How can I trust my partner more?
May 22, 2018
How can I trust my partner more?
Trust can be one of the most difficult aspects of intimate relationships.For some of us the struggle is an inner one. The very act of being intimate with someone makes us feel hugely vulnerable and jittery, affecting how we can trust. For others, we may have had trust, but it has been lost through either a traumatic event or a continual corrosion. So, the questions I want to pose here today are:
- How do we trust?
- How can I trust myself?
- How do we build the trust muscle?
How do we trust?As humans we doubt, we fear, and we worry so easily. Much more readily, in fact, than we naturally tend to trust. This is human nature. It is an evolutionary survival tactic that we have inherited from our cavemen ancestors. To trust another human, such as your life partner, is a big deal. It means that we feel safe. Safe on many different levels, but mainly, safe to be ourselves and to be respected, loved and somewhat protected by them. Fear is trust’s opposite. It has us contracting away and closing off. Trust has us opening and letting others (our partner’s) in. In order to be a well-functioning human, we need a good balance of both trust and fear. Safety and openness.
We want to trust our partnersWhat you want from your partner is to know that they are there for you, looking out for you and thinking of your best interests. Those who have trust issues know very well the damage it can do to the sense of connection in a partnership – often creating, through the mistrust behaviour, the very response that they feared most. Behaviour such as:
- The checking
- The asking questions
- The snooping
- The not disclosing
- The not sharing your true feelings
My experienceFor me, my marital trust issues looked like the second, more internal, loop and centred around sex. The issues were mine from trauma experienced as a young woman, but they were impacting how I could open to my husband despite him always being incredibly trustworthy. You see the problem was that I was focussed on feeling more comfortable by controlling him. No matter how loving, caring and respectful he was of me and my needs, my vigilant self always wanted more. This is a trust trap. A trap that does not lead to what we want, more intimacy and connection but instead more frustration and tension. The only way out of the trap is to shift the focus. I needed to move from focussing on him, to focussing on me. So, the question became:
How can I trust myself?My past traumas were moments in time when I failed to look after myself. If I had listened to my inner guidance system back then, I would never have got myself in those sticky situations. I would have defended myself more, honoured my own needs and looked after my well-being more. Back then, the result was that I lost my trust in myself. Now, to feel that I could be more intimate with the man I loved, I needed to know that I was trustworthy again. Learning to trust myself meant being there for myself…
- In my emotions
- In my fears
- In listening to my intuition
- In my needs
- In whatever arose
- It meant ME being the one who looked after myself and insisted on the respect with which I was treated.
- have clearer boundaries with him
- have those deeper more vulnerable conversations
- ask him for what I needed
- trust my intuition above all else
- avoid situations that were not trustable