In the back of your mind you are wondering this about your partner:
Will you be there for me in the way that I need you to,… and when I need you?
- And what happens to me when you aren’t there for me?
- And what’s the impact of that on you, and on us?
This is a foundational aspect of trustworthiness in any relationship.
Imagine that you want to talk with your partner about something that’s important to you. It could be anything at all. A tiny piece of nonsense that you heard from someone, or a big thing about work, family, health etc…
In the moment you want to share something with your partner, and they aren’t tuned into truly listening to you, the connection between you wavers ever so slightly.
A small aspect of trust gets depleted.
- Imagine this occurring often.
- Imagine that you realize you can’t count on them.
- Where trust goes, intimacy and happiness are certain to follow.
The mind begins to churn out thoughts that are going to begin to further deplete intimacy and happiness.
- “Don’t I matter enough or deserve better than that from you.?”
- “Don’t you care enough about me to pay attention?”
- “What’s wrong with you…what’s your problem?”
- “What’s wrong with me…don’t you love me anymore?”
This is only the beginning. The first domino has fallen. Conflicts will increase and communication will suffer. Intimacy fades fast.
Here are 7 Levels of Trustworthiness:
- Collaborative Trustworthiness- Both partners are equally focused on being trustworthy to each other, with shared vision, core values and relationship goals. This is ideal.
- Reflective Trustworthiness- I’m trustworthy only to the level that you hold me accountable. Pay attention to the little things you let me get away with.
- Paradoxical Trustworthiness- You should trust me even though I don’t trust you. This will cause bitterness and resentment. Are we aligned on the things that matter?
- Participatory Trustworthiness- I choose when I’m willing to be trustworthy. You don’t need to know what I’m doing over here. I’m trustworthy in other areas…kind of, maybe. A normally trustworthy person begins to be selective in their honesty. Honor your intuition and look for contradictions. Reinforce your shared values and honesty.
- Empirical Trustworthiness- I trust you only to the degree that I can verify. I will drive you crazy trying to control you because I can’t trust what I can’t see. Tell yourself the truth. Is this about you, or is your partner simply untrustworthy and you don’t want to believe it?
- Unconditional Trustworthiness- I trust you no matter what you are doing to me. This is how people get taken advantage of and blind sided with hurt. Lines must be drawn about what is acceptable and what’s not. Does your partner know where you draw the line with unacceptable behavior or neglect?
- Deceptive Trustworthiness- I appear trustworthy, but trust me at your own peril. I’m operating on my own agenda. I will lie constantly and the web of lies will grow and envelope you. This isn’t ever going to be a healthy relationship unless I wake up and change. What’s the likelihood of that happening?
It’s the little things we fail to do that begin to tear apart the foundation of the marriage.
This happens most often because we really don’t know any better. Do you demonstrate to me regularly that you value me in your life? Do I matter enough to make the needs of our shared togetherness your priority?
Marriages can easily get put on auto-pilot because we are simply caught up in own busy lives.
- Do you know to create a deeply connected and high trust relationship?
- Will you prioritize us to make sure that you do your part along with me?
If there are issues of trust and increasing levels of conflict in the marriage, you will likely need outside help. Your emotions will get the best of you. Trying to solve the problem by fixing your partner will only backfire and make things worse.
Talk with me. I have helped hundreds of couples restore trust, love and intimacy in their marriages.
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