Definition of Trust
The Oxford dictionary defined trust as ‘a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. Trust in its highest sense also means having confidence, faith, freedom from suspicion/doubt, sureness, certainty, certitude, assurance, conviction, credence and reliance.
What trust means in a relationship
Relationships are built on mutual trust. Although trust is built overtime in a relationship, it further helps to sustain the relationship. Trust means I believe you, I’m committed to my words, and to you. It also means you can rely on me and have confidence in me. We must trust and believe in people otherwise life becomes impossible. A relationship that is built on trust is not focussed on control but freedom. Without trust, connection at a deeper level becomes difficult. Trust helps us to feel loved and appreciated. It also helps us to be accountable to one another.
Why is trust important in your marriage?
An unknown author claims a relationship without trust is like a cell phone without service, so all you can do is play games. Without love, respect and trust a relationship cannot last. Without trust words become a hollow sound of a gong, but trust brings life to words. A relationship without trust is like a car without gas, and is going nowhere – which then accentuates the need for trust to be deeply and richly embedded in our relationships in order to have a thriving marriage.
Why people don’t trust
Experience they say is the best teacher. A child learns to trust as he gets to know the people around him through their actions and behaviour. He develops attachment to each individual person based on their relationship with him. However, the strongest attachment is the mother – who gives him food and comforts him when he is uncomfortable. The child could develop attachment issues later depending on how the mother manages the relationship. Similarly, in marriage we learn to trust each other and build trust overtime. Issues such as infidelity, abuse and deception break trust and once broken it could take a while for trust to be restored.
Unfortunately, people find it difficult to trust due to their experiences and have developed coping strategies to protect themselves from being hurt again. For others, they have heard stories from the news, family, friends and even witnessed how people have abused the trust vested in them – and therefore build a wall of protection around themselves to avoid such experiences. However, interesting as it were our world revolves around relationship and trust – even in the business world we enter into deals, and employment contracts based on trust.
How do you build trust in a relationship?
Building trust requires an investment of time and our emotions. We must actively seek to build trust in our relationship. According to an unknown author ‘Do what you say you will do and you will automatically build trust in your relationship’. Openness builds trust. When we are open with no hidden agendas or secrets, it is easy to build trust. Loyalty also fosters trust. When we are loyal to each other and respect the values we agreed to, trust grows exponentially.
3 Cs of building trust
Commitment in marriage also provides an enabling environment to build trust. A committed person would stick around in good times or bad times connoting reliability which is a crucial element in a trusting relationship.
Character goes a long way in building or breaking trust. Without a good character, trust cannot be sustained. When our behaviour doesn’t match our words, people are confused about what we believe or stand for. Even our children may find it difficult to trust us if we don’t practice what we preach. When we are kind, loving and caring, our spouses find it easy to trust us.
Consistency in our actions, words, and behaviour towards others helps to foster good relationship. If we learn to keep our promises and we are consistently stick to our values, trust is easily established.
Finally, for those who have lost the trust they had in their marriage through infidelity, trust can only be restored with time. Once broken, trust may be difficult to regain, but with forgiveness, love and faith coupled with commitment, good character and consistency – trust can be eventually regained.