How to Work Around Trust Issues
Trust is the foundation of relationships. Unfortunately, sometimes we become distrustful of our partners. Here’s how you can work around trust issues:
1. Have an honest conversation
Admitting to your partner that you have a problem opens the dialogue and is the first step towards improvement. Remember that your partner isn’t a mind-reader and might not understand why you’re hostile or withdrawn and letting them know what’s going on might make them more willing to do the work to rebuild the relationship. If you let your emotions bottle up, you’ll only grow resentful of your partner who might become confused about your behaviour and eventually develop some negative feelings too.
2. Improve your communication style
Trust issues make you feel insecure and encourage an emotional response, which might bring you relief at first but doesn’t resolve the issue in the long run. Instead of throwing accusations and blaming your partner for how you feel, try to share your concerns in a more neutral manner. For example, instead of saying that your partner’s social life makes you feel unimportant, say something like, ‘I’m worried that I don’t matter to you as much when you prefer spending time with your friends’. At the same time, make sure that you listen to your partner and try to see things from their point of view.
3. Take baby steps
Mistrust develops gradually. At first, you might appreciate that your partner spends his evenings outside of the house and enjoy having a moment to yourself but if it starts happening more and more frequently, you might become suspicious and eventually start building walls to prevent them from getting too close. This is why you should approach the problem gradually too; instead of forcing yourself to feel as comfortable in the relationship as at the beginning, take baby steps and try to reconnect with your partner. You can try to plan a date together every week and make it your goal to be honest which each other every day. For example, you might agree to say one thing you like and dislike about each other’s behaviour, such as ‘I like when you do the dishes right after cooking’ and ‘I don’t like when you forget to do the laundry’ – this can help you become more used to talking about your feelings and strengthen your communication skills.
4. Consider the root of the problem
The source of mistrust is often a combination of low self-esteem and things your partner does that trigger your insecurities. Ask yourself, is it your partner’s actions that make you distrust them? Could it be a similar experience from the past or perhaps a fear of being abandoned? If you aren’t sure, it’s a good idea to do some journaling to gain more clarity.
5. If everything else fails, consider couples therapy
When both you and your partner struggle to see things from a different perspective, it’s worth looking into couples therapy that can help you understand each other’s behaviour and offer a space in which you can both present your point of view without judgement. Contact My Family Psychologist to discuss your options