Spontaneous Combustion in a Relationship or Why Not Trusting Means Writing It Off

Him and her. Everyone is attractive in some way. And they remain so—even for others. Will you trust your partner, or keep suspecting them?
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The case I’m going to describe for you today will seem bizarre, but it is so common…

He was gallant. It impressed her. He held the door for her, helped her put her coat on, and let her go up the steps first, so that he could catch her if she slipped. He was exactly the partner she wanted.

He said yes to a relationship BUT he kept his habits. Why do I say BUT? Because it started to bother her. He was gallant not only towards her, but towards everybody – including other women.

He didn’t change. He had always been like that. But she wanted him just for herself. She criticised him for it. She changed him. So, he resigned himself to giving up his gallantry and became a man that no longer impressed her…

It’s called putting your own king in check. But don’t be confused, men do this as well…

She was always smiling, attractive. She took care of herself. She liked putting on her make-up, she dressed provocatively, and she was full of energy and self-confidence. She was like a grasshopper he wanted to catch.

He caught her and was proud of himself… but only for a short time, until he found out that she wasn’t putting on her make-up and getting dressed only for him, but also for herself. The beauty that he had recently admired and courted was, in his words, a prostitute that no longer needed to “get dolled up”—after all, she was spoken for.

He forced her to become a grey mouse. When she became one, he lost interest in her. What’s the point of a grey mouse? he said.

The principle where possessiveness destroys a relationship is called spontaneous combustion. It’s an ability to turn the things that we love about our partner into defects that we hate.

Men desire that their partners be beautiful—but only for them. Women desire that their partners be attentive—but only to them. Otherwise they stop believing them. But, damn it, how to do this?

Innocent, Convicted

What is a partner actually doing wrong if they simply continue to be themselves?

Why do they only have two options: Either remain themselves and evidently lose their partner or stop having an important quality, and also evidently lose them?

What, actually, is the mistake they are making? Or where is the mistake in the relationship?

I’ll tell you where. The answer has already been mentioned: Their partner stopped trusting them. Nothing needs to be added to this sentence. It contains everything: The accusation and the judgment.

As I write in Improovio about support for “lions” and “lionesses”, trust in a relationship is the base, more basic even than communication. Where there is no trust, communication makes no sense. What is the sense in asking, listening, and explaining, when your partner doesn’t trust you? Where there is no trust, words have no content. Where there is no trust, your partner means nothing.

“Either you trust me and then you don’t need any explanation. Or you don’t trust me and then no explanation is sufficient.” Quote from the book The 250 Laws of Love (Petr Casanova, 2015)

If our partner doesn’t trust us, we have been convicted. It makes no difference at all whether we’re guilty or innocent.

It makes no difference, either, that we are perhaps being punished for the actions of one of our partner’s previous partners who they have not yet completely got over; in their old memories, they see our sins.

Speed of Thought

When I meet the readers of my book at readings to which I am invited, I try a simple test: Can you click your fingers? If so, click them… No, that was too slow. In order to show how fast mistrust can arise, we have to get faster. Yes, like that! At the speed of thought! That’s how fast mistrust arises!

All it takes is one feeling (that something might be wrong) and the idea appears. And the idea is our truth. A fresh, instructive example: On New Year’s Eve we’re completely convinced about our resolutions—we will certainly stick to them. Yet, when January arrives we’re completely convinced that this year we won’t stick to them. The person hasn’t changed, just their ideas. Although they are contradictory, at every moment they decide on their actions and results.

I’ll do it – I won’t do it.

I’ll try it – I won’t try it.

It makes sense – It doesn’t make sense.

As I write in Improovio, which focuses on the general development of people, our life is created by our thoughts. We experience not what is happening in reality, but what we regard as real. If we are convinced that somebody is bad, then that person can in no way disabuse us of this, until we are WILLING to change our mind.

So, what should we actually do if we are the ones that don’t trust—who have fallen into the process of spontaneous combustion?

Why, at this moment, does everything seem so complicated and unbearable?

How can we trust those that are not betraying us, although it seems incredible?

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