A lack of trust can damage a marriage. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much to lose someone's trust, but it can take a great deal of effort to get it back. If trust has been broken, all is not lost. With two willing parties, trust can be repaired. According to Rabbi Dov Heller, the first step to building trust is to create a safe emotional space for your spouse. Once that stage is set, you can begin to work through your issues.
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Set the rules. Setting rules for your relationship can be an awkward task, but it's necessary. Both spouses need to discuss the behaviours that make him or her uncomfortable. The couple then needs to agree to rules so that both people feel secure. For example, how do you feel about late night phone calls with members of the opposite sex? What about going out to dinner after work? These types of discussions need to take place and agreements need to be set so that both parties feel at ease.
Avoid inappropriate behaviour. Even if your intentions are pure, it is best to avoid any behaviour that could possibly be considered inappropriate. This will help foster a secure and loving relationship, as opposed to a relationship where one person constantly feels suspicious. So avoid actions like looking up your ex on Facebook just to say hello. Instead, focus on more constructive pursuits.
Do something nice. Do something nice for your spouse without expecting anything in return. Complete a task that will make their life easier and don't even mention that you did it. Repeat this at least once a week.
Talk to your spouse. Talk to your spouse about your feelings on a regular basis. Discuss how you feel about your relationship, and how you feel about the progress you've made.
Be patient. Both parties need to be patient. If your partner doesn't trust you, you should try to show patience and understanding. Look at the situation from their point of view before you jump to an angry reaction. Take their feelings seriously and don't brush them off. If you don't trust your partner, you also need to be patient. Don't yell and make the person defensive, instead calmly explain your feelings. Also, don't expect their behaviour to immediately change. Finally, both parties should realise that regaining trust takes time.
Tips and warnings
- Seek professional help if you feel your relationship is abusive.
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