Before we move forward in any relationship where trust has broken down, we need to first clean up the mess that we and others in our lives have made. The unresolved upsets will weaken the foundation of your relationships, making meaningful and satisfying ones impossible. Consider: When the process of making entries into the file started, at some level you knew you contributed something to this breakdown, and you knew you should have communicated your feelings to the other person. But you did not.
The number one requirement for cleaning up the messes you’ve made in your relationships is that you have to be willing to go back in time and cleanup the trash. You must be willing to let go of it, not get even or dump, but to let go. This restores the intimacy, openness, and trust.
Step One: Take Inventory
Letting go is a simple two-step process. Step one requires that you get honest by noticing where you’re withholding in that relationship, where you’re not telling the truth. Notice any assumptions you have about that other person. How you’re either protecting yourself or manipulating the other person. Notice any unfulfilled expectations, thwarted intentions, disappointments, withholds, and assumptions.
Write down in your journal the file you have on the other person:
- What I'm withhold or not saying to you is...
- The things I am assuming about you are…
- My expectations of you that are unfulfilled are...
- My intentions for you that have been thwarted are...
- I am disappointed with you/our relationship in that…
Recreating Trust Series
Learning how to create and recreate trust is the most critical step to being intimately connected with others. This is one part in a six-part series that explores how trust and intimacy breaks down in relationships and how to recreate it. And, by the way, if you’ve been in a relationship romantically or non-romantically for longer than two months, then you're probably inadvertently experiencing breakdown.
- Part 1—The Honeymooon
- Part 2—The Letdown
- Part 3—Storing Our Resentments
- Part 4—File Emptying
- Part 5—Take an Inventory
- Part 6—Expressing the File and Listening
[jbox color="blue" vgradient="#fdfeff|#bae3ff" title="Complimentary Relationship Rescue Coaching Session"]If you are ready to make a shift in your relationships and want help developing a game plan, I offer a complimentary 60-minute Relationship Rescue coaching session. There's no obligation; I love doing these and hope you'll get in touch.