Trust in relationships is vital.
It evolves over time. Once gone, it takes longer and it's harder to rebuild than to gain it in the first place. Lost trust creates a lot of long-term damage in any relationship.
Falling in love is easy - becoming infatuated doesn't require any skills. However, staying in love throughout all the relationship stages requires good communication skills, emotional intelligence and trust.
Trust in relationships is the central, supporting pillar of creating intimacy and maintaining a deep, fulfilling connection with your partner.
Learn here how trust shapes your intimacy, the effects of unfair fighting, unfinished issues from the past and infidelity, and real solutions to restoring broken trust.
You've probably heard that intimacy is present only when there is trust.
As intimate couples, both you and your partner must trust each other to be willing and able to maintain a safe emotional space in which both of you can be honest about and communicate effectively your opinions, feelings and needs (taking full personal responsibility for these), without fear of being rejected or shamed.
I hear you asking... what does it mean to communicate effectively?
Well, in any relationship there are three styles of communication: aggressive, passive, and assertive. If you are like most people, you are either aggressive or passive in expressing your needs, wants, feelings and perceptions. However, if you are to build trust and maintain intimacy, you must learn to communicate these assertively.
Assertive communication means expressing yourself honestly, clearly, and calmly without attacking or verbally abusing your partner.
Can you do that?
Can you also be honest and not hiding anything, no matter how painful the truth is? Because if you want to 'spare' the other person, not say something because it might "rock the boat" or hurt their feelings, it means you are NOT honest.
So remember this. Not being honest - no matter the reasons - breaks the trust in a relationship.
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Yes, you've read this right. Believe it or not, fighting is part of any relationship - especially during the power struggle, or the unavoidable common relationship problems stage.
Don't make the mistake of living with the naïve belief that couples never fight! It's not the fighting, but the way you fight. Fight unfairly and you destroy the trust; fight fairly and you build the trust.
Here are the basic rules of fair fighting:
Make sure you agree beforehand on a method of taking time out if one of you feels that the fight is getting out of control and your relationship communication is compromised.
..."unfinished business" from the past. If you don't solve and get closure for any past issues in your relationship, you will continue to hurt each other through being resentful or 'getting even'. Being resentful leads to wanting to get even, which may lead to infidelity.
Old wounds that are not fully healed become 'infected' and break the trust in relationships. Intimacy disappears. Love begins to fade and if you don't attend to the troubled relationship warning signs, love dies a slow and sure death.
So make sure you don't allow issues to go unresolved. Make sure you've resolved any old hurts and made amends where necessary. Why? Because saying "I am sorry" is never enough. Amends are necessary not to compensate your partner, but to rebuild the broken trust and restore 'fairness' in your relationship.
Infidelity is the biggest offence in a relationship. If you or your partner has been cheating, it can take a long time, patience, commitment and specific steps to reconcile and rebuild trust in your relationship.
For the offended victim, surviving infidelity means learning to overcome jealousy and regaining trust in the offending party.
No matter what you may read elsewhere, restoring trust after an affair is difficult. If you experience something like this in your relationship, don't wait up! Time NEVER solves this kind of wound. The two of you are too overwhelmed emotionally to be able to solve this by yourself - you must get professional help, as soon as possible.
Trust in relationships takes a long time to build and a very short time to destroy. Rebuilding trust is not as simple as building trust in the first place. Once you've built trust, you should do everything in your power to keep it if you want to build a happy, lasting relationship.
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