When we think of strong relationships, we often think of older couples. Those couples that have made it through life together and reached their old age side by side. However, it isn’t necessary to have been together for 20+ years to have a strong relationship. To keep your relationship strong, it’s important to address the most basic issues that jeopardize that very strength.
One of the most fundamental issues facing couples is trust. We all know the importance trust plays in our relationships with our family members, our friends, and our mentors. Yet sometimes we ignore trust within our romantic relationships, especially once we have already cultivated trust. We assume that it will stay there, but often as relationships progress both partners do things that undermine that very trust. So what can we do to make sure that our relationships last and are kept strong?
The first step to maintaing trust in a relationship is honesty. If you haven’t been honest in the past with your partner, explain yourself and apologize. Then, begin again. Pledge to be honest and then follow-through with your promise. Ask your partner to be honest as well. Honesty in all relationships creates trust automatically. If you can believe that your partner is being honest, then you can feel comfortable trusting them. If you worry that your partner is lying to you or being manipulative, then it will be difficult to trust them. You will automatically find yourself worried, nervous, anxious, or uncomfortable. Knowing your partner is honest, allows you to trust them when they say that they care about you or share their thoughts with you.
Once you have established honesty in your relationship, you must work on your communication skills within the relationship. Relationships that are lacking in communication cause trust issues naturally because both partners become confused or unsure of the other’s intentions, feelings, and thoughts. Be open to discussing with one another what is working and what isn’t. Stay honest and stay open. When you feel that your partner is truly communicating with you, there is no need to worry about anything. If something is wrong, you know that your partner will talk with you about it. This security is the foundation for creating trust and maintaing it.
While it may be difficult to rebuild trust that was previously broken, it can be done. If you are looking to keep a healthy relationship strong, then you will want to use trust, honesty, and good communication skills. These skills are what lead to lasting, successful, happy relationships. If you haven’t been practicing these skills in your relationship, don’t despair. It’s never too late to try something new. Talk with your partner about changing the nature of your relationship to a more honest, open, trusting format. Share with them the changes that you are looking to make and explain how it will enhance the quality of your relationship. Remember, trust is not built overnight, but it can be shattered in minutes. Be patient if you are rebuilding trust that was previously lost. If you already have a trusting relationship, be patient as that trust grows and strengthens.