The other day I was chatting to one of my dear girlfriends about the concept of trust in relationships. We were sharing experiences of times where we have felt unsafe trusting our partner. Where our fearful thinking had taken over, filled our mind with crazy stories and caused us to completely shut down on a person who hadn’t even done anything wrong!
And this really got me thinking about how we develop trust in our relationships.
In order to wholly and completely trust another we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable. We have to release the fear-based stories about what could go wrong and how much we could get hurt, and be willing to open ourselves completely.
We must be aware and take responsibility for what we are bringing to the relationship. What of our own insecurities or baggage from the past are we projecting on to that person? If there is a genuine need to speak your truth to your partner about areas where you feel they are not being honest, then do so. But make sure you catch yourself when you are making up imaginary stories in your head about all of the ways you think they are deceiving you!
Trust has been a huge issue for me for many years and it has played out significantly in relationships in the past. It has turned me in to that needy, insecure controlling partner, that no one likes to be! I have done a lot of work around this over the years and I feel I have come a long way in transforming it.
So, if you too often struggle with being able to trust another, here are a couple of practices for you to work through
1. Drop The Story
When this feeling of lack of trust arises within us, we very often go straight to our mind to find a story to justify why we feel this way. We think it is because of something someone else is doing. “It is because he lies… Or because I was cheated on in the past… Or because men in general can’t be trusted…”
But as long as you keep using that as an excuse you will never move beyond this pattern.
And the more you hold an energy within you of fear and worry then the more likely you will be attract experiences that make you feel that way even more!
So, we need to realise that we may not have control over other people’s actions, what they have done to us in the past or what we feel they will do to us in the future. But we can control how we feel about it. We can control how we respond and what we make this mean about ourselves and relationships.
2. What is This Really About?
Get honest with yourself. What is the cause of this underlying lack of trust? And don’t go straight to thinking about them. It is time to look at the cause of this feeling within you. There may be the feeling of a lack of trust on the surface, but underneath this, you are scared of what will happen if they do break your trust. You are scared of how it will make you feel.
So to get to the underlying factor causing this, think about how you would feel if the worst case scenario happened. Do you feel insecure, unloved, rejected or angry?
The underlying emotion or pattern is actually the real cause of the issue.
This is an emotional pattern existing with you that needs to be healed. It is simply being triggered by that other person so you can become conscious of it and clear it.
3. Fill Yourself Up
If for example you notice that the fear around not trusting your partner stems back to a feeling of not being loved, then this is a big neon flashing light showing you that there is some work to do on your relationship with yourself. You cannot look to another to give to you what you do not hold within yourself. Whatever you want to feel more of – love, security, safety, connection, practice giving that to yourself rather than relying on your partner to fill your inner void.
We cannot keep looking to our partners to make us feel whole and complete. We have to do it for ourselves.
So, even if at some point your relationship doesn’t work out or are hurt, if you have a strong relationship with yourself you will still feel complete within yourself without that person. You can enjoy that persons love without needing their love for you to feel good enough.
Trust issues arise in relationships when we fear that another person will not make us feel how we want to feel. We fear losing love, and this triggers our underlying fear that we are not good enough so we desperately cling to their love for reassurance. But if we already feel that love within ourselves then we must know that can never be taken away.
4. Ask: Who Do I Want To Be In This Relationship?
Take your attention off the other person, what they are doing and who they are being. Instead I want to focus squarely on you. And ask yourself “Who I do want to be in this relationship?”
How do you want to show up? What type of partner do you want to be?
Do I want to be someone who is open hearted, loving and secure in myself?
Or do I want to be closed off, self protective and shut down?
Choose to be the type of person you want to be. Practice keeping your heart open. Practice giving love even if you are scared.
5. Take A Risk And Be Vulnerable
We cannot truly and deeply connect with another unless we are willing to open our heart and be vulnerable.
Many of us use a lack of trust as an excuse to keep ourselves closed and protected. But when we do this we miss out on precious opportunities to experience that deep love and connection with another.
And in turn we end up pushing them away anyway with our closed energy.
Practice trusting that person whole-heartedly even if you feel vulnerable. Find the courage to take a risk. Make the love you feel in your heart more powerful that the fearful voice that is telling you to close up shop and protect yourself. Yes, it may be scary but the feeling we experience when we let ourselves truly love another, is worth it.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Do you ever struggle with feeling a sense of trust in your relationships and with your partner? Share with me below.