To trust or not to trust, is that the question?
Not really. It is more about building trust and clearly communicating your expectations and understanding your partners needs, so that your relationship can grow and thrive. It all begins with understanding what trust means to each of you.
1. Communicate effectively. Communication is key to building trust between partners in any relationship. It is important that we are able to talk about worries, doubts and our hopes for the future of our relationships openly. So often, simply being able to talk about any doubts out loud, helps you understand them better & they no longer seem as big and threatening. When we feel safe in our relationships to talk about anything, without fear of judgement and any backlash, it opens up so much for us. Knowing your partner is there for you, is huge. Knowing your partner is happy to talk to you about anything, gives you the precious gift of being able to relax deeper into the relationship. Relaxing deeper results in your body opening up more, which is just pure bliss.
When you feel insecure & jealous, take a deep breath and talk to your partner about how you are feeling. Take a step back and see if any of the insecurity you are feeling is rooted in old emotional scars that is feeding any jealousy? Can you identify this emotional pattern and change it? Talk to your partner. Talking also lets them understand if their behaviour, no matter how innocent, may be triggering your insecurity. Deconstruct your insecurities by communicating.
An old friend of mine & his wife have a pact - if ever either of them find themselves in a situation where they feel they are attracted to another person & there is a slight temptation to test the waters, they phone their partner. The level of communication and trust they have with each other is deep and has given them a great foundation for their beautiful relationship.
2. Don't keep secrets from each other. Become vulnerable. Be real with your partner and that means sharing things that you often keep hidden. Trust needs openness and honesty. Many of us fall into just assuming that trust exists, but it is one thing we need to continually be aware of. While we don't want to be looking over our shoulder all of the time, it is important to be aware of our actions and the perceptions of those actions to our partner. Take responsibility for your choices and actions!
3. Setting boundaries. Having clear boundaries together is a crucial part of having a strong foundation of trust. Boundaries help define how much space we are comfortable with in a relationship - emotionally or physically. Do you know what your 'deal breakers' are and why they are important to you? Does your partner know these and understand why they are important to you? And are there some things you are willing to be a little flexible on. I recall being in a relationship many years ago where we had very different ideas of what being unfaithful meant; to them, as long as there was no penetration they were not being unfaithful. We simply had never spoken about our different expectations and they cannot be met if they are not known. Expect to have different views and be open to trying to reach sensible compromises. I know for myself, I used to have a tendency to have black & white thinking - it's either right or wrong. Life is just so much more inviting when you open yourself up to breaking those limits.
4. Review them. This might sound weird, but our needs, wants and desires change. A talk every now and then about what your needs are from your relationship, your expectations around boundaries and commitment, can help avoid slipping into autopilot.
5. Do not cheat on your partner. Pretty self explanatory. Respect your partner and your relationship. If there is something that is lacking in your relationship, talk about it, give yourselves a chance to work through it. At the very least, give them an option to opt out before you cheat.
6. Make time for each other. Nurture what you have. Listen to what your partner shares with you. Hold their hand, take their arm in yours. Hug. Find ways of enjoying fun time together. Laugh.
7. And last but oh so important is that while we all need to feel mentally, physically and emotionally safe with our partners, trust is very hard to achieve in a relationship unless we have a solid foundation of self love. Respect yourself and the choices you make.
When we approach our relationships with respect and understanding, trust is there. When we do what we say we are going to do, trust is there. Stay true.