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Learning to Trust

Six years ago, on the night of January 5th, I had my first phone conversation with Papa Bear, the man who was destined to be my soulmate.  As those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know, I met Papa Bear on a personals website.  We shared hours and hours of phone calls and it didn't take long for me to discover that I'd been led to a  man who was far different than any man I had ever known and clearly the opposite of my three ex's, which I had finally figured out was a much needed change of direction in my life... "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."  We met for the first time a couple weeks later, and by my birthday in February, he had purchased a home that was to become ours when I moved to Texas to join him at the end of May.  We were married that following September.  If anyone was to tell me that they had not only decided to marry someone less than a month after meeting them, but planned to change jobs, move to a new state, and start a new life together in short order, I would tell them that they were crazy, and yet I did just that! 

Yesterday, as we were on the long seven-hour drive home after a weekend visit with Papa Bear's daughter and family, I was having fun reading aloud some of our email exchanges from the first month our relationship.  We were laughing at the clever conversation and witty remarks, and both of us agreed that never for one moment did either of us doubt we were meant to be together or felt we were rushing things by moving quickly in that direction.  Sometimes you just know, and this was one of those times.  (This was hard to explain to my two grown children, since I'd promised them I would wait a least five years before even considering another marriage venture.  Thankfully, Papa Bear soon made believers out of them!)  For reasons I can't explain, I felt that this was the direction my life was meant to take.

Knowing that I wanted to spend my life with Papa Bear did not mean that putting our two lives together came easily at first.  We were two middle-aged folks, both very set in our ways, and carrying our own history and baggage.  Papa Bear had lost his two previous wives to death, one suddenly due to an aneurysm and one after a prolonged battle with cancer, and he was still grieving.  Trust was never an issue for him in these relationships, but it was with his first wife when he was very young, who had proven to be unfaithful.

For me, trust was a foreign concept.  I had learned through hard experience not to trust anyone, especially men, and especially when it came to matters of the heart.  Yet in May of 2008 I found myself living with a man who wanted and deserved my trust.  It came in baby steps over a year or more, with me always watching and waiting for "the other shoe to fall" and for this amazing, caring, man to prove to be less than he seemed. 

Almost six years later, I have long since stopped fearing something I know now will never happen.  Papa Bear is genuine, "the real deal" as one of his friends put it.  I trust him with my heart, I trust him with my past, my present, and my future.  I trust him with my life.  He is a caretaker and always has my and our best interest at heart. 

It is true that trust is a very fragile thing, and once broken it is hard to restore.  My message is that even if your trust has been smashed to smithereens, the right person can come along and help you heal.  You just have to open your heart and mind to the possibility that there are still a few truly awesome guys out there... I know there are!  I also need to note that it is equally important for you to lead your life and conduct your relationship in a trustworthy manner, it has to be a reciprocal thing.  No matter how many times you've had your trust betrayed, give someone new a chance... you might find your Prince Charming, just as I did!   
Papa Bear and me on Jan. 5, 2014 - Six years and going strong!
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This essay was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are trust and trade

18 comments:

  1. I think we all need to follow our hearts, while listening to our heads. We each walk a different path, with different lessons to be learned. Your path intersected with John's at just the right time for both of you. Obviously you were meant to be together. I am happy for you both; I love happy endings.

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    1. I agree Annie, we were meant to be together at this point in our lives, we would not have been ready for each other earlier, we both had work to do on ourselves and our own lives first. I never used to believe in happy endings, now I do! :-)

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  2. Wow. May you both have many happy years together.

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    1. Thank you Mimi, I so hope that we do! We also both know the wisdom of treasuring each day that we have together, because tomorrow is never promised. We never go to bed angry, and we never forget to say I love you... and show it... every single day!

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  3. It is interesting with both your histories there was that need to trust each other as both had been hurt in different ways. It must have been a joy when you both realized that you were made for each other. May you have many joyful times together. (p.s. My quick piece seems so flippant after yours).

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    1. True Robin, when our life experiences have taught us that trust can have painful results, it is doubly hard to learn to trust again... but it feels so wonderful when you finally reach the realization that you can trust, and just let go and float in the joy of that kind of love! I think we either trust completely or don't really trust at all, there is no grey area in between.

      I loved your piece, the lighter and serious fare we each bring to TST is what makes it fun and interesting, You do tales of passion and romance so very well!

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  4. So beautiful! You are only the second person that I know that has met there spouse on-line. Both of you are cyber-friends of mine. Testimony of trust and faith.

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    1. their spouse! Gotta learn to proof comments

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    2. I have actually met a small handful of people who have been gifted with amazing relationships that started online, Patricia. I know the odds seem slim, but I believe that God works in many ways, and this was His way to bring us together. Our paths never would have crossed otherwise, and neither of us lived a work or lifestyle that would have had us out in the dating scene. We got to know each other very well very quickly through hours and hours of late night phone conversations and exchanged emails. With casual dating things tend to stay much more surface for a longer time. I've known some real online dating horror stories, I'm sure we all have, but every now and then there is a magical tale of "happy ever after". I still wake up every morning smiling at how incredibly blessed I am to have Papa Bear in my life!

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    3. You've seen my many typos, Patricia... my fingers rarely type what my brain tells them! I think there may be a short-circuit in my wiring! :-)

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  5. What a great story of deep and abiding love. This is so inspiring. I think I knew some of the story but not all of this. Truly a God-send, that Papa Bear!

    All circumstances are different, but I think that most every couple probably goes through situations of trust issues, in various forms. I am not sure what the 'breaking point' is, where the breach is irreparable. I guess the key is in whether it is an ongoing issue, and how the other spouse handles it. This has given me so much to think about, as usual. :) Bless you and Papa Bear!!

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    1. It is indeed a wonderful story, Carrie. I smile every time I think of Papa Bear! He sends me little love note texts during the work day, just to let me know he's thinking of me!

      I have seen situations where trust has been rebuilt in relationships, but I'm not sure it can ever be 100% strong as it was before the damage was done. I think there would always be this little nagging bit of doubt. We can forgive, and in past relationships I have, but that doesn't mean it is always wise to trust again. Some people are just habitual offenders. If you truly love someone, you just don't do something that would hurt their heart.

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  6. Ah, such a wonderful, hopeful story.
    I ended up marrying the boy who took me out on my first date, so there was no unfaithfulness in my history. However, just about every man in my family had cheated on his wife at some point. It took me years and years to get to a point where I could really believe my husband wouldn't cheat on me. I am very grateful to my husband for being so patient with me as I worked through it all.
    Trust is a hard thing to achieve sometimes.

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    1. You bring up an important issue, Christine, trust isn't broken just by unfaithful partners, but also by past experiences when we were growing up. If we learned that trusting someone resulted in hurt and disappointment, it is very hard to believe that someone might be capable of being better than that. I had one ex who said he would trust me if I proved I was faithful for seven years, but even after seven years had passed he was unable to trust. Sadly, he wasn't trustworthy, himself, so he had good reason to doubt it could exist in anyone else. It does take time, but what a wonderful feeling it is when we one day realize that we are completely safe and loved so much that trust will never be an issue. There is no substitute for that kind of belief in another person and relationship!

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  7. Great post!! Happy anniversary!

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    1. Thank you Kristi! Six years of love trumps a lifetime of sadness and struggle. There's not a day that I don't realize how very blessed I am to have the Papa Bear in my life! Thinking about those early exchanges makes me smile... look where it led! :-)

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  8. Congratulations! I am glad that you finally meet someone that you can trust! Happy Anniversary! : )

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    1. I am so very glad too, Joseph! It only takes one good person to undo the damage of a bunch of not so nice ones. We just have to be willing to give them a chance!

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Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)