Regaining Trust

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Two people go to the bank. One has a good credit score, the other a bad one. One is clearly more creditworthy, or trustworthy, than the other, based on past behavior. One paid his loans on time, the other sometimes defaulted. These two see the same banker and ask her for a loan.

You may think you know the sensible thing for the banker to do. She’s supposed to give the loan to the one with a good credit score and turn down the other with a bad credit score. But, she doesn’t have to do that; she can do what she wants. For instance, she could say the person with a good credit score can get a loan anywhere, so he doesn’t need to get it from her. She could decide to give the one with a bad credit score a break. Having a good credit score does not dictate the banker’s decision. She makes her own decision.

So, your loved one got caught up with cocaine and you’re trying to decide whether to trust her again. She makes a complete turnaround. She goes to rehab, gets off the blow, and pisses clean for the next twelve months. She’s made a complete moral inventory and admitted her shortcomings. Everyone else has forgiven her. They applaud her at her NA meeting. She’s a changed person. Anyone would say that her credit score had been bad, but it’s improving. Objectively, she may be more trustworthy now than a person who never used cocaine at all and never had to deal with the dark side of themselves. That doesn’t mean you have to trust her. Trusting her is up to you.

Or, alternatively, your loved one, who hurt you, is still stuck in the same old shit he was in before: fighting, cussing, carrying on. You never know when he’s coming home at night; you don’t know whether he’s coming home at all. He could be with anybody, doing anything. He could be in jail, in the hospital, or in bed with another woman. He could just be shooting pool with his buddies, blowing off your texts. The man, by any measure, is completely untrustworthy. Everyone says you should dump the loser. His credit score is zero. You know what? It’s still up to you whether to trust him. You can do what you’d like. It doesn’t have to make sense.

What would cause a banker to ignore a low credit score and lend money anyway? She could be just a rank fool. She could be on a suicide mission. She could believe it’s her job to save the most wretched. She could be a loan shark, offering a payday loan of trust and good will that will ruin the creditor in the end. Maybe trust is burning a hole in her pocket and she can’t get rid of it fast enough. She could be a banker with so much money in her vault, so much good will, brimming with so much self esteem, that she can take risks that others cannot.

What would cause a banker to ignore a good credit score and refuse the loan? Maybe she, too, is a rank fool. Maybe she’s uncomfortable with success. Maybe she finds suspicion more compelling than grace. Maybe it’s too boring, too safe to give trust to someone who deserves it. Maybe she’s just a miser with her trust. There could be so little money in her vault, so little good will, so little self esteem, that she’s not willing to risk a dime.

The point is, it’s up to the banker. If that banker is your loved one; if you did something to hurt him and have done everything you can do to regain trust; it’s still up to him. You can’t force him to trust you. If you’re the banker, it’s up to you.