Monday, September 14, 2009

Trust Is A Four Letter Word

I see you now... counting the letters in T-R-U-S-T... and yes you can count right. There are five letters in Trust, not four. But "Four Letter Word" has become a metaphor that represents all things bad or uncouth or socially unacceptable.

For me, Trust is not something I accept socially. It's earned. With blood, sweat and tears (if necessary).

Several things have transpired in the last 24 hours, things that have forced the realization that I don't trust much. Actually I don't trust at all. Sad, isn't it?

It all began with a conversation Spouse and I had last night while trapped in the car together. We were returning from the town of Park City after a day of food 'n fun with my family. We were discussing the merits of marriage. Or better yet, how, when it comes to matrimony, one can only control one's own merits.

If the significance of your other turns out to be an uncompromising monster, well... there's only so much you can do: 1) Tolerate or 2) Leave.

Lucky fer us, Spouse and I feel the same about this topic. And we both agree that there are several activities that justify the Leave option.

During this conversation, I kinda unloaded one on him.

To tell the story properly, you'll need some background. I've been married twice. Spouse is my second. The first guy doesn't deserve spouse as a pronoun. He gets to be Jimmy.

Spouse is an earned pronoun. Jimmy is not. We refer to The X as Jimmy because it's hard to sound angry when you say "Jimmy." Say it right now with me.... "Jimmy." See? Can't be mad and say Jimmy all at the same time. (I spent five years and bookoo bucks on therapy, in the hopes to shed that boulder-sized chip on my shoulder over The X. Calling him Jimmy is part of that therapy.)

I had trouble with trust before Jimmy. And being as divorces are notorious for building confidence and whatnot, I was a trustless wreck once that decree was signed, sealed and delivered.


Then I met Spouse (Boyfriend back then.) Bless his heart. Boyfriend used to take me fun and exciting places. And more times that five, he giggled a bit while brushing his hands across my shoulders, to remove a chip or two. Boyfriend put up with lots of junk. A year of it.

After a year of excitement, it came time to Sh**-or-Get-Off-The-Pot, so to speak. This is a crass way of saying Get-Thee-Married-or-Go-Thine-Own-Way.

In the which I flipped and went my own way.

Boyfriend wasn't so happy. Long story short: We split for almost a year, regrouped after buying Harley Davidsons, dated for three months, became engaged and were married five weeks later.

Now back to our Normal Programming - in the which I tell you all about unloading one on Spouse last night.

Spouse and I were trapped in the car, talking about marriage. I revealed that when making the decision to marry him, "having a third [husband] was completely out of the question. I decided during that Sh**-or-Get-Off-The-Pot phase of our courtship that there will not be a third husband. Ever. If I choose you, that's it. If you didn't work, I would spend the rest of my life alone."

Do you see the gravity involved? With the decision of marrying for the second time? You don't get a second chance with your second husband. You've already blown your second chance. That's one of the many hundreds of reasons I ran like hell when the "M" word began it's inaugural discussions.

The first time you marry, it's all roses that stink. Everyone knows it's hard. I knew it would be hard. But I'd work and bend and compromise. And we'd learn to get along. The first marriage never comes with even a hint that it might end.

The problem here, however, is that I assumed that the other would work and bend as much as I would. Not so. Learned that the hard way - after three years of pain-pill addictions, the horror of sporadic weekend detoxification and finally... a girlfriend. (Not to mention that day I came home to the Russian drug lord on my front porch! Oh the horror...! Do I have horrors....!)

Let me give you those two choices again: 1) Tolerate or 2) Leave.

So here I was, telling Spouse that while weighing the "I do" decision that goes with marrying him, I had doubts. Of it working. Of him working as hard as I would. Of his ability to compromise.

The doubts won and I ran.

But then I came back. Because I believed it would work. I knew he'd work as hard as I would. I knew he'd compromise.

Still do.

In Spouse I Trust!


vanderpoolred said...

I totally agree with you. Trust is a four-letter word. It also took me two "I do's" to get it (although the first one went down at The Little White Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas and was anulled after only 11 months-- does that really count as one?).

megan said...

Heavy stuff my friend...heavy stuff. The heavy always comes out when you're locked in the car - why is that?

Ashley Thalman said...

I like this. I have been thinking about trust a lot lately too. I have less and less as the days go by.