An intimate relationship should be based on trust. In a healthy marriage, the couple makes the deliberate effort to cherish and adore each other on an ongoing basis. Each partner makes the other feel they are “the special one” by physical and verbal affection. However, for this dynamic of mutual cherishing and nurturing to be possible, the intimate relationship should be a sanctuary with trust and respect as its base and foundation.
There are 3 main types of roadblocks couples often face when trying to create long-term intimacy. Many couples have difficulties with these and seek marriage help/counseling and couples therapy when they find themselves having a hard time trusting each other despite good intentions.
- Reflexive Mistrust: If you often have a hard time trusting others, “mistrust” is a recurring theme in your life. Most likely, it has something to do with you and your life experiences. Mistrust could be a generational theme passed down from grandparents or parents, or ill treatment you may have received in your childhood. Our body and our mind remember the pain and the hurt. When in love, all these memories of other close relationships are triggered and it can strongly impact how you see and treat your partner.
- Healthy Judgment: In order to trust others we first need to have trust in our own ability to form a healthy sense of judgment. We need to be able to trust our gut and feel our inner body messages. To have a healthy sense of trust, we can’t just rely on our mind and our thoughts. We need both the inner and outer messages. We need both: gut and heart messages and our analytical mind that together, can accurately assess the facts and the realities we are in.
- Patience and Effort: Trust grows and therefore requires time to build. In order to trust we need to get to know one another in different settings and situations. We need time to observe not only our partner but also our own reactions and behavior related to our partner in various situations. It is vitally important that during times of conflict we approach our partner with the intention to resolve fights and misunderstandings instead of blaming, hurting, and finger pointing. It is important to see the positive intent of our partners despite their missteps and mistakes. You must keep in mind that no matter how hurt you may feel, your partner is worthy of trust rather than calling their integrity in question whenever you are upset.
Trust and intimacy are key for lasting, fulfilling relationships. The process of building trust requires frequent self-reflection, self-assessment, and nurturing in order to grow and sustain, and couples who put in the effort reap great rewards as the relationship grows and deepens.