Trust and Vulnerability

April 24, 2014

Yesterday we looked at jealousy and today its trust – a key part of any meaningful relationship, from the most intimate ones to even the relationship you have with your boss need to have trust in it. But to trust we have to be vulnerable and expose ourselves to the risk of being hurt, betrayed and let down, none of which are a great place to end up.

Long-lasting couples remain vulnerable to their partner throughout their relationship, the partnership or relationship is always important to them and this is shown by their attentiveness to each other. Let’s face it this is really easy at the beginning of a relationship and we stick with our partner, brought together by love, lust and fascination. We feel their losses and triumphs as our own and we are careful not hurt or wound them.

But when reality becomes part of our relationships this state is at risk, when we get too busy and loose the opportunity to be with each other or we become scared of how dependent we feel on each other so we pull away.

We need to have a secure attachment to our partner, something that we first come into contact with as an infant, because then we are truly dependent on our caregivers for everything. We will suffer with attachment throughout our lives if those first attachments are not secure and loving. If we are securely attached people trust is easier for us, we see relationships as good things, we are comfortable with love, Independence and the balancing act between the two. We are able to tell our loved ones when we need support comfort or when we are hurt because we trust our partner to respond positively and help us.

So we can imagine how bad it feels if the trust is lost through lies, cheating or abuse, we have been open and vulnerable all our safety, security, respect, love and friendship, have been replaced by anger, insecurity, anxiety, fear. If we want to build that trust or even rebuild it, it can be petty difficult. Here are a few easy tips to help –

Don’t take make or break decisions about your relationship when you are tired, angry or upset. Take time to be in a better place and make your decisions based on fact and experience.

Don’t judge, if your partner tells you about a mistake or an insecurity it’s time to empathise not criticize or dismiss what they have told you. Or there may not be a next time as they refuse to be vulnerable in front of you again. If your partner judges you, you need to challenge them on it, tell them how that makes you feel and then tell them what you really need from them.

It sounds obvious but tell the truth, even small lies wear down the trust in your relationship and can become a habit. Be honest without being brutal. Be open with your past and try not to keep anything from your partner (I know sometimes it can be difficult to go back and explain the past but at some point it will come back to haunt you in this relationship)

Be predictable and reliable, it may sound dull but it is the foundation of trusting someone you know, trust and can be depended on for all aspects of the relationship. That does not mean you cannot surprise your partner from time to time but do what you say you will.

Be yourself and be able to say no, sometimes you simply cannot do what they want when they want. It’s all about being true to yourself which will earn respect from your partner when they are sure of your boundaries.

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