Making Marriage Work is a series (challenge) to give you motivation, encouragement, and actionable steps for creating a relationship that works! If you didn’t catch Part One, click here! When you and your spouse are connected and working together, marriage is a WONDERFUL blessing. Don’t be disillusioned, marriage will NEVER be perfect, and there will always be room for improvement and hard times to face. One of the critical components to facing all the ups and downs is being able to rely on your spouse; being able to rely on their beliefs, their actions, and their words is imperative!
This truth rolls into the second part of this series…
Trust is a KEY pillar (not in marriage only, but EVERY relationship). This should come to no surprise, but I want to point out some things that hopefully will offer you some good takeaways.
First, trust is displayed and received in VERY DIFFERENT ways for each person. Trusting someone is a severely intimate process. Not everyone relates words and actions to stability in the same manner. Your spouse equates love and trust differently than you do. There are things that make me feel secure in my marriage, that don’t necessarily give Adam that same security. For example, when Adam travels out of town and takes the time to call me throughout the day without coaxing from me, I feel safe. Safe that he is thinking of me when we are apart, safe that he cares enough about me that he wants to keep in touch, and safe that I don’t have to wonder…what’s he doing? When he takes the time to do this, my attitude toward him is COMPLETELY different than the times when he is so busy that I only get a call once or twice a day. Mainly because for me, quality contact builds confidence. Confidence in my spouse, his love for me, and his expression of that love all ties into how I perceive him taking care of me, and thus, building trust that he will always be there for me. Understanding what makes your spouse feel super connected to you is an important step in building strong trust.
When there isn’t strong trust in a marriage, other components begin to breakdown. The reason for this is because trust lays the foundation of any relationship. Communication brings trust into play and helps trust build upon itself. In my mind, trust is like a snowball because a single snowflake can be made into a huge snowball simply by rolling it in more snow. Trust starts as a single action that when seen or felt in conjunction with similar actions builds upon itself to create an overall feeling.
Trust, in the context of relationships, can be interchanged with stability. If one person in the marriage feels unstable, that stability is broken. When stability is broken, barriers and doubt begin to form.
To keep trust moving back and forth, communication must be present. Understanding what your spouse needs in order to feel connected and secure are KEY to keeping trust strong. Honestly, marriage requires daily sacrifice and exercising of putting your spouse’s needs ahead of your own. DING DING DING! This should be a lightbulb moment…does this sound familiar?? Our marriages should be a reflection of our relationship with Christ. To become more whole and feel more love, we MUST die to our flesh each day, pick up our cross, and put Christ’s needs before our own. Similarly, we must realize that our spouses have different needs and concerns than we do. Navigating what those triggers are should be at the forefront of your mind when conflict begins to arise.
And I hate to add a complication to this, but your spouse won’t always respond to the same things in the same way till kingdom come because people constantly evolve and change. Therefore, this should cause you pause and coax you to make quality time with your spouse so you’re more times than not in-tuned to what they need from you.
WAYS TO BUILD THAT TRUST:
One easy way to build confidence (aka trust), VERBALIZE! Make sure you say EVERY DAY out loud “I love you”, don’t let assumptions keep your spouse satisfied. One thing adults should realize fast…assumptions are not good. Don’t assume your spouse feels like they are special to you, that they know how you feel about them, or that they feel connected to you.
Ask for forgiveness when you mess up. This is a biggie and could come with a devoted book simply on this topic. BUT, to cut to the chase.,, don’t let the sun go down on anger. If you screwed up, apologize. Take responsibility because displaying your ability to recognize you were at fault for something, tremendously helps your spouse feel confident in your decision making. If you are able to recognize when you mess up, your spouse (even subconsciously) knows you are actually aware of what does not fly in the context of your marriage. Make sense?
Don’t be a flake. If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT! If you have a standing date night, be there on time every time. This displays that you deem it important, that you are committed to that time together, and that don’t have to be reminded because you make it a priority. Or if you make plans for the weekend, don’t ask Friday night “So, what are we doing tomorrow?”, this just makes it obvious that you weren’t listening, which isn’t a good sign to your spouse that you’re invested and taking junk serious. Seems like common sense, but believe me…it’s not as common as you think!
These three things are major contributors to building and sustaining a basic level of trust. Trust that keeps connection strong between you and your spouse daily and the feeling of appreciation strong. Now, there are situations that require MORE than this of course. When trust is broken severely, therapy with a professional and preferably from the Christian perspective may be the best option or involving a third party you trust that can offer unbiased insight to mediate. There can be healing and restoration from huge infractions and with reliance on God, those situations work out in the manner with which both parties can come away for the better no matter the outcome.
I hope this gave you some good points to put into practice. Please share advice or tips on trust you’ve experienced.
LET’S MAKE MARRIAGE WORK!
If you missed Part One > READ IT NOW!
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