How to build trust in a relationship


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How to build trust in a relationship

  1. 1. How to Build Trust in a Relationship“In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond. So hold thehand of the person whom you love rather than expecting them to hold yours…”-UnknownThe PossibilitiesHow would it look like for you if trust was not an issue? How would you relate toyourself and others? How would you describe your inner and outer world? What wouldyour relationships to your family, friends, and the most intimate partner in your life looklike?When I let my imagination take me beyond all the conditions that distrust causes methese are the thoughts that came into my mind: I would be free I would feel safe and secure I would let people lean on me and allow myself to lean on others I would openly share myself without the hesitation that I might be misunderstood or judged I would have an intimate, loving relationship without the fear of losing it I would be happy and satisfied I would feel loved and know my love was well received by everyone I would know that we all are connected and our inherent nature is good. I would not blame or judge myself or others. I would not see the world as a harsh or suspicious place I would live in peace and harmony I would celebrate life I would see every human being as
  2. 2. Our HumannessUnfortunately, like most of us, I learned all too well about distrust and betrayal as theyrippled through my life in many forms.My trust was violated at a very early age. How could I have trusted a mother who wasso disappointed because I was supposed to be born as a boy?I have this image of being a baby. I am reaching out to Mom but she turns her face andeven her body away from me. I am trying to get her attention again but there is noresponse. I sense a disappointment but don’t want to give up. I reach out again butonly see an expressionless, cold face. I give up trying. My disappointment turns intodespair. I needed her and she was not there for me. My trust in her was broken. Adecision was made. I don’t need anybody because people let you down when you needthem the most.My father was an alcoholic and very unpredictable. He didn’t help me to build a trustingrelationship either. I had many secrets, even painful events that I was not able to sharewith anyone.I grew up in a split world. My inner world was full of wonder and curiosity, eager to beshared and be recognized. But the outer world was unsafe, scary, and judgmental. Inorder to survive, I related to life with a fearless, rock solid heart that never showedsorrow on the battle field.My relationship to God was also broken. He loved people who were good but badpeople were punished in a “unique” way. He sent mothers who did the work for Him. Atleast that’s what I was told.I had an Aunt, my father’s sister, who I trusted the most growing up. But even with her Icouldn’t be open totally. I couldn’t share when I was molested, sexually abused by guysat a young age. She died at age 55. Her death left me with a deep seeded
  3. 3. But life was gracious to me. I was surrounded by great guidance and, as a result, I wasled to a spiritual path. Since that time, life has become a big question mark that I needto explore.How can I improve my relationship with the phenomenal world in which I amimmersed? How can I bring joy and happiness into my life and make the world abetter place to live?In human relationships distrust has significant impact on both partners. There is nointimacy, there is no love, and conflicts are either avoided or erected constantly fromnowhere.It is hard to define what trust really means. We learn from past experiences anddetermine who we are today and how we relate to each other. “I am scared to get hurt ifI am getting into a new relationship,” or “I have to protect myself by being emotionallywithdrawn.”Osho, a spiritual teacher, says “Trust is a quality in you… Trust is your innergrowth… Trust is certainly a higher value than love… Trust cannot be withoutlove. But love can be without trust, and a love without trust is ugly; deep down it hasall kinds of jealousies, suspicions, distrust.”The Journey that Starts with YouWhen trust is deeply violated, I believe that the first we lose trust in is ourselves. Webelieve that something is wrong with us because otherwise the people who harmed uswouldn’t have.Gaining back the loss of trust in me and others has been a process in my
  4. 4. It began when I started my daily meditation practice.In meditation we make friends with what we reject, with what we see as bad inourselves and in other people. Sitting on the cushion we see our thoughts rise, touchthem, and let them go without judgment.The daily practice allowed me to develop more compassion towards myself.I also got surrounded by people who supported me for who I really was ratherthan my assessment, judgment, and opinion about me.They related to me as a “real person” rather than a victim of my circumstances. I wasable to see my past as a series of painful events that left scars around my heart ratherthan made me a bad person.The Journey with OthersIn my marriage, trust verses distrust has resurfaced at times in a more challengingway. It is like re-learning to ride a bicycle but this bike had only one wheel.How I perceive love, comfort, support, and protection from my husband is greatlycolored by my childhood experiences.I found that most conflicts are based to some degree on trust and betrayal. Are you going to be there for me when I need you the most? Can I trust you will listen to me when I am upset? Will you share difficult times with me, not just fun and joy? Can I trust you will not leave me when I get out of shape after child birth? Will you respect me? Will you accept me when I am not always doing the right thing?
  5. 5. I am working on the computer. Then all of a sudden I am not able to continue myproject. The format has collapsed and there is no way I can finish in time. I am in apanic and franticly call my husband for help. He responds, “I am busy. I can’t help younow.” “But I need help now.” My anxiety is getting high. “Sorry, I am in the middle ofsomething,” he says. The frustration and anger erupt like an unstoppablevolcano. “You are never there for me when I need you,” I am shouting at him,uncontrollably. At that point my younger part of me that was betrayed by her motherhas kicked in. A major fight between us seems unavoidable.My husband and I have a certain interactional pattern when the conflict aroundtrust surfaces. When I attack my husband, I pull him into defense andjustification. At that point it is really hard for him to be responsive to me.If I let my anxiety settle down, I make a different kind of request from myhusband. When I acknowledge my pushy behavior as a reason for his defensiveness,he is able to listen to my frustrations and feelings of not beingsupported. Our emotional bond is reestablished.I recognized how mistrust was disguised with my anxiety and how my angryoutburst was fueled by fear. By being responsible for my own feelings, I allowedmy husband to be more responsive.When I raise my voice he feels in trouble. He also feels guilty of his inability to be notthere for me. “I feel guarded and push you away,” he has told me.By sharing and listening to each other’s vulnerabilities with empathy andacceptance a sense of trust develops.Distrust leaves me and I can take a risk. When I am able to gobeyond my fear (abandonment and rejection) and take the risk to share thereis
  6. 6. Trusting me and giving trust to my partner builds trust in him.As Dalai Lama said, “Trust only comes by showing genuine concern for otherpeople’s well-being.”About Klara BrownKlara Brown is a Hungarian born, U.S. educated Licensed Professional Counselor(LPC) specializing in Marriage and Family Counseling. Her primary emphasis is to guidecouples to develop their emotional and sexual intimacy. She has 12 years of experienceat various mental health agencies. Currently she maintains a private practice in WheatRidge, Colorado, minutes from downtown Denver.To know more about her, visit her website, For more free tips and insights on what really attracts a man, how to make yourself irresistible to him and how to capture his heart, click the link below.