Trust issues pervade relationships everywhere, but they can be overcome.
It almost sounds funny to talk about how we have to learn to trust our special person, our partner, our mate. But we do. We have to learn that the one we are in relationship with does love us, even when we can’t feel the love. And that is one of the hardest parts of staying together.
Trust Issues Create a Chasm of Doubt Between You and Your Loved One
I was working with a couple recently, and they are both in love with the other. But during the session there was a big gap between them. They just could not believe that the relationship would be OK. They both wondered how their relationship could survive the growing distance between them.
As I sat across from them I could feel how much they loved each other. I had no doubt they each felt this love. And yet, each did doubt the other. Why, because they have been hurt. We get our feelings deeply wounded in relationships. That’s just what happens.
Trust Isn’t Natural; It Must Be Learned
Some of us understand this, or learn to accept this. Some of us can not fathom why this happens and can not get over the pain of being hurt by the one who was supposed to love us. This happens a lot in relationships. People hold on to the pain of being wounded by the person who was supposed to love them.
And that’s where trust comes in, and learning to trust our beloved. This is not natural. No, the natural impulse is to back away from pain, not stay in it. And yet, that’s what we have to learn to do in a relationship. We have to stay and we actually have to do something counter to our instincts in order to stay connected when we get our feelings hurt.
Doubt and Hurt Feelings Don’t Have to End Your Relationship
I know this. Many people know this. But staying when we are hurt is probably one of the hardest things we do as a human. Our natural tendency is to bail. And many of us do this too. We leave relationships hoping the next one will not include the pain of the last one. The new one is usually good for a time and then there is the pain in this one too.
We might begin to wonder if we are cut out for relationships altogether. This is pretty common as well. So what is the answer? I believe that getting our feelings hurt—I mean deeply hurt—when we are in a relationship with our special person is going to happen.
Not maybe, but definitely. It’s inevitable. And the pain that occurs with someone we are open to and love is ten times worse than any pain we have received in our life. And yes, this is going to happen. Maybe you think that means the relationship is not working. I believe this is what happens when you love deeply, you get hurt deeply too.
Training Ourselves to Remember Our Partner Loves Us Helps Us Beat Trust Issues and Stay Together
What helps is a muscle that tells you your partner loves you and is not trying to make you suffer on purpose. Your partner does not want you to suffer either. This is helpful to remember when you are NOT upset. When you are upset everything turns to black and white. “You did this to me and I am now mad at you.”
But when we are calm we might be able to remember, “My partner loves me.” This is the trust I am talking about. We have to build a rock solid trust that this statement is true. We have to remind ourselves in any way we can that even when my feelings are hurt, my partner still really, really loves me. And if we can do this, we have learned to trust.
Rebuild Trust in Your Partner and Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
Can’t make it on Monday? If you’d like some help developing trust in your relationship, try reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you communicate and better understand your partner, helping you feel connected, trusting, and less afraid of being hurt. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.