Falling in love with someone is like building a house near the shoreline; you enjoy the person and share common interests which instantly sets the foundation, then each day is a step forward toward your house becoming 'move in' ready. The layout is set, framing starts, heck, you're even picking out the wall colors! Every day your relationship is getting stronger and you can see your plans all coming together. Your house is built strong, each of you laughing and enjoying each other during the build. Then all of a sudden, a disaster occurs! You can hear the boards snapping, the walls collapsing, and turn just in time to see a tidal wave carelessly sweeping away all the effort you've put in to making your house perfect. It comes in quickly and destroys all the progress you've made, all the time invested, all the effort you've put in to build your trusty house. This is what a lie can do in your relationship.
It's painful having to watch so much investment be swept away with the tide. Trust is built. Not only does it take time, but it takes effort from everyone involved. It can take years to build, and moments to become completely destroyed. Once the damage has been done, cleaning away the debris and rebuilding from the ground up is one of the most difficult projects to take on.
Some people believe that white lies, fibs, and hiding things are acceptable in relationships. Truth is, one little lie can take on a life of its own, turning into two little lies, which turn into three little lies, which turn into bigger lies, and so the cycle continues. Dishonesty has no place in a relationship. I'm not talking about lying about buying a birthday gift either. I'm talking about anything that could possibly change the dynamic of your relationship. Sometimes a small lie might remove a few shingles from your roof, other times walls can come crashing down. When you value the home you've created with your partner, you do everything you can to keep it maintained. Every little repair that you have to make can still create a small weak spot, but does have the potential to be rebuilt stronger than it was before.
This type of damage is preventable and the only outcome is distrust and unnecessary rebuilding. Repairs are common when you're building a life together. There's always something that needs a little upkeep, whether it's something as simple as a new paint job, or it's time to completely remodel; some updates are necessary just like truly owning a home. However, unnecessary repairs can take their toll. It's exhausting to finally be ready to erect a wall, only to watch it fall ten times faster. It's the job of both partners to help rebuilt what's been broken, and it can be a very long and difficult road.
Learning to trust your partner again takes time. Depending on how severe the damage, it can take years to get back what you once had. As hurt as you are, every day needs to be a step in the right direction. If your partner is truly sorry and wanting to put in effort, instead of belittling and shaming them, put 'em to work! You won't ever be able to trust them again if you aren't willing to take small risks. Over time, those small risks will become easier and you'll feel more comfortable with taking bigger risks, watching the house you're building starting to come together again.
Truly repair the damage. Throwing a blanket over a hole in the wall doesn't change the fact that it's there. Work! If you're not willing to put in the work to fix the problems now, your house is going to become weak from all the patches you've put in place and will crumble under your feet. It's hard, it hurts, but if you love your partner then it's going to be worth the effort you put into it. If needed, seek counseling, on your own and with your partner. Sometimes you need to consult with someone who specializes in home repair, and there's nothing wrong with getting a little advice!
People make mistakes, and often times you're the one who knocked down the walls. Be patient! Seek forgiveness and the opportunity to prove yourself as a capable worker. Learn from your mistake and do everything you can to show your partner that you want to help repair the damage and not let it get worse. Your partner will probably be very angry and hurt, even for a long time after the incident, but you need to try to understand where they're coming from just like they need to give you the chance to change that behavior.
Still, there are times that the damage is severe enough that it's time to bust out the caution tape and condemn the building. Lies can rip apart the most solid relationships, leaving nothing left to salvage. Moving forward after all the work put into such a huge project can truly feel defeating. It's hard to imagine putting that much work into something else again. But in time, you'll find the right location. You might even be more cautious when drawing the blueprints, but once the foundation is in place, you'll be well on your way to building a house that was even stronger than the first! That's not to say that small repairs won't be necessary, but let's just hope this one is a little further back on the shoreline!