In a previous post, Trust in Relationships, we discussed the importance of trust. Trust is the bonding force of every relationship. It allows us to successfully develop and maintain happy and healthy relationships. However, if you or your partner are unable to trust each other, this can become very difficult. This post will help you and your partner recognize the signs of trust issues, the causes and how to help fix them.
Signs of Trust Issues: Although no couple or relationship is the same, there are several signs that couples dealing with trust issues have in common. If you have noticed any of these signs in your relationship, then it could be a strong indication that there are trust issues at work.
- You Invade Each Other’s Privacy. Do you find yourselves checking each other’s email and social networking accounts? Do you each other’s mail, text messages, call history or phone contacts? Do you do this WITHOUT your partner’s permission?
- You Are Overly Possessive/Jealous. Do you ask too many questions about your partner’s lifestyle? Does he or she? Do you find yourselves needing to know every who, what, when, where and why? Do you or partner get angry when you talk to people of the opposite sex? Do you want your partner all to yourself?
- You or Your Partner Becomes Sherlock Holmes. You check phone records, emails, social networking posts, bank statements and any other records and information you can get your hands on to verify that your partner is being faithful and doing what they say he or she is.
- You or Your Partner Have Doubts. You want to believe and trust your partner, but you are suspicious of his or her motives and actions.
What causes someone to have trust issues? Although trust issues can develop within a relationship, often times they are caused by previous betrayals. Traumas such as sexual assault, abuse, neglect or abandonment can cause someone to distrust others. Traumas such as these and constant let downs by family and friends can also cause low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem almost expect people to cheat and hurt them because they don’t feel good enough. They are unable to trust that people genuinely care about them. In addition, constant betrayals and trauma’s in a person’s life can cause them to become overly anxious when it comes to relationships and the future. Frequently dating cheaters in the past can also cause a person to suspect that every relationship they enter will be plagued with cheating and betrayal.
How to Build or Repair Broken Trust: Before you can take steps to effectively build and repair trust, there are several issues you need to address. Do you, your partner or both of you suffer from trust issues? If so, why? Are you willing to work through these issues or just cut your losses? Once you and your partner have discussed these things, you can use the following tips and techniques to help build and repair the trust in your relationships.
- Let Go of The Past. You can’t be happy in the future if you don’t let go of the pain from the past. In order to move forward, you need to past the behind you.
- Be Open and Honest. The more your partner knows about you, the more he or she will trust you. Don’t keep secrets or hide anything. If your partner asks about how you feel about something, tell them the truth. It may hurt their feelings, but at least they know that they can expect the truth from you. You should also be open to anything they have to tell you in exchange. Don’t judge them or dismiss their thoughts. If you do, they think that won’t be able to trust you with their thoughts and feelings.
- Set boundaries. Discuss what type of behavior is acceptable and what is not. The clearer the boundaries are, the less likely there will be a violation of trust.
- Keep Your Promises. The easiest way to break trust is to not do the things you say will, even if you think it’s trivial. If you promise your partner that you will kiss them goodnight at bedtime every night, you need to keep that promise.
- Keep The Lines of Communication Open. Communication is always important, especially when it comes to building trust. The easier it is to communicate, the easier it will be to trust each other.
Learning to trust someone isn’t going to be easy. It’s going to take a lot of time and a lot of patience. However, if you really want a relationship to work you’ll both try.