Here’s How To Overcome Trust Issues In A Relationship, Because It’s Not An Easy Journey
When it comes to successful relationships, being able to trust your partner is a must. But fully trusting an SO can be much easier said than done. Fortunately, figuring out how to overcome trust issues isn't something you should have to tackle alone. In an otherwise functional relationship, upping your trust levels is something you and your partner should be willing to work on together.
To understand why trust is so important and how to improve it, I spoke to prominent LA-based relationship therapist Dr. Gary Brown. "The first and most important thing that has to happen is that you both authentically understand and agree that trust is vital to the health of any relationship," Dr. Brown tells Elite Daily. "The ability to trust is one of the core foundations of real love and true intimacy." Although many of us think of trust as the belief that our partner won't lie or cheat, according to Dr. Brown, it's about more than that. "To trust someone is also being able to completely open yourself up to them, being able to rawly and nakedly say, 'This is my true authentic self at this moment,' and to have your partner say, 'I love you and I’ve got you no matter what.'" So, if you'd like to solidify the foundation of your partnership, here are some steps you can take to improve the trust between you and your SO.
1. Figure out the root cause of the trust issues.
"There may be any number of reasons that someone might have trust issues with their partner," says Dr. Brown. As with many other relationship hurdles, fully understanding what's causing the lack of trust is the first step to repairing it. According to Dr. Brown, lying, cheating, a lack of commitment to the relationship, not feeling safe, or wounds from a past relationship are all common reasons someone might be struggling to trust their partner.
2. Discuss your needs.
"Start having what will be a series of discussions about what you need to feel safe enough to trust your partner," recommends Dr. Brown. "Ask your partner what they need to feel safe and if there's any unfinished business between the two of you. If you have something that is still unresolved, go ahead and start with that." From my experience, having heavy relationship conversations can also come with the pressure to "fix" everything in one sitting. But, don't feel like you have to rush to find a resolution or come up with a quick fix.
3. Make sure you're both being heard.
"Being heard is more important than being agreed with for many people," explains Dr. Brown. "Make being heard more important than being right when you have conflicts." Although it can be tough to let go the need to be right, try to focus on getting to the core of the issues and your respective feelings about them. There's nothing wrong with having a different perspective on a situation, but coming together to find a solution is key, notes Dr. Brown.
4. Have regular check-ins.
Once you've started a dialogue with your partner about wanting to improve the trust, making it an ongoing priority is the next step. "Dedicate some time to sit down with each other every day for at least five to ten minutes and simply check in with each other," says Dr. Brown. "This sends the message that you both care enough about each other to devote a minimum amount of time to each other. In turn, this develops trust in your caring for each other."
Addressing trust issues in a relationship can be one of the most challenging things to do. That said, if both partners are committed to doing what's necessary, then it's totally possible to overcome this obstacle. Dr. Brown emphasized the importance of open and honest communication. If at any point you feel overwhelmed or aren't sure how to proceed, seeking help from a qualified professional is also always an option.