Trust is built over time. After listening to couples for many years, we have observed that without trust, it is impossible to have a happy and healthy relationship. Some of the elements that lead to mistrust in relationships are infidelity, lying, cheating, emotional affairs, communications with an ex etc. You will increase trust by keeping your conversations and other communications with your loved one confidential, honouring your scheduled dates, consistently showing interest and support, and by being honest with each other.

It may be argued that the key to success in relationships lies in the ability to predict your loved one’s behaviour and that trust is about managing the risk and vulnerability inherent in the relationship. The act of engaging will increase your ability to predict outcomes and behaviours. For example, if either of the couples has trust issues from a past relationship, to gain complete trust you would have to be honest with each other by stopping the “petty lies”.

We believe that the preferred strategy is where the small-wins approach to trust is built incrementally via the successful implementation of small collaborative initiatives in the relationship. In situations requiring the couples to be more ambitious and outgoing, managing the associated risk in a relationship are seen as an integral component of trust building and coping with challenges.

During a phone conversation with Duncan, a long-term university friend, he angrily said: “why must I tell my spouse everything, after all, what she does not know won’t hurt.” Many spouses share this sentiment; however, we have observed that by not telling your spouse the truth because “what they don’t know won’t hurt them’’, diminishes the basic foundation of trust in a marriage. It leads to a spouse feeling guilty and erodes the opportunity to connect with your spouse at a deeper level truly.

Trust in a relationship, therefore, requires the assessment of each couple’s engagement focusing on the level of associated risk, level of trust existing between the couples, and whether trust can be built incrementally via a small-wins approach or whether a more rapid and comprehensive approach to trust development is required to pursue growth. It is argued that the facilitation by a spouse of the cyclical trust-building process requires careful and continuous attention to a range of nurturing activities. For example, you can decide to establish the first steps towards establishing trust by beginning to be honest with each other.

We hope the insights and tips we’ve given you in this email help improve your relationship.

We value and celebrate you.

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