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!
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.
5 Tips to Communicate Successfully with Your Partner When Stressed
We all go through difficult and stressful times in our lives and relationships. It’s normal and expected. However, it can also place a strain on our relationships – even if it’s something like work, school, or other life-changes causing the stress.
Whatever the reason you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to maintain healthy communication with your partner. Start with these 5 tips to get you started:
- Be aware of your stress. As adults, we’ve lived with ourselves for at least two decades now. We know how our bodies react to stress and what tips us over the edge. When you feel yourself becoming stressed, let your partner know. If you are both aware of it, you can support each other by making a point not to take stress out on one another and/or not take it personally if our partner slips up and says something unhelpful.
- Embrace empathy. Empathy is difficult sometimes, especially if we don’t understand why someone is reacting a certain way. If your partner is stressed out, let them know you have empathy and are there to support them – even if you don’t get it. Offer to listen to their stressors, emotions, and heartache non-judgmentally. Afterwards, ask what they need from you.
- Apologize. Stress can make us snippy, mean, and unhappy. If you find yourself making verbal swipes at your partner, check yourself and your communication style. If you say something mean or unsupportive, apologize. Let your partner know you appreciate your support.
- Reduce the stress. Take a deep breath before your communicate with your partner in order to manage your stress and emotions in the short term. In the long term, find a way to manage your stress effectively. Not only will this help your physical, mental, and emotional health, but it will also strengthen your relationship.
- Practice healthy communication. By practicing healthy communication with your partner on a daily basis, it will be easier to communicate in difficult situations when you are experiencing stress. Rather than falling back on bad habits, you’ll be able to fall back on healthy habits that keep your relationship strong!
Contact us at Albuquerque Family Counseling to help keep your relationship strong!