Without Trust it is impossible to have a healthy relationship. Trust is an essential component of being with someone, and it helps to make up the foundation that the relationship is built upon. Little or no trust in a relationship equals a very shaky foundation.
The truth is that trust is not a gift that is ‘given’ blindly in a relationship, trust is EARNED, so each person in a relationship needs to do things that will allow their partner to feel trusting in them.
A relationship without trust is a relationship without emotional safety. In a secure relationship each partner has a sense that their significant other will be there for them physically as well as emotionally. In a relationship that is healthy each person has a strong confidence that their partner will be there for them when they need them the most. If a person discovers that their partner isn’t in fact able to be there for them (i.e. disappointments, betrayals, failure to display care etc.) that person will begin to question how much they can expect or ‘trust’ their partner to be there for them in the future.
When trust begins to waver in a relationship it is important to not spend too much time questioning if the person who lacks trust is ‘justified’, and focus on what is needed to reaffirm or rebuild the trust that has been lost.
Building Trust in a relationship requires that each person:
- Be honest in everything including feelings (good and bad) so your partner is aware
- Ask for what you need and let your partner know how they can meet your needs
- LISTEN to your partner, and take what they say seriously (ignoring or down playing things your partner says can send the message that their needs don’t matter to you and this a VERY big pitfall that leads to broken trust in relationships
- Be RELIABLE…..don’t make promises or agree to things you cannot or will not really do
- If you have made a mistake hurry up and admit it as soon as you realize your error
- Be consistent with your words and actions (if you say one thing and do another you are sending a mixed/double message, and it is hard to know which to believe)
- Set clear boundaries with others outside of your marriage/relationship. You and your partner must come to this conclusion together so that you each know what is and what is not ok in your relationship (i.e. no flirting).
- Letting your partner know they are #1. A big part of building trust is communicating through actions and words that your partner takes precedence over everyone else, and it’s YOUR job to communicate that!