Trust in Relationships

Happy Couple, Trust in Relationships

“I’ve Got Your Back”

Trust is an essential ingredient to having a successful relationship and a fantastic marriage, but it takes time to create trust in relationships and to feel it. It also takes intention and effort to maintain it. When looking up definitions of ‘trust,’ you’ll find that it essentially means to have a firm belief in the reliability, truth, safety and strength of someone or something. Let’s look at each facet of this diamond that makes up trust, which is at the heart of each great relationship.

The ideal would be for each partner in a relationship or marriage to have the very highest level of belief and trust in their partner. In order to achieve that, each of you would need to repeatedly and consistently exhibit behaviors that would show the other that you have these admirable attributes…

• Reliability: consistency and dependability

• Truth: honesty

• Safety: protective and causing no harm or danger

• Strength: the power to resist strain and stress, potency, toughness

The main point of view of holding a firm belief that you trust your partner is that you can count on them, that they have your back, that they are looking out for you, and that they are supportive and there for you even when you express bad feelings or encounter negative events in your lives. In the traditional wedding vows this is expressed as “in good times and in bad.” Betrayals and disloyalty erode trust, especially if the couple does not fully discuss and work through those negative occurrences to re-establish enough trust again.

To improve feelings of trust in your relationship, it can be helpful to identify examples of behaviors representative of each attribute identified above and then work to improve those as they contribute to increasing trust with your partner.

For instance, here are some examples of behaviors in relationships that could demonstrate their related attributes, but you may well think of others to strive for that are more meaningful for you.

• Reliability: on time to meet you, calls or texts as agreed upon, regularly does a chore or task as expected or requested (you can count on them)

• Truth: honest about past experiences, present day issues/feelings/experiences, future needs/dreams, someone you can talk to and expect sincere reactions from (there for you, not deceptive or betraying, supportive with your negative feelings)

• Safety- someone you can safely talk to without feeling ashamed, demeaned, dismissed, avoided or rejected by, someone who values your safety and well-being, someone who does not verbally or physically abuse you (“I’ve got your back”)

• Strength- someone with the smarts and stamina to be tough in the face of life’s adversities and that can be a partner to help you both pull through any rough times, a tough go-getter that will pull their weight in the marriage to help you both get ahead and be happy together (looking out for you/looking out for us)

You may notice that these attributes are often held by our best friends as well. A good friend is usually seen as someone you can count on, feel safe talking to, and who you expect to be in your corner, as you would be for them. Is it any wonder that great marriages often start with a strong foundation of true friendship as well?

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