Rebuilding Trust

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This post has stuff about religion and a previous relationship. My perspective has changed

Psyché ranimée par le baiser de l'Amour

Mary and I have been going to a great marriage class called Marriage on the Rock. They have a fantastic set of DVDs and a workbook by Jimmy Evans. It has been enlightening in many ways, but one of the most poignant is in the area of trust. After spending some time in the workbook I’ve realized that I am particularly selfish with my time and the amount of responsibility that I am willing to take on. I’ve been lax in my chores and I make a lot of poor choices regarding my activities. All this, among other things, has helped to feed into a growing lack of trust for me on Mary’s part.

I was reminded about the importance of trust this morning when I came across a post on Dumb Little Man by David Bohl:

Each time you follow through on a promise, come through in a crisis, or establish your honesty with another person, you are building your bank of emotional trust. Your employer knows you can be counted upon for getting things done and you become known as someone who is reliable and respected. When you establish this position, you carry a great deal of power.

You can also establish such a level of trust with your family. Following through on promises, designating family time that is uninterrupted, keeping important engagements, and having the strength to leave work behind all help you maintain an important work life balance.

Those principals are likely from the book The Speed of Trust by Franklin Covey, which, ironically, Mary purchased for me some time ago as a great business gift. Little did she know that it would soon be helping our marriage.

At any rate, I noticed some similarity between my recent (uninformed) approach to rebuilding trust and the above quotation. In fact, I recently made a written commitment to begin rebuilding trust in the following ways:

dl. Do my chores:It’s important that couples divide up the household chores fairly. Of course “fair” is a relative term. In our home it means that Mary does more than I do since she’s a stay at home mom. But still, I haven’t been doing them consistently. I made a commitment to commit to what I commit to ;)
Schedule “10-pointers”:The Marriage on the Rock workbook has a fun little activity that reveals what things you’ll actually “gain points” from your wife for doing. I was surprised by some of Mary’s responses. I’ve scheduled these throughout the week.
Less computer time:Being a typical geek I could pretty much live in front of my computer, but it’s important that I limit the amount of time I spend on it. Nuff said.
Monitor personal time:I’ve really got to watch the amount of time that I spend on stuff. I get sidetracked pretty easily and if I’m not careful I’ll just end up doing little projects or playing all night long while Mary makes dinner, feeds and bathes the kids, does laundry etc. Thus the reason for my recent survey regarding personal time.

I’ve already noticed a difference in Mary since I committed to rebuilding her confidence in me. It will likely take just as long to rebuild as it took me to tear it down, but I’m confident that she’s worth the effort and that the skills I learn from this will have an impact on the my quality of life as a whole, at church, at work, or in my home.

Photo by Jay Tong