by guest blogger Liam Hamer
Lack of trust in a marriage doesn't necessarily mean that one or both
partners are untrustworthy, or have said or done anything to make the
other wary. Other factors outside of the marriage, and indeed prior to
the marriage, can contribute to it too. Upbringing, previous
relationships and self esteem issues to name but three can all factor
What is the best way to go about building or regaining trust?
Being able to communicate properly is absolutely vital. Getting to a
place where you understand where the other is coming from is half the
battle when it comes to making marriage work. Of course, marriage
should never be "a battle". There are always times when it is going to
be challenging, though. And that goes for every single couple out
there. I have been married over 10 years and we've had our fair share
of trials and tribulations. That's life. Striving for perfection in
fine, as long as you accept that you will never reach
Truly knowing each other is a great feeling. Yes, there will always be
things about each other that we aren't crazy about and would maybe
like to change. For example, I wish my wife would pick up after herself
a bit more! On the other hand, she wishes I wouldn't nag so much! But
these things are part of what makes us who we are.
When the subject of trust comes up, it might conjure up thoughts of
people wondering if their partners are being unfaithful, whether they
lie to them, whether they are who they say they are. That is all quite
extreme (although one could be forgiven for thinking like that, with
the way marriage can be portrayed in the media and on TV etc.) No,
what I'm talking about here is more a case of "Do I trust this person
to do the best for me, the best for our marriage?" Getting to that
point is a wonderful thing, because it doesn't always come naturally.
And of course, you can be at that point, and something can set you
back again, so regaining that mindset is a great achievement and means
you have both done really well.
I am of the opinion that good communication precedes trust. I'd even
go as far to say that positive communication is the number one skill
required in marriage. Certainly in my experience, anyway. If you get
that right, everything falls into place and the rest will follow. Even
if right now you and your spouse don't communicate as well as you'd
like, it's something that you can work on. Here are a few tried and
1. When explaining your feelings on something
specific about your spouse and/or their behavior, say "I feel" instead
of things like "You don't....", "I really wish you would....", "Why
can't you...." etc.
2. Take on board what your spouse says, try not to be
offended or frustrated by it. Once you have identified any problem
areas together, you are on the way to resolving them.
3. This one should go without saying, but don't raise
your voice or use profanities. There really is no upside to this. Yes,
it shows them that you are frustrated, and even passionate, but there
are better ways of expressing yourself that can get the same message
If you do have some internal issues and insecurities (which
may or may not be to do with your marriage) then try your best to
overcome them. Answer the 'what ifs'. Like this, for example:
Q "What if our marriage doesn't work?"
A "As long as we both gave it our best shot, then I
guess it wasn't meant to be. I will have no regrets and will still be
capable of living a happy and fulfilling life."
Q "What if they cheat on me?"
A "If they are going to cheat on you, then they
are going to cheat on you. Worrying about it won't make it not happen.
But why think like this? Cross that bridge if you ever come to
it, and the chances are, you won't anyway. Especially if you really
work on things."
Q "What if they fall out of love with me?"
A "Even if, at some point, they say that, it may not
be the case and you can work on things together. If it IS the case,
then you are a strong person and will move forward."
Those examples are quite dramatic, but it can be difficult having
those kinds of thoughts running through your mind. We are all human,
and we all worry from time to time.
It really is better to trust. That doesn't mean you should think your
spouse can do no wrong, but
rather you are safe in the knowledge that you are both doing your best
for your marriage, and making the most of your life together. Again -
good communication precedes trust. A marriage with both is something
you should be immensely proud of, and something to strive for if you
If communication and trust are two of the problem areas in your
marriage, start working on the things above today. Even if it's just
not raising your voice during an argument. Or answering those niggling
"what ifs". It's a big step in the right direction.
Copyright © 2011 Liam Hamer. Reprinted with permission.
Liam married young and has been through all the ups and downs that
marriage brings. He uses that experience, together with a strong
desire to help others at his site Marriage