Years ago, before I was ever married, I remember asking a friend about trust. She was already married and had been with her husband for a few years. I asked her, "How do you know you can trust him? How do you have faith in him to do the right thing? Don't you ever worry he'll cheat on you?" She told me that you don't put your faith in your husband. You have faith in God. If your husband is doing something wrong, you trust in God to make it right. That conversation has always stuck with me. The bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths." (NKV Proverbs 3:5-6). I took her words, my Bible, and six weeks of marital counseling with our pastor into my marriage. Still, after only three months, my husband was having an affair. I felt sick. I felt stupid. I felt betrayed. I was angry, and everything they told me went null and void. When you're married you expect that your spouse will not hurt or violate you. You expect a sense of security and loyalty. I did not have that.
Marriage doesn't stop people from cheating. My husband's affair lasted for months and it was just the beginning of his cheating. It is extremely difficult to sit back and watch someone mistreat you while waiting on God to provide you with clarity and guide your path. He would go out and I'd wait up for him to come home. If he stayed at the store too long I would think he went somewhere else. If money was missing I'd think he spent it going out with another woman. It was exhausting and it felt really, really bad. Not trusting my husband and being on edge all the time was draining. The trust issues didn't end with infidelity. That was where it started.
During an interview with Revolt TV’s “Drink Champs” in 2021 DMX said the following about trust:
“Always trust everyone to be themselves. But trust in the fact you can see them well. It takes too much energy not to trust someone; you always have to stay two steps ahead of them…Trust people to be them. Trust a snake to bite you. Trust a liar to lie to you. Trust a thief to steal from you. Trust them to be them. But know them when you see them,”
This quote from DMX has probably helped me more than anything else when it comes to trust. Trust people to be who they are. It's that simple. I knew my spouse better than his parents. I knew he was a cheater and an alcoholic. I couldn't expect him to be anything else.
Watch the people you keep around you. Study them. Understand them. Then understand this: "A tiger don't change his stripes," and you can't change them for him.
If I'm being honest with myself, I did not trust my ex before I married him. I had a ton of trust issues and did not know how to deal with them. I didn't trust certain family members around my children. I didn't trust some of my friends. I didn't trust certain people to be left alone in my home. I used to say that there was only one person in the world that I did trust. That person was my dad. Which means, that I didn't even trust my own mother. Trust is a fragile thing, but when I approach it the way DMX explains, I'm taking control of it. I'm trusting in my own ability to see people for who they are and then dealing with them accordingly.
*Image by Ron Loch