Having the ability to trust will not only allow someone to go about their day-to-day life it will also allow them to live a fulfilling life. The reason for this is that, on one side, without it, they wouldn’t even leave their bed, let alone their home.
And on the other, it wouldn’t be possible for them to take risks and to move towards the things that they desire but also make them feel uncomfortable. As a result of this, they would end up living in a very small box or reality that is safe yet severely restrictive and soul-destroying.
A Particular Experience
Now, what a man could find is that although he doesn’t find it hard to get out of bed and to leave his home, or to move towards things that he desires, he may find that it is hard for him to trust women. Due to this, he is likely to feel the need to keep them at a distance.
If he was to look back on his life, he may find that this is how he has been for as long as he can remember. There is the chance that he will have had a number of experiences where he has been taken advantage of by them too.
A Natural Outcome
Consequently, it could be said that it is to be expected that he will find it hard to trust women. He will have had a number of negative experiences with them, so how else would he be?
He could find that he has been hurt not just mentally and emotionally but has also been hurt physically. To try to prevent this from happening again, he may have the tendency to have his guard up
The Need Is Still There
Still, by being attracted to women and having the need to have them in his life, he probably won’t be able to completely step away from them. But, as he will have his guard up, it won’t be possible for him to share all of himself.
So, the version of him that does show up around a woman is likely to be a very watered-down version. Another way of looking at it would be to say that while he will share his mind and body, he won’t share his heart.
One Foot In
If he was to meet a woman who he was strongly attracted to and was to momentarily forget about how he usually is, he could soon find that he is only able to go so far. Soon enough, he could remember why this is and even tell her that he finds it hard to trust due to his previous experiences.
He could say that this is why he is unable to fully open his heart and to allow himself to deeply emotionally connect with her. He will have a limit and right now, he won’t be able to go past this limit.
One Foot Out
Then again, if he is not aware of the fact that he finds it hard to trust, he could struggle to understand what is going on. He will then be attracted to her and have feelings for her but he won’t be able to fully open his heart to her.
This can cause him to be deeply confused because he will be attracted to her and feel things for her, but on the other, it will be like there is an invisible barrier that is stopping him from being able to go any further. Along with this, there will be the impact that this can have on the woman.
A Closer Look
Whether a man is in this first or the second position, he is likely to be dealing with the same issue. Ultimately, in order for him to surrender and then to open his heart and thereby, to allow himself to truly feel and connect to her, he will need to feel safe.
As he doesn’t feel safe and can’t trust the women, he is unable to drop his defences and just be. What this illustrates is that when it comes to intimacy and love, it primarily relates to the feminine aspect, not the masculine aspect.
Irrespective of whether the man has or hasn’t had a lot of experiences throughout his adult life when he has been harmed by a woman, there is the chance that what he is like as an adult is a consequence of what took place during the beginning of his life. The experiences that he had with his mother when he was dependent and totally powerless are likely to be the main reason why he is this way.
At this stage of his life, he was a boy but he would have been in a feminine state, and to be clear, the word ‘feminine’ doesn’t mean female; it relates to certain traits. So, as a boy, he was open, receptive and vulnerable.
A Key Developmental Stage
This time in his life, which is said to last from birth to around 18 months, has been classed as the trust vs. mistrust stage by Eric Erickson. If, during this time his mother had been reliable, consistent and generally attuned to his needs, he would have learned to trust her, others and the world and develop the belief that his needs would be met.
Yet, as this was probably a time when his mother was unreliable, inconsistent and wasn’t attuned to his needs, he wouldn’t have learnt to trust her, others or the world and developed a belief that his needs would be met. Furthermore, her inability to attune to his needs would have also caused him to be deeply wounded by her presence, causing him to associate letting go, surrendering and being vulnerable as a threat to his very survival.
A Lasting Impact
Up until this point, his conscious mind may not have even thought about, let alone had no recollection of, what took place all those years ago but it wouldn’t have mattered. These early experiences, experiences that would have been preverbal, will have left a big mark on every part of his being, apart from his intellect as this part of him wouldn’t have been very developed.
His heart would have been open, providing he didn’t experience any trauma in his mother womb or major trauma during his birth, but before long, it would have been too painful for this part of him to say open. A time when he was unable to soothe himself would have been a time when his nervous system was overloaded.
If a man can relate to this and he is ready to change his life, he may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.