13 Effective Methods For Partners To Build Trust
Trust between partners is essential for a relationship to succeed. Trust forms the foundation of good communication. Partners will have trouble solving problems, addressing concerns, and growing together without good communication. Although trust is essential, it is normal for trust to wane sometimes in a relationship. Effective partners take the time to put effort into building, re-building, or maintaining trust. It takes time and effort; building trust in a relationship is a deliberate process.
Below are thirteen important things to do or remember when building trust. The tips below will help you develop and maintain foundational trust in your relationship. If there are significant concerns or problems that you and your partner do not know how to resolve, you should consider meeting with a couples counselor for advanced analysis and techniques to restore trust in your relationship.
The Importance Of Trust
Trust between partners is necessary for a stable relationship. A lack of trust exacerbates problems like emotional instability, conflict, and lack of closeness in the relationship. A lack of trust also leads to behaviors that promote deceit and dishonesty, like snooping through your partner's phone without their knowledge. In that case, your lack of trust leads you to behave in an untrustworthy manner and violate your partner's privacy.
Without trust, effectively engaging in a relationship is challenging. This is true of all relationships, not just romantic ones. Relationships with friends, family, and co-workers all need a foundation of trust to build. It is important to be consistently trustworthy as well. Lies and deceit carry more significance than trustworthy actions; it takes very few lies to undo many trustworthy actions.
In romantic partnerships, trust is typically built through good communication and acting in a trustworthy manner. It is up to you to be trustworthy and act in a manner your partner trusts and respects. Communication, however, is a skill that can be improved together with your partner.
Trust Tips And Tricks
Building trust is an ongoing process, and repairing trust can take weeks of work. Taking time to ensure your relationship defaults to trust is a worthwhile investment. It is much easier to build and maintain trust than it is to repair trust which has been broken. When communicating with your partner, keep the below information in mind. Every conversation should be based on trust, kindness, and respect.
Assume Good Intentions
Assuming good intentions might also be phrased as "don't jump to conclusions." When you expect trust from your partner, you should also expect to give it to them. Trust grows when you assume your partner has your best interests at heart, as well as good intentions for the relationship overall.
Building trust with your partner will be easier if you trust yourself. Ask yourself if you trust your intentions and abilities. Determine what you need from your partner and your goals for trusting communication. If underlying factors are relevant to a conversation you wish to have with your partner, ensure you know what you are before engaging in conversation. Knowing what you want from a conversation and what you can bring to it helps you trust yourself enough to bring trust to discussions with your partner.
Create A Safe Space
Building trust in a relationship is easiest when you and your partner are in a place where you both feel safe and secure. Establish a safe space with your partner where you both feel welcome to express your ideas and opinions. Keep the safe space on neutral territory; it needs to be somewhere where both you and your partner feel safe and free to express your feelings.
Strive For Transparency
Set a goal for transparency from the first conversation. An expectation of transparency, or genuine openness in communication, is essential to establish trust. Discuss an expectation of transparency with your partner and communicate a willingness to be transparent with them. It's important to follow through. Hiding or misrepresenting information hurts communication. Be transparent from the beginning; it is much easier than introducing transparency later.
Use Trustworthy Body Language
Avoid body language that communicates contempt, disinterest, or disrespect. Don't roll your eyes or turn your back to your partner. Face them and use good active listening strategies, like making eye contact with your partner while they speak. Body language is a large part of nonverbal communication, and your nonverbal communication needs to convey a sense of trust along with your verbal communication.
Establishing trust in a relationship requires that a person be vulnerable around their partner. If vulnerability or trust is difficult, start with small, easy discussions to help establish a trusting foundation. Discussing minor issues, like scheduling or meals, is a great way to establish trust before tackling larger, more important issues. Tackling big issues too early can lead to ineffective or harmful communication; it is worth starting small, even if the bigger issues seem much more important.
Communicate Key Issues
Once you have the foundation of trust, use it. Make sure you are communicating the things that are important to you. Be forthcoming about whatever concerns you in your relationship: finances, children, intimacy, or another common concern. Sweeping important issues under the rug leads to resentment, damaging an already trusting relationship or preventing trust from being built.
Trust Your Intuition
Lengthy or complicated conversations about important topics in your relationship can sometimes become overwhelming or difficult to discern. Trust your gut judgment regarding how you feel on certain topics. Have confidence in your perceptions and pay attention to how important details in the conversation make you feel. If you feel your partner is not engaging in trustworthy communication, be vulnerable and ask for reassurance before assuming they are intentionally misleading.
Self-Soothing Is A Must
Trustworthy communication is safe communication. Learning to calm yourself down is essential to communicating trust in a relationship. When communication becomes emotionally charged, one or both partners will likely become overwhelmed. Once you're emotionally overwhelmed, productive conversation becomes unlikely. Take time away from the conversation if your emotions are becoming excessively burdensome. However, it is important you return the conversation once you are calm; don't avoid a difficult conversation just because it raises your emotional level.
Learn how to bring negative concerns to your partner's attention in a trustworthy manner. If you have a complaint or dispute regarding your partner, present that complaint with respect, kindness, and empathy. Remember, you want to assume that your partner had no ill intentions. Tell your partner how you feel using "I-statements" like "I feel frustrated when you leave the house a mess" instead of "you're lazy and you never clean."
Communicate Intentions Clearly
Communicate intentions and goals with clarity and detail. Your partner cannot read your mind, and detailed communication is essential for your partner to meet your needs. Don't assume malice if you feel like your partner is not responsive to communication. Assume the best in their intentions and introduce more detail and specificity into your communication. Trust is not the issue for many people, but understanding their partner's needs certainly can be.
Admit Your Mistakes
Being vulnerable enough to admit your mistakes communicates trustworthiness. Reliability and accountability are important in close relationships, and accountability is a foundational component of trustworthiness. If you make a mistake, take steps to correct it. If correcting the mistake is not possible, at least communicate to your partner that you are aware of the mistake and will try to not make the same mistake again.
Always Tell The Truth
The most important component of trustworthy communication is honesty. Obviously, lying directly opposes the principles of trust. Always tell the truth, even if the truth may bring difficult issues to light. Once your partner realizes you are lying or withholding information, it will become much more difficult for them to trust you. Always face the truth head-on. Admit your mistakes if necessary, and challenge your partner in a healthy way, but always truthfully state what you think and feel.
When to See a Therapist
If you're having trouble building trust with your partner due to a lack of communication or a history of untrustworthy behavior, online therapy can help. Visiting with a therapist online has all the benefits of traditional therapy while removing some barriers to accessing treatment, like traveling to a physical office. You can attend couples therapy with your partner or attend individually to address concerns unique to you. Online therapists use the same evidence-based techniques as therapists who see patients in person. The methods used by online therapists are just as effective as in-person therapy.
“My wife and I decided to give online couples counseling a go after finding traditional methods weren’t all that suited to our busy working and parenting lifestyle. Our counselor Donna Kemp has been amazing! We both feel she’s listened to us and given us the confidence to step out of our comfort zone to deal with problems that are easy to avoid. She is encouraging without being pushy. We’ve both responded very well to her and her methods and look forward to continuing on with Donna. Highly recommend!”
“Cris Roman saved my marriage. His approach to therapy taught my husband and I the skills we needed to change the way we communicated and the way we understood each other. He is very non-judgemental and helps each person make sense of the others' feelings and actions without taking sides or placing blame. His ability to make you feel heard while helping you to see and understand why your significant other is acting a certain way is phenomenal.”
Trust is an essential, foundational component of a healthy relationship. Building trust requires good communication, openness, empathy, and a willingness to admit mistakes. If you're building trust with your partner, start with small conversations and gradually work up to larger issues. Make sure you can remain calm if things become emotionally charged and always offer your partner the benefit of the doubt. Building trust takes teamwork. You and your partner must work together, and both be committed to the process.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What causes a lack of trust in marriage?
It is possible to experience decreased levels of trust in your marriage if there has been a pattern of lying or a past incident of betrayal. However, cheating (whether having an affair, emotional cheating, or having a profile on online dating sites) is not the only behavior that destroys trust. Consistently breaking promises, withholding information, not giving it openly, and not being there for a partner in times of need all have the ability to fracture trust in a relationship. It is possible to either regain your spouse's trust or trust your spouse again, though it takes time and effort.
If you are still carrying wounds due to breaches of trust by a former partner, it may impact your ability to trust in your marriage. You may find it difficult to trust your spouse even if there is no reason to believe that they are dishonest. In this case, you may consider seeking the support of a mental health professional to work through these underlying issues to learn to trust others again.
Is it possible to rebuild trust in a marriage?
It is possible to rebuild broken trust in your marriage, but it takes time and effort. It starts with having an open discussion about what caused trust to be broken where each person can express their feelings around the incident. It is up to the couple to decide whether they want to work towards repairing the relationship. Many couples find it helpful to work with a couples therapist, facilitating a safe space for exploring emotions and navigating conflict. They can also offer strategies for healthy communication that builds trust.
What can couples do to build trust?
Trust is built in a relationship over time.
An article from the Gottman Institute discussed strategies for building trust in your marriage, such as taking small steps towards openness and vulnerability, committing to showing honesty about big and small life issues, paying attention to unhelpful thoughts causing distrust, and assuming your spouse has positive intentions. They also state that asking open-ended questions and building emotional safety builds trust.
How long does it take to rebuild trust in a marriage?
Every situation and relationship is different. Therefore there is no definitive answer. It is important to note that trust is built over time, and reparation doesn’t occur overnight. Rebuilding trust in your marriage can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years or more. It may be difficult to continue sustaining the relationship for years if there is no positive progress towards increasing levels of trust. In some cases, the events that occurred to destroy trust may be insurmountable, and you may feel like they are unable to trust your spouse or regain the trust of your spouse.
How do you build trust in a relationship after it's broken?
John and Julie Gottman, experts on marital stability, offer their advice on repairing broken trust in a relationship. They state that it is beneficial to plan a time to talk and openly discuss emotions due to the incident that broke trust. Each individual should their feelings without blaming and paying attention to their partners’ emotions and perspectives. Crucial aspects of rebuilding trust include each person taking accountability for their role in the incident, offering apologies, and creating a plan moving forward.
What breaks trust in a marriage?
Can a marriage survive without trust?
Why is trust important in a marriage?
How do you build trust in a marriage?
What are the signs of trust issues?
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