Often when the topic of trust comes up our brains go straight to infidelity. However, trust in most marriages is broken way before an affair – it is broken through out daily interactions.
Trust is broken when we don’t meet our partner’s emotional needs. It is broken when we come home late from work after promising to be on time. It is broken when we choose our parent’s or friend’s interests over the interest of the relationship.
Ultimately in order to rebuild trust we must KNOW that our partner will be there for us whenever we need them. We have to believe that our partner is “a good person, someone who will treat us and others with high moral standards, integrity, honesty kindness, love, and goodwill” (The Science of Trust, John Gottman, p. 177) then our trust can rebuild in our relationship.
Each time trust is broken and not repaired in a relationship couples become more withdrawn, distant and numb to one another. I want more for you and your relationships – so today I’m going to give you these 5 tips for rebuilding trust in your relationship today.
Trust is the foundation of any happy relationship and it takes time to build. So be consistent with these actions and you will find peace and security in your relationship:
1. When you make a promise or say you are going to do something – just do it. This should go without saying, but it can be so easy to forget to call when you’re late, or raise your voice when you promised you wouldn’t. We are all imperfect – so if you do make a mistake and forget to do something – apologize and fix it. Let your partner know that your word is true and honest.
2. Always consider what is best for your relationship in any decision. We are faced with daily decisions such as staying late at work, buying a new toy, inviting guests over to our house and so on. Make sure that you are taking your partner and your relationship into consideration when you are making decisions.
3. Give you partner the benefit of the doubt. If your partner doesn’t keep their word or you find out they have been hiding something, give them a chance to explain. Listen without judgment. This may be an amazing opportunity to connect further and learn more about your partner. Don’t assume there is a hidden agenda or motive.
4. Meet emotional bids for connection. The other day my 5 year old was running around the house like crazy, knocking down chairs, yelling, laughing and making trouble. I realized quickly that she needed attention. She needed some cuddly time. So instead of scolding her, I picked her up, hugged her and asked her if we could play together. Her attitude changed instantly!
We need to do the same things for our partners. Our spouses are going to feel emotions that we are not comfortable with – such as anger, fear and sadness. Instead of getting annoyed with them and telling them that they are distant or cold – give them a hug, or ask them if you can do anything for them. Chances are once they are able to release those emotions by talking to you without judgment or solutions – things will start looking up. Every time you do this you are connecting on a deep level and building high levels of trust with your partner – so keep it up! Stay aware and in tune with your partners emotions.
5. Quickly repair arguments. Every time an argument occurs and it’s not repaired – trust is lowered. Here’s a quick 3-step process for repairing arguments once both partners are calm.
Step 1: Each partner admits to their own part of the argument. For example – maybe you were already in a bad mood. Maybe you assumed your partner was mad at you, etc.
Step 2: Tell your partner what you will do differently next time.
Step 3: Make a request to your partner that they do something differently next time.