Following any type of relational betrayal, trust is shattered. Many couples seek professional help when trust is broken in a relationship and their desire is to find ways on how to rebuild the trust. After decades of clinical research focusing on couple’s interactions, Dr. John Gottman, Ph.D., established that trust is one of two pillars of the Sound Relationship House that make up the “weight bearing walls” of the house. He stated that in the beginning of any intimate relationship, “it is reasonable to enjoy a high trust metric”. This means that you have a strong sense of confidence that your dating partner has your best interest at heart and you and depend on him/her to have your back. The questions that are best asked in this situation are: “Do you trust your partner because they have not let you down?” “By nature, are you just a trusting person?” “Have you ever been in a relationship that has caused you to distrust another person?” “Is your trust based on your worldview?”
Trust building is a process that takes place during your lifelong journey together as a couple. This does not mean that your immediate trust in your partner is not real; your trust will become stronger over the length of your relationship. However, as mentioned earlier in this blog, betrayal may cause one or both partners to develop a sense of distrust. Betrayal exists in every relationship which provides an opportunity for trust building. It can come in many different forms, some more tragic than others. Infidelity a traumatic experience for both partners and in many situations becomes a reason to exit a relationship. However, in my professional experience working with couples, some of the strongest and most trusting relationships are based on healing, repair, and recovery process after the betrayal. I know it’s difficult to believe but working with a marriage counselor can help your relationship become stronger.
Trust building takes time and once you can answer “yes” to the following questions, your relationship will feel healthier and stronger.
· Can I depend on my partner to be there for me?
· Does he/she have my back?
· Do I believe what my partner is telling me to be true?
· Is my partner being transparent about everything and sharing intimate conversations with me?
· Does my partner feel comfortable sharing passwords and phone texts with me?
“Will you trust him to bring home your grain, and gather
it to your threshing floor?” Job 39:12