So I spoke about how to work through your trust issues when you’re looking for love in this post. But what do you do once you’re already in a relationship? And those trust issues are still there? Then what can you do? Well, luckily, quite a lot. Here’s how to build trust in your relationship, to reduce the worries and make the two of you stronger.
10 Ways To Build Trust In Your Relationship
1. See The Situation For What It Is
First off, trust issues usually stem from a certain situation. So let’s say your partner has a ‘lads night out’ coming up for a friends birthday, or he’s going away with work for a few days and you’re worried about what he might get up to. Whatever the situation, something is happening and you feel uncomfortable or concerned about it.
If you want to build trust in your relationship, instead of letting your mind go into overdrive, take a step back and calm your mind before you react. See, it’s not actually the situation that’s worrying you, it’s what you’re scared of happening in that situation.
More often than not, if we have trust issues, we end up picturing the worst-case scenario instead of seeing it for what it really is. The truth is, the worst thing might happen, but it also might not. You know your partner better than anyone and you should have the belief in them that they won’t let you down in that way.
You’re better to give them the benefit of the doubt, and the opportunity to prove your worries wrong, rather than letting your worries tear you apart before they’ve even happened, and putting unnecessary strain on your relationship.
You know that worrying about something isn’t going to make it less likely to happen. It just means you’re experiencing it before it’s even real – which is only creating MORE pain and concern for you.
So I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s just about training your brain to react to things differently. This leads me onto trust-building tip #2…
2. Work On How You Communicate
Your trust issues stem from you, which is why the majority of the work we’re going to be doing here will come from you. I’m a big believer that it’s not for anyone else to ‘fix’ your issues. However, a relationship is a partnership, the two of you are a team. So it’s important that your partner is aware of how you feel and can support you so that together you build this trust in your relationship. It’s also important that you have the honesty and openness in the relationship so that you feel like you can raise these concerns.
You’re not putting unreasonable expectations on your partner. You’re also definitely not lashing out just because of your own fears or insecurities. Instead, you’re going to communicate properly…
So for example, let’s go back to your partner heading on a wild night out with his friends. You’ve seen it for what it is – just a birthday night out. There’s no seedy intentions there. You also know what his friends are like and how they are very much engrossed in women, so you are concerned. But, at the same time – you respect that your partner is his own man and you’re trying to trust that he won’t do anything to let you down.
When you talk about it with him, express how you feel, express what you’re worried about. And when you do this calmly, you’ll often find your partner will actually try to reassure you, which brings you closer and should (hopefully!) reduce those uneasy feelings around it. It won’t make them disappear completely, but it should help to build trust a little more than before.
It will also make your partner become more conscious of how you feel, and the two of you can discuss things that he can do to help. (NOTE: don’t expect him to be a mind-reader and don’t get frustrated when he doesn’t suggest the things you want him to. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t care, it just means he’s probably not aware!) This leads me onto my next recommendation.
3. Find Ways To Put Your Mind At Ease
The two of you can work together to build trust in your relationship – especially to begin with. In time, you won’t need to do things like this so much. Either your mind will be sufficiently put at ease, or things like this just start to become natural habits that don’t even need to be spoken about. But initially, it’s good to discuss things that can help to build that trust in circumstances where you would typically feel concerned.
So for example – the lads night out, you might have spoken about things and then agreed that, a little text at one point through the night (just to show he’s alive and not completely off the radar!) would help. Or, even just saying, right – “I’m just going to leave you to it, I don’t want you have to be worrying about me or having to keep checking your phone. All I ask is that you come straight back here once all the clubs close and wake me up when you come in so I know you’re back safe and everything’s okay.”
It doesn’t have to be a lot, but when your partner then does that thing, and keeps their word, that in turn builds the trust between the two of you. Which will then accumulate more and more over time. It’s not an instant-fix you see – it’s gradual.
You also want to do things yourself to make it easier. So if you know there’s something coming up that you feel uncomfortable about – make sure you plan to keep yourself busy too. Go out yourself, have the girls over, do whatever helps to get you through. Because you’ll then find it far less painful and once the situation is over, and the worst-case scenario (probably) hasn’t happened, you will feel like a weight has been lifted from you and gradually, these sort of things will become more normal and less reason for concern.
4. See If You’re Making Things Bigger In Your Head
Now this one’s potentially a little controversial, but I’m going to raise the point anyhow to try to get you thinking. After all, if you want to build trust in your relationship you have to learn to open your mind a little.
Obviously we all have our morals and the things we stand by which are right or wrong. But sometimes, we overthink. We get too into our head that we can’t see things for how they are. We may also have some toxic behaviours (with the need for control) or insecurities running wild (telling us we’re not good enough and things are going to end badly.)
But, whatever you’re worried about, I want you to ask yourself… am I making this bigger than it needs to be? Is it really the end of the world if this happened? Would it really mean what I’d think it would mean?
And I’m not saying this so that you can allow yourself to overlook bad behaviour from your partner. No way. But I do want you to challenge your concerns.
I mean, let’s say your partner works with some women, and you’re worried he’s flirting with them. This creates a lot of tension in your relationship. But if you know he would never cheat, you know he’s naturally just a cheeky character (it’s how you fell for him in the first place!) and you know he doesn’t have any bad intentions (the two of you are super strong so there’s probably no reasons for concern really)… Then change the way you look at it.
If you think about it, you could find countless reasons to worry in your relationship, you could live constantly on edge, waiting for something bad to happen that breaks you. Or, you can choose to ‘pick your fights’, decide to only worry about the things that are really potentially painful and shift your perspective.
Not everything has to eat away at you. It’s no good for your mental state, let alone the relationship. So if something isn’t bad enough to break the two of you, don’t give it the attention it deserves. Instead, focus on making the two of you stronger and building on what you do have. Think about it…
5. Look At Where Your Trust Issues Stem From
Do you have trust issues because of your partner and the things he’s done previously in your relationship? Or do they root from when you’ve been hurt before? Is it more about you and your insecurities or certain behaviours of your partner that creates cause for concern?
See, if you want to build trust in your relationship, you have to identify what is creating the trust issues and then work through it. The clearer and more specific you can get, the easier it becomes.
Here are a few recommended reads to help you in these areas. (Please note: these links will open in new tabs when you click them so you won’t lose your place on here…)
- How To Identify & Work Through Your Limiting Beliefs Around Love. For example you may feel like every time you trust someone, you end up getting hurt, love always creates heartbreak or men are always unfaithful if given the chance.
- How To Build Your Self Worth and Work Through Your Insecurities: the second post isn’t ready yet, but if this sounds like something you need support with, subscribe to my blog at the bottom of this page and I’ll notify you when it’s live.
- Last but not least, if your trust issues are there because of the actions of your partner or the dynamics of the relationship I recommend: this for What To Do When Your Partner Is Lying To You, this for What To Do If You Think Your Partner is Cheating On You and this for The Signs Of a Toxic Relationship – in case things have just gotten unhealthy. These are all things you can work through by the way, if you really want to and it’s still the right thing to do.
6. Act How You Want To Be Treated
If you want to build trust in your relationship, it works both ways, right? You can’t control what anyone else does, but you can control what you do and set an example.
You might find that your partner has trust issues too – whether they’re spoken about as often or not. But to make the two of you stronger, always do what you’d like them to do in that situation. It sets things up for how you’d like things to continue and it’s important to show – this isn’t all about you. It’s about building and growing together.
So be honest, be open, show your feelings, act with integrity, admit mistakes and always stay true to your word. When we feel hurt or scared, it’s easy to do things we don’t really mean. But always stay true to yourself. Don’t ever do things that can then be turned around on you, just because your partner did something which hurt or disappoint you. Be consistent with your beliefs and be able to hold that head up high, knowing that you’ve been the best partner that you could be, regardless of their actions.
7. Cultivate Honesty In The Relationship
Honesty is so important for building trust in a relationship. You have to know that your partner will tell you the truth, whether you want to hear it or not… and vice versa! Without trust in knowing that what the other person will say will be the truth, you will find yourself having far more trust issues, overthinking things and searching for answers yourself – just because you feel like you won’t really ever know without doing a little digging!
To get around this, make sure the two of you are very honest and open in your communication. You don’t have secrets, you don’t hide things and you don’t tell lies… big or small. This post will help you to build this up in your relationship. Click here to have a read. It’s all about getting things right with this from the get-go… or, if it’s not like that to begin with, have a key turning point where you’re both just like- nope, we’re not doing this anymore, this is how things need to be from here.
Put real value on honesty and transparency. The only thing I would say with this, is if you want to make it work – you have to have an open mind and work on how you react to hearing the things you don’t like to hear. Because as we explore in here, that’s what will make your partner more likely to lie – not that it’s right, but you can kind of ‘get it’. So you must learn to be more level-headed and deal with things properly, because issues will always undoubtably arise.
8. Make Sure The Relationship Is Equal
Now this is an important one, and it works both ways. Strong relationships, that really last, need to be equal. Both people need to be able to say how they feel, without being scared of how the other person may react. So for you, if you have trust issues, your partner needs to know he can talk about the things that might make you feel uncomfortable, without you blowing up. And for you, you need to be able to say how you feel, without him brushing you off, getting defensive or snapping at you. This is absolutely key – especially when it comes to trust.
If one person feels like they’re just trying to keep the other person happy all the time, and they can’t do or say what they feel – well firstly, it’s going to create tension and resentment. And secondly, it’s going to end up with one of you making promises you won’t end up keeping – over-committing just to ‘keep the peace’ and then just letting you down, which only heightens the trust issues.
Another point that’s also closely linked to this, is not being so hard on your partner – being able to put yourself in their shoes, instead of jumping at the chance to prove you’re right (re-confirming your thoughts that you can’t trust them.)
For example, let’s say you planned a date night with your partner. He promised, he planned, he committed, but he’s running late from work and you end up having to do something else when he finally gets back instead. It sucks, it’s disappointing. But if he phoned you to let you know, he apologised and then suggested something else the two of you can do instead – accept and appreciate that. Understand that things don’t always go to plan. Put yourself in his shoes.
Trust can be earned with small acts of thoughtfulness and care towards each other. So just if things don’t always go the way you wanted or the way you thought they would, open your mind. Choose to see the good. And communicate what matters the most to you, to your partner, making sure that they also express the things that matter to them too. It’s all about communication when it comes to trust-building!
9. Have Clear Boundaries
Moving on from my last point now then, a great way to build trust in your relationship is by setting clear boundaries. Have a conversation with your partner, where you both discuss and agree upon what is and what isn’t right, plus what the two of you might need. After all, trust is not just about knowing the other person won’t betray you. It’s also about trusting the other person with your heart and your feelings. Because of this, it’s so important that you fully understand your partner, so that you don’t interpret things the wrong way.
For instance, you might be a very affectionate person and your partner may be too – but sometimes he just needs his own space. This isn’t a reflection on you or how he feels about you. His boundaries are just different to yours, and this downtime on his own helps him to re-charge. If you can discuss this and understand this, you’re less likely to overthink things when he does seem a little more distant and you will just get that – that’s what he needs.
It’s good for you. It’s good for him. And it makes your relationship far stronger. On the flip-side there’s the other boundaries we set. These relate to how you act around others, what would and wouldn’t classed as being unfaithful, etc. When you both discuss and agree on these, there’s no doubt about how the other person will or won’t be behaving because you’re both on the same page with things.
If your partner breaks those boundaries, you should also have the honesty and openness in the relationship to admit the mistakes. You should also value this so highly that if they for any reason didn’t stand by these – so they made a mistake and then they withheld it from you – then they would know there would be far worse implications for your relationship than if they would have just told you the truth to begin with.
So as you can see, it’s these strong foundations that really build trust in a relationship.
10. Let Go Of Your Fears & WANT To Trust
Love is a risk. When you put your trust in someone, you are taking a chance. But that’s all part of a relationship. You’re both taking that risk together, because you know that it’s worth it. You both feel strongly and want to give it a shot… so give it a shot fully.
Choose to put your trust in your partner. Choose to trust them unless they show you why you shouldn’t.
Try not to be afraid. Instead, learn to let go a little so that you can fully enjoy and appreciate everything the relationship gives you. If you want to carry around these trust issues – you can. It’s so easy. But life isn’t about taking the easy option.
When you go into a relationship, you should strive to be the best partner that you can be, and GIVE the most that you can. So give your trust to this person, especially if they’re doing all they can to prove that they deserve it. When you do this, you will love far more fully, and create a far stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
I really hope these strategies help you to build trust in your relationship. For more support and advice, subscribe to my blog below. Take care!