Friday, 6 May 2016

How to Earn Your Spouse's Trust

It takes time to build trust.
Trust is an essential ingredient in building healthy marriage and family relationships.  But it takes time and effort to earn a person’s trust. You also need to take care not to endanger the trust that you already share.

Here are six suggestions you need to consider as seek you to build trust in your marriage relationship.

Strive to Be Honest
Earning the trust of your spouse must begin with your own honesty and trustworthiness. Your behavior must line up with what you say. Your spouse wants to know that he or she can depend on you to speak the truth even in difficult situations.

Your actions should show that you are a person of integrity, if you are serious of earning your mate's trust.  Relationship researcher, John Gottman, PhD, in his book What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal, explains that there are signs that could indicate that trust in your relationship is being eroded.  He gives steps to re-ignite trust in your relationship.

In the video below, Gottman points out that trust must be built in small moments, and in these moments couples have the  possibility of connecting  or turning away from each other.

Gottman uses an incident in his own marriage to demonstrate how he was able to build trust because in the moment he was there for his wife. In that moment he connected with his wife rather than choosing what he wanted.

Demonstrate Commitment

If there is strong commitment in your relationship then there is likely to be a greater level of trust. This means that you are committed to your spouse even in challenging situations. So you keep the promises you make, and avoid making promises you can’t keep. An important ingredient to showing your commitment to your spouse is acting in person’s best welfare at all times.

Promote Open Communication

Communication is the core of any relationship, and the marriage relationship is no different. It is through open and honest communication that you and your spouse are able to  share your deepest thoughts, feelings and needs.

Trust will grow in an atmosphere of honest communication.  In such an environment it is easier to actively listen in order to understand your spouse's thoughts, feelings and desires to respond his or her needs. Take time to actively listen to your spouse.

The frequency and quality of communication you share could also impact the level of trust in your relationship.  This means that you pay attention to your spouse’s verbal and non-verbal communications. The trust in your relationship will increase when your spouse feels that you are genuinely interested in what he or she has to say.

Resolve Conflicts Creatively

Positive communications patterns also help you to resolve conflicts in your relationship. It makes it easier for you to   see each other’s point of view, and find a common ground when differences arise.

Make an effort to prevent conflicts from spiraling into arguments where you and your spouse put down each other.  In dealing with conflicts in marriages,   John Gottman points out that when the positive interactions during conflicts outweigh the negative ones, the marriage is more likely to last.

Build a Loving Relationship

Take steps to build the relationship by spending quality time together.  This time together helps you to get to know each other better and increases intimacy in your marriage.  As your spouse learns more about you, and likes what he or she sees, it is likely that trust will grow.

While intimacy is critical in your marriage there is also the need for spouses to have some space for themselves. Each person must maintain his or her identity, and the uniqueness should be appreciated.

In addition, there must be boundaries to preserve your relationship from negative situations that could undermine the trust that you are trying to build. For example, while interactions and healthy relationships outside you marriage are necessary, proper boundaries must be maintained to enhance trust in your relationship.  

Affirm Your Spouse

Treat your spouse with respect and expect the same from him or her. As you give your spouse positive regard and acceptance, these boost the person's self-confidence. When your spouse feels appreciated and secure in the relationship, it is likely that trust will increase.  

Bear in mind that a number of factors can cause trust issues in marriage. So take steps to build trust in your marriage relationship. As you practice these suggestions, you could find that the trust level in your marriage rises.

Image courtesy of nenetus at

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