Relationship coach who has been helping married couples build strong, healthy marriages for many years.
How can trust be built in a relationship? You are a human being and not superman. But at least, you can do your best to meet some of the expectations of your spouse.
Here are nine smart ways to build that trust.
9 Ways to Build Trust in a Relationship
- Be faithful
- Let your words and actions synchronize
- Keep your promises
- Show honesty
- Be totally open with your spouse
- Try to please your spouse
- Be humble
- Confront your spouse
1. Be Faithful
One expectation most spouses want fulfilled is fidelity.
In the area of fidelity, for example, you can remain faithful to your spouse if you really determine that you want your marriage to work. How difficult is it to stick to your spouse, anyway? If you married that person, then if you are really committed to the relationship, you will resolve issues that may cause you to have an affair behind your spouse’s back so that you can continue the relationship.
Once you commit an act of infidelity, it becomes hard for your spouse to trust you, and some spouses never learn to trust their partner ever again.
Here are some things you can do to remain faithful to your spouse, and build trust in your marriage relationship:
- Resolve to live each day as if it is your last day. When you have it at the back of your mind that a day is your last day and you can die and stand before the judgment seat of God, it will help you to control yourself.
- Don’t play with fire. Stay away from what is not yours. Guard against situations that will cause you to become unfaithful to your spouse. Do not spend too much time alone with a man or woman who is not your spouse.
- Remind yourself of your marriage vows every day. Determine to be loyal to your marriage vows.
- Make a covenant with yourself not to admire another man or woman more than your spouse.
2. Let Your Words and Actions Synchronize
One way to build trust in a marriage is to make sure your actions reflect the words you say. If you say you will do A, and you follow through and deliver on that word, your spouse will believe in you, and his or her trust in you will be strong. For example, when you say you will buy your partner a shoe or jewelry, and you actually buy it for your spouse, he or she will know they can have confidence in the words you say.
If you tell your spouse “Honey, I love you,” and yet you disrespect him or her, or you do not keep company with your spouse, or you do not sacrifice some of your commitments to spend quality time with your mate, your spouse will know that you do not mean what you say. With time, your spouse will not place too much weight on your words, and may end up not trusting you, and disrespecting you.
If you tell your wife you will meet her for a date at a restaurant at 7 pm, make sure you meet her at 7 pm. If for some reason you cannot make it at 7 pm, let her know before the appointed time.
"Before you make a promise to your spouse, make sure you have the ability to fulfill that promise, or you have considered thoughtfully exactly what you are going to do for your spouse. Do not rush to make a promise just to get your spouse off your back, and then when you have to deliver, discover that you had not really thought through what would be required of you."
3. Keep Your Promises
When you make a promise to your spouse, and you keep it, it strengthens your spouse’s trust in you, and makes you more believable. Your spouse will like your reliability and have no second thoughts when you make a promise another time.
Before you make a promise to your spouse, make sure you have the ability to fulfill that promise, or you have considered thoughtfully exactly what you are going to do for your spouse. Do not rush to make a promise just to get your spouse off your back, and then when you have to deliver, discover that you had not really thought through what would be required of you.
Read More From Pairedlife
Before you make a promise:
- Consider what you want to give to him or her, or what you want to do for your spouse.
- Carefully think about it before you say it. Ask yourself, “What resources will I need to fulfill this promise? Do I have those resources? If not, how can I mobilize these resources so that I can fulfill the promise?
- Count the Cost. Ask yourself how much time or energy or money you will lose when you fulfill the promise, and whether it is worth it. If it is not worth it, then make another promise which you know you can fulfill.
4. Show Honesty
Truthfulness is a virtue that you must seek to cultivate if you want to build trust in your marriage.
It should be your constant aim to build up the habit of absolute accuracy in all your dealings with your spouse because lies destroy trust in a marriage. Saying the truth is one way to build trust in a marriage.
It hurts sometimes when you have to admit you have done something wrong. But when you can muster courage and tell the truth, even if your spouse is not happy with you immediately, after he or she reflects, they will come to respect you for showing courage to tell the truth, and admire you for that.
If you have a fight, and after reflection realize you were the cause of the fight, humbly admit to your partner you were at fault. You will not lose anything if you do this. On the other hand, you will gain the trust of your spouse.
Sometimes our ego, and pride, gets in the way and tries to prevent us from apologizing. But when you are honest, and your spouse forgives you, trust is re-established in your marriage.
5. Be Totally Open With Your Spouse
One thing that causes distrust in a marriage is when there is secrecy, and a spouse thinks his partner is hiding something from him.
It is imperative that you should be open in all your dealings if you want to build trust in your marriage.
Involve your spouse in all decisions you make. If you have separate bank accounts, there is nothing wrong with telling him you want to use you money to a new car for yourself, or to buy new jewelry. When you tell him, and ask for his views, it tells him you value his opinions, and makes him trust you more.
When you are leaving the house, let your spouse know exactly where you are going. Do not give vague information that can be open to any form of interpretation. This is how to build trust in a relationship.
Never make your spouse feel he is too nosy or is trying to get on your nerves. For example, if you are going out and your spouse asks you, “Where are you going?” you should say exactly where you are going with details. You can say something like “I am going to see my sister Rebecca. I will spend the whole day at her place, see how the children are doing, and then come straight home.”
If he asks you and you say, “Why do you want to know?” or you say, “I am going to see someone,” and you walk away, your spouse will feel you do not respect him, and will suspect you are hiding something from him. He will ask himself, “Why didn’t she tell me who she is going to see? Who can it be? Could it be another man?” Your spouse will start having doubts about you, and it will destroy the trust he has in you.
On the other hand when you give as much information as possible, it maintains trust between you and your spouse.
Giving timely information also builds trust in a marriage. When you come home late and your spouse wants to know why you were late, even if you feel very tired and irritated by the question, being patient enough to give him that information immediately builds the trust in the marriage.
If you launch a verbal attack on him and let him know how mean he is because he did not first find out from you how much work you had to do at the office, and you stalk out of the room without answering the question, it may make him feel you are just putting on an act because you want to hide something. If you come back later and tell him the true story, he may still think you walked away just to get your “lie” together.
Therefore, if you have to control your emotions to deliver a message on time, do it.
"It is imperative that you should be open in all your dealings if you want to build trust in your marriage."
6. Try to Please Your Spouse
When you diligently try to please your spouse, it makes your spouse feel he or she can completely rely on you without any fears or doubts. You must not have the attitude which says, “I will do as I please. I am my own man or woman, and being married to you does not mean I have to please you!” This kind of attitude destroys trust in a marriage.
When you have the attitude which says, “I know I cannot have all my needs and desires fulfilled in this marriage, but I will do my best to express love and try to meet the needs of my spouse. I will give, share, and bear,” your spouse will trust you because you are committed to the marriage. This is how to build trust in marriage life.
If your spouse has wronged you in the past, you can build trust again in your marriage if you decide to forgive him or her from your heart. Forgiveness paves the way for you to clear the hurt from your mind, and to let it go. If you do not forgive, then you will keep referring to the mistake your spouse made every time you quarrel, and this will make it hard for you to trust him or her again. Forgiving your spouse who has offended you is how to build trust in a relationship after it’s broken.
"Forgiveness paves the way for you to clear the hurt from your mind, and to let it go."
8. Be Humble
If you have in some way wronged your spouse, apologize and ask for forgiveness. Accept that you did what was wrong, express how badly you feel about what you did to your spouse, how you have thought about it many times over, the lessons you have learnt from the experience, and how you are going to conduct yourself from now on. This will help you to gain trust in the relationship back.
Show by your actions that you are remorseful. Let your spouse see a change in your attitude. Always remind yourself of the cost of what you did. For example, how it made your spouse feel cold towards you, or how your children did not show the kind of affection they used to show you because they were angry with you, and let that serve as a tool to make you refrain from repeating that mistake.
When your spouse sees that you have changed genuinely, he or she will be willing to trust you again. This is how to build trust in a marriage again. This is how to build trust after it has been broken!
9. Confront Your Spouse
Sometimes a spouse feels shy to make his partner account for her behavior when he see the spouse doing something he does not like. Some spouses feel confronting their spouse will cause unnecessary quarrels. Avoiding an issue that is bothering you can make you grumble and murmur and complain behind your spouse’s back, causes bitterness, and makes you lose your trust in your spouse.
Facing up to your partner, and getting him to discuss the issue with you lays bare the issues before the two of you. When you effectively deal with the issues, your mind is cleared of any doubts, and it makes you trust your spouse more. This is how to build up trust in a marriage.
Build Bridges and Take Steps to Be a Trustworthy Person
If you want to build trust in your marriage, you must realize how important it is to the survival of your marriage, understand it, and take steps to be a trustworthy person yourself, and to build bridges that will make you trust your spouse.
Building trust will help you to make a happy marriage, and make your marriage succeed.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2016 Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio
Isaac Yaw Asiedu Nunoofio (author) from Ghana on February 02, 2019:
Thanks for the comment.
thulanisolani on January 22, 2019:
I think we should all put God first in our marriages becouse he is the creater of our marriages,
dashingscorpio from Chicago on December 11, 2016:
Hopefully there was (trust) before one chose to marry them!
A marriage should only take place after you and your mate have "passed the test" for each other's (mate selection process) or "must have" lists!
In my opinion the marriage is equivalent to a garden.
Everything that takes place after getting married is about "maintaining" or "nurturing" the (garden/marriage) that has been planted.
Some of the "seeds" that should have been planted prior to the appearance of a (garden/marriage) are honesty, trust, loyalty, love & devotion, intimacy, and emotional security.
The purpose of courtship is to help us decide if he/she is right for us!
Anyone who gets married before those traits were established in the relationship is in for a long uphill battle! :)