You’ve probably heard that trust is the foundation for strong relationships. Without it, relationships won’t grow or progress and will eventually fail.
And you probably know that trusting your partner is the most important part of your relationship.
But what happens if you’re in a new relationship and you don’t have trust yet? Or if you’ve lost trust? Can you get it back?
The first step…
Before you can build trust, you must understand what trust means for your partner and yourself. You need to communicate your expectations and understand what your partner needs.
Building trust starts with sharing your hopes for the relationship and what you expect each other to do (or not do) to keep your love alive.
Here are 7 ways to build trust so your relationship can grow and thrive
1) Be vulnerable
Be open and vulnerable with your partner by sharing things you often keep hidden. If you’ve been hurt in previous relationships, then it’s likely you want to avoid talking about expectations because you don’t want to be hurt again. However, the only way to make the relationship work is to be real and open.
2) Communicate openly
If you have something important to discuss, I recommend that this is always done in person. Although using text, email or even phone calls to communicate is useful, it can lead to misunderstandings as the real meaning of the message can be misinterpreted.
3) Keep secrets
One big way to build trust is to keep your partner’s secrets if that is requested and healthy. Treasure them. Respect them. As a couple, the relationship deserves privacy.
4) Keep promises
Make it a priority to keep your promises to your partner. Whether it’s a small thing or a big thing, keep your commitments. This shows respect, support, and reliability, which is the key to build trust.
5) Respect each other’s differences
Before you can build trust, you must respect each other’s differences without judgment. Even if you don’t understand why something is important to your partner, simply respect the fact that it is important.
6) Be forgiving
Trusting each other doesn’t mean mistakes won’t happen. When they do, the important thing is to be forgiving. Holding onto grudges erodes trust in relationships. Instead, let go of the hurt, accept the apology and move on.
7) Be supportive
It is critical to be supportive of each other. Being supportive allows you and your partner to be authentic knowing someone has your back. It means you can have confidence knowing you’re supported whenever you take a risk, learn new things or even make mistakes.
If there has been betrayal in your relationship…
If one of you has been betrayed in the relationship, then building trust back is very difficult, but it can be done. If you both want it. In fact, trust must be repaired for the relationship to survive.
Here are three steps that can help:
- Apologize/accept an apology: If there has been a betrayal, the first thing to do is to acknowledge the feelings of hurt, apologize and take responsibility for what has happened. Show love, care and respect for each other. If your partner betrayed you, make an effort to accept the apology.
- Promise not to hurt again: This promise must be real. A promise that must be kept. What’s more, the promise needs to be backed up with action.
- Analyze feelings: If you were betrayed, then take time to analyze and understand your feelings. Don’t deny or dismiss hurt feelings. Instead, ask yourself, “How deeply am I hurt?” “How long do I want to keep this feeling of hurt?” “What do I want from this relationship?”
Trust must be earned. It takes time. Especially if there has been a betrayal. But it doesn’t have to be impossible.
Approach your relationship and each other with respect and understanding. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be real. Do what you say you will do. Stay true to yourself, and your expectations and a trusting relationship will grow.
It is only when you have trust and love, that your relationship will thrive.
If you would like help to build deep trust in your relationship, then contact PIVOT. We’re here to help.