One of the most crucial parts of any relationship is mutual trust. Without it, it's nearly impossible to stay afloat. Even when a couple is on the right track in every other category like intimacy and friendship, their partnership is bound to take a hit if any amount of faith is missing. Regardless of the reason — whether it was cheating or a partner's existing insecurities — any ounce of doubt is enough to question the entirety of your relationship. If you and your SO are looking for ways to build trust, see these seven tips below.
- Come through on promises. Breaking promises almost has the same effect as lying: both show that you don't mean what you say. When you make a commitment, big or small, have the intention of following through. Consistency is key to building trust over time, and remember that one letdown can be enough to reverse all your efforts.
- Try not to let your insecurities get the best of you. It's difficult to quiet the little voice in your head that's telling you to doubt your partner, but you need to learn to control it. Rather than allowing your emotions to overtake you, address how you're feeling directly with him or her. Arguing will only makes matters worse.
- Make your next fight as constructive as possible. Turn an argument into an opportunity for discussion. Catch yourself when you start to get heated or when someone starts pointing the finger, and have an open conversation about what exactly is making you uncomfortable. Identifying the triggers that sparked your argument will help you both prevent the same fight from reoccurring.
- Remind each other how much you care. Sometimes, paranoia can be eased with simple reminders of how much the two of you love and care for one another. Because insecurity is often the main issue, any reassurance you can provide will help.
- Show through actions, not words. What you do always outweighs what you say. You're only giving your partner reason to doubt you in the future every time you don't back up your claims.
- Be completely honest. No exceptions! Keeping secrets from each other, regardless of how you think your partner will react, only creates distance in your relationship. And the longer that one of you is in the dark, the more destructive the outcome will be once the truth comes out. Avoid a nasty situation altogether by being totally transparent. Overcommunicating isn't such a bad thing in this case.
- Accept that it's a process. Once trust is broken between two partners, things are rarely ever the same. Rebuilding that foundation will require equal amounts of dedication and effort from both parties. Your relationship won't be repaired overnight, but if you both badly want to make it work, you will.