Trust can be an intimidating thing. You may have experienced betrayal or trauma in the past that has interfered with your willingness to trust, or perhaps you feel like trusting means you will lose your sense of self. However, when you honor your identity, preferences, and goals, you form a solid foundation for trust to grow within your relationship.
Trusting your partner does not mean giving up control. You still have control over your emotions, dreams, choices, and how you communicate them with your partner. And when there is trust, you both feel empowered to express these things.
Think about why you’re afraid to trust. How can you be more open to developing a trusting environment with your partner?
In order for your relationship to flourish, you must learn to be supportive of your partner’s dreams, make time for playfulness, gain shared meaning together, and maintain trust and commitment.
Is your partnership lacking in any of these areas?
Commit some time today to assess your relationship. Are there areas of opportunity? What can you do to strengthen your connection?
Making (or renewing) a commitment to one another is a big step. As you embark on this new journey of Trust and Commitment, you’ll have shared goals and new dreams to hope for, and plenty of time for fun and play. Just remember to soak in all the intimacy and romance along the way!
In his research study with 100 couples, Dr. John Gottman found that couples that trust each other are happier and have better individual health. He said, “A stable, trusting relationship is linked to relatively high survival rates from cardiovascular disease, cancer, surgery, and other illnesses.”
Trust in a relationship helps couples feel safe enough to be vulnerable and open. According to the Sound Relationship House, trust paired with commitment keeps the structure of your relationship strong.
One of the best ways to build trust in your relationship is to attune to your partner. Ask them open-ended questions and listen actively when they speak. Seek to understand before you want to give advice or problem-solve. Remember that you are your partner’s safe space where they can be themselves without fear or judgment.
How can you practice attunement to build a greater understanding and respect for your partner’s inner world? Every individual is a complex and unique galaxy unto themselves. You could know someone a lifetime and only be attuned to one small piece of their inner world.
What do you assume you know about your partner that you might be wrong about? What deserves more exploration? What does your partner assume about you that might need clarification?
Trust is one of the weight-bearing walls of the Sound Relationship House. Without it, your relationship is weakened. How you and your partner attune to one another determines how strong this pillar is.
Grand gestures are nice, but when it comes to trust, it’s the “small things often” that matter. If both partners build habits of turning towards each other in simple everyday moments, they build trust.
As you implement all the levels of the Sound Relationship House, remember that together, trust and commitment support the structure. They are the weight-bearing walls that keep your relationship from falling apart. Although they seem like a no-brainer, Dr. John Gottman found them essential for guarding against the storms of life.
How much you trust each other and how committed you both are to your relationship makes all the difference. Your faith in one another is not only built from responding to bids and learning your Love Maps, but it strengthens your ability to stay together. The more you act on your trust and commitment, the more it will secure your relationship and give you space to keep doing the work of staying in love.
Give your relationship the gift it really needs this season. You’ll find trust and commitment go together to uphold the tenets of your partnership and give you both the shelter and security that will keep you warm all year long.
Based on decades of research, the Gottmans developed the Sound Relationship House Theory—seven “levels” or areas of focus couples nurture to create lasting love. With a strong structure, built on the foundations of trust and commitment, you will also find shelter.
Does the house of your relationship feel like a safe haven? Can you rely on each other and look to each other for reassurance, strength, and comfort?
Building a strong relationship is hard work, and it takes dedication, but continually reinforcing the structure by making repairs, turning towards bids, and showing loving kindness creates a shelter from stormier days.