A relationship without trust is like a car without gas. You can stay in it all you want, but it won’t go anywhere.
To me, trust is the most important part of a relationship and if you do not have trust then you do not have a relationship. Trust is linked to so many of the different topics which we have already covered in this series. So, if there is no trust then it is unlikely that there will be any fun, kindness and laughter. It is even more unlikely that you will be best friends with each other!
Trust in itself is a debatable topic as people normally sit in two camps when it comes to how people use their trust. You have those who are very guarded and think that trust needs to be earned. Then you have those like me, who think that trust should be given freely to everybody. It is then each person’s responsibility to keep it. So when I first meet someone, I have no reason to not trust them. I give them my trust and how they behave as our relationship develops decides if they keep my trust or not.
In a relationship when your partner has not done anything to indicate that you can not trust them, the worse thing that you can do is mistrust them. When you have no trust in someone you can become paranoid. You spend most of your time trying to catch out your partner to prove to yourself that you are right. People will check where their partners are at all times. Attach trackers to their partner’s phones, go through their partner’s emails, internet history, social media accounts and texts.
People have even gone as far as inspecting their partner’s underwear when they come home! Now that is not only insane, it is also humiliating for the partner who is being inspected! Actions like this will do nothing but destroy the relationship and push your partner into leaving you.
I hear people saying things like ‘my partner must be cheating as they have started showering more often’. Or ‘I know that he is cheating as he has started being nicer and brings me flowers’. Statements like these are ridiculous! Perhaps someone is showering more as they want to improve their hygiene or have been sweating more so want to feel cleaner! Maybe someone is being nicer and buying flowers because they want to improve their relationship and add some romance into their lives!
You can not be in a healthy and happy relationship if you do not trust the person that you say you love. It will make you and your partner both miserable. Especially if they have not done anything wrong to lose your trust. Some people base their new relationships on their past experiences. This is unfair and needs to be addressed. Judging all of your partners on the actions of a past partner is as mad as judging all 20-year-old’s with long red hair, as you once knew one who did you wrong! Silly isn’t it?! Yet, people do find themselves in these types of situations.
What if that trust is broken?
Now, I know that some of you will be reading this and saying ‘well that’s all great for those who have done nothing wrong, but what about when your partner has cheated on you?’. When someone you love breaks your trust, it can be soul destroying and very hard to come back from. This is when you need to make a choice. You either decide that you will not be able to get over that betrayal and go your separate ways. Or you can decide that with work you will be able to trust again in the future, so you stay together and make it work.
Much of this will depend on how the partner who cheated behaves. If you have a partner who has made a mistake and they are genuinely sorry and accept that it will take work to get back your trust and agree to put the effort into the relationship then you have a good chance of making it work. However, if you have a partner who shows no remorse and expects things to carry on as normal, then no matter how much you may want to make things work, it is unlikely that it will. Think about it, if someone has no remorse then they think that what they did is no big deal. If they truly believe that it was not a big deal then they will probably do it again.
Repairing trust in a relationship
If you make the decision to forgive someone and stay together, then there are two very important things that you both need to remember. The first is that you are agreeing to draw a line and move on from the past. This means that you cannot keep bringing it up every time that you and your partner have an argument. If you have agreed to work on making the relationship work then you cannot keep throwing it at your partner to score points. The second thing to remember is that it is going to take time to get back that trust and intimacy that you once had. It is much easier to forgive than forget, so drawing a line does not mean that instantly everything is fixed and back to normal.
The good news is that you can get through the tough times and trust can be rebuilt if you are both committed to making it work. If you need help to get back on track then you could think about accessing couples counseling or there is so much information available online to help. No matter how you choose to resolve the issues, as long as you have a plan and are both onboard then there is no reason that you cannot make your relationship work!
“I trust you” is a better compliment than “I love you” because you may not always trust the person you love but you can always love the person you trust…
This post is part of my blog series – the A-Z of a healthy and happy relationship.