ERP 118: How to build trust with your partner
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Trust is what helps couples feel safe together, safe to be vulnerable, and safe to deepen in their intimacy. Yet, trust takes time and skill to build. Many of us get tripped up along the way.
Trust is “a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.” Google
“After listening to your podcasts I’ve realized I don’t completely trust my wife’s decisions anymore. That’s something I never consciously was aware of before, but realize it’s been hidden and I’ve felt it, but didn’t understand it. How do I manage that?”
In the next two episodes, I am going to offer 5 tips in how to build trust with your partner.
(Please listen to the podcast episode or read the transcript to hear explanations, stories and examples.)
Let’s use the Trust Fall exercise as an analogy as we look at how to develop a solid foundation for trust in relationship.
Tips to Developing Trust in relationship
1. Clarifying Your Agreements:
- Are you in?
- Who is doing what?
- How are we are going to work together?
- Look at your expectations. Expectations play a big role in how we evaluate trust, satisfaction, and happiness in relationship.
- Be honest about what you can do and what you cannot do.
“I absolutely love your pod and look forward to your posts. I have one big relationship issue at the moment. The issue started when my boyfriend and I decided to live together in the near future and have been discussing finances. His father manages all of his financial decisions and my boyfriend wants his father to manage my finances. We’ve discussed my concerns of his father’s potential bias toward him, his son, which turns into a discussion about “trust” i.e. “do you not trust me to have our best interest in mind?” I trust him or myself to arrange our finances, but I don’t want to answer to his father about any and all financial decisions. Thank you for sharing your guidance through your pods.
Dr. Jessica Higgins’ Response:
Your not wanting your boyfriend’s father to manage your finances doesn’t have to be a trust issue. It can be about what you each want and don’t want. You may still be negotiating your agreements.
If I understand your question correctly, you may want:
- Clean and clear boundaries. His father is not a neutral party. Therapists, lawyers, and doctors typically do not work with family members because they are too involved and not able to be as objective.
- Relationships are complicated enough as it is.You may not want to add another layer of complexity, so that you can focus on making decisions with your boyfriend and doing what is best for your relationship.
- You may want to have some level of privacy. You may not want your boyfriend’s father to be privy to your personal financial information. Similarly, if your boyfriend’s father was the best gynecologist in town, you still may not want to get an exam with him.
What are your boyfriend’s needs? It might be good to explore these questions
- Is there a reason why his father manages his finances now? Is his father incredibly savvy and skilled with finances?
- Could he learn from his father? Can he develop some skills in this area?
- Could it be possible to utilize his father’s knowledge, experience, and wisdom in another way?
- Is there a reason why he does not make his own financial decisions?
- Could another person do the job as well as his father?
Tips to Developing Trust in relationship Cont.
2. Create Safety:
- Agreements create the foundation for safety.
- Build reliability. Is your partner going to be there for you? Are you going to be there for your partner?
- People typically have good intentions.
- Know your limitations. Be aware of your strength and abilities. Get support and reinforcement, if you need it.
- Give feedback about what would help you show-up more fully.
Stay tuned for the next episode to get 3 more tips in how to build trust with your partner.
Click on this link to access the transcript for this episode:
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If you are interested in developing new skills to overcome relationship challenges, please consider taking the Empowered Relationship Course or doing relationship coaching work with me.