A happy marriage rests on a foundation of unquestioned trust. If you want your marriage to be all it can be, you must know how to create this kind of trust. Most couples think of trust exclusively in terms of being sexually faithful, which is essential, but there’s more to it.
Research into strong healthy marriages revealed five specific kinds of trust husbands and wives give one another. So, we suggest you go over the following list and check which kinds of trust you bring (or do not bring) into your marriage. Ask your spouse to do the same and share your results. This is an excellent way to clarify where your trust is solid and where it needs work.
1. Trust that you will be sexually faithful. Without sexual fidelity marriage becomes unworkable. Partners can recover from an affair but need professional help to do it. Keep your commitment to be sexually faithful. If you’re unhappy in your marriage, get counseling and not a part-time lover.
2. Trust that you will not harm, reject or control one another. Trust thrives in an atmosphere of safety and security. Hurting one another, either physically or verbally, and then rejecting one another, creates fear which undermines trust. With control comes mistrust so make sure your love is not filled with a lot of possessive clinging which pushes your partner away.
3. Trust that you love one another without ulterior motives. You and your spouse need to feel sure you are loved for yourself and not some ulterior motive. That includes your looks, your money, your family. Your partner needs someone to feel superior to or be a buffer against being alone and lonely.
4. Trust that you will not abandon one another in the face of anger, conflict and disagreements. Anger, conflict and disagreements are inevitable. Make it safe for the careful expression of anger and for disagreements to happen without raising a fear of abandonment. You do this by never using the threat of divorce against your partner.
5. Trust that you will keep each other and your marriage a top priority. Partners trust that they mean it when they promise to love, honor and cherish one another. Don’t take each other for granted, neglect your relationship or consistently give too much time and energy to other things and people you break that trust. Remember every day what is really important in your life. Keep your priorities clear. Make your partner and your marriage a top priority.
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