By Drs. Evelyn and Paul Moschetta
In contemporary relationships which are lived from a survival consciousness, very often one partner places coercive expectations on the other. If I expect you to behave in a certain way, the way I think is right, I'm placing a coercive expectation on you. These expectations are felt as a demand, they imply control, and cause friction between partners.
Unlike coercive expectations, shared expectations of personal Integrity develop Unqestioned Trust. In a caring relationship we both expect that we will act as persons of Integrity toward each other this expectation doesn't come from any desire to control. It comes from both of us needing and valuing personal Integrity. Unquestioned trust is essential and necessary for the growth and well-being of our togetherness.
Unfortunately, couples tend to think of trust in narrow terms, limiting it to sexual faithfulness. Our research showed that in healthy, caring relationships other trust issues in addition to being sexually faithful. They are as follows:
TRUST THAT MY PARTNER WILL BE SEXUALLY FAITHFUL.
TRUST THAT MY PARTNER WILL NOT HARM, REJECT OR CONTROL ME.
TRUST THAT MY PARTNER LOVES ME WITHOUT ULTERIOR MOTIVES.
TRUST THAT MY PARTNER WILL KEEP ME AND OUR MARRIAGE A TOP PRIORITY.
TRUST THAT MY PARTNER WILL NOT ABANDON ME IN THE FACE OF CONFLICT, ANGER, OR DISAGREEMENTS.
TRUST IN MY CAPACITY TO FULFILL ALL OF THE ABOVE FOR MY PARTNER.
Meeting these expectations for each other helps couples develop a level of trust that is in a word Unquestioned. Without this degree of trust, insecurity lingers, promoting doubt and fear. Insecurities denies us our best possibilities. It makes us acting ugly ways, pushing the one we love away from us. To act sanely and lovingly we must feel secure. So it becomes very important that at least in this one area of our lives, our marriage, we create absolute security. We may not be able to overcome all our insecurities right away, but that will come as both of us help each other understand ourselves. We may still have insecurities about work, friends, or whatever, but between us there is no insecurity at all.
The crucial issues of trust and personal Integrity need to be resolved as soon as we get together as a couple. All six areas of trust must be talked over and understood deeply. It's trusting one another without question in all six areas which allows us both to cross the bridge from insecurity to security. Upon that Foundation, a loving and lasting relationship is built.