Trust is a binding force in any intimate relationship and must be present in order for love to occur. Even when someone loves you deeply, they can break your trust and leave you shattered and dismayed. Trust builds slowly, but can be lost in a moment. At some time or another, we all experience some uncertainty about who we should trust, how much to trust, when not to trust, and so on. In fact, every day we make choices about who and how much to trust – and sometimes we are more willing to trust than at other times.

If trust issues are not the number one cause of broken relationships, then they have to be one of the leading causes. A lot of the arguments that couples have can be traced to insecurities that are masked as trust issues. So, how do I know if I have trust issues?

Why Do Trust Issues Develop in a Relationship?

Trust issues develop for various reasons, but some common ones include:

  • A Lack of Self-Esteem
    People who are insecure in themselves are prone to have trust issues in their relationships. Because they diminish their own value, they also tend to diminish their place in the relationship.
  • Experience of Being Cheated On
    If you have been cheated on in a previous relationship, there is a huge possibility that you are projecting your fear into your current relationship. Regaining trust is hard and takes time, but your current significant other is not necessarily made from the same mold as your previous one.
  • Irrational Anxiety
    How do you build trust in a relationship when your inherent nature is prone to anxiety? If you are always expecting the worst, then there is little room for anything positive in your life. People with irrational anxiety live in continuous fear about what the future might reveal.

Signs of Trust Issues in Relationships

Here are some signs that suggest you may have trust issues in your relationship.

  • Thinking the Worst
    You frequently expect the worst possible outcome, irrespective of the scenario. If your spouse does not answer the phone, you immediately assume that they must be somewhere or doing something inappropriate. You seldom give them the benefit of the doubt, no matter the circumstances. Yet everyone deserves a chance to explain themselves before conclusions are drawn.
  • Being Overly Possessive
    If you are overly protective, then you are likely to frequently question your spouse about the details of every nuance of their life outside of your vision. But trust means allowing someone free reign and having complete faith in them.
  • Jealousy that Creates Accusation and Anger
    Getting overly jealous about inconsequential happenings, such as going out with a group of colleagues from work, can be a sign of mistrust. Temper tantrums and abusive outbursts also reveal your insecurity and lack of trust.
  • Intrusion into Communications
    If you monitor and keep tabs on your spouse’s texts, Facebook, and emails, this indicates trust issues. This kind of behavior that is highly symptomatic of a person who lacks trust.
  • Playing the Role of Detective
    In similar fashion, checking up on your spouse, validating their stories, and even following them to see whether they are going where they said, indicates a lack of trust and is quite common in extreme cases of mistrust. You may sometimes drive by the location where your spouse is supposed to be, or drop by their place of employment, in order to check up on them.
  • Testing their Love
    Some people allow their insecurities to become manifest by testing their spouse’s love and commitment. Placing tests in front of your spouse reveals a lack of trust. Moreover, if you are not careful it might cause them to reach a limit and turn your lack of trust into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is important to have complete trust when you decide to enter a relationship. That way, when you take the leap of faith, you will be able to give your all and drastically increase your level of success.

Building Trust in a Relationship

Despite the problems you may face with trust, there are some effective steps you can take to resolving trust issues in a relationship. These include:

  • Effective Communication
    The root cause of loss of trust is a lack of communication. You need to keep your spouse informed about your plans and activities, but it is also important to be open and vulnerable about your feelings, hopes, and dreams.
  • Prioritize Your Relationship
    Don’t allow yourself to get too busy to prioritize your relationship. Recognize the importance of expressing your love and feelings for your spouse. Let him or her know what they mean to you. Constant connection and affirmation can calm and pacify the most insecure heart, and plays a role in resolving trust issues.
  • Don’t Break Your Partner’s Trust
    The last thing you want to do is break the trust of someone who is already having a hard time. False promises and miscommunication can serve to enhance a person’s trust issues. Be loyal and express your unconditional love of your spouse so that there is never a question of mistrust.

Seek Christian Counseling for Trust Issues

A Christian counselor can help you to address and identify the source of your problematic trust issues. Being unable to trust can destroy friendships, careers, and marriages, but fortunately it is possible to trust again. Trust is a quality that develops over time in every context. With proper guidance, a person can gain the insight needed to identify where trust was compromised in the past. As a Christian counselor, I have seen many individuals learn to trust again. If you recognize your need for specific assistance, I would look forward to meeting you and helping you redevelop trust again.

Photos: by Petr Kratochvil, Ride through Farytale Forest


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