Chances are good that at some point in your life, you will experience betrayal by someone you love. In most instances, this is not intentional because as humans, we make mistakes.
How you and your partner handle the situation is key to your relationship’s survival.
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The Importance of Trust in a Relationship
Trust is the act of placing confidence in someone or something else. Trust is necessary for a relationship to thrive. Without it, fear rules.
For a loving relationship to flourish, several aspects need to function optimally. One of the most important aspects is trust. When there are trust issues in a relationship it can create judgment and fear. Over time, suspicions and doubts about the relationship may grow.
To be truly happy in a relationship, both individuals involved must be able to trust each other. At the beginning of the relationship, there is usually a lot of excitement and small transgressions are easily forgiven and set-aside.
Once you get past the initial infatuation, however, and the relationship begins to blossom, you truly begin to learn where the relationship is headed, and a deep foundation of trust can begin to develop or diffuse.
Your subconscious will begin asking these questions:
Does this person honor what they say? Are they open about their feelings, even the negative ones? Do their actions match their words?
These questions can help you determine if they are someone you can fully trust.
What Causes Trust Issues in a Relationship?
If you have trust issues in your relationship, there are usually two places this can emanate from.
One is from an experience you had in a previous relationship that prevents you from trusting.
The second is when something has happened in your current relationship that has stirred mistrust in this relationship.
If your trust issues stem from a previous relationship, it is important to remember that no two relationships are the same. You cannot hold your current partner responsible for something that occurred in the past and something they had nothing to do with.
If your trust issues are due to your current partner creating mistrust in your relationship, this should be addressed head-on. You need to determine if you desire to move past the betrayal and work on your relationship.
If you both desire to work through things, it is worth a shot. If one or both of you is not interested in repairing the relationship, then there is not much you can do with that.
What If You Have Previous Mistrust Experiences?
Trust issues often come from early life experiences and interactions with our parents, siblings or guardians. These issues may originate as far back as childhood in the form of trauma at school with classmates.
They can stem from abuse, social rejection or just having low self-esteem. People with low self-esteem are less likely to trust others.
It may also stem from a previous romantic relationship that involved infidelity. Trust issues can be associated with depression, anxiety, fear of abandonment and attachment issues.
Take the Relationship Trust Quiz
Being open, honest, and trustworthy can help your relationship grow. These will also help you build confidence in each other. The key is to open your heart and authentically trust your partner.
It is important to trust. If someone proves to be untrustworthy, then you can start to reevaluate your relationship.
Every relationship has its issues and challenges that push our buttons that arise during the relationship. The important key is to be proactive in addressing these issues and confront them head-on and find a resolution.
You can try taking this relationship trust quiz to help you reflect on yourself and current relationships.
My Personal Experience With Trust Issues
Have you ever wondered if friends of the opposite sex are okay? They are if you know how to set boundaries.
I had this issue come up within our relationship and had to do a reality check. A year into our relationship, my partner had a secret friend of the opposite sex. It was an emotional relationship and not a physical one, but it was on a slippery slope.
It could have ended our relationship, but fortunately for us, we were both able to move past it. Our relationship became stronger than ever because we are both committed to us being together.
The shift for us was when I found this blog from First Things First. They list some great questions about what is healthy and what is not. When I read them out loud to my partner, it was a huge wake-up call, and he realized how he had stumbled down a dangerous path and hurt me.
Luckily for us, there was a huge shift. We met with an Emotionally Focused Therapist (EFT) and addressed the issue head-on rather than shoving things under the carpet.
For the first few months after this occurred, I did not trust him 100%, even though he said he was committed to us and our relationship.
One of my favorite quotes is by President Ronald Reagan:
“Trust but verify.”
So, while I am not proud that I did check up on him for the first few months, it did allow me to get the reassurance that I needed. It helped me realize that he was true to his words, and I learned to trust him again.
Now, after several years, there are times that something will come up that makes me cock my head – like what a dog does when they hear something. It is something that I am aware of may come up again due to my experience in this relationship.
Our relationship has been changed forever by this experience, but in many ways, it has become stronger and has helped strengthen our bond.
I learned to trust again, and you can, too.
If you have doubts about fidelity in your relationship, you may find yourself having a tough time trying to believe or understand your partner’s actions. They may be constantly trying to convince you of their loyalty.
How to Bring Back Trust in Your Relationship
Here are some ways to bring back trust in your relationship.
- Open Your Communication. Lack of communication can cause irreparable harm in a relationship, especially if you are relying on “hope” to magically erase issues and to go away. That simply is not going to happen. Sharing how you feel authentically is important.
- Share Secrets With Each Other. Having secrets just between the two of you can strengthen your bond. Remind each other with words and deeds to express how much you mean to each other.
- Make Sure Your Partner Knows Your Inner Circle. This will make them feel that they belong, and this can increase your bond and ease any insecurities.
- Try to see things from their perspective. If they are not feeling comfortable trusting you fully, put yourself in their shoes to see what you can do to alleviate their concern.
- Seek therapy if needed. Find someone you can talk to individually and together to get to the bottom of your trust issues so that you move on with your life.
In the book, Not Just Friends: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity, Shirly Glass mentioned that it is normal to be disoriented and confused for some time after infidelity.
Movies or songs may trigger you and electrify the incident. Betrayed partners cannot seem to stop obsessing about the incident until they have all the answers, and this can take months.
Forgive the pain, but remember the lesson. Things will never be the same again when betrayal has occurred, but you can still heal and have a happy trustworthy relationship with time.
It is possible to rebuild trust in a relationship after it is broken if both partners are interested in fixing the relationship and moving forward. The key is for both individuals to open fully and communicate their feelings and realize that time heals all wounds.
Also, seek the counsel of a trusted therapist. It is ok to get help. You will be glad you did.