June 1, 2013

Love stories: Trust is always evolving

My friend and I were recently reminiscing about past fights that we’d had with our respective husbands.

As we hashed through what hindsight revealed to be petty concerns, I realized how different I would have viewed things if I had known that my marriage was going to last this long.

The jealousies, the dreadful search for signs of doom lurking around corners would shrink in light of our longevity. I would know the ending, and there would be no reason to fear. Brilliant.

My friend shook her head kindly at my theory and said, “I don’t think it works like that, Mary.”

My life’s work has centered primarily on teenagers and their development. As a result, I have spent a good block of time examining relationship issues. Of these, trust seems to trump all other concerns.

To trust or not to trust is a question that arises at the first blush of human contact. And, when young people of all shapes and colors come to me lamenting either a reluctance to trust or the desire to be trusted, I remind them that trust, like love, is not a fixed target. It is an evolving, becoming miracle that requires an eternity to pursue.

To me, trust can never be a destination; it can only be an infinite journey that begins with the tentative offer of a heart and bears out through the careful investment of uncountable moments.

When I look back at those first few years with my husband, I am embarrassed at the love and regard that I expected right away with no history to support it.

I want to go back in time and counsel that naïve young woman, that terrified young woman, and reassure her that time truly would tell and that the wait would be awful and wonderful all at the same time.

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