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How to Strengthen Trust in Your Relationship
Two types of trust can exist in a relationship
Firstly, there is conditional trust which says I trust you only when I’m having a good experience. If I’m not having a good experience, then I don’t feel that you have my back and I don’t feel safe. The result is I don’t trust you. Conditional trust is found in the early stages of a relationship. Relationships based on conditional trust are easily broken and hard to repair.
Secondly, there is unconditional trust. This type of trust develops in a relationship over time. We feel safe and secure with our partner, and we think that they have our back in both good times and bad. Unconditional trust is the type of trust that can survive minor indiscretions in a relationship. If our partner for whom we have unconditional trust acts out of character, we realise that and work to resolve the issue.
Broken trust occurs when we perceive that something that we have agreed on in our relationship does not happen. When we talk about broken trust, many people focus on infidelity, but trust is also broken over time with an accumulation of small things such as not keeping your promises, not taking responsibility, inconsiderate behaviour or constantly missing important events.
Trust is paramount to the success of a relationship. We should be able to count on our partners. Many partners attempted to mask small issues with little white lies in the hopes that they will go unnoticed. Unfortunately, when the little white lies are exposed, the trust is further damaged.
Over promising and under delivering is one sure way to cause the trust to disintegrate over time. Often, we overpromise in the hopes of keeping our partner happy. Unfortunately, in the long run, we’re damaging the relationship. Better to promise less and deliver more.
Keeping some secrets may seem harmless, but it slowly destroys the sense of security that your partner has in the relationship. It in effect sends the message that there is a part of you that you are deliberately withholding from your partner. Healthy relationships have transparency as their foundation.
To keep trust strong in your relationship
Keep your promises – under promise and over deliver
Take responsibility for your choices and actions – avoid blaming other people. People tend to trust people who take responsibility.
Avoid inconsiderate behaviour – people need to feel that you are there for them before trust can exist
Avoid constantly missing important events – attending events that are important to your partner shows them that you are dependable and trustworthy
Be open and honest – don’t keep secrets from your partner
If trust is suffering in your relationship, getting professional help now, will stop the damage spreading and restore your relationship.