Everyone knows that a relationship needs solid trust in order to really thrive. It’s no secret that the best relationships are the ones built on strong trust, love, and communication. Although relationships have their ups and downs, there are things you can both do that may minimize marriage and relationship problems, if not help avoid them altogether, says psychologist Karen Sherman. Check out these tips that might help your combat your trust issues and end up saving your relationship.
1. Admit it
The first thing you need to get out of the way is for both parties to admit and recognize that there is a trust issue in your relationship that needs fixing. If you cannot get beyond this point then, you are not going to be able to fix anything. It’s just like a program set up for an addict. If you can’t admit there is a problem, there will not be a solution. Some men have a hard time admitting any fault or negative aspects of their lives, so its imperative that they can communicate their fears and issues with you before you can move forward.
2. Don’t blame
When you begin a conversation about trust in your relationship, stay away from blaming your man for all of the problems. Also, excuses and “buts” are not allowed, or productive. An apology is something like, “I am very sorry that I behaved in an irresponsible manner, that I betrayed your faith in me by deceiving you.” It is not something like, “I’m sorry you’re upset about my gambling but if you didn’t make me so nervous about money I wouldn’t have taken such risks to pay the bills.” If you take the time to have a conversation in the first place, make it a productive one and leave the childish tactics at the doors.
3. Be consistent
Trust can often be broken when communication is lacking in the relationship. When a partner is inconsistent and always breaking promises, it’s only natural for the other partner to question their truthfulness. Don’t say you will be home at 6 o’clock and end up running through the door at 9:00. With no phone call or warning text, 3 hours is a large window to leave open for your man to extrapolate and convince himself of the worst. It’s also important to explore why arguments happen and what you can do to change the situation next time. After a fight it’s easy to storm off and leave the hurt to settle without complete closure. Be mindful of what caused the fight, what your partner’s points were, and how you can both change for the better.
4. Be prepared
Bringing up a conversation about trust is just about as fun as a root canal, but if you’ve made the choice to work on your relationship, it’s important to keep in mind that your man might not be so open. If your partner is reasonable, there is no reason why you will not be able to move the conversation forward. But, if you find that the conversation is getting off track and hurtful things are coming into it, then take a time out. Just agree to walk away and know that it will be ok. It is a part of the process. Feelings will be hurt and hard to deal with. But it will be ok, as long as you keep focusing on the real issues and keep talking honestly and openly with you partner.
5. Do something
While talking is critical, it is not enough. Behavioral patterns require change as well. In the past, for example, the partner who has violated the trust may have come home at night, barely mumbled a hello, made some small talk during dinner and retired to the TV to watch the game for the remainder of the evening. That routine is not much of a relationship promoter under any circumstance and definitely won’t cut it after trust has been broken. Just because you both communicated your concerns in your relationship, doesn’t mean you can continue acting the same way. Be more open about your feelings and show your man the changes in you and hold him responsible to do the same for you.
6. Listen up
Listen to your partner and pay attention to what he is saying. It’s easy to get defensive and try to bulldoze the conversation if you’ve never looked at things from his perspective. Try putting yourself in his shoes and remember that you cannot change who your partner is, nor should you try to change the way he feels about something. If there is a misunderstanding between the two of you, honest communication will bring this out. You will be respecting your partner if you really listen to what is being said without reading into it your own agenda.
7. Seek outside help
Sometimes, relationship issues, especially trust issues, can be so large that neither of you know where to go from where things are. Issues of infidelity, physical or mental abuse, etc. are often too large for a couple to conquer so outside help is generally involved. A marriage counselor or relationship counselor can certainly help the two of you begin putting the relationship back together again. A counselor can help explore deeper core issues that can be creating problems within the relationship, then offer advice on steps to take in fixing the problems. They will usually bring up deeper issues or problems that you face without even realizing it. It’s important to not get defensive and remind yourself that nobody is perfect and your relationship can turn out better than ever.