21 Tips To Maintain A Good Relationship With Your Girlfriend Why Relationship Trust is a Two-Way Street

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Why Relationship Trust is a Two-Way Street

Trust can be the glue that helps create a strong bond in a love relationship or marriage.

It can also be the weak point around which a couple feels vulnerable, tense, angry or disconnected.

Trust troubles can arise after a betrayal such as infidelity. But they can also surface when communication between the two people in a relationship is confusing or lacking in some way.

Sometimes one person in a relationship holds particular “rules” or beliefs and understandings about trust that are vastly different than those held by the other person. This discrepancy– if left unspoken– can lead to distance between two people.

Trust is very much a two-way street.

There needs to be some level of understanding about each other’s trust rules. Strong trust also requires that both people in the relationship follow agreements– even if one has betrayed trust and the other has not.

Jenny admits to friends that she checks her boyfriend Paul’s private e-mail account. She says that she trusts him, but she also knows that he was a “lady’s man” before they started dating.

Because Paul dated many women and cheated on several of them, Jenny feels nervous that he will cheat again. Jenny is well aware that Paul keeps in contact with a few of his former girlfriends because of her spying on his e-mail account.

She has even read the e-mails from these women to make sure that there is no evidence he is trying to reunite with any of them. All of this spying has left Jenny feeling more unsure of Paul’s commitment to her and their relationship. She wishes she could trust him, but his continued communication with former girlfriends leaves with her even more doubts.

What are your trust rules?

When you think about trust in your relationship, what does that mean to you? Trust is a very complex, multi-faceted word and can signify different things to different people.

For example, you might define trust as believing whatever your partner says no matter what. You don’t have to question or second-guess what he or she says– if trust is strong.

Or you might consider trust as something that needs to be proved and proved again and again. Perhaps you are more wary and feel that you can’t take anything for granted– even if it means you have to check out what your mate claims from time to time.

You and your partner don’t have to approach trust in exactly the same way and you don’t need to maintain the same trust rules.

What you do need to do, is be clear about what you believe and require at this point in your life. You also need to know how your mate views trust and then look for the places of overlap between your potentially different views.

One of Jenny’s close friends poses a few difficult questions to her. The friend wonders how Jenny and Paul can possibly learn to trust one another if Jenny feels like she has to resort to spying in order to trust him? “Is this really trust?” the friend wonders. Is Jenny only deepening the mistrust through her spying?

These questions cause Jenny to stop and think. She desperately wants this relationship with Paul to work out. And she desperately wants to trust him. She’d never considered that her spying is possibly driving them further apart.

Jenny starts to think about her own trust rules. She would really like to get to a point where she doesn’t spy and she takes what Paul says at face value.

What trust agreements can you both make and keep?

Trust can be tricky because it is somewhat a leap of faith. We don’t recommend that anyone take this leap without being completely aware and awake.

If there are signs that what your partner is saying doesn’t “add” up or seem congruent, then by all means, look for more evidence and ask him or her for more information. We don’t suggest spying in just about every case. Spying erodes trust almost as quickly as infidelity does.

Create trust agreements with your partner based on the trust rules and beliefs that the two of you hold. Make sure that the agreements you make are ones that you both can keep.

Even if your partner has a history of cheating, as does Paul in the scenario above, you both need to be following the trust agreements you make. If Jenny and Paul agree to be honest and open in their relationship, this means that Jenny cannot continue to spy on him and keep the agreement.

If you find yourself fearing that your partner is cheating or betraying you in some way, return to your trust agreements. See if there is a way that you can preserve trust by keeping the agreements you made while at the same time getting the information you require to address your fears.

Keep in mind that sometimes the best way to handle fears or jealousy is to check within to see if your emotions are really linked to past experiences. Come into the present moment and rely on what you know to be true instead of guesses or assumptions.

Know that when you talk clearly and honestly about trust and you each follow your agreements, you can rebuild trust in even the most difficult circumstances. Take the leap with your eyes and your heart wide open.

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