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What is Trust in Relationships?


Trust in a relationship is a very big thing. And sometimes even very mythical; for example, very often the image of trusting relationships is an image of a couple in which both understand each other, speak openly about their experiences, always support, etc. But there is always something more behind the trust than just mutual understanding: it is about feeling free to live something just inside the boundaries of your personal space or not demanding your partner to tell you everything. Just because you feel each other without words and do not need excuses or explanations.

  • What is trust in a relationship?

Trust is rather some kind of a qualitative sign of a relationship where there is an opportunity to negotiate, recognize your partner in different manifestations, withstand this difference, be able to speak directly about your experiences, be heard, receive and give support, etc. And at the same time, there also should be a place for complex feelings, disagreements, conflicts, and crises, but a couple can go through them, maintaining the quality of these relations.

After all, oddly enough, we remember about trust most often in the period of hardships and conflict moments of our relations.

  1. For example, one felt offended and for their partner because their actions caused damage to the internal “balance:”

-When a partner promised something and did not make or changed the agreement, or simply let you down – for example, did not arrive on time, did not wash the dishes, or forgot to warn you about some plans.

  1. The discovery of unexpected traits of the partner’s character, a mismatch with the ideal image that we have created in our head can also serve as a reason for the loss of trust or conflicts, for example:

– I thought that you would take care of me in a certain way — in the evenings at home, or you would always answer the phone immediately, etc.

And often both partners may not even understand exactly what hurt them, and what the trigger is. And then the conflict explained by an obvious reason like “you did not wash the dishes!” is just the top of the iceberg.

  • Blaming each other triggers trust

Everything has precise formulas; even blind date rules are needed. Here are some phrases that can be read as striving for attention from a person not confident and seeking for trust:

– How can I trust you now; you always promise and do not do it!

– You try to touch my feelings on purpose and make me jealous.

– You never ask my opinion and decide everything in your own way!

– My friends were right! You are not the person to trust…

  • What lies behind trust

When conflicts arise, the feelings that are touched most often are those connected with guilt and offense, as if we told the person about our deepest fears and shared the biggest secrets and were let down. Emotions that rule the state of trust are freedom, mental openness, weakness, and ability to speak your mind and be heard. They enable the mechanisms that help people live together as every living creature needs support; even wild animals do not let each other down when one of them gets ill.

And this is where the main difficulty arises; we think that our loved one should do something that would make it easier for us to fight our inner fears. And this is a dead end. Because when we trust a partner, we believe that they owe us the feeling of safety and stability. We choose to open to people and decide which people we will trust, so if they hurt us, those are our problems that were caused by the unfulfilled expectations.

In this case, we speak about the signs of mental dependence when our self-esteem depends on the actions of our partner.

  • How to cope with trust problems?

The most important thing here is that everyone can take responsibility for those experiences that arise in contact with each other, namely:

– It is important that both people recognize that they have problems. There is nothing wrong with that. It is normal that different situations happen between people; a conflict is also a form of contact.

– Each of the partners may, should, and will experience some feelings and events, such as fear, anger, shame, disappointment, etc., and their partner should perceive these emotions adequately.

The inability to cope with certain feelings greatly limits us in dealing with other people. Sometimes this insecurity creates the emptiness in our heart that we fill by opening our soul and seeking for trust. But deep inside we still know that the problem lies in us; not a person will help us, no matter how much we trust them.

So, you can help yourself by learning to talk about your experiences openly and recognize your mistakes. Do not put the responsibility for your traumas on other people; you make a choice of how to act and who to trust. Stop blaming others and find the peace of mind inside yourself.

David Smith