by Aiyana Ma’at Trust is one of the most important ingredients to have in the recipe for a successful and fulfilling relationship. When it’s present issues that might ordinarily be a problem are more easily overlooked, we give our partner the benefit of the doubt, and somehow despite their shortcomings, it’s easier to recognize that our partner is still growing & becoming. But, when trust is absent imaginations run wild, molehills become mountains, and the credit we once gave our partner is now out the door. Let’s face it–a relationship absent of trust is a relationship with far more holes & gaps of vulnerability than one with trust.
And, while we most often think of issues like cheating or infidelity when it comes to trust there are other places in our relationships that can be damaged by betrayal and erosion of trust. We’ve worked with many couples where husbands don’t trust their wives with their goals and dreams because their women consistently minimize or belittle their desires. We’ve heard from so many wives who don’t trust their husbands in the area of providing financial security and stability because their men have not demonstrated what is required to make sure their family’s needs are met. And, what about the hyper-critical partner who seems to only find the negative in every situation—their spouse can’t find the courage to trust them with just being their most true and authentic selves for fear of being so harshly judged. My point–erosion of trust can happen in any number of areas in a relationship and while you may trust your spouse 100% in one area your level of trust may be at , for example, just 25% in another area in the relationship.
In the dictionary (actually on dictionary.com…smile) trust is defined as the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, or surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. If the foundation of trust has been cracked in your relationship and you are the perpetrator who took the sledge hammer to it then feel me when I say this: It is your responsibility to demonstrate in your words & your actions that you are willing to do what is required to help heal the pain you caused and clean up the mess that now sits on the floor of your relationship by any means necessary . That is usually a tough pill for many to swallow but, trust me, it is the most honorable and loving path back to faith, closeness, and understanding. Why is it so tough for folks to understand? Because true demonstration (there goes that word again) that one understands what has been done to the relationship means that the perpetrator MUST sacrifice and, yes, work harder than you had to before. Most people don’t want to lay in the bed that they have made—they just want to move on. Well, it just ain’t that simple. We have to B Intentional about re-creating the trust we once had.
So, of course, you know we’re not going to leave you with out some ways to intentionally build that trust back up. We’ve borrowed this list from YgoY.com and we think it’s a really good start.
Express yourself: Communication, as you might already know, is the most important factor in a marriage. The first way to achieve good communication is a relationship is to express yourself honestly. You need to tell the other person how you actually feel.
Tell your needs: Another way to build trust in a relationship is to say exactly what you want. When you make things clear then there will be more closeness between the two of you. This will lead to understanding and trust.
Trust yourself: Distrust and suspicion usually creep up when there is insecurity in a relation. Trusting yourself and having self-confidence will relax you. This way you can also have faith in your man/woman.
Believe your spouse is competent: Problems come when you do not believe that your partner is capable. The other person can also make sensible decisions. Not trusting him/her will only take them away from you.
Secrets are a strict “No”: Take care not to keep any secrets from each other. Secrets have this nasty habit of surfacing when you least expect. Be open about everything in your life. If you hide something, you are always stressed out about it. Therefore, it is better to let it all hang out.
Don’t listen to rumors: If you go looking for problems, you will find them. Continuously asking your friends and family about your spouse’s character will bring down your relationship. One way to build trust in a relationship is not to entertain or believe in the gossip.
Clarify with the partner: If you happen to hear anything about your partner, then clarify with him/her. Do not jump to conclusions. Assumptions will never help you build trust in a relationship.
Keep yourself occupied: An empty mind is surely a devil’s workshop. Therefore, do not sit idle and think about unnecessary issues. Try to keep yourself busy with hobbies and life. This way you will not have time to take your thoughts seriously.
Do not pretend: How can anyone trust you if you pretend? Be comfortable with who you are and show the same person to your spouse and to the world. Pretense will take your partner away from you. The other person will not be able to make out what your actual real personality is.
Share your experiences and past: When you tell more about your past and the experiences you have had, your relationship will become stronger. Be an open book and your partner will respect you for that. Everyone has a past and your man/woman will understand that.
Be responsible: Guess who people trust at work or in their personal lives? It’s the reliable and responsible person. Do things which establish you as a credible individual. It will become easier for your partner to trust you.
Don’t be unpredictable: Nobody can trust an unpredictable person. Try not to do anything which is not characteristic of you. This might make your partner suspicious. Don’t make the changes too often and all of a sudden.
Make things clear: You and your spouse should sit down and make certain things clear. Know what makes the other uncomfortable. Set boundaries and unwritten rules to keep distrust out of your marriage. If talking to a certain female friend makes the wife uncomfortable, the husband should avoid doing so.
Keep jealousy out: Envy leads to lack of faith in the relationship. Do not be jealous of your partner’s success, popularity or attractive personality. Instead be a part of it. Be proud of it. Do not let the green-eyed monster consume your marriage.
It’s difficult to build trust in a relationship but very easy to break it. Therefore, you must work to save your marriage from it. B Intentional family have you experienced broken trust? How did you and your partner deal with it?