“When you love someone, you’ve gotta trust them. There’s no other way. You’ve got to give them the key to everything that’s yours. Otherwise, what’s the point? And for a while, I believed that’s the kind of love I had”. – Ace Rothstien – Casino
Love is trust. Truer words were never spoken. Therein lies the danger of giving your love. When you trust someone, it sets you up for a big fall. People let you down. They fall out of love with you, but they usually don’t tell you. It happens slowly over a long period of time. While you’re loving and trusting them, they begin to scheme. They begin to plan their departure from the relationship. They use your trust against you. They set up secret bank accounts, they connect with confederates, they start covert relationships, they make plans. Worst, they give their trust to someone else but pretend they still love and trust you. At best, it’s not honest. At worst, it’s evil.
Then one day when you least expect it, usually when you’re weak or low, it happens. They let you know it’s over. They tell you the love and trust are gone. You’re shocked. You’re completely blind-sided. You knew the two of you had issues, but all couples have issues. In your mind, the issues were not insurmountable. You were always confident that your love and trust were deeper than any issues the two of you may have.
You hurt. The pain is paralyzing. You get physically sick. You can’t sleep. You can’t think rationally. The person you loved and trusted the most in the world is gone. You’re lost.
You campaign for a reconciliation. You proclaim your love and bargain for a solution, with no effect. You realize this has been coming for a long time and you were completely unaware of any serious problem.
Slowly, you begin to realize the full extent of the betrayal. While you were looking the other way, your partner was preparing. Now you are totally vulnerable. Your partner had the keys to everything in your life and you realize they took full advantage of you. Assets suddenly disappear, liabilities are shifted, passwords are changed, files get corrupted or stolen. Half the income the partnership depended on is suddenly gone. Your partner walks out on obligations you entered into in good faith as a couple. The life you spent years building is gone in an instant.
And when you’re at your lowest point, you’re partner’s new lover emerges. You realize the person you’ve been loving and trusting, gave their love and trust to someone else long ago. You were played. You’re a sucker. Your former partner seems to enjoy hurting you. The knowledge of complete betrayal makes you ill.
How could you have been so wrong in your perceptions? You thought things were at best great, and at worst, okay. How could this have happened? You begin to question your vision and perceptions. Were you deluded? Was the love and trust you felt an illusion? You invested so much emotion in a person you thought felt the same. But you were wrong. How can you now trust you’re perceptions?
Like so many from your generation, you saw love as forever. You knew there would be rough spots, but never questioned the permanency of the relationship. You took marriage partnership vows seriously and thought long and hard before making them. You knew what you are giving up, and thought you knew what you were getting in return.
But the worst part is your disillusionment, not just in your partner, but in the belief system that brought you here in the first place. You question love. Is it real, or just a projection of one’s own feelings? Is love an absolute or relative emotion? What is the standard? Where is the measuring stick?
In Casino, Ace tells Ginger, “Listen to me, none of this means anything. (referring to their possessions) I have to trust you with my life.” To Ace, love was an absolute, he was giving Ginger the keys to his kingdom; he was giving her the power to destroy him. To Ginger, love was relative. Ace was the best thing going at the time. Times change.
Does deceit always win over trust? Is complete love always doomed to tragedy? Is attachment the root of all unhappiness? Is the world a godless planet filled with self-serving auto-bots? As an artist, my worst nightmare is living in a world without love and beauty. Where is love?