Do You Trust Him?

Written by Claire Colvin

trust-09It’s easy to fall in love with a man you don’t trust, but it’s hard to live with him. Real, lasting relationships are built on trust. Trust is foundational because it creates a safe environment for intimacy to grow. If your relationship is going to work you need to be able to trust your partner with your past, your present and your future. Trust takes time and effort, is easily broken and hard to restore but if you’re willing to work at it, the reward is the relationship you’ve always dreamed of.

Revealing your true self

Trust allows you to reveal who you really are. In spite of all the tricks we use to try and impress someone during the early stages of dating, intimacy is founded on knowing and being known. Your partner has to get to know the real you – what you’re like when you’re tired, angry, frustrated, elated or talking to your Mom on the phone. He has to love you as you are, not as he hopes you might be.  And you have to love him the same way.  Anything less won’t last.

Do you remember Bridget Jones’s Diary? There’s one scene where Mark Darcy tells Bridget “I like you, just as you are.” Bridget is floored. Why such a strong reaction to a simple comment? Because Mark is telling her that he really sees her and he likes what he sees. He didn’t say he’d like her ten pounds lighter, or a little more sophisticated, or prettier, or better read.

He likes her as she is, unconditionally. She doesn’t have to try and impress him, he’s already impressed. Knowing that you are loved for who you are lets you relax and let your guard down. It lets you be honest without fear of rejection, and frankly, it feels great.

Honest communication

Trust opens the door to honest communication. You can’t communicate honestly if you’re always second-guessing how your partner will react or rephrasing your thoughts to fit in with his agenda. Communication takes concentration. In her article, “Why Can’t We Communicate?” Geri Forsberg , Ph.D., outlines the five steps to effective communication:

  1. Ask questions. Don’t assume you understand what a person means. Once you ask a few questions, it doesn’t take long to really find out what he really means.
  2. Listen. To become a better communicator, you must be willing to listen so you can understand the other person’s perspective.
  3. Observe and be willing to verify the information you receive.
  4. Let people know what you are thinking by sharing it. By disclosing information about yourself, it aids the other person in understanding who you are and how you are understanding them.
  5. Remember that love covers a multitude of sins. If your motives are wanting to understand people and accept them for who they are, then communication will be easier. But if you set out to convince them that your way is the right way, then that’s not communication. And that’s not love. (For more insights on communication, read the rest of Geri’s article)

Fair Fights

Once you’ve cleared up your communication, trusting your partner will help you to fight fair when disagreements occur. Face it, if you’re involved with a living, breathing human being you are going to disagree. Whether the fights tear you apart or actually resolve conflicts and bring you closer together depends on whether or not you fight fair.

What is a fair fight? Most experts agree that fair fighting does the following:

  • Stays on topic. Now is not the time to bring out a list of past wrongs. Deal with the issue at hand.
  • Refuses to resort to name calling and insults. Remember that the point of the argument is solve something, not tear the other person to bits or badger them so they’ll quit and you’ll win. If you don’t respect your partner, or if they feel attacked, they’ll stop listening.
  • Avoids generalizations and sticks to the facts. “You always” or ” you never” statements do not reflect reality and will only put your partner on the defensive. Stick to what actually happened and how it made you feel.

Building Trust

Trust doesn’t just naturally happen between two people, even if they love each other.  It takes work and if you’ve been hurt in the past, it can be especially difficult. Building trust takes time, you need to show your partner that you are trustworthy and that you trust them in return.

If your partner has trouble trusting, you can do a lot to create an environment where trust can grow. Listen to your partner, respect him and his opinions, and accept him as he is. Reveal parts of your own history, show him that you trust him and you will help him to do the same. If you are vulnerable it helps your partner to feel that he is safe to be vulnerable as well.

Don’t rush it. If you truly love your partner and want what’s best for him, you’ll wait. If you’re in a relationship with someone you feel you can’t trust, don’t ignore it. If you have trouble trusting anyone, you might want to seek counseling before you run away from what could be a great relationship.

Your past does affect your ability to trust. However, if trust hasn’t been a problem for you in the past and your gut is telling you to protect yourself from this guy, take it as a warning. Take a close look at who he is, how he treats others and how he treats you. Your gut may be giving you good information.

54 Responses to “Do You Trust Him?”

  • Susan says:

    gbafah,

    Sorry to hear this but what made her not to trust you?

  • gbafah samuel says:

    my girl freind does’nt trust me which i dont understand

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Z, you ask a really good question. In my experience very few people a completely trustworthy. Everybody is going to let us down and hurt us at some point (which also means we are going to let everybody down as well). There is only one truly trustworthy relationship: our relationship with God. He will never let us down! In my life, having the confidence that God will never let me down has helped me be more trusting of other people. God has promised that, “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose… What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:28,31) Because I have the confidence that no matter what happens to me God is at work for my benefit then I can face someone else letting me down. The hurt that I feel from that broken trust will be used by God for my good, somehow.

    So instead of trying to figure out who is trustworthy and who is not, I put my focus and energy into knowing what God wants me to do. I talk to God all the time and He helps direct me so that I am going in the direction that He wants, trusting the people that He wants me to. There is such freedom to know that my life is in His hands and that His perfect plan is being worked out for me. It just happened today that I was talking with someone and in the middle of the conversation God let me know very clearly that what I was saying was not what this person needed to hear. I was able to back-track and change the tone of the conversation entirely (it helped that the conversation was all text so I just had to delete what I was saying before she had to hear it). God does that in my life all the time and I just need to be listening to His direction so that I can do the things that He wants me to.

    Z I don’t know what your experience with God has been like, but I would invite you to explore how He can help you live a life that is built on a trust in Him which then frees you to extend trust in other relationships with confidence because no matter what happens, He has got your back.

    Would you like to know more about how a relationship with God can make a difference in your life? Have a look at http://powertochange.com/discover/faith/discoverpurpose or talk to one of our online mentors at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor

    Lord God I pray for Z as she tries to figure out how best to deal with this man who has proven to be untrustworthy. I ask that You would direct her clearly so that she has the confidence of knowing Your plan. Guard her heart from the pain of broken trust and heal the pain that she has already had to endure. I also pray for this man that You would show Yourself to him and help transform his life so that he will become a man worthy of trust and who becomes a life that heals others rather than hurts. I am so grateful that You are completely trustworthy and have promised to guard and care for each one of us. It has made such a difference in my life. Amen.

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