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Build More Trust in Your Marriage

Relationship Advice for Building Trust in Your Marriage

By Susie and Otto Collins

When trust seems weak or has been compromised in some way in your marriage, if you want to stay together and move closer to one another again, it's important to learn new skills and ways of interacting
that will help improve your situation.

Just about any person who's ever been in a love relationship or marriage has fallen into habits with his or her partner that create distance and disconnection.

Nobody means to keep doing or saying things that cause conflict or take him or her further from a loved one, it just seems to happen.

But once you realize how much of a wedge has formed between you and your mate, or after you experience something that shows how much
mistrust there is in your relationship, you usually wake up and decide that it's time for a change.

Barb feels like she's been sleep-walking through life for the past few years. She's been very focused on trying to balance her growing career with the needs of her also growing children.

Her marriage to Tom has not been in the forefront of her mind.

They try to make time for dates together, but this never seems to happen. Everything came to a halt recently after Barb found out about Tom's behavior with another woman on a recent trip with some
male friends of his.

The wife of one of Tom's friends reported to Barb that her husband saw Tom dancing intimately with another woman in the hotel bar.

The wife said that her husband wouldn't say anything more about the whole incident because he truly didn't know how far it went.

With this information, Barb is jolted into a state of fear, anger and mistrust.

She wants to know what happened between Tom and this other woman and she is trying not to make assumptions about what may have occurred after the dance. She also wonders how this man whom
she's trusted for so many years could cheat-- or even come close to having an affair.

Don't guess, ask.
When it comes to those tricky issues like mistrust, jealousy and infidelity, it is absolutely essential that you find out reliable facts and not jump to conclusions.

You simply cannot build or rebuild trust with your partner if you are guessing about what he or she did, said or wants.

Your situation may not involve possible infidelity. It may be that your spouse seems to be acting distant or unavailable lately and your mind is racing with potential reasons why.

In a case like this, you might use words like these with partner: "I feel distance between us lately and I'd like to feel close and connected with you. Do you feel this too? Is there something going on with you or in our relationship that we could change in order to move closer together again?"

Own how you are feeling when you communicate with your spouse. 

Resist the urge to assign words or feelings to your partner.  Instead, focus on how you feel and what you'd like to happen next.

When Barb asks Tom about what happened on his trip with this other woman, he pauses for a few moments and then admits that, yes, he did dance in an intimate way with a woman who was staying at the same hotel.

He asserts to Barb that he stopped himself after that dance and that he's never done anything like this before. The whole incident made him realize how lonely he's felt in their marriage lately.

Barb and Tom start talking about how distant they both feel from one another. They agree that they'd like to rebuild trust and restore their connection.

Communicate with integrity and honesty.
While Barb and Tom are in agreement that they want to stay together and to improve their marriage, neither know how to go about doing this.

After Tom's "almost affair," Barb feels wary and unsure. She believes him, but is worried that something like this (or worse) could happen again.

As you talk with your partner about what you perceive is going on in your relationship, speak with integrity and honesty.

There is a certain amount of vulnerability involved with opening up and being very honest about what you want and how you feel.

But the alternative-- to hide or be vague about how you are feeling-- is not going to move you and your spouse closer together.

As difficult as it is for you to say what you really mean, it is worth it.

Barb and Tom know that it will take time and attention in order for them to rebuild trust in their relationship.

They have come up with some ideas that they're going to try and they will also keep checking in with themselves and each other along the way.

Keep your focus on what you want, how to communicate that honestly and lovingly with your spouse and then listen to him or her in return.

These are essential ingredients for a trust-filled and
connected marriage.

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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins, PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling (614) 568-8282.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email.

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