Uncomfortable Trust


Our friends got married in an 800 year old English church. The ridiculously Insta-worthy kind with vines and a wonky roof. We all laughed as the officiating vicar declared that the groom was a hedgehog, averse to conflict, and the bride a rhino, all for it. She then challenged us to identify which of the two animals we are. My default conflict creature? I knew straight away: a hedgehog.

My husband, Ben, of course, is a rhino. Not the crazy kind who wants conflict for the sake of it, but the annoyingly wise-kind who sees freedom in healthy communication. I need time to collect my thoughts, whereas he’s ready to talk straight away. So when we got married ourselves, this created tears (on my part) and frustration. We just didn’t understand the language of each other. I was wondering why someone like him would want to provoke uncomfortable topics, and he was wondering how someone like me could shrink and hide from them.

However, after five years of marriage, I’ve learnt that when difficult discussions arise Ben has my very best interest at heart, and that he sees the growth that one moment could lead to.

Sometimes it is definitely easier to just let comments or issues slide, but I’ve learnt that when honest communication happens, trust begins to grow.

It’s pretty amazing really, because when I look back on the scenes that have galvanised our relationship the most, it’s predominantly those moments where we had to face something head-on and be vulnerable with each other, trusting that we weren’t going to scare the other away. Like sharing messy details from our past that we knew needed to be aired. Like admitting I hadn’t grieved a miscarriage properly and needed his help to do so. Or even like the time in New Zealand, on our honeymoon, where we decided to have our first money fight – in middle of the street!

Building deep trust is uncomfortable. The reward, however, is great intimacy with your spouse.

In my marriage so far the greatest thing I’ve learnt is that when trust is fought for, it creates comfort like nothing else. Even for a hedgehog.


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