Article is by C.J Npowa

If you happen to be in a relationship or have been in a relationship, you know that no relationship can survive without this fundamental, vital, unavoidable thing called “TRUST”. Below is my definition of the word T.R.U.S.T (Yes, I came up with it all by myself)


Whether in a relationship between a newborn and a dad, brothers and sisters, childhood friends, mentor- mentee, employer- employee, bank-customers, you name it!  If it involves people interacting with each other, trust is required to achieve and maintain a sane, mutually satisfying relationship. Without it, nothing positive can be accomplished. Without it, most relationships are doomed to failure.

In order to have trust, it is crucial to have the right foundation. Foundation is like that which holds any house together. I am no builder but one thing I know for sure is that no house can escape setting that foundation. But most importantly, what we must realize is that no two foundations are the same.

What do I mean by that? What defines the foundation of one relationship is not necessarily what is needed in another relationship.

For instance, in a Father-daughter relationship, the foundation for trust can take root from great moments of communicating with each other and the daughter grows up to know that she can count on her dad to always help her talk things out.

Similarly, in a mother-son relationship, the foundation for trust can be established over years of mom quietly opening the door when her son comes home past his curfew. He knows he can count on her.

In one couple’s dynamic, the trust can come from the husband knowing that no matter what, his wife will support him; While in another couple, the man can take confidence in knowing that he can always count on his wife to tell him where he’s gone wrong without fear of reprisal.

The basis for trust in any of these instances can be implicit or explicit, meaning the concerned have sat and defined exactly what will cause them to trust or not trust each other:  whether it is a covenant never to betray a secret, to always be there for one another, to never leave, to always provide, to never cheat, to do the job right etc…

One thing that we do notice in all these scenarios is that it is a two-way street. Both parties need to understand the expectations, sign on the dotted line and agree to abide by the rules.

Now, having said all that, it is a fact nowadays that a lot of couples are in distress for lack of trust. They may have started the relationship on the wrong foot and never gained trust in each other. They may also have had a good start, but somewhere along the line, something happened that caused the trust to be broken. One thing for sure, when the relationship is fully engaged, trust can be built from the get-go in less time than it will take to restore it once it is broken. Psychologists may even tell you that the path to restoration may take you just as long as the length of the relationship thus far, meaning that if you’ve been in the relationship for 5 years, expect that it will take 5 years to restore the broken trust. And I’m talking about both sides. The restoration business is a vicious revolving door. If you don’t understand that, you may never get away from it.

One mistake, we women often make, is thinking that we are the only ones whose trust has been broken in a relationship; especially if the issue of infidelity is on the table. When women enter a relationship, they expect 2 things from the man: that he will provide for their family and that he will be faithful.  Of the two, the first is always more important to a woman than the first. Why is that? Simple. To be a provider for a man should be like (given normal conditions) flower springing up in the spring, trees producing fruits, the sky pouring down rain in due season…it is his GODLY ASSIGNMENT as a man. Therefore it is expected and that it is considered proof that he is a MAN.

1 Timothy 5:8 “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

But the second expectation is proof of HIS love towards HIS woman, she knows that this is HER man!  He has forsaken all others for her and cherishes her above all others, essentially it validates who she is in the relationship and who he is towards her. When that is broken and betrayal takes places, it is worse than a man not providing, because a woman will stick by her man even if he can’t provide as long as he remains faithful to her.

Men, when that happens, a woman loses all sense of her place in your life. And because she does not know who she is, she can no longer recognize who you are; and she can no longer fulfill her calling as your help-mate.

That brings me to how trust is often broken for a man in a relationship. Ladies, just as you have expectations, so do men. They also expect two major things: that his woman will care for and nurture the family, household or anything he entrusts her with and that she will respect him.  Now, I don’t cite faithfulness for women because men intrinsically expect women to be faithful.

Again, of the two items, the second one is more important (and this is my humble opinion based on personal and relational experiences). Because the Lord God created Man first, gave him dominion which he handed over to Satan after listening to his wife, I believe that since then Man has decided that he will no longer listen to women and she will have to respect him! (mild chuckle). But seriously though, it was God’s will that a woman should respect her man.  He said that because he knew what he deposited in men that would make him crave that respect…Just as God said Man should love his wife, the wife of his youth…

Ephesians 5:33 “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

Again, the first one is God’s ordained responsibility for a woman…to be a helpmate (no tomatoes please:). What is a helpmate, you will ask me? A helpmate, whether in a household, workplace, or in any setting of your choice, is the one that cares for and nurture that which the master of the place has acquired and entrusted her with. What does that mean? That means, when God created Adam and put him in charge of the garden, God realized that Adam needed help with his burden. He needed help to maintain the garden, care for the animals, nurture what was his and YES, to help him release the tension (by doing you know what….).  Eve was created, with the heart for caring and nurturing. Therefore, in a household setting, the man expects his woman to fulfill her duties as his helpmate.


A little side note here for the ladies: When I was working as an Account Manager some years back, one of my duties as I came to find out on my performance report, was to “manage my boss”. I was dumbfounded by this. So my title says Manager, but he is my boss, why is it my job to manage him? When I finally understood what it meant, it made total sense. As his helper, I needed to understand the requirements of his job in order to better assist him; I needed to understand his character and habits in order to better work with him and I needed to know his shortcomings in order to make him look good in front of others. In so doing successfully, my boss came to rely on me and completely put his trust in me. Let those that have ears hear….

Now that we know a woman’s primary expectations and a man’s primary expectations within a relationship, how does trust get broken again?


So ladies, while you are crying that you can’t trust him no more because he cheated on you, he is crying that he can’t trust you because you won’t care and nurture what he has entrusted you with (however little it is). Gentlemen, while you are crying that you can’t trust her because she does not respect you, she is crying that she can’t trust you because you can’t even provide.

It’s a vicious cycle: If you can’t provide, she won’t respect you.  If she does not respect you, you will not be faithful to her.  If you are not faithful to her, she can’t nurture and care for anything that is yours.  If she does not care, you will not love you…if she does not love you, she will not respect you, and on and on it goes!

Trust can be broken from either side, so both parties have to stop and realize what conundrum you are in.  Otherwise you’ll never be in synch in order to resolve things and restore the trust.

Ladies, if he cheated and you expect him to get his act together, now is not the time to rebel and stop cooking, caring for the house or the children or even his dingaling (Yup, I said it;). Do your part.

Gentlemen, if she does not respect you and you want that to change, do not bring in a third party into your relationship, you would be adding fuel to the fire.