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How to trust your partner? Tips to build trust in relationship for boyfriends, girlfriend, husbands and wives
How can I trust my boyfriend? I can't trust my girlfriend again. Is there a way out? I trust my husband but not the motives of his ex. What do I do? These questions are commonplace in a relationship where there is lack of trust.
Rebuilding trust in a relationship is a difficult journey that is much more than following a few steps. This post covers practical tips on how to trust your partner. You can use them to build a strong foundation of trust for your relationship to bloom upon.
1) Talk to your partner about trust issues
Assuming your partner has not cheated on you, one of the first things you can do to build trust in your relationship is have an open discussion with your partner. Talk your girlfriend or boyfriend about the things that are bothering you. Ask your partner to tell you his/her views on the matter.
Don't rush into this conversation. Take it up when both of you are free from studies, work or any other commitments. Grab a hot cappuccino, relax on the couch and talk your mind out to your partner and ask him or her to do the same.
The foundation of any relationship is trust and one of the pillars of trust is open lines of communication. This heart to heart chat will be the basis of your attempt to bring back the trust levels between the two of you.
2) Ask your partner to tell you everything in detail
When there are trust issues, even the smallest of things can give rise to suspicion and doubt. For example, the fact that your partner merely forgot to tell you about his phone call to a good looking colleague at work may irk you off. While this may send off alarms in your head, your partner may have genuinely forgotten to tell you.
The smallest of things can irk a distrusting partner and cause relationships to fall apart. Let's look at some classic examples. While these could very well be cases of genuine forgetfulness, but for the distrusting partner, they can be a dagger to the heart.
Girlfriend to boyfriend: How could you have not told me that Susan called you at half past 10 last night?
Girlfriend to boyfriend: You met Sarah at the pub on Monday and you are telling me today? How convenient.
Boyfriend to girlfriend: Your ex messaged you on Facebook and you forgot to tell me?
Boyfriend to girlfriend: So you were out with Nick yesterday. Your phone was switched off until past midnight. What were you up to?
Husband to wife: You went out for coffee with your boss. How come I did not know about it?
Husband to wife: Your ex husband added you on Facebook and I have to depend on Facebook alerts to tell me that. How come you didn't tell me?
Wife to husband: Your ex wife emailed you. Don't you think you should have told me the very minute you read that email?
Wife to husband: Why didn't you tell me you went out with your secretary for drinks after work on Friday?
To put all the arguments and fights to rest, request your partner to tell you everything he or she does and everyone he or she talks to. Remind your partner that your attempts to rebuild trust in your relationship are incomplete without his/her cooperation. Below are some of the basic and very practical things that you and your partner can start doing
- Tell each other about all your phone calls
- Speak to each other about your daily routines: The things you did, people you met, the places you went, etc
- Interactions with the opposite sex should be communicated without ambiguity
- Anything and everything about interaction with ex's should be communicated to each other immediately
- Inform each other about your whereabouts if you are going to be on a night out, at a party, on a coffee date with a colleague, etc
3) Identify issues or people that are causing distrust
Is your girlfriend's interaction with her ex causing worry for you? Are your husband's coffee dates with his secretary giving rise to suspicion? Are your boyfriend's flirting habits annoying you? Is your wife's overtly friendliness with a particular guy becoming bothersome?
Ask yourself questions like these and identify the exact cause of distrust. The cause can be your partner's behaviour, his/her interaction with another person and other similar issues. Once you have identified the reason for distrust, tell your partner exactly what you need him/her to do.
The key is to answer the question "Why don't you trust him/her?" It could be something as simple as tweaking a behavioural aspect or something as complicated as refraining from overtly interacting with a particular person. The idea is to give your partner a strong indication of a specific thing or person, causing lack of trust in your relationship.
4) Confront your own emotions
Distrust in a partner can sometimes spiral out of control because a relationship without trust can amplify the feelings of jealousy and possessiveness. Lack of trust, jealousy and possessiveness can be a lethal cocktail which can possibly lead to a breakup.
Every time that you think that your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife is lying to you, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Ask yourself "Do I have valid reasons to doubt that my partner is cheating on me?" If the answer is yes, by all means, speak to your partner about it. But if the answer is no, hold yourself back to avoid an unnecessary conflict.
5) Remember that rebuilding trust in a relationship takes time
When you actively start to look for ways to rebuild trust in your relationship, it is most likely that you will not see any overnight changes. Trust is not an object that you can buy or build. From the perspective of a relationship, it is a feeling and emotion that is cultivated over time.
Don't expect yourself to suddenly start trusting your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or wife. Building trust takes days, weeks and maybe even months. If you really think that your relationship is worth saving, wait it out and allow trust levels to build up gradually. Like everything else in life, there are no shortcuts here.