How trust can affect a health relationship
As you know, trust is vital to any healthy romantic relationship. Still, it can be difficult to trust. There are many reasons we may distrust our significant other, including the reality that they may have betrayed our trust.
That said, our own life experiences impact our own views on trust as well. Here are three experiences that may impact us:
- Self-esteem issues. Many of us struggle with managing our self-esteem, which can come from a variety of experiences. For example, if we experienced social rejection as a child/teen, were betrayed and/or abandoned by someone we love, or experienced bullying, we may feel like we don’t deserve love. That makes it easy for mistrust to infiltrate relationships as adults. Early life experiences play a significant role in our development.
- Abuse. Trusting a significant other after being in an abusive relationship is difficult. Living in an abusive household as a child can make it difficult to trust as well. This impacts our belief in the central goodness and trustworthiness of others. As in issues with self-esteem, mistrust takes root.
- Previous infidelity. When you have been cheated on, it is easy to start seeing betrayal around every corner. Even once you have moved on from that unhealthy relationship, little nagging thoughts can begin to sneak in, undermining your faith.
One of the healthiest steps you can take to handle issues of mistrust is to have a conversation with your significant other. Let them know if you are struggling due to previous experiences. A loving partner in a healthy relationship will support you and ask how to help. This may mean seeing a therapist, volunteering, attending self-esteem workshops, or finding other ways to strengthen your relationship. Indeed, this can help you to trust your partner and move you towards a happy, fulfilled life together!
Marriage Best Practice: Spending Time Apart
Your honey is your best friend. You enjoy spending time together, doing activities, hanging out, and eating food. Sometimes, though, you feel the need to do something – anything – alone or separately.
That’s normal…and completely okay. Healthy relationships require time apart. That’s why spending time apart from your honey is a best practice for healthy marriages.
First, none of us are carbon copies of our significant others. We have interests the other doesn’t have, and making your honey participate in things he/she doesn’t like all the time is exhausting for both of you. Instead, spending time with a friend who enjoys the same activity (such as hiking, gaming, poker, book club, etc.) allows you to enjoy the activity without worrying about your significant other.
Second, alone time is often underrated, but it helps you to refuel your soul. Some people need more alone time than others. Still, we all need it to some extent. Having alone time helps us to re-focus and de-stress, which helps us handle conflict better. In other words, your honey can’t be with you for you to have alone time!
Third, we have different people in our lives for different reasons. When we are upset, excited, angry – whatever it is – we know what we need from others. If someone doesn’t react how we need, it causes distress. As much as we love our significant others, they don’t always respond how we need in a particular moment. Rather than fight about it, or feel worse because you didn’t get what you needed, spend time with a friend who meets that need.
Finally, absence makes the heart grow fonder. If you spend a day with your friend doing something you love (but your honey hates), you’ll come home refreshed and missing him/her. They will have missed you too. You can tell each other about your day, feeling happy to be together and more in love than ever.
So, go forth and spend time away from your significant other without a guilty conscience. It’ll benefit your relationship, and you’ll thrive together!
Put Those Phones Down: Strengthen Your Commitment Outside the Device
Your tablet, smartphone, laptop, etc., may be your best friend, but it doesn’t have your best interests at heart when it comes to your relationship. It’s great for connecting with friends, sharing videos of your toddler’s adorable first steps, posting and pinning photos of the cute dress you just bought, or even getting some serious work done. It’s not so great for communicating with your partner. But with these 3 tips, you can learn to put your relationship with your spouse before your relationship with your device, without sacrificing your social life.
- Specify a Time for Both Commitments
It’s all too easy to pick up the device as you roll out of bed, then find yourself crawling back at night without ever having put it down. Set aside time every day to spend with your partner sans technology, even if it just means enjoying a cup of coffee together before work or taking an hour to talk about your day before dinner. Similarly, allow yourself a set amount of time for socializing online, and don’t try to multitask during this time.
- Dedicate Two Days a Month to Your Partner
Two days a month without the device, or once every other week, isn’t too difficult to start. On those two days, do something fun with your partner, preferably something that involves physical activity like playing tennis, taking a long walk, or going dancing. You don’t have to turn the phone off, but only answer a call if it’s a work emergency or family crisis — Facebook can wait until tomorrow. Once you’ve gotten in the habit, up it to once a week.
- Tune in to the Real Conversation
Far too many conversations between partners consist of the odd remark about something you found online, a few laughs over a funny video, then awkward silence as you both delve back into your respective virtual worlds. Next time you forsee one of those awkward silences, make an effort to start a mini-conversation that will pull you both into the time you are spending together for more than just a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be serious or deep, but it will help you connect on a deeper level no matter what the subject.
These three tips are simple, actionable, and effective at strengthening your relationship when you spend most of your time in the same room but worlds apart. Like everything that’s worth having, a strong relationship requires intention to develop, so start intentionally engaging with your partner today.