid. What if I can’t really trust him and I’m just being duped again? Can you help?
I had some similar fears when I met my husband 20 years ago. I was heading toward the altar in a matter of weeks when the fears hit. I prayed on the question, “What if I can’t trust him?” Amazingly, I immediately got a very clear answer back, “You don’t need to trust him to be okay. You need to trust yourself to handle whatever he may do or whatever may happen to him and you need to trust in Spirit to only offer you what you need to experience to grow.” This awareness struck me in such a powerful way.
Of course, I needed to trust him enough to believe that he was a good person and had values that I respected; beyond that, I needed to have faith in my own strength, problem-solving abilities, and knowledge that life and love is all about spiritual growth.
After all, beyond what our spouses choose to do that may hurt us, they may also get ill, or in an accident, or die, or lose their job, or—the list is long. I needed to know that no matter what may happen, I would be okay—and could not put that power or responsibility in my soon-to-be husband’s hands. Our wellness, happiness and joy are our own responsibility.
You can, however, take some action steps before marriage to better assess whether the two of you are an actual match. Make a list of questions based on your own values and have a heart to heart conversation with him. Tell him the truth about yourself and ask for the same. Share your “non-negotiables.” While we all have preferences in relationships, many can be overlooked (like how tall someone is, or whether they like to cook). However, non-negotiables hold a lot more importance and are usually based on values that the individual is not likely to compromise on, like religion or having children, or no physical or substance abuse.
The more honest you are about what you want and don’t want, and what he wants and doesn’t want, and the more likely you will be able to move confidently into—or out of—this relationship.
I wish you the best.
Intellectual Foreplay Question: Do you trust yourself enough to be in a relationship?
Love Tip: The first skill of relationship has nothing to do with the other person: Self-Strengthen. Take steps to grow your own values, problem solving capabilities, health, spirituality and resilience.