How to Build Trust in a Relationship

Goda Brzozauskaite
  • Apr 15, 2022
  • 4 min read
happy couple enjoying each others company

“The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” – Ernest Hemingway

Trust isn’t easy. Building trust requires time and commitment, but it can be broken within a second. It’s not just a case of poof, and it’s there. 

When you don’t trust your partner, it can feel like you’re going crazy. Wanting to check their phone, trying to play the detective and find the clues to their infidelity. In fact, a shocking 50% of Americans claim to have looked through their partner’s phone. 

Trusting your partner doesn’t always come naturally; even 10% of married couples don’t trust one another. And the number of people getting married has dropped significantly, which could have something to do with the growing trust issues present in today’s society.

If you’re struggling to trust your partner, all hope isn’t lost. Therapists at online therapy platforms like DoMental can help you manage the trust issues in your relationship, revitalizing your relationship and encouraging a closeness like never before. 

What Is Trust?

Trust is the belief that another person is truthful and reliable. It’s about being able to count on your partner to be there in times of need. You’re more likely to trust your partner if they consistently tell you the truth and show up on time, right?

Erik Erikson, a Danish-German-American developmental psychologist, suggested that the relationship between an infant and their primary caregiver is the first opportunity to develop trust. 

If a parent consistently provides adequate care, the child knows they can rely on them to be looked after. Of course, we go through many experiences throughout our lives, where the balance tips between trust and mistrust. 

Unfortunately, if you are used to inconsistency from your primary relationships, you’re more likely to develop trust issues. You learn that people can’t be relied on. 

So, how do you establish trust in a relationship? Let’s take a look.

Build Trust With Your Partner

If you want to give trust-building a try on your own, here are some things you can do: 

1. Model reliability

If you’re reliable, your partner is more likely to be, too. So, only say things you mean and stick to your promises. If you say you’ll be somewhere at a specific time, be there. 

2. Demonstrate effective communication

Be clear with your partner and remember to continue communicating. Communication is critical in all relationships. 

3. Be respectful

Understanding and communicating your needs is about telling your partner what you want and accepting if the answer is no. We can’t always get what we want. In times like this, showing respect for your partner is essential. They have needs and wants too. 

4. Practice optimism

Assume positive intent. It all inevitably goes wrong when you assume your partner has bad intentions or that they meant to do the wrong thing. Most of the time, when people let us down, they didn’t mean to. Their intentions weren’t malicious.

5. Be honest

You can’t expect your partner to be honest if you’re not. The moment you catch yourself lying, you know the trust has broken down. Ask yourself, “why do I need to lie?” 

6. Apologize for your mistakes

Sometimes, pride gets in the way when we make mistakes – we’re human. But admitting your mistakes can go a long way when building a trusting relationship. It shows you care more about your partner than your pride. 

7. Be kind

Remember to be kind, not just in your relationship but to those around you. Being kind shows your partner you’re trustworthy. This will encourage them to be kind too. 

8. Develop self-trust

It’s not easy knowing how to develop self-trust. When you’re filled with self-doubt, it can seem impossible. But, by working on your self-confidence and self-esteem, you can build more trust in yourself and your relationship. 

9. Make decisions together

When you make decisions together that you’re both happy with, trust begins to thrive. You just need to take that leap of faith. And sometimes, it’s about meeting in the middle. 

10. Embrace vulnerability

This comes last for a reason. Embracing vulnerability is important when trusting your partner, but it also leaves you open to getting hurt. So, you have to be sure your partner is worth trusting before making yourself vulnerable – it all comes back down to whether they are consistent and reliable. 

For more information on rebuilding trust in a relationship after it was broken, click here

Trying to build trust by yourself is hard. It’s not an easy journey. If you’re finding it tricky and would appreciate some external help, seek online therapy from a platform like DoMental. Here’s how it works. 

Building Trust in Relationships With Online Therapy

Trust in the therapeutic relationship

One relationship where trust is essential is the therapist-client relationship. The therapist-client relationship is a unique one – it’s a safe, non-judgmental space where you open up about yourself. Without trust here, you’ll get nowhere. 

Confidentiality is the foundation of trust in this relationship. Mental health professionals must abide by the rules of confidentiality; it’s protected by state laws. 

This means that anything you say to your therapist must stay between the two of you. The only exception is if your therapist believes you or anyone else to be at risk of significant harm.

This helps many people like yourself feel trusting towards their therapist. If you have experienced inconsistency from your primary caregiver, your counselor may be the first person you ever trust. 

This helps you understand what a trusting relationship looks like, so you can then apply this to your romantic relationship. 

Benefits of Online Therapy for Trust Issues in Relationships

Why choose online therapy?

Online therapy is an affordable yet effective way to get mental health support. Much scientific research has compared online counseling with traditional, in-person therapy. 

Solution-focused therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy have actually proven more effective when conducted online! 

At just a fraction of the price of in-person therapy, online therapy is more accessible. It’s also more flexible, fitting around your busy schedule. 

At DoMental, they give you the option of live text or voice messaging. You can text your therapist at any time of day or night, and receive a respond in less than 24 hours.

What online therapy can do for you

Online therapists are highly experienced in dealing with trust issues. In individual therapy, you can explore the reasons for your trust issues. Is it rooted in your childhood experiences, or is it something that your partner has done? Have you experienced infidelity in the past, and you’re now transferring those concerns to your new relationship?

Your individual therapist can help you overcome these past traumas and develop a new, optimistic perspective of your partner and relationship. 

If you or your partner’s trust issues have stemmed from a problem in your relationships such as dishonesty or infidelity, a couples counselor may be for you. 

They can help you explore why those events happened, how they made each of you feel, and reestablish trust in your relationship. You can learn to communicate with each other in a calm, open way. Your relationship will benefit from this for years to come. 

DoMental is an online therapy platform that provides individual therapy. All of its mental health professionals are licensed and experienced; they’ve helped people deal with similar issues before. 

Alternative therapy options

Group therapy is another recommended treatment option for trust issues in relationships. Conducting therapy in a group allows you to discuss your difficulties with other people in similar situations. 

You get to hear their point of view and their own personal stories. This can make you feel less alone.  

Want to Trust Your Partner?

There isn’t a “How to build trust in a relationship” manual. Life would be much simpler if there was, wouldn’t it? 

But there are some things you can do to encourage trust to flourish in your relationship, like being honest and open with your partner and modeling reliability and vulnerability.  

When you’ve hit a wall, though, and you feel like all hope is lost, try online therapy or any in-person therapy that you feel most comfortable with. Whether it's individual or couples therapy, an online therapist will give you the time and space you need to build trust in your relationship.

Relationships Don't Have To Be Difficult

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