Are you in a relationship where there’s no trust? Do you find it difficult to trust the person you’re with, or are they doubting you? Is checking each other’s phones common? Do you wonder whether your partner is telling you the truth when they say they’re going to the gym or the shops? Do you think your partner is cheating on you? Or has your partner cheated on you but you decided to try to make it work, and you can’t help but feel insecure?
Being in a relationship without trust is not a happy place to be. Trust is a fundamental foundation for any healthy, loving and functional relationship.
But what does it mean to trust someone?
Trust is a two-way street. It’s about trusting your partner and their actions, but also trusting yourself when it comes to your gut instinct and sticking to your boundaries. If you don’t trust yourself, then you’ll hand over all responsibility to your partner when it comes to your entire relationship, without taking any ownership of it.
Sometimes, people enter relationships with trust issues from their past, hoping that the person they’re with will give them reason enough to trust them. But the trouble with this mindset is that you’re likely to attract people who hold similar beliefs and trust issues. And no stable, happy person is going to put up with that kind of insecurity in the long run.
A relationship can’t last without trust for a number of reasons. If you don’t have trust, you won’t believe your partner, even about something small like going for lunch with a friend. This will lead to tons of arguments and unhappiness, which will begin to wedge its way between you.
You’ll always feel insecure, unable to accept a compliment, and feel like you’re not loved or appreciated (even if you are).
And you’ll both be seriously unhappy, whether both of you have trust issues, or it’s just one of you. Relationships are hard work as it is—you don’t need to add any more challenges into the mix.
So, what can you do if there’s no trust in your relationship? How should you move forward? Here are a few things to think about if you’re trying to get to a place of trust and love in your relationship:
You both need to want to save your relationship
If there’s no trust, but you want this to work, it’s important that you and your partner both want to save the relationship. Because it’s going to take a ton of effort and compromise. If you don’t think there’s much to save, then you’re best off calling it a day, and moving on.
If the trust hasn’t actually been broken, it can be even harder.
If no one did anything in the relationship to cause distrust, it can be really exhausting when you’re the one on the receiving end of the distrust. Since that kind of distrust is usually linked to past relationships or experiences, the longer it goes on, the more it will begin to weigh you down and drain you of energy.
It’s difficult to be happy and relax when you’re wondering when the next accusation or argument is going to unfold. If you’re the one who has those trust issues, you need to work on letting go of the past. Remember, the past is not who you are, and this new person is not anyone from your past.
Next, you need to start building your self-esteem back up. Low confidence may be one of the reasons why you’re worried your partner will leave you—because you don’t believe you’re worthy of them. Take some time to celebrate all your amazing qualities, and start replacing those negative thoughts with positive, affirming ones.
If the trust has been broken, you need complete forgiveness.
If you’ve been betrayed by your partner you have to decide to completely forgive them, or let go of them and move on. You can’t continue to punish them for it or bring it back up in arguments if you decide to stay with them, because that’s not fair to either of you.
This decision is a very personal one, and no one can decide what to do apart from you. Take time to build that trust back up again, and decide what your partner needs to do to win your trust back.
If you’re the one who broke the trust, it’s on you to prove that you can be trusted again. If you’re sincerely sorry and regret your actions, then say that, and tell your partner you’ll do anything to earn their trust back again.
Then do it. Do whatever it takes.
You have to speak openly with your partner.
Communication is key to any healthy and successful relationship. If either of you are struggling to trust, have an honest and open conversation about it and work through those issues together.
Problems can’t be solved until someone knows they exist—so opening up is the crucial first step. Be sure to speak in a calm and nonjudgmental way, without placing blame or accusing them of anything.
Only you know whether you’re fully invested in this relationship or not. If you are, then do all you can to rebuild that trust with your partner and move forward. If you’re not, let it go and move on.
Life is too short to spend it with someone who doesn’t make you happy.