HOW TO REBUILT TRUST IN A MARRIAGE
If a marriage has problems, the chances are good that trust has been broken. And yet, trust is a central component for a successful marriage. So how do you restore broken trust? And how do you do it without spending months in marriage counseling?
Trust can be broken in so many ways. The most common culprits are an affair, hidden addictions, lying, and financial secrecy.
But if you look deep into the heart of a distrusting spouse, it goes beyond the usual trust busters. Trust is weakened in a relationship when a spouse is frequently late, unreliable, or insensitive. Hiding a few empty beer cans can damage trust between you. It doesnít take much to shake trust.
But it sure takes a lot to rebuild it!
We live in a microwave world of fast food, express delivery, and speedy-print. And so we figure, if we lost trust in an instant, there must be a way to rebuild it in an instant too. NOT!
Trust is built one small step at a time. Thereís no other way. Thereís no Herculean event that can deliver instant-trust. In fact, by definition, trust is about CONSISTENCY. Thatís what it means to trust someoneÖto be able to PREDICT their behavior. Predictability is a function of repetition. Repetition comes with TIME.
Think about it. When you trust someone, it means you can RELY on them. But before you can rely on someone, you must depend on them time and again and NOT be disappointed. If youíre disappointed, even once, the trust is broken.
I often compare the building of a relationship to the building of a houseÖboth happen one brick at a time. And every brick is significant because it strengthens the foundation. The stronger the foundation, the more room you have for error. For example, how damaging is it to ruin one brick when youíre working on the 3rd floor of a house? Itís no big deal, right? You have a strong foundation, the house is in tact, you clean up the mess, and you build on.
Itís like that in a relationship. If you have a strong foundation, you can make a mistake without ruining everything. Itís no big deal. You can move on.
But trust is DIFFERENT. One mistake kills you. Because trust is about CONSISTENCY.
Building trust is NOT analogous to building a house; itís more like climbing a ladder. You donít have a foundation to support you. If you slip, you fall all the way to the bottom.
Thatís how trust works. Itís unforgiving.
So if youíre trying to restore trust in your marriage, and youíre expected to meet your spouse for dinner before your marriage counseling appointment at 6:15PM, donít arrive at 6:19PM. For you, 6:19PM might be a matter of 4 minutes and no big deal. But to your spouse it might be about reliability, and you may have just slipped all the way to the bottom. You just broke whatever pattern of consistency you built prior to arriving late. And now you have to start all over again.
How do you rebuild trust? You make and keep promises. Make and keep. Make and keep. Make and keep. Over and over again. AND DONíT MISS! Nothing destroys trust faster than making and BREAKING a promise.
To be consistent (to build trust), you need lots of opportunities to come-through. So create them for yourself.
ďHoney, Iíll pick up some milk before I come home.Ē And then do it!
ďIíll meet you at our marriage counseling appointment at 9AM.Ē And then do it!
ďIíll read it by tomorrow.Ē And then do it!
ďIíll say it differently next time.Ē And then do it!
Look for opportunities to make and keep promises. Thatís your opportunity to build trust. Like a ladderÖclimb one rung at a time. It takes time. Thereís no short-cut. And you canít slip. You have to stay focused.
And just to be clear, the little things count big. If trust is about consistency, then it doesnít matter what you promise. Just promise and come through.
Donít think that just because trust came crashing down in one dramatic event (an affair or whatever) that you have to reestablish it with one dramatic event too. You can rebuild trust by making and keeping SMALL promises over an extended period of time.
Would you like more counsel? Subscribe to my FREE marriage help email service. Over 75,000 each year subscribe to receive the free report "7 Secrets for Fixing Your Marriage." This advice alone will begin to change your marriage. And youíll also get 5 free marriage assessments and more information about Marriage Fitness with Mort Fertel. There are no strings attached. You can sign up for free by visiting www.MarriageMax.com.
About the Author: http://marriagemax.com/