Arguably three of the most important relationships in your life, securing trust in romantic, parental and friendship relationships is key to a harmonic existence together. Trust is an essential foundation in a relationship, enabling strong communication and a support system to flourish.
But when a key player in the relationship is suffering with trust issues, communication breakdowns can occur, frustrations can arise, a so-called elephant in the room can appear and the feelings of isolation and loneliness become paramount. Trust issues most commonly develop from a traumatic experience in the sufferer’s life and this experience can manifest into the present day, potentially unbalancing new relationships.
“I’m not a very trusting person [...] I had major trust issues in relationships; I was reading into things the wrong way. I didn't even trust my own opinion.” - Lucy Watson
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It’s natural to protect your own emotional well-being, so we’ve put together five thoughts on navigating trust issues in a relationship.
It’s important to make your partner aware of the trust issues that you’re faced with. Open discussions are a sign of trust and will allow for effective communication in your future relationship together. When you’ve had your heart truly broken, opening yourself up to someone new can be extremely frightening, so take small steps with an open mind (if you can’t quite open your heart yet).
If you’re on the receiving end of someone who suffers with trust issues, it’s easy to become frustrated when the lack of trust rears its head. Try and engage with your empathetic side; showing that you care with physical actions can be just as comforting and supportive as the words you speak.
Discuss, don’t accuse
Should a situation arise that makes you feel uncomfortable, speak up. Share your concerns but don’t let these concerns evolve into accusations before you’ve spoken to your partner. This will allow for your partner to look at the situation from your point of view and give you the opportunity to agree on a solution together.
Trust is different in every relationship, and to each individual, it has a new weighting. Along with your partner, learn what trust means to them and yourself, how it can be earned and how it’s lost. You’ll be more emotionally aware and mindful of their trust borders and your trust as a couple.
Seek professional direction
When dealing with trust issues, it can be very difficult to see the point of view from the person on the receiving end of the distrust. Seeking help from a trained therapist can offer you skills to look at a difficult situation or relationship objectively. The therapist will work with you to examine where the root of the trust issues are and support your journey to overcome these.
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