2 min readJan 12, 2022



Book Two, Chapter 108: Helpful Definitions

At today’s session with cognitive-behavior therapist Gene, I ask him: “How do you define trust, as it relates to couples?”

He leans back in his chair, then rolls away from me. Answering this question requires distance, it seems.

Trust is when a person can say whatever he thinks needs to be said about the relationship, knowing that whatever he says will not be held against him or used to hurt him. Not then, not ever. Trust means partners, for the good of the relationship, can speak their minds without fear of recrimination.”

I want to remember this. I want this to sink in. I repeat his definition. Then I ask: “What is your definition of co-dependency?”

“Co-dependency involves deception. Partners do not tell the truth to each other, not willing to bear the consequences of the truth-telling. They live in deception rather than face the truth of the relationship.”

In the end, Ernie spoke his truth. It all came out. As hurtful as it was to hear, I needed to hear it. His truth is helping me know who I was with him, how he felt with and about me. His truth is helping me to change.

“I don’t trust Christy,” Joshua’s told me. “That’s why I won’t marry her. We’d still fight, then we’d divorce, then she’d fight for half of what I have. Can you imagine how angry that would make me? I can’t risk that.”

Will Christy and Joshua learn to trust each other? Talk truth to each other?

“We’ve been together fourteen years,” Joshua also says. “I’ve invested so much in her.”

Is this a case of throwing good money after bad? Will they be able to live together at Charles Street for even a week?

We’ll soon know.




My writer husband’s favorite nickname for me was Ernestina, so in this 2-book memoir, he is Ernie. This is his story, our story, and my story. I invite you in.