One of the essential qualities a thriving couple must have is trust. Only relational commitment trumps trust in the hierarchy.
An uncommitted person is challenging to trust. We tend to hold ourselves back and are suspicious of the indecisive person.
Other essential qualities, like communication, problem-solving, friendship, and intimate sexuality all presuppose trust as a given.
If I do not trust you, it does not matter what communication method we use.
As one woman yelled during a session after learning a communication technique, “I do not believe a word he says!”
Likewise, why would I want to spend time with you or be intimate with you if I cannot trust you?
For these reasons, I advise couples to spend a considerable amount of time investing in developing and maintaining trust between each other.
Relational trust is the wire around the electrical current that fuels the couple’s synergy.
Unfortunately, an exposed live wire is dangerous and can cause tremendous damage.
Furthermore, without trust, relationships tend to explode into panic mode and burn down everything in sight.
So, before discussing 7 ways to develop and maintain trust with your spouse, let’s understand what trust means.
Trust means you are dependable.
Our anxiety skyrockets when uncertain looms. As children, we depend upon our parents to create a safe environment for us to explore. Too much adventure leads to trauma.
Our spouses also depend on us to show up at the right time and in the right way.
This creates ease of mind.
Trust means you are responsible.
When we get into a committed relationship, we take upon ourselves a considerable obligation.
Part of this obligation is the ability to adult.
Adulting means you can control yourself and have the wisdom to know how to care for yourself, your spouse, and your children.
Trust means you are reliable.
One of the leading causes of mistrust is inconsistency.
If we are unpredictable in our choices and reactions, it creates tension in our spouse, making them feel like they are walking on eggshells.
When our spouses can rely upon us, the opposite happens. They develop confidence that they can come to us with their emotions, needs, and desires.
Trust means you are protective.
When I hire a babysitter, my number one expectation is that my child will be alive when I get home.
This is so basic that it is assumed on an unspoken level.
Part of relational trust is that we are protecting each other.
Of course, this means physical and emotional safety, but it also means that we are protecting each others’ hearts.
For example, I do not joke about infidelity or threaten separation when I am upset.
Both of these tend to undermine our shared commitment.
How, then, does a spouse build and maintain trust. Below you will find a visual guild that will work you through seven ways to do this.