How to Resolve Trust Issues in a Relationship

Resolving trust issues

A loving relationship can be a beautiful union of two people.  To achieve this goal, there are several aspects within the relationship that need to function optimally. The most important aspect is trust.  Trust is built and maintained by many small actions over time.  If trust begins to falter, fear can take over, judgment can become clouded and doubt and suspicion may grow.

For a happy relationship to work, the people involved must be able to trust each other. Couples often wonder how to fix trust issues especially, because, at the beginning of a relationship, things typically seem rosy and beautiful. There is usually a lot of excitement and small transgressions are easily forgiven and set-aside.  Once you get past the initial infatuation, however, and the relationship begins to blossom, you truly begin to learn where the relationship is headed and a deep foundation of trust can begin to develop or diffuse.  Your subconscious will begin seeking answers to the questions:  Does this person honor what he says?  Is he open about his feelings, even the negative ones?  Do his actions communicate the same message as his words?  The answers to these questions help you determine if it is safe to trust this person or not.

Take Quiz: How Much Do You Trust Your Spouse?

When both people are honest, open and trustworthy, couples can easily grow confident in the path their relationship is on within a few weeks.  Within this trusting relationship, it becomes easy for them to decide what the future holds for them together.  Sometimes, unfortunately, when either one or both people in a relationship have a hard time opening their heart to trusting one another, it can grow very frustrating.  If there is genuine desire to build a loving relationship, however, this frustration does not have to mean the end.  Every relationship hits a few roadblocks during its course. The key is to fix trust issues or anything else and work toward resolving them.

Trust issues in a relationship

A healthy relationship cannot grow without trust. Sometimes, previous life experiences can severely affect your ability to trust in other people. Sadly, many people have faced terrible disappointments in the form of heartbreaking betrayal. If you or your significant other are struggling with this issue, it is important that you work it out together.  Trust is something that has to be earned through trustworthy behavior. Words, gifts, and promises do little to restore trust. It is the consistent trustworthy actions that count.

Trust issues in a relationship

Mistrust can result in terrible side effects.  In an environment of mistrust, you may experience higher than normal levels of anxiety, self-doubt, and a severe lack of confidence.  This does not have to mean the end of your relationships, however.  You can learn to trust people again.  All you need to do is give them, and yourself, a chance.

The first thing you should do is try to identify why you or your partner have trust issues. In a kind and gentle way, you can ask “What things can I do to help me or my partner feel safer in our relationship?

Reasons why there are trust issues in your relationship

If you are wondering how to overcome trust issues, you must understand the reasons for these issues in your relationship. If you are wondering how to overcome trust issues, you must understand the reasons for these issues in your relationship. There may be several reasons why you or your partner have developed trust issues, and the key to recovering is to identify them. If you allow mistrust to fester, it can result in severe frustration and depression. This could result in you holding onto your partner, afraid that you’ll lose them forever, which can inturn, create a toxic environment of clinginess and attempts to control.  Try to remain rational.  Ask yourself “Does my partner deserve my trust?” If you’re not sure, ask others who know you and your partner and have spent time with you both. Perhaps you can confide in a trusted friend and by asking, “I’m having a hard time trusting my partner. Do you see anything that you think I may not see in this relationship?”

Here are some reasons why your relationship could be negatively plagued by trust issues.

  • If you or your partner believes that the other is dishonest.
  • If you or your partner have been unfaithful during your previous relationships. When you learn that it isn’t too difficult to cheat, you start assuming your partner might be unfaithful to you as well.
  • You aren’t aware of what your partner does when you’re not around.
  • You’re not too familiar with your partner’s friends.
  • If your partner is too secretive, you can become insecure.
  • When you feel threatened by your partner’s friendship with people you aren’t familiar with.
  • If your partner doesn’t share as much as you do about your respective lives.
  • If your partner gets insecure or upset when you encroach on their private space.
  • If your previous partner has betrayed your trust.
  • If you find your current partner flirting with others.

How to get over trust issues or help your partner overcome theirs?

If you or your partner has deep-seated insecurities and trust issues, it can be very destructive to your relationship. If your partner has doubts regarding your fidelity, you can face a tough time constantly trying to convince them of your loyalty. Here are a few steps you can take to help your partner overcome trust issues.

If you are the one with the doubts and want to know how to deal with trust issues, you could follow these as well.

Resolve trust issues

Open up

One of the biggest factors that lead to insecurities in a relationship is the lack of communication. If you’re asked a question about something, don’t give vague answers or stick to one-liners. The key is to open up, have a conversation, and open channels of communication.

Discuss your daily lives

Talk about what you did during your day and listen to what your partner did during theirs. It helps when you’re both aware of what happened when you weren’t around each other.

Discuss your secrets

Sharing secrets can bring two people closer together. The more you learn about your partner, the stronger your bond becomes.

Express care

Shower your partner with reassurance and compliments. Remind them of how much they mean to you and how much you love them.

Introduce them to your friends

Introducing your partner to your inner circle of friends and let them feel like they belong. This helps them ease their insecurities regarding friends they may feel threatened by.

Analyze things from their perspective

Be rational and put yourself in their shoes before you judge or lose your temper.

Resolving trust issues in relationships does not happen overnight. Give it some time and work on building your relationship based on trust and commitment.

Seek help from a trained professional, if you or your partner are unable to resolve trust issues in your relationship despite several attempts.  A knowledgeable and compassionate counselor can help you identify the healthiest path for you and your relationship, whether that means ending a harmful relationship or working to strengthen love and commitment. Trust issues in a relationship can happen due to many reasons but it is never too difficult to eliminate them if you are determined to make your relationship work.

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Duane Osterlind
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, CSAT
Duane is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist, and co-founder of NOVUS Mindful Life Institute, which helps individuals affected by sex addiction. His vision is to provide comprehensive care for individuals struggling with process addictions in the utmost confidential, comprehensive and caring environment to ensure clients feel safe and accepted with anticipation that recovery is possible.

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