Building trust in a relationship is all about repeating and reinforcing.
If you want to build trust with your partner you can follow these steps:
1. Commit and Declare
The first thing is to just say,
“I want to build trust with you and I’m committed to that because I love and care about you.”
2. Create Heartfelt Emotion
Some couples have strayed from being emotionally vulnerable, so even the first step can be hard for them. After you say something with your words you need to create heartfelt emotion behind it. For a lot of people, especially women, PRESENCE is of utmost important, no one wants a partner who is constantly distracted and not focused on them. “PRESENCE is EMPATHY for what the other person is experiencing in this moment right now.”
Exercise: Sit across from your partner and look into each others eyes. Practice this definition of Presence. Think about your partners Positive Intent instead of seeing the things they do that hurt you, see how they might be protecting themselves from vulnerability, see them as a child that maybe didn’t get the love or attention or freedom they needed. Marriage is a place where we can grow and be pushed beyond our boundaries, practicing true presence with our partner is seeing the positive intent inside them and also the hurt that they have gone through. It is empathy for the other person. While looking into their eyes flood yourself with thoughts of gratitude and dedication to the other person. Practice this everyday.
Your wife is nagging you all the time. Positive Intent: "she is scared that you don't care about her"
You husband is unable to emotionally connect with you. Positive Intent: "he is protecting himself, making sure he is safe."
In both these situations if the other partner understands the Positive Intent behind the actions they can better love their spouse and build trust. Our positive intents were formed as survival mechanisms. We learned that we would only get love from our parents when we cried and complained, or we were put down when we tried to be emotionally vulnerable and so we stopped in order to protect our self,
A Positive Intent doesn't mean the person should go on acting like it, it means they should understand where there actions are stemming from and realize there is a positive intent behind them, something that they've used that is no longer helpful. After the realization it is time to make a change.
3. Share, Listen, Learn
-Every time partners communicate it can be seen as either a comment or request.
-Are they just commenting about something or are they asking something from you.
-Practice listening and responding to your partner so you can learn new things about them and meet their need to connect and build trust with you. Allow them to speak truth, even when it’s painful for you to hear, that safe space is where trust is truly built.
4. Align Vision
After completing steps 1-3 you should come to a place where you are aligned with your partner on what you spoke about. This is when you align your visions and confirm what you both desire.
5. Act of Love
Seal the conversation with an act of love. This can be as simple as a hug and kiss or more extravagant, like a date night. If you can’t end the conversation with an act of love then more trust building needs to happen. You may go back in steps and keep working on 1-3 before moving to 4 & 5.
FOR MORE TIPS CHECK OUT MY NEWEST VLOG BELOW.
"HOW TO BEST LOVE YOUR PARTNER"
Put two people together with different backgrounds, different childhoods and different sexes (for some) and see what happens. This sounds like a crazy experiment and yet so many of us embark on this journey.
This is life partnership.
My introduction in Part One describes it as a spiritual journey to wholeness. That sounds nice, doesn't it?
But it isn't nice sometimes. It requires incredibly understanding, patience and fervor. This is why I began developing The Love Map. There are so many unspoken, subconscious dialogues taking place whenever we interact with our partner. There are influences from our childhood, our past experiences, our positive and negative reinforcements and on and on and on. We are a cluster of inputs which can create some confusing outputs for a person who didn't go through the same things we did. This is the reality of being different people. So how do we start practicing deep understanding in our relationship with all these unspoken rules and triggers? This is where the map comes in:
As I've studied psychology and intervention coaching there has been a common theme.
The Human Needs.
This is where my map starts. Once you understand what needs the other is most trying to meet in their day to day life it unveils more about the person, their words and their actions. So the next part would be discovering how they already meet those needs.
Ways They Meet Their Needs.
Next we can discover how they receive and give love using their
There is also the idea that you are attracted to a someone who has
Strengths You Lack
If we understand what needs they are trying to meet, how they are trying to meet them, how they desire to be loved and admire what strengths they have that we don't then we also should understand how they act when stressed and if they are a
Fuser or Isolator
On a really basic level we can add to our understanding of giving love and attention when we ask
Are They: Auditory, Visual or Kinesthetic?
An incredible, eye opening exercise would be to understand whose parental love did they crave the most, who did they have to be for that person, what kind of love was withheld. And what positive/negative attributes do you as a partner share with their parents. This is all about
And finally you must discover their lost self, false self and disowned self. Their lost self would be the part that was discouraged by parents or societal demands. Their false self would be what they erected to fill the voids that their lost self would have taken up. Their disowned self are the behaviors that came out of erecting the false self, these could be seen as coping mechanisms or other negative reactions that have been bred in us. They are so offensive to us that we pretend like they aren't there. We disown them. This is the
Once you understand these parts of yourself, and your partner, understanding begins to grow. You see your partner as a wounded child and you begin to understand why they do the things they do. Their little idiosyncrasies, habits, criticisms and actions begin to make more sense. Once you understand how to love them you can help them grow and visa versa. Putting this much effort into creating a Love Map is an incredibly way to have a thriving relationship. Don't get me wrong, bringing this stuff to the surface is hard. It's not, "here's who I am and how to love me." DONE! It can be painful and you might flounder around as you process and put into practice. More on that in Part Three.
“When we gather the courage to search for the truth of our being and the truth of our partners being, we begin a journey of psychological and spiritual healing.” -Harville Hendrix
When we see marriage as a spiritual journey to wholeness it can change everything. When both partners enter their marriage this way or come to realize it later on it can have profound effects on their relationship.
So often we work hard on our career or other endeavors in life, why is it that we don’t view marriage as something to challenge us, help us grow and become whole? Why do we give up?
We need to look into our past, our childhood, and discover how we were denied adequate nurturing and how we repressed essential parts of our self. It’s as if our parents pass us off to our spouse so they can finish the work that was started. The more dysfunctional the family of origin, the more intentional the communication and action must be in the marriage. We can do this searching through self-reflection, journaling, therapy or whatever avenue makes sense to you. As we discover new things about ourselves we can share them with our partner to start building a new way of interacting. Every single day Johnny and I share new things with one another and calibrate accordingly.
Some people might say, “My partner doesn’t listen to me" or you don’t feel comfortable sharing with them. In this case trust must be built first. Marriage remains stagnant without trust, openness and vulnerability. We can start by “going first”. When our partner reveals anything about themselves, no matter how small, we must respond with understanding and compassion in order to start building the trust from our end. As we build our Love Map (a concept I will describe in Part Two) we will inevitably find ways to love our partner in the way they desire so deeply. Even the most stubborn, elusive partner will soften when their needs are being met on the deepest level. We’ll actually start to see them as “wounded children” whom we can heal with our unconditional love.
Stay Tuned for Part Two.
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David