Thursday, 20 October 2016

on breaking trust...

"i've learned that trust is like glass. once broken, no matter how you put it back together, you can still see the cracks"

I came across this quote by chance on Twitter. It had been retweeted by someone who had liked one of my tweets. She seemed to be going through a relationship break up and no doubt these words had a resonance for her.

It made me reflect on the fact that I and others often reflect in discussions here on how important trust is in a BDSM relationship. It is central to all BDSM relationships. It is perhaps essential in certain play situations and in giving someone complete control.

We are though all human. Sometimes things go wrong. We make mistakes. Sometimes we can do things we later regret. Sometimes this could have an impact on trust. If one begins to have even a doubt in relation to trust what impact might this have on a BDSM or D/s relationship?

If you have ever had your trust shaken in someone have you been able to rescue the relationship?

In a BDSM or D/s relationship if trust is once broken will the cracks always be visible or can it be completely repaired. Is it possible to continue a D/s or BDSM relationship when the cracks are still visible? Is there always doubt after trust has been shaken? Is that always the end... ?

I wonder if any readers would be prepared to share their personal experiences of this and how it was resolved?


Tamar said...

My partner and I have been together in some fashion or another for many, many years, in a near total power exchange relationship with him dominant and me submissive. Early on, we went through a pretty awful patch where we completely imploded. I was devastated, completely destroyed. He broke my trust in a pretty spectacular fashion, treated me poorly, and I finally got the girl cojones to stand up and walk away from it and him. That was apparently what we needed, because in that time apart, we both managed to catch our respective breaths, see what each of us had done wrong (him taking advantage of me, me not standing up for myself and demanding better treatment) and it took several months of sifting through the wreckage, getting our own lives straightened out apart, getting our own heads straightened out separately, before we were able to attempt to reach an accord and try again.

It took several more months for us to adjust to this new relationship- and to learn to trust one another again. I definitely was on guard and determined not to lose sight of what I needed and what was healthy for me and my partner was chagrined with how badly he'd treated me previously and determined to prove to me that he could change, and after years of living together, we've worked hard to instill healthy relationship models of communication, caring for each other as well as ourselves, meeting each others' needs as well as our own, and we're both on guard to avoid slipping into the toxic patterns we had previously. I entered back into the relationship with him with reservations, he surprised me by how much effort he put into change, into treating me better, into learning from the mistakes of the past to avoid repeating them. Our relationship now is very stable, happy, mutually satisfying- after a lot of work, soul-searching, individual work on our own problems and tons of open and honest communication.

So can trust be re-won? Yes, if the person is willing and able to do the work to prove they're capable of change, and of learning from the past. And if the person who's trust they lost is able to open themselves up to potentially being let down again and willing to take steps to protect themselves if that happens. Otherwise, the danger is falling right back into the destructive patterns as soon as your guard's down. You have to hold yourself and your partner to higher standards, and be willing to walk away if the change you need to see does not occur in an authentic fashion (and not just whipped out for show at the breaking point to stall for more time). It's not easy. It's not quick. But it's possible.

Does that excuse someone for doing something to break someone's trust in the first place. Absolutely not. But there's a difference, I think between doing something out of ignorance and inexperience and doing something out of willful selfishness or laziness to hurt someone. The first is easier to recover from, the second, not so much.

Kianna said...

I was involved with a dom once who was very upfront about his open marriage - I met his wife before he and I played for the first time - but didn't tell me he had another submissive until we'd been together for several months. When I asked why he'd withheld the truth, he said he didn't think I needed to know. I wish that had been the last time I saw him, but it was definitely the last time I trusted him.

willie said...

" I think between doing something out of ignorance and inexperience and doing something out of willful selfishness or laziness to hurt someone." <- I completely agree.

Throughout our D/s life together there has been some situations where trust has been broken in certain areas, though the underlying trust in the relationship, not so much ( if that makes any sense). A very mild example would be, me not trusting that I can share what was truly on my mind/in my heart because of ways he reacted in the past. Not a deal breaker, but over time it does put a strain on a relationship where communication is paramount. Again this is a VERY mild example.

I will add a slightly different spin on things for this discussion. I have noticed when trust has been broken (if I am the one who was hurt) my husband has then had an issue with trusting that I am over it. I suppose it would depend on how long the feeling of trust has been broken in many cases, but it is something he returns to often. " I know you don't trust me and I can't blame you because..." type thing. I will try to explain to him that perhaps it is he that doesn't trust and I have moved on....Basically trust broken can affect both parties' trust in each other, the 'victim' and the wrong doer.

Do I think it can be overcome? Yes if it wasn't intentional, and if you can talk it out. Hopefully it isn't repetitive, but sometimes it is until the fundamental reason for the broken trust is unearthed and worked out. Most times for us it is a experience that has lead to growth, albeit a very painful one


Pygar said...

Thank you very much Tamar for giving us your description of how trust can be lost and regained. It was very illuminating. I thought it showed great strength. There was strength in being able to walk away when trust was lost. However there was also strength in facing up to the problems and rebuilding. You show Though that it was not just strength that was needed but a lot of work and commitment from both of you.

I am pleased it worked out. Good luck to you both.

P xx

Pygar said...

Thank you Kianna. I think one can feel very used in a bad way when trust is broken in such a way through what appears to be deliberate deception. It sound as if you were badly hurt by that episode. I do hope things are going better for you now.

P xx

Pygar said...

Yes willie, I too agree that Tamar makes a very good point about how the trust was broken, the intention or wilfulness of hurting can perhaps be key.

Thank you for sharing your own experiences. The issue about the repetitive aspect is very strong. Surely it must be hard to rebuild trust if thecause of trust being broken is constantly repeated?

It is great if as you suggest surviving such experiences can lead to growth.

Good luck

P xx

DM said...

Yes on broken trust and a resounding NO! to to the rescue. Being submissive does not make me a doormat. I have basic human rights and can't be with anyone who would deny those rights just because they can. My entire life has changed from what it was for 33 years. I haven't looked back once or regretted leaving.

Pygar said...

Well done for having the strength to move on Dani - with no looking back and no regrets.

I'm pleased things are working out.

Good luck.

P xx