"Three Steps to Strengthen Trust in Your
Relationship or Marriage"
By Susie and Otto Collins
When it comes to intimate
relationships, trust is too often taken for granted. We often make
agreements with the ones we love which may include "being there" for
each other no matter what, staying faithful to one another, and
always trying to deepen our relationship. We trust-- or don't
trust-- that these agreements will be honored.
However, if you take a clear
look at your everyday life with your love, you might begin to wonder
if your relationship is really based on a strong sense of trust.
Trust might be limited in
subtle ways or perhaps more intense ones. It could be that you doubt
that your partner will love you if you let your true self be seen.
Maybe-- with no proof of it-- you fear that your partner is cheating on
you. Or perhaps you regularly expect that your love will not follow
through on his or her promises. Regardless of how subtle or intense,
weakened or lacking trust will interfere with your relationship
being as intimate as it could be.
See the similarities with
Wall climbing is a popular
sport in which the climber ascends a wall which may be 50 ft. up in
the air with nothing holding him or her up there except a harness,
rope and your climbing partner-- or belayer-- who stands on the ground
holding that rope. Let's name our pretend climber Lori. From the top
of the wall she gazes down at the ground and might begin to wonder:
How sturdy is this rope that is holding me up? Will my belayer
prevent me from falling and get me down safely? Despite her love of
wall climbing, Lori begins to experience some nervousness and
Her belayer-- we'll call him
Neal-- has to pay attention to what Lori is doing on the wall and
adjust the climbing rope accordingly. For her part, Lori has the
choice to trust that Neal will gently ease her down the wall to the
ground once she's reached the top. If Neal is distracted, it could
mean not only a bumpy ride down but also Lori's safety in jeopardy.
But Lori could also choose to allow her fears to take over,
mistrust Neal, and end up hanging indefinitely on the wall refusing
to move! It is literally a leap of faith when she lets go of the
holds and allows herself to be lowered down. Climber and belayer
must work together, stay present, and communicate clearly so that
the climbing experience will be enjoyable and not end up an
emergency room visit!
There are many parallels
with intimate relationships. One or both people may feel vulnerable
from time to time and wonder whether or not the other person will be
there when needed. The unfortunate result of a lack of trust is that
intimacy cannot grow and relationships can become stuck.
These 3 steps can help
strengthen trust and intimacy...
1. Allow yourself to let go
of the past.
It is not uncommon for the
hurt of painful past relationships to leave us resistant to loving
or trusting others. Become aware of your present situation and
allow yourself to let go of those old hurts. This might mean that
you see the ways that the past comes up for you in the present.
Breathe and remind yourself to allow the past to go and shift your
attention to what's currently going on.
2. Let your true colors
No matter what habits,
tendencies, or desires we think we need to hide from our partner,
find the courage to let every part of yourself show. Intimacy is
undercut when we don't trust our partner to love us as we are. Deep
down we may not feel lovable as our true selves. Chances are your
love will be more accepting than you think. So set an intention to
appreciate yourself completely and then allow every part of you to
be seen by your partner.
3. Practice Listening from
the Heart and Find Understanding.
Just as we saw in the
example of the wall climber and belayer, listening to one another is
vital to strong intimacy and trust in a love relationship. When a
situation comes up that challenges your trust, stop your thoughts
and ask your love questions to clarify what seems to be happening.
It is highly likely that what you think you are seeing is just not
accurate. Open your heart, listen, and really try to understand what
is going on for your partner.
These 3 steps can help you
strengthen trust in your intimate relationship. It starts with
letting go, loving yourself, and listening with an open heart.
Susie and Otto Collins are
Relationship Coaches and authors who help people create lives that
are filled with more passion, love and connection. To find out more
about creating more trust in your relationship, visit
For more tips on creating
deeper intimacy and connection in your relationship, visit