A relationship needs trust to exist. There’s no way around that. It’s the basis of everything: love, communication, and progress. If you take trust away from any of these important pieces, they become empty. How you feel about your S/O loses its meaning. What they say to you lacks believability. Your future grows dim. It’s not good, to say the least, and the longer relationships without trust last, the worse things will get. Each of the 10 symptoms listed below is likely to occur once trust disappears, building on one another to a painful and heartbreaking end.
I guess you could argue this is a chicken and the egg situation. Does the first hint of suspicion bring on distrust? Or is it an inner lack of trust that creates suspicion in one member of the relationship? Either way, the two come together. Once you lose trust in your partner, a seed is planted that leads to suspicion seeping in all over, where it normally wouldn’t have reason to. If your boyfriend lies to you about where he is on a certain night, then how can you help but be a little suspicious about who he says he was with or what he was doing? This is the first step in the foundation of relationships without trust beginning to fall down. Once you begin to be suspicious of each other, things start to crumble.
2. Shutdown of communication
When a relationship starts to lose trust, communication centers will start to shut down. If you don’t trust someone, then you’re probably not keen to believe what they say, and then the whole point of conversation is useless, only making each other feel bad with no hopeful results. If neither person is benefiting from working through the problem with communication, the discussions will be over, and without a steady streamline of communication there’s not much hope for repairing the lack of trust.
3. Driving apart
The lack of trust will without a doubt drive a wedge between you and your S/O. You become strangers to each other, or at least that’s what it feels like when you’re not sure you can trust someone you’ve previously shared such a connection with, or you feel like they can’t trust you. It brews up so many bad or painful feelings having that line of trust severed, like you’re betrayed, like you’re alone, and they all lead to the wedge becoming wider and wider because it’s a hurtful thing to feel like someone you love doesn’t trust you or can’t be trusted themselves. You’re lost. You don’t know what to do, but seeking them out and pulling them closer often doesn’t seem to be an option. So you drift apart.
4. Turning to other people
Feeling like you can’t trust your S/O or like they don’t trust you is terribly lonely. There’s a distance between you and the person who’s supposed to be closest to you, and that’s isolating. To make up for this painful feeling, people often turn to others around them, to take comfort in and feel validation from. While this may help short-term feelings, this connection really is only further dooming the relationship and the lack of trust even more. Having someone else tell you you’re right and your S/O is wrong will only continue to drive you from them, and communicating with someone else rather than them only increases that distance. Even worse, if that someone else is a person you could be sexually attracted to, you may be driven by that loneliness straight into their arms and cheating.
5. Loss of personal freedoms
In an effort to make up for what’s been lost in the relationship from that lack of trust, one or both partners in the relationship may begin to give up things they normally enjoy, but that might be triggering distrust in the other partner. You hang out with your friends less so they don’t get nervous when you’re gone. You let go of the friendship with a guy or girl they’re particularly jealous of. Even if each partner is willing to make these sacrifices to keep relationships without trust alive and the distrust quelled, these aren’t healthy practices. You need to be yourself in your relationship. You need to be able to see other people, or just do what you want and enjoy. And you may think you’re doing the right thing for your relationship, but in reality you’re only hurting yourself and prolonging the pain.
I say prolonging the pain because very often the sacrifice of personal freedoms or desires for another person, even if you really love them and want things to work, leads to resentment. There’s something wrong about giving yourself up, the slow whittling down of your person in order to make someone else happy or comfortable. Eventually you’re only existing for the purpose of keeping your relationship alive, and in order to do that you’ve lost who you are. This all inevitably leads to unhappiness and resentment in the end, when you finally realize it. Your feelings of love and willing sacrifice will turn to anger.
7. Loss of physical intimacy
Trust and sex are both extremely intimate things. With each, you are giving your whole self over to someone. You are agreeing to be vulnerable. So it’s not surprising that if one disappears the other would too. Feeling like you can’t trust your S/O or feeling like they don’t trust you takes away from that comfortable sharing of intimacy. It’s less exciting or safe to give yourself over to this person now that that connection has been broken. You don’t know what’s going on inside of them. Do they still want you? Are you the only one for them? Once trust has been destroyed, there’s nothing assuring you of the answer to these questions, and what used to be wonderful physical intimacy becomes scary and cold.
8. Loss of self motivation
Your S/O is meant to be your number one cheerleader. They love you for who you are. They support you and believe in you. But if they don’t trust you, how can they? And if they don’t believe you’re good enough, this person who is supposed to love you more than anyone no matter what, then who could? If they don’t trust you, for the wrong reasons or the right ones, there leaves so much room for self-doubt. And that crippling level of self-doubt will leave to a loss of self-motivation. If they don’t trust you, if they don’t believe in you, then how could you accomplish anything? Having people who care about you and have faith in you is super important to believing in yourself, and trust is a component of that belief.
9. An inability to grow
Not only do you stop growing without the trust of your S/O, your relationship stops growing as well. You’re fighting to save something that without trust is ultimately doomed. Without trust there’s no way you can mature past the beginning stages of getting to know each other. Most of the time in serious relationships we’re looking for someone we can grow with enough to commit and spend the rest of our lives together. But relationships without trust will never progress that far. It’ll stay stuck at the beginning stages of getting to know each other and feeling each other out, like you didn’t just spend many months or years together, the same emotional and maturity level as just starting out. Without trust you’ll never get to that strong, grown-ass relationship you’re fighting for.
10. A bad ending
Unless you and your S/O find a way to restore that trust between the two of you, that’s the only way this scenario can end: badly. You won’t get married and live happily ever after. You can’t without trusting each other. You’ll never be able to feel comfortable or relax together. The endless fights will only continue. Probably, if you do find the strength to call it quits, you won’t be able to just let go of each other without any hard feelings. Things have gotten too long and complicated to just be let go of, or likely you would’ve already done it. In other even worse scenarios, there’s cheating. That lack of trust drove your partner to someone else, someone they could find comfort it, and their loneliness took hold, leading to even more pain. It’s terrible, but there won’t be a happy ending to relationships without trust.
It sounds like a brutal story. One always wants to believe there’s hope for relationships without trust. But trust is just so vital, it’s hard to see how one could survive without it. Love is built on trust, and could a relationship survive without love? No, I mean at least not happily. The only hope is to re-instill that trust that perhaps once was there. It’s hard work, but if you both love each other you can maybe find your way back to that safe, secure, loving foundation of trust.