Trust is a vital part of any relationship. In the following article, we will consider seven of the most practical and crucial steps to take in order to gain (or regain) trust within a relationship. First though, let’s begin with the basics.
What Exactly is Trust?
Trust is many things but one of the most important is that it is the assurance you have with an individual that makes you confident they will remain loyal to you always and that they will love you forever, no matter what. Trusting a person also requires you to have faith that you are able to depend and rely upon them and that you can feel secure and safe.
It is the ability to feel comfortable to make yourself vulnerable to them and to feel comfortable sharing your most inner being with that person. Trust is the foundation that any type of healthy relationship must be built upon, otherwise, it will be shaky, insecure, and unstable.
Why Trust is Imperative in a Relationship
When two people are able to establish their relationship that is rooted in trust, they will both gain a sense of safety and security that gives them the freedom to be their real, authentic selves. A relationship that is healthy and that possesses substance is grounded in trust. Where trust abounds, it is easier to keep insecurities at bay.
When couples trust one another, they work together to fight problems and helps keep a good balance when it comes to the shared relationship and relationships outside like those that are shared with family and friends.
Established trust makes it possible for each partner in a relationship to have the space, time and life they need apart from the other without threatening their relationship. Instead, it can actually strengthen it. It is about letting each individual be a whole half. Two whole halves make a great combination while two needy and insecure, untrusting halves do not.
Having the faith that the partner you have is worthy of your trust lets both you and your partner live in confidence. When partners have a system of support in their relationship, they are much more likely to take risks which bring personal growth and to be secure enough to challenge themselves. Trust promotes growth within a relationship.
Knowing your partner has your back, no matter what, and that he or she will be there with you, come thick or thin, breeds a sense of freedom. Trust brings about strength in a relationship because it spurs a sense of certainty that your partner will be on your side, rooting you on, just as you are. It’s like having an undying fan who will not ever give up on you or turn on you.
Trust helps make it possible to overcome great odds and obstacles that come your way and to work through problems within your relationship. It is forever binding and gives you the power and confidence to work together no matter what problems arise.
Even when hurt surfaces in the relationship, you’re able to get past it and experience healing because trust reassures you that despite the conflict, your partner loves you and is completely loyal to you which cultivates even more honesty.
It’s impossible for a relationship to grow and survive without trust. The lack of trust will bring about fear, breakdown, and insecurity. It makes it difficult for a relationship to really thrive because the lack of trust makes for dysfunction and chaos which are not positive attributes.
Having a foundation that is built on trust is vital because it won’t waiver or sway and will not crumble in stormy times. But a relationship void of trust is a house built on sinking sand. It will collapse when the wind blows against it and when doubts or suspicion rear their ugly heads.
Trust promotes a loving and safe place of solace in a relationship. A place of safety enables a sense of comfort and provides the space needed for intimacy and love to flourish. Without it, however, the space for growth is limited and partners tend to be fearful and insecure.
Tips for Gaining Trust within a Relationship
The following steps are conducive to gaining trust within a relationship. There isn’t any particular order to go by on the list. All of the items can work together as an ongoing, intentional method of interacting with the one you love.
By weaving these important components into your relationship and by experiencing these trust-building suggestions, both partners can take mutual action in taking their relationship to the next level.
Showing respect for each other’s boundaries that have been mutually laid out and agreed on is a necessary component of a thriving relationship. It is imperative to honor the values of your partner and implement the boundaries, even when they aren’t the same as yours because it allows you to learn more about one another’s virtues and strengths.
Honoring boundaries helps both partners within a relationship know the amount of space that you are each comfortable with. Openly discussing with your significant other to identify and set your boundaries and to determine the amount of alone time you need, what you are comfortable with and uncomfortable with, and what limits you want to set on what details others outside the relationship are to know are all helpful matters to be discussed.
Learn Effective and Open Communication
Lack of effective communication is a prime reason relationships don’t succeed. Open, constructive, active communication requires intentionality and effort but it is and necessary part of a relationship and sets a healthy communication pattern. The openness of communication invites others into the personal details of your life and is a mutual building block of sharing. It also promotes understanding of who you are, what you think and why you think and feel like you do.
Effective communication involves active listening. We often tend to interrupt our partner in mid-sentence in order to offer a solution or give some advice. Simply listening to the person talking is a skill which needs to be learned and practiced to establish good communication. It will build trust when the person talking feels like what is being said is being validated and actively heard.
Honesty is vital in a relationship. It builds trust because it offers each partner the peace of mind needed to build trust. Transparency is also important. When you share details about your thoughts and actions, you are opening a window to your soul which, of course, establishes even more trust and understanding.
Honesty doesn’t require the sharing of everything. Some things can be over-shared and can be hurtful or too honest. Those things can work against a relationship so do your best to share your heart without omitting information that would classify as deceitful but also by not adding unnecessarily that which could be harmful.
Being humble is a character quality that is vital in a relationship. Understanding that everyone is going to make mistakes and that it is not realistic to demand and expect perfection from yourself or your partner is imperative. Be willing to work with your partner through missteps and mistakes and to practice humility.
It is also important for you, or your partner, to make confessions when mistakes have been made and to own them. Doing so can help build trust. Being open and humble enough to forgive and press on will help your relationship move forward.
Being reliable is part of trust building. When you follow through with what you commit to, you are building trust. Keep your promises and do what you say you will do and expect the same from your partner.
It is also important not to make agreements and promises you are positive you can keep. Even though there may be a legitimate reason that you could not do so, you are still tearing down trust. Be sure your words and your behavior line up.
Expressing Your Needs
Mind reading is not a good thing to practice within a relationship so avoid it at all cost. Regardless of how sure you are that you know what your partner is thinking, chances are you are wrong. You may be able to make a good guess based on past experiences but you might very well miss it entirely. The best way to know exactly is to ask rather than to assume.
In addition, it is imperative that you communicate your needs too. Doing so will help ensure that your partner doesn’t have to assume. Giving specifics when expressing your needs is important so that your significant other can know for sure how you think and feel. Open communication establishes trust.
Trust helps bring forgiveness where a relationship is concerned. When partners establish trust, there can be understandings reached during disagreements that help prevent arguments. When you feel your partner has your best interest at heart, you feel more secure when tough times hit. It is by working through the challenges together and through forgiveness that you’ll be able to handle the revelation of tough truths.
What About Past Hurts?
Trusting a person can take time. It can be a difficult thing to establish, especially if there has been a betrayal. Betrayal can stem from a boundary being crossed, misusing power, or when deception or lying has taken place. Repairing the trust that has been broken is imperative in order for a relationship to move toward a state of health and happiness where the relationship can blossom and grow. An apology is always the best place to start.
Offering an apology acknowledges the betrayal and hurt that occurred. It is the taking of responsibility for your action that played a part in wounding another and that can help when it comes to helping the hurt heal. There also is the need for assurance to be given that the betrayal or hurt won’t take place again. It is vital that the person who was affected gets a promise they won’t be betrayed or hurt again and that the vow is followed up with active behavior that reinforces the words.
Finally, it is imperative that you take stock concerning your feelings. You must also recognize the feelings you’re experiencing. Don’t deny or dismiss the hurt. Instead, press on and identify and explore all questions that may have arising from the situation like “What is it that I would like from the relationship?”, “What effect is this having on my life?”, or “How long have I been negatively reacting to the painful experience?”
Becoming increasingly aware of the tendencies you have toward doubt or insecurity is extremely helpful when you are starting to build trust. Have patience with yourself and know when you are hesitant to give your trust because of past wounds. If you find yourself doubting the relationship, talk to your partner. Otherwise, you will find a wedge being driven between the two of you.
It is also important to know that no person is flawless and that extending trust may be intimidating. We all make mistakes. Be patient with the one who has betrayed your trust and give yourself a chance to grow and learn from your past hurts.
It can be very difficult sometimes to take steps forward by yourself to overcome and unravel trust issues from relationships in the past. You may very well feel stuck. You may also feel like you are not able to trust your judgment. Know that you don’t have to do it alone.
A counselor can help you address issues and explore solutions so you can walk in freedom from fear and insecurity and can learn how to develop communication and intimacy and experience the joy of trusting. We are available to help you so reach out today and begin a new and wonderful new beginning in your life.
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