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Read Letter

Camouflaged Distrust

Dear Jack, this thing about full access to each other’s phone, it’s not really about trust; it’s about lack of trust. More like a Russia/US nuclear deal on quantity of arsenal, each side providing full disclosure. But the US/Russia nuclear deal is based on distrust not trust. It’s a balance of terror deal. That you and your girlfriend even have a formal deal on trust already portends lack of trust Your girlfriend wants assurances of trust, that’s why she wants full access to your phone. And you don’t trust her either. It’s why you want full access to her phone. The funny thing is that all that full phone access stuff doesn’t guarantee faithfulness. Full access or no full access to each other’s phone both of you can still cheat on each other. What it simply means is that both of you will become cleverer in the masking of your infidelity. You will take evasive manoeuvres masking your infidelity, throw each other off the trail.

Now, how you convinced each other that full access to each other’s phones guarantees fidelity is another thing entirely. And because there’s no trust in your relationship, basic phone etiquette like going out of earshot becomes suspicious. And it’s going to get worse as you get promoted in life. Every phone call will be suspicious. And every text will be monitored, if possible warehoused for forensic analysis. Innocent loving words expressed in text messages will become red flags. You can’t ever use the word “love,” or similar words. It will arouse suspicion. And of course there’ll always be that one instance that breaches the artificial protocol of trust you created…say, an ex sending an uninvited text. And that will be the end of your relationship, or it will spell its doom. Besides, the granting of full access means betraying other people’s confidences. All the texts sent to you in confidence are automatically breached, just because of this strange pact with your girlfriend. All your office details, all the texts sent by your boss… Your girlfriend is reading them all on the basis of this pact. But if people really want you and your girlfriend to share their confidence together, they’d have let you know. As it is, they don’t know your girlfriend is even reading their texts. And you never disclosed to them your girlfriend has full access to your phone. They think their confidences are safe and limited to you, not knowing your girlfriend has full access. I hope your girlfriend keeps confidences and can handle information; and that she can keep information till she dies.

Some people can’t handle exposure to certain types of information. It’s why life demands levels of access. The pact between you and your girlfriend is of course not looking to the future. So what happens when God has promoted you, say to working for a major state official. Are you then going to be disclosing state secrets to your wife, or betraying the confidences of government? The sad thing is that you and your girlfriend have mechanized trust, loyalty and faithfulness. Which presupposes the absence of trust, loyalty and faithfulness. Your pact makes them externally mandated. It’s like a recovering alcoholic. He knows not to visit a beer factory. As long as he doesn’t go near beer he’ll be fine. But the true test of his resolve not to drink again is unnatural or unexpected social settings with beer. Mechanization of trust doesn’t do well in unanticipated territory. And that’s what’s going to put a huge strain on this relationship. It’s going to be tested by unanticipated scenarios. And anyway, there’s always going to be that one instance – one undisclosed text. Kaboom! You and your girlfriend have trust issues. You need to sort that out.

Sometimes trust issues are from our background – say, an unfaithful father, or irresponsible mother. And so we develop mechanical routines to guard against the emergence of a man like such a dad. The danger with this trust issue is that it’s so controlling. Those who do not trust tend to be controlling. Even though your mechanized phone protocol seeks to achieve sincerity, insincerity will control it. When your girlfriend discovers that one text, she’ll warehouse it waiting for an opportune moment to confront you with it. She’ll pretend she’s not seen the text and keep laying a trap for you to get a confirmation. How’s that sincerity? So you see how this full phone access scheme runs on the operating system of insincerity. A controlling insecurity will always pose a risk to a relationship. At some point you’re not going to be able to handle it. There’s unspoken accusation, and you’re under suspicion always. That’s a lot of tension in a relationship. The relationship will be like a house full of cameras. And every time you receive a phone call you have to say who called. Every time a text comes through you have to be defensive, offering explanations. What kind of life is that? You’re under constant unspoken accusation. It’s the medium you exist in. The relationship runs on it.

Accusation is a horrible thing in a relationship, especially unfounded or unnecessary accusation. At some point someone’s health is going to be affected. And someone’s going to have to deal with high blood pressure. And you’re opening the door to jealousy and suspicion. Even your female cousin will come under suspicion. And your girlfriend will start imagining everyone against her. Because she doesn’t have full access to all your information. Life is too vast for us to seek to control in such a manner, monitoring our loved ones. That’s not love, that’s control! That’s not saying both of you won’t marry. But at some point both of you will pay a huge price for camouflaged distrust. Your life will come under strain from the restrictive fetters of this camouflaged mistrust. Either you snap, or the relationship snaps, or you stay in bondage. Choose. Or else resolve your trust issues.

Your mentor, LA

© Leke Alder |

Tags : Insecurities

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