Over the course of this series, we’ve been exploring the signs that your marriage is on the right track – qualities that indicate your marriage is healthy, but might be overlooked! These can also serve as warning signs that your relationship needs some work. As we cover each of these five signs, think about your own marriage as objectively as possible.
In our previous entry, we covered the importance of being able to speak freely with one another, and today’s topic is right along the same lines. Let’s get right into it!
Part 3: You Trust Each Other
As we mentioned last time, trust and comfort are incredibly important in any marriage. Looking at the idea of trust beyond just feeling secure around one another, it gets even more important! In an ideal world, relationships would just go along through time without facing problems, unaffected by temptation or unexpected problems, free from financial struggles or outside influence…
But in reality, we know that simply isn’t the case – and because of that, we need to be able to trust each other to have loyalty, integrity, and commitment even when the chips are down.
A truly trusting relationship is one where you don’t feel the need to “check up” on each other (unless it’s just to say hi, to see how their day is going, etc.)… You (mostly) don’t second guess decisions your spouse makes or scrutinize every penny they spend… When they tell you where they’ve been, you believe them… You don’t default to jealousy or suspicion if they are spending time with friends…
Now, this kind of trust isn’t just given – it’s earned through trustworthy behavior, and that goes both ways! It’s something mutual between the two of you that builds upon itself – you don’t behave in ways that betray each other’s trust, and treat each other with trust… and it grows and grows until it’s the overall dynamic of the marriage.
This kind of trust affects things large and small, and stays strong even in the face of mistakes or things that go forgotten. If you ask your spouse to pick up eggs on the way home, and they forget, it’s not that you don’t trust them to keep their word, but the very opposite – you trust that they made an honest mistake and give them the benefit of the doubt. A big part of a relationship based on trust is a “default” position of best intentions and forgiveness – but again, this can take time (and effort) to develop. If you want to be trusted, you have to a) show your spouse the trust you want to receive, and b) behave in a trustworthy way!
This standard of trust can (and should) permeate every aspect of your marriage, from the tiniest mistakes to the biggest problems, allowing you to communicate openly and know that you can rely on each other in any situation.
A lack of this kind of trust, however, may be one of the biggest problems a marriage can have. If you’re lying to each other, suspicious of everything, always assuming your spouse as ulterior motives, etc. (or you’’e on the receiving end of this kind of behavior), there’s a massive piece missing from your relationship.
Trust CAN be built, fortunately, but it will take work for both of you. As mentioned previously, it’s something of a two-way street. You have to offer your partner a trusting attitude, and they have to behave in ways that don’t betray that confidence – and vice versa!
If trust is missing (or not as strong as it should be) in your marriage, the first thing is to talk about it! Don’t make accusations, just observe the state of the relationship and address the problem for what it is. Spending time together will help. Check your own behavior and make sure you’re not doing anything to betray your spouse’s trust, be honest about what you’re doing and how you’re feeling, and ask that they do the same. You’ll slowly get closer and closer to a truly trusting marriage.
It’s an essential part of any marriage – so make sure you’re giving trust the attention it deserves!
For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!
Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com