A major element in building a healthy relationship is trust. Without it, the relationship will not develop and grow. Trust can be a scary thing to do and it is not always easy to accomplish. This is the case when we have experienced many negative responses and feelings through the course of our life.
Learning to trust is the most important lesson of childhood. If we do not learn to trust we spend our lives feeling uncertain within relationships. We invest our energies into holding back our feelings and keeping our feelings on guard. This leaves us feeling unhappy and alone.
Sometimes we may trust but only after the other person has proven himself trustworthy. The other person often resents being tested while we hold back to make certain of their intentions. If we cannot trust others, we will not be trusted. We can never know for sure. We are always changing and growing.
We can only trust for the moment. We cannot say that we trust someone forever because we can never know what tomorrow will bring. If we trust that someone or something will always be or that something will never happen we are being unrealistic. To trust is to risk being hurt and there will always be some risk involved. In relationships we can expect to grow at separate paces and hope the relationship will begin to meld together.
We know that trust is important for a good, healthy relationship but trust is often something we have learned not to do. One of the best ways a couple can build trust in each other is to talk about their fears and difficulties with trust. By acknowledging our reservations about trust we are better able to make a commitment to work on trust.
Here are some suggested topics on trust
1. We will not abuse each others feelings and we allow each other to express them.
2. We will allow each other to be ourselves without being judgmental.
3. We will be honest and direct with each other.
4. We will strive to be consistent in what we think, say, and do.
5. We will not willfully hurt each other. We cannot always know what will hurt each other, but if it happens, we will discuss ways to resolve and prevent it.
6. We will respect each others privacy. We will not share each others secret outside our relationship.
7. We will be committed to each other to the level in which we have agreed to be.
Trust can mean whatever a couple decides it means to them. Building trust takes time and deserves patience. Our “don’t trust” patterns are usually longstanding so it takes practice to overcome them. Trust often builds slowly but eventually we will learn to trust.