Managing Trust Issues In Marriage
In every marriage and relationship, trust is of utmost importance. Trust is built; it is not ascribed. It can take grueling years to build, and be shattered by a single act; intentional or not, deliberate or accidental. How a person reacts to you is a function of their past experiences. It could also be a function of your past history or your past mutual experiences. Perception significantly influences trust.
You may accuse your partner of having trust issues. What you fail to see, however, is that by designating them as such, you may end up not caring about how they feel, and therefore may not go the extra mile to deal with their trust issues. By this action, you heighten their fear and help them import the same reality or perspective they had in their previous relationship which led to its break up. Regardless of what you do, if nothing changes, your current relationship with them will also not last.
Love me, love my dog. It could be a beautiful poodle, a nasty past, or fiery looking trust issues. You cannot select what you like in a person and hate something else in them and deal with these things independently. Your partner is a complete package. You either love those things you love about them so much that it makes up for other areas of deficiency, or hate certain things about them to a point where it tears up other areas of strength. You love them for the part about them you like and help them deal with the part you don't like....unless you don't see a future in that Relationship. Then the question comes up, what are you doing in that relationship without a future?
If a marriage or relationship means something to you, treat it as if it does actually mean something to you. When trust issues come up and are allowed to fester, it affects perception, and a skewed perception affects conversation, actions, and reactions. It is your responsibility, for as long as you choose to stay in that relationship or marriage, to work on how the person sees you. The onus rests with you. Trust is a form of promotion – we all earn our promotions.
We are by nature selfish. Selfishness means we seek out our interests first. That means we all have the tendency to want to be sure we are not short changed in any social interaction. It is for you, therefore, to act in ways that settle the person. Raving and ranting and fighting their insecurities make everyone expend more energy than lovingly and in a caring way, try to help them deal with these issues. It is a deep seated emotional issue; you don’t fight it, you assist them to deal with it.
How do you handle information that involves them? How do you handle their queries? How do you handle issues of privacy? How do you handle third parties in your relationship or marriage? How do you handle their curiosity? How you handle all, or any of these, can go to heighten their insecurity or deflate it. It may take you less than five minutes to say or do the right thing, to set in motion something that will run for a long time to your advantage. Or you can let your pride, frustration, and lack of thought let you trigger a needless fight or tension that can last for weeks, months or years. It will all depend on how you handle the triggers of their insecurities.
Do not assume your spouse is on the same level with you as far the perception of the world around you goes. And do not use their insecurity as a measure of their maturity. Many people have gone through a lot to warrant their skepticism. Many have seen enough to almost make them lifetime doubters. Your actions can add a layer to their skepticism or take a layer off it. It is a choice that has endless ripples. Do you love your spouse enough? Did you get into their lives to seek your interest or you did to make each other happy? Happiness is not just about you getting the best of everything. It is not just when your spouse trusts you nem con. Happiness is a boomerang; it always returns back to the giver. It is when you make it your target to ensure that the one in your life is happy that you will be happy.
You may have tried a couple of times and may not see any improvement. You may have been as open as a book and still get the look, the tone and the body language that says you are still not trusted. Well, see it as taking someone through a period of rehab from a strong addiction. There is no magical way around it. You go through it thoroughly and painstakingly with a lot of hope for the best in the future. There are no buttons which get you results. You don't judge and go ballistic on them because you have done all you can, but they keep relapsing! If you take it upon yourself to be with someone, your attitude toward helping them become a better person is a can-do one.
Be intentional about trying to help your partner deal with their insecurities. Handle it as you would want any of your concerns in the marriage or relationship handled. Ask them what it is about you that trigger their insecurities. Ask them what you can do to make them feel better. Discuss the difficult demands they may make on you and find a compromise. Carry out the easy ones and make them happy. If you realize you are looking at two different sides of an issue, and there is no place for compromise, then it is advised, at the relationship stage, to walk out. There is no love where there is no compromise. Sometimes, they may not be upfront with you, and it will be for you to note those things that lead to fights, questions, sarcasm and skeptical reactions. Look for an appropriate time and engage them in a cool and civil conversation about those issues. I notice you react in ways that show you don’t trust me when XYZ happens. Can we talk about it? There are also certain lifestyles you may need to change to build trust. I have mentioned a few earlier, but let me add a few more. How do you deal with your phone calls? At what times are you seen online? How do you react when the question of a particular person of the opposite sex come up? How do you communicate your views about issues, especially when those views have been formed by your discussions with someone of the opposite sex? How do you treat things from your spouse in comparison to things from other people? All these can lead to trust issues. Find ways of dealing with them.
Marriage is between two people willing to become one, and a good relationship is supposed to be a precursor to that marriage. If two people can’t live as one, then physically occupying a space is a failure. A Key component of living life as one is trust. I need to know that I can go to sleep and won’t miss anything.
Marriage is a lifelong decision and commitment; be certain what you commit to. If you are sure you can't deal with the person's insecurities and you don't have the grace to attempt to help them, then walking out is a good option. However, if you stay, complaining and throwing your hands up in exasperation does no one good. You entrench their fears and insecurities while they, in turn, push you to the edge. But always remember when you do it for them, they become indebted to you to do it for you. That is how you clear every clog in the trust continuum.