I was talking with someone who mentioned that she has like five men in her life that she trusts, but then she recounted how one of them just fill-in-the-blank’d and another one just such-and-such’d, and now she was down to three.

Which got me thinking…how many men could I count, and what – for me – constitutes trust?

I think I need to start there.  The guys who have landed on my I-trust-you list have the following things in common:

-They are truth-tellers.  They do not lie to me.  (If they lied to me, they’d fall right off the list.)

-If I need help with something, I know I can go to them, and they won’t make me feel bad, and – shocker – they will actually help me.

-They are kind to me.  They are gentle with my heart.

-On the flipside, they do not threaten me.  They are not mean to me.

-They have a track record with other people of being trustworthy.

-They don’t take advantage of me and my vulnerability.

-They say really good and kind words to me.

-I feel safe when I’m with them or talking to them.

-They have each done something – or way more than one thing – that has made me feel protected or like they have my back.

So then I started thinking how many I’ve got, and I counted ten.  That’s really pretty great.  I will admit that three of them, I actually pay for their services, but they have never once screwed me over, they all go above and beyond, and they are good men who I feel are truly looking out for me and my children.

If you’re married, your husband should not only be on your list, he should hold the absolute top position on your trust list.  And if he’s not, that is a red flag that your marriage needs help.  A caveat here, though: if you cannot trust your husband because he has lied to you or betrayed you or is harsh with you, it is not your responsibility to muster up trust for him; it is his responsibility to rebuild it.

And if you’re single, you need to work on building that list.  It’s healthy to have both women and men friends, and it’s important that you are surrounding yourself and your children with men who are good and kind and able to support you and are able to help you – in appropriate ways – restore your faith in men.

So what about you? How many can you count?

Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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