Relationships

4 ways to build trust in your relationship

©iStockphoto.com/Laflor Photography Author: Canadian Living Credits: ©iStockphoto.com/Laflor Photography

Relationships

4 ways to build trust in your relationship

If you've ever been tempted to sneak a peek at your partner's Facebook page or phone, you're not alone. No matter how secure you might be in your relationship, there are times when you can't help worrying about whether or not you can trust the one you're with. But what can we do to get over relationship insecurities? To find out, we turned to Joy Davidson, a psychotherapist and relationship counsellor. She offers four ways to build trust in your relationship.

1. Don't jump to conclusions
If your other half tells you he has to work late one night and then the next day you find a receipt in his pocket from a bar the night before, you're valid in being suspicious – but only to an extent.

"You can jump to crazy conclusions that he was with a woman and they were having a rendezvous or you can assume there's a reasonable explanation and ask him about it," says Davidson.

Don't rush to think the worst of a situation. Instead, give your partner the benefit of the doubt.

"There is a chance that there's a decent explanation for it," says Davidson. "Even if he says, ‘I didn't want to tell you because I didn't want to hurt your feelings.'"

It's important to create a relationship environment where he feels safe in being honest with you, she suggests.

2. Speak up and talk to your partner
Many women don't bring things up for fear of rocking the boat, but Davidson says you should always bring up the things that are bothering you.

"You need to develop a non-accusatory, authentic and genuine way of asking questions, so that you're not boxing someone into a corner and so that you're taking responsibility for your doubts and fears," she says.

Before you begin, calm yourself down and make sure you don't address your questions and concerns when you're in an anxious state.

3. Ask yourself if you can trust your partner
It's important to check in with your trust issues and to ask yourself how frequently and to what extent they pollute your relationship? If it happens once every six months and then you get better and move on, that's one thing. But if you find yourself dealing with issues of trust week in and week out, you really have to question it.

"If you can't trust, you can't respect, and if you can't respect then you can't really be with them before diminishing yourself," says Davidson. "You have to really take a look in the mirror and ask yourself what's there."

4. Think of the end result
When an issue arises – when you see something that is bothersome and you address it – do you come out of the situation feeling better and closer as a couple? Or are you continuously addressing the same concerns because one or both of you aren't learning from the previous experience?

"If you become less trusting and more insecure, what are you really doing there and whose problem is it?" asks Davidson. "You may have an issue with irrational jealousy and you see things in every partner's behaviour which you magnify."

Trust is a process that Davidson compares to an inverted pyramid: "At the outside of the relationship there is very little trust. There is the desire to trust – wanting them to know you – but trust is built brick by brick piled on the previous brick of trust," she explains.

"When you have reached the point in a relationship where you are at that wider level of the inverted triangle and then someone betrays that trust, you feel so devastated, then all those bricks come tumbling down and you have to rebuild it."

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Relationships

4 ways to build trust in your relationship

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