Trust is the bedrock of a healthy relationship; however, lack of trust is one of the most common themes to surface in relationships. If you are struggling with the issue of trust in your relationship below are some ways that you can develop greater trust with your partner.
Trust means that you have placed your confidence and faith in your partner, that you expect honesty, integrity, loyalty, and respect to be at the center of your relationship. You also expect your partner to keep promises and confidences, and to stay with you when the going gets tough.
Your trust should always be earned; you should not give it to another lightly. When you first met your partner, you both shared information to help you get to know each other. You were also learning about whether they were “worthy” of your trust and of your heart. You likely shared more vulnerable information about yourself, expecting that he or she would hold this most precious part of you in a place of safety and love.
We are all inherently complex beings who bring our past experiences, hurts, fears, and expectations into every new relationship. At some point, perhaps, your partner said or did something that triggered you and your trust was broken. Sometimes your old wounds and traumas spill over into your relationship, and you can lose your ability to feel safe. Your response to things that are said and done can somethings cause an upheaval in the relationship. Safety and trust are based on the dynamic between you and your partner but is also a function of your own point of view and perspective. You see situations from your vantage point and that is not really the entire picture, you partner also has a perspective and their own point of view. When you bring your fears etc. into your relationship you should expect your partner to be open to discussing what has happened and to work with you to resolve the issue. When this happens, you learn that you can count on your partner to be there for you even when the going gets rough
If you would like to deepen the trust between you and your partner, please try these 10 tips:
- Keep what your partner tells you within the confines of your relationship. Telling others what your partner has shared with you in confidence destroys trust.
- Don’t rely on email, phone calls and texts to communicate with your partner. Spend time communicating face-to-face. Communicating in person will help you to build a greater sense of security so that you can be more open and vulnerable with one another.
- Consider your partner’s interests. The more you can support them in their interests, the more he or she will know that they can count on you and that you have concern for their welfare. If your partner feels like they can count on you, it will make it much easier for them to share the more vulnerable parts of themselves.
- Follow through with the promises that you make. If you say that you will call or be some place at a certain time, be sure that you do these things. Small actions matter toward helping you to build a strong foundation of trust.
- Learn to apologize when you make a mistake or disappoint your partner. An authentic apology should be sincere and from the heart. To be truly meaningful, take responsibility for your actions and reassure your partner that you understand how your action impacted him or her.
- As you learn more about your partner, allow yourself to share more personal information and history with them. Aim for balance between how much each of you shares, trust is not built if only one person shares.
- Spend time together doing things that make each of you happy. Since you are two different people, you will naturally like some different things. Being open to a new experience that your partner brings to you will build the bond between you and trust will follow. Sometimes you will do things even if it isn’t what you would really like to do because you know that it is important to your partner.
- Practice forgiveness when you are upset with your partner and let go of a hurt after the two of you have talked it through. Receiving a sincere apology and being willing to let go of your grievance helps to build trust in an important way.
- Take some time away from your partner to check in with yourself and get some feedback from your trusted friends or relatives. By taking space and speaking with a trusted friend or relative, you may gain a new perspective about your relationship. You may discover that you have been pushing aside information about your partner that tells you this person cannot be trusted. On the other hand, you may discover that your partner is ultimately worthy of your trust.
- Trust can fluctuate over time as each of you experiences the bumps of life. Reassure each other that your love and safety are still intact. This will further strengthen the foundation of trust between the two of you.
Trust takes a long time to build and can unfortunately be broken in an instant. Whether you are building trust in a new relationship or trying to rebuild it in an established one the steps are much the same. Patience, communication and understanding help you and your partner to create a strong foundation from which you can build a meaningful connection. There is hope in relationship and building trust will help you to strengthen what you have or what you are creating for many years to come.