Trust in a relationship can look different for different people. But there are some general ideas that we can discuss.

What damages trust?

When you think of ways trust is broken, infidelity may come to mind right away. But cheating isn’t the only way to break trust in a relationship. Other ways to damage trust include

  • A pattern of breaking promises or going back on your word
  • Not being there for your spouse in a time of need
  • Withholding or keeping something back
  • Lying or manipulation
  • A pattern of not sharing feelings openly

What does trust look like?

A marriage requires genuine honesty and faithfulness. But how do you know if there’s trust in the marriage? Here are 15 important signs of trust in a relationship.

  1. Feeling safe, heard, and understood in the relationship
  2. Turning to each other instead of away when things are tough
  3. Someone you can be authentic with, good and bad
  4. Mutual respect even when you disagree
  5. Understanding each other is greater than the need to self-protect
  6. Having the ability to discuss how to carry out life-changing decisions together
  7. Prioritizing the relationship over your career or family preferences
  8. They are there for you. You never have to chase them down
  9. Not inflicting putdown, abuse, threats, fear, or stress on the other person on purpose
  10. Emotionally supportive
  11. Sacrificing for the other
  12. Someone who listens well but also opens up about their feelings and thoughts
  13. Focuses more on understanding than responding
  14. Honest and transparent. Doesn’t keep secrets or hide things
  15. Take responsibility for their mistakes and admits when they are wrong

Can they trust you? Can you trust them?

A big warning sign that trust is slipping away is when negative feelings start to override positive ones. (Source: John Gottman) One person begins to believe the marriage problems come from the other’s actions, flaws, or wrong priorities. One or both may even change the “story of us” to reflect the new opinion.

The reason for the new opinion may or may not even be true. But the negative filter now taints everything the partner sees. If you notice this downward slide,

Can your partner trust you? Can you trust them? Trust in a relationship is a critical piece in any healthy marriage. If trust is missing, the marriage suffers and could be in danger of survival. Next time we will talk about how to rebuild trust when it’s been damaged.

Eagle Family Ministries is a non-profit organization passionate about equipping pre-marital and married couples, single parents, and traditional families with Biblical tools resulting n healthy relationships that lead to a lifetime of love. Contact us today! 479.464.4442