Trust, intimacy, independence and communication.


Sometimes ordinary life takes a turn for the worse. Like the totally average evening when your partner’s phone bleeps with an incoming text message that throws your relationship off a cliff. Or a hurtful comment from a friend that snowballs into a savage severing of your shared history.

Cynthia Wall has a favorite way to describe the brutal shock of betrayal. Using an analogy borrowed from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, she describes trust as the oxygen in the room of relationships. When that vital life force is removed, the emotional pain can be visceral. “It’s really the absence of trust that we feel,” she says.

The author of The Courage to Trust: A Guide to Building Deep and Lasting Relationships, Wall has decades of experience as a therapist and social worker...

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