On last week’s episode, you learned about the different kinds of trust and how to build trust in yourself. In this episode, you’ll learn some of the pitfalls to building trust and what you can do to create a more trusting environment for yourself and others.
You’ll learn how we can mis-read disappointment as a betrayal, and why it is important to learn to differentiate between the two. You’ll also understand the importance of cultivating an environment of trust in your relationships, whether you are staying married or not.
I’m Andrea Giles and you’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast,
Episode number 20, Learning to Trust – Part Two.
Hello and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouse’s betrayal, but to become
the boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves
ever. If you know there’s more for you than the life you’re currently
living, but don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place.
Stick around to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks
off. Is it possible? It is and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host,
Andrea Giles. Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hello friends. Welcome to episode 20. I can’t believe we’re already to
episode 20. I just look today and I want to share, because it’s fun. I am
almost to 10,000 downloads. Probably by the end of the month I’ll be to
10,000 downloads. So you who are listening, thank you for listening, you
who are sharing, thank you for sharing. Those of you who are going in and
leaving me reviews, thank you so much for doing that. It means the world.
It really makes me so happy to know that this is getting to the people who
need it. So thank you so much. I truly appreciate it. I want to give a
little shout out real quick. I get to see in my host where my podcast is
listened to most, and I think it’s really cool that my podcast is listened
to a lot in India. So I am waving at you. People in India who are listening
to my podcast, I’m waving at you, I’m giving you a virtual hug. Thank you
so much for being here.
If you haven’t left a review, I would love it if you would. It helps people
find it. It makes it go higher in the search engine so people can find it
when they need help. So if you can go leave a review, that would be so
awesome. So for this 20th episode, I wanted to touch a little bit more on
what I talked about last week as far as building trust. It’s a big topic.
It’s one that I probably get asked the most. It’s one that is complex.
There’s no cut and dry answer. And so I wanted to dive into it a little bit
more about some of the common pitfalls and some of the things you can do
that will help increase trust.
Now I want to point out that the things that I’m going to talk about are
not necessarily building trust in your relationship with the person who
broke your trust. I am talking about building trust, whether you stay in
the marriage or not. I’m talking about building trust, whether you’re with
somebody else entirely. So I’m going to go ahead and dive in. So pitfall
number one is when disappointment feels like a betrayal. Now, sometimes we
have things happen that in a normal marriage, in a normal relationship,
feel disappointing. That happens in relationships all the time because
we’re flawed, right? We’re flawed people. We’re all fragile. We’re all
going around trying to protect our fragile egos and try to protect
ourselves and trying to do the best we can. And guess what? Sometimes we
get wrapped up in our own stuff and we make mistakes and we disappoint the
people around us. We can be careless at times, we can mess up. That’s just
a disappointment. What I’m talking about though is when sometimes,
oftentimes after a betrayal has happened, a partner can look at a
disappointment and turn it into a betrayal.
I’m going to give you a couple examples. So I currently have a client who
came and told me about how she recently had this happen. Okay. So what
happened is her husband had gotten results back about some blood work that
he had done, and he had told her that he was just going to get a COVID
test. And so she was very surprised when she found out that he had this
other testing done. And in her mind the alarms went off, Oh no, he’s
deceiving me, he’s lying to me. The story was, if he left out that
information that he was having this other testing done, what else is he
leaving out? And she had all alarms blazing. This is bad, this is danger,
got to get out. And she was able to calm herself down. She was able to have
a conversation with him where he told her that he went there for the COVID
test and it had been a while since he’d had the other testing and so they
said, while you’re here, let’s do this. And so that is an example.
Another example is my own. For a long time in my new marriage, so keep in
mind he never, I didn’t have the same deception from him as I did in my
first marriage, new marriage. But mail would come with my husband’s name on
it and his first wife’s name on it. And as a reminder, she passed away from
cancer and it really felt like betrayal. Why would he not take her name
off? Why would he not call and say, She has passed away. I am remarried and
put my name on it. So it happened a lot where my brain would just freak out
and go into this whole story about how he should have protected me better.
He should look out for me better by calling and by correcting that, and for
me, I’ve had to learn to just either call and change it myself, directly
ask him to or learn that it doesn’t actually matter, that it’s not a big
It’s actually now a non-issue because it hardly ever happens. We’ve been
married long enough that things have been changed. But that’s just an
example. Another example would be anybody, not just the spouse that
betrayed, but anybody forgetting your birthday or your anniversary or some
big day like that. And if your brain is conditioned to looking for how
people are not trustworthy, you might take that and go, See, I knew it.
They’re not my friend. They’re a fair weather friend. They’re not there
when I need them. They don’t even remember my birthday. And then they kind
of blow up the whole relationship rather than seeing it as a human flaw, a
What about your partner not being home on time? Something like that where
our brain will start to freak out and go, Oh my gosh, they’re not home.
Something is wrong. They’re doing it again. When in reality it might just
be a typical disappointment where they forgot to call you or they got hung
up with something or had to get gas. And so this is a very common thing.
When these disappointments happen, our brains often go back to the scene of
the crime. What I mean by that is when we first find out about all the
things, the disclosure, when we first find out what’s going on with our
spouse, that for many people is a pretty traumatic day, pretty traumatic
time. And these disappointments can be triggering in our brain. It gives us
a rush of adrenaline, a surge of adrenaline. It amplifies the
disappointment. It can send our body into fight or flight or freeze and
send us straight back to that day as if it’s happening again over and over
again. And so the remedy for this is reminding yourself, checking in with
yourself, asking good questions.
Is this actually a real threat? And in the moment it will feel like it. It
will. So this is where you practice what I’ve talked about in other
episodes, about dropping out of your head and into your body no matter
what. Let’s say it is an actual betrayal. Here’s the thing, you’re not
going to want to respond to it when you’re amped up in that way anyway.
You’re going to want to wait until you’re dropped back down into your body,
until you’re thinking brain is activated again, until you’re ready to have
discussions from that clear part of you, not the reaction brain. Okay.
Okay. Moving on to number two. Another pitfall in building trust is
sleuthing versus partnering. Sleuthing is like detective mode. You’ve got
your magnifying glass, you’re like out looking for clues. You’re scanning
for things all the time. You’re like watching every detail. Sleuthing is
very much based on fear. It is assuming that the person is untrustworthy
and unreliable. It’s very much reaction mode, reacting to the impulses to
check. You might have this impulse to go look at something and you just go
do it. Like, Oh, I got to know right now.
So if you’ve listened to this podcast for a while, you all know that I have
no shame in sharing my own embarrassing moments, my own lessons learned. I
had a big one when my husband and I were dating. Now I lived in California.
He lived in Montana, and so it was all long distance. And one time I was
visiting him in Montana and in the middle of the night I woke up and for
some reason my brain started freaking out at me and going, Oh my gosh, he’s
for sure looking at porn. For sure, he is. He was sound asleep in his bed
and I was sleeping elsewhere.
And guess what I did? I got up and I got his computer and I started looking
and sleuthing, sleuthing, like surely I’m going to find something. So I’m
sitting there in the middle of the night on the computer and out he comes,
he like heard me or something. He comes out and we start chatting and he
could tell that something was off. And he straight up asked me, are you
checking on me? Are you looking for something? And so I told him what I was
doing and I was embarrassed, but I also felt afraid. He was kind of bugged
at first like, what’s going on? And then when I explained where I was
coming from, he was kind about it. It was over and done. But that’s an
example of sleuthing. Like I was scanning, I was looking for a problem.
Partnering is where you have discussions. There might be some fear there of
what you might hear, but it’s not based on fear. It’s more of based from
commitment, partnering. I commit to be your partner. I commit to share a
common goal with you. I commit to asking you and checking in with you. It’s
like instead of checking on you, I’m checking in with you. Partnering, you
can ask questions. How are you doing? Checking the temperature, how are
things going? That’s partnering. Checking on somebody is like that
sleuthing piece, like I got to look. I got to spy. What’s going on? It’s
coming from a different place. It’s going to create a different result.
Okay? It’s going to create something different.
Okay. So onto number three. Number three, we’re going to talk about
creating an environment of trust. Now, I want to make sure that the
distinction is made here. I am not just talking about two people who are
staying together after a betrayal. I’m talking about any relationship pre
or post infidelity. I’m talking about when you do get divorced, if you do
get divorced, and trying to have a trusting relationship, even if you’re no
I want to give you an example. I have a client who is currently going
through divorce. They had an agreement of custody and they agreed to be
flexible with each other. They agreed that they’d have some guidelines and
then they’d be flexible based on things that came up, that they would
support each other in it. And he has not been keeping that end. He has not
been flexible. He’s actually said some unkind things which have left my
client feeling betrayed again, feeling kind of deceived again. And for her,
she wants to build this relationship of trust where they’re partners in
raising their child and helping each other. And so the question becomes,
who do I want to be here? The instinct is to, you’re going to play like
that. I’m going to play like that right back. But asking questions like,
how can I actually support a trusting relationship here?
Who do I want to be? What kind of person do I want to be? How can I help
things be conducive to growth in our relationship for our child by my own
actions? It can be a matter of discussing these things in a safe way if
it’s a safe person, right, sometimes it’s just not safe. But talking about
these things and owning our side of things instead of reacting to what they
do. Over time, those things can create an environment of trust. Another
thing that’s really important within that is saying the words, I want to be
a safe person for you to talk to. I want you to feel safe talking to me.
Now again, I’m going to talk about my own situation here. And truth be
told, I don’t know that I was always a safe person to talk to. I had so
much fear around pornography. I had been told since I was young, how
shameful, how bad, how awful, how it will ruin your life, how it will ruin
you, how bad it is, how it destroys marriages. And so at the first sight of
it, I was so scared. And so honestly, I don’t know at first if I made
myself a comfortable, easy person, a safe person to talk to. Over time, I
got better at it, especially towards the end of the marriage when I knew
that I needed to know what was going on and I was willing to stay and I was
willing to work through it, but he was unwilling to at that point, to come
forward with what was going on. And so I chose to end it. And I look back
though and wonder sometimes what would’ve been different had I been a safer
person to talk to?
Now, please hear me on this. I did the best that I could with the
information I had, and I don’t beat myself up. I did the best I could and I
know that. But I look back and go, I wonder how I could have been a safer
person for him to talk to. You know what in hindsight though, I could have
changed some of the things in my behavior and he could have done the exact
same things, right, but at least I would know that I made myself available.
And sometimes I don’t think I did. So if you’re listening to this and
resonate with that, if that makes sense to you, ask yourself, How can I be
a safe person to talk to? What can I change on my side of things that will
create an environment of trust and safety? Another thing you can do to
build this is acknowledging both of your fears and where they’re coming
Acknowledging both sides of the fence and having compassion for both sides.
So for example, I don’t feel comfortable trusting right now. Please be
patient with me. These are the reasons why I don’t feel safe or
comfortable. I’m not trying to punish you. I’m trying to understand. But
right now, trust is not something that I can easily give because I feel
unsafe, but I’m working on it. Please be patient with me. Please try to
understand. In the other direction it can be said, I know that it’s hard
for you that I’m not ready to trust. I see that you want me to trust you.
It is hard for me to trust you right now, but I’m working on it and I can
see the struggle for you. I see it. I see you, and it matters to me. So
having compassion for yourself and compassion for them helped to create an
environment of trust.
Okay. Number four, keeping your commitments to yourself. I know when
everything kind of hits the fan in infidelity, when there’s betrayals in
the marriage, you can go into survival mode where nothing else much
matters. You’re literally trying to survive. You’re trying to put one foot
in front of the other. You’re trying to get through your days. You’re
trying to be enough available to your children, enough, enough by getting
through the days and trying to take care of the things that must be taken
care of. But much beyond that can feel very, very difficult. I want to
suggest that part of what will help you heal, and part of what will help
you build trust in yourself is keeping your commitments to yourself. And I
am talking on a small scale to start. So for example, let’s say that you
have a commitment that you want to be a person that exercises every day.
Sometimes what we do is we go guns blazing and go, Okay, I’m going to go do
this power workout for an hour and then I got to do it tomorrow. And then
if we miss a day, we beat ourself up and say, See, I failed again. I’m
never going to get this. I might as well quit. And then we quit. I’m
suggesting bare minimum, start so small. Start with something that you can
set yourself up for success with. If you want to be somebody that
exercises, I’m talking five minutes, 10 minutes. Get your exercise clothes
so easy to grab so that your brain won’t have time to make excuses, lay
them out, set yourself up for success, and then keep your commitment to
yourself. It may seem small, it may seem insignificant, but over time,
you’re learning that you are somebody who has your own back, that you take
care of yourself, you show up, you do the things that matter to you because
you care about you.
What this does for you over time is it lets you loosen that grip on other
people’s behavior because you know that you can handle it. You know that
you can take care of yourself. You know that you can be self-sufficient and
that you can welcome other people into your life, but you can also not if
you want to, because you’re okay taking care of yourself. Start small. What
are the things that would take you from surviving to thriving? Pick one.
Just one, one thing. Do the bare minimum of it. The smallest increment.
Make it super easy for yourself and start. If it’s exercising for 10
minutes, three days a week, beautiful. Perfect. Do it. If it’s journaling
for 10 minutes, once a week, do it. Write it in your calendar. Figure out
when you’re going to do it, and then do it. All of these things will build
trust in you, which will trickle down to all of your relationships.
So that’s all I have for you today. I hope that that was helpful. I want
you to look at the areas in your life where you might treat disappointments
like a major betrayal. Just check in with yourself. What do you want to
think instead? Where do you want to take yourself? I want you to set
yourself up for success by planning on what you’re going to do in the
moment. How will you bring yourself down? What will your emergency kit be
where you will take care of yourself in that moment so you can then go back
and look at it from your higher brain, from your wisest self, and then move
forward from there. I challenge you to take a look and see where you can
expand the skill of trust. Overall, the biggest thing is that trusting is a
choice. Trusting is a choice. We get to decide. What is the upside to
deciding to trust, and what is the downside to deciding to trust? Ask
yourself these questions.
Ultimately, we can decide not to trust again, we can decide that it’s far
too risky, but what is the upside to that? What is it providing for you and
what is it costing you? Ask yourself these questions and get clear with
yourself about who you want to be. I’m not talking today, I’m talking over
time. Who do you want to grow into? What kind of relationships do you want
to have and who do you need to become to comfortably be there and to trust
in that relationship? All right, my friends, I hope that it’s helpful to
you. Thank you so much again for being here. I love you all and I’ll see
you next week. Bye-bye.
Thank you for listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast. If you would
like to be kept in the know about upcoming free classes, new podcast
episodes, and other ways of working with me, go subscribe to my weekly
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it’s andreagiles.com/lies-about- infidelity/. I will see you next time.