Falling in love and getting married can be invigorating and scary all at once.
Every person is born with the propensity to trust others, but through life experiences, you may have become less trusting as a form of self-protection.
One of the hardest things about trusting someone is learning to have confidence in your own judgment. An inability to trust a new partner may take several forms, from feeling they’re dishonest or secretive, to doubting they’re going to keep their promises or be dependable.
Trust is about much more than finding signs that your partner has been deceitful; dishonest or even unfaithful - it’s about believing that they have your best interests at heart.
The reality is that trust is built slowly over time and occurs as you move through life together. This is not to say that the trust you have now isn’t real, it is however, an acknowledgement that the trust you do have is not yet as strong as it will be one day.
Unfortunately, betrayal in one form or another, exists in every relationship. These include subtle misunderstandings, unmet expectations, poor choices, addictive or abusive behaviours, or bad coping behaviours.
Infidelity, either emotional or sexual, is considered the ultimate tragic betrayal of trust and intimacy.
In all of these cases, the subsequent breach of our personal values of honesty, trust, integrity, fidelity, loyalty and respect, present unique opportunities for rebuilding trust in your relationship.
As counsellors, we know that Trust is an essential aspect of intimacy and we know that some of the strongest and most trusting relationships are based on repairing the breach of trust following a betrayal.
We work with and help you and your partner navigate the betrayal that has entered your relationship. Trust is rebuilt as you express compassion and empathy for one another’s feelings, and this foundation is essential when your relationship has faced any form of betrayal.
We help you learn how to respond in a productive and effective way using our unique communication skills and emotional connection method, to help you grow and strengthen your relationship for the long-term benefit of you, your partner, your children and your family unit.
Take a moment to consider this:
Your partner is not solely responsible for creating mistrustful feelings. In most cases, you must take equal responsibility for creating an atmosphere of safety and security in your relationship.
In order to begin the process of overcoming mistrust, ask yourself:
What is the story I’m telling myself?
Does my fear of loss and abandonment cloud my perspective and cause me to overreact to my partner’s actions?
Is my mistrust coming from something that is actually happening in the present, or is it related to my past?
Do I feel comfortable asking for what I need and allowing myself to be vulnerable?
Do I bring my best self to my interactions with my partner?
Do I possess self-love and allow myself to be loved and respected?
Many relationships are sabotaged by self-fulfilling prophecies.
If you believe your partner will hurt you, you can unconsciously encourage hurts to emerge in your relationship.
But day by day, if you learn to operate from a viewpoint that your partner loves you and wants the best for you, you can enjoy trust in your marriage.
Dr. Gary Chapman (author of Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married) recently wrote:
"Have you ever struggled to forgive someone who has wronged you? If so, you are not alone.
But if your intention is to remove the barrier and begin the process of restoring the relationship with that person, a sincere apology must be offered and forgiveness extended.
One might say, "I don't feel like forgiving." The truth is, not many of us do. What we need to know, though, is this: forgiveness is not a feeling. It's a decision to offer grace instead of demanding justice.
When it comes to forgiveness however, there are a lot of misconceptions that muddy the process.
To better understand forgiveness, here are four things forgiveness DOES NOT do:
Forgiveness does not wipe our memory.
Forgiveness does not remove all the consequences of wrongdoing.
Forgiveness does not rebuild trust.
Forgiveness does not always result in reconciliation.
One thing forgiveness does do, is it removes barriers.
If we choose not to forgive, then the barrier remains, and the relationship continues to be estranged.
Time alone will not heal the relationship.
Healing requires the decision to forgive.
And forgiveness opens the door to the possibility of growth."