“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Do you trust your partner? Most people assume this question refers to a partner’s faithfulness. Yet fidelity is only one aspect of trust in relationships. The meaning of trust deserves a much deeper look.
Trust is defined as “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” It’s the foundation of a healthy relationship. It develops over time from the day to day experiences you share, and from communicating about your values and expectations.
A better question is, To what degree do you trust your partner in the various facets of your relationship?
For instance, can I trust you to:
- Share your deep personal thoughts, feelings and experiences.
- “Be there” for me in tough times.
- Be true to your word.
- Be responsible financially.
- Stand up for me in difficult situations.
- Be loyal at times where that is challenged.
- Protect the boundaries around our marriage.
- Keep the secrets we have shared.
- Listen and respect my point of view, even when we disagree.
- Communicate when something makes you unhappy.
- Be honest when you make a mistake.
- Turn toward me when you have concerns about our relationship.
- Keep the promises you make.
To explore this in your own relationship, here is a Relationship Trust Quiz that measures how much trust you have in your partner in different areas. We suggest that you and your partner take it separately and then discuss the results. It will help you see the places where you need to build stronger connection and trust.
Though it would be great if couples could have complete trust for a lifetime, that isn’t the reality. Bob and I have worked with many couples where trust has been broken in different ways. When couples choose to do the hard work to repair trust and re-build communication, they can trust again. If we can be of service, please call (410-363-2825) or email us for a consultation.
Image Copyright Aleksandar Mijatovic