Updated: Mar 30, 2022
Do you find a lot of your relationships lack trust? Maybe your romantic relationships end in the same way each time? The infographic above shows the signs of trust issues in a relationship. They can happen on either side of the relationship.
Some great movies and shows have signs of these. They can make for some great plot lines and humorous blunders, but in real life it can negatively affect mental health.
If your relationship is showing signs trust is lacking, your relationship is showing signs from the graphic below, or you want to learn how to strengthen your relationship then read on.
Widespread feelings of mistrust can negatively impact mental health causing anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and/ or anger to name a few common emotions.
However, mental health benefits of healthy relationships include "lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, greater empathy, and more trusting and cooperative relationships. Strong, healthy relationships can also help to strengthen your immune system, help you recover from disease, and may even lengthen your life." Better Health Australia
Signs Your Argument is Headed in the Wrong Direction
The Gottman Institute has a Love Lab where they study couples. In this setting they discovered every couple showed these signs when things were falling apart in an argument and called it the Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse.
Antidotes to the Four Horsemen of the Relationship Apocalypse
Instead of using criticism by attacking the core character of your significant other, try using I statements and expressing positive need.
Instead of using contempt by treating your significant with disrespect, try reminding yourself of their positive qualities.
Instead of being defensive by playing innocent or fishing for excuses, try accepting their side of things and apologizing for any wrongdoing on your side.
Instead of stonewalling by shutting down and giving silent treatment, try self-soothing by taking a break from the conversation, find a healthy way to soothe and then return at a specified time.
The Five Love Languages
Have you ever gone out of your way to do something for someone you care about and not had it received as well as you intended? Chances are high you were speaking your love language to someone who has a different love language than you.
Understanding your love language and that of your partner will help you realize your natural and unconscious way of showing love is not the most effective way your partner receives it.
This was the first huge concept I learned in my marriage and has made a difference in our marriage and as we are raising our children. All four should be spoken to children under four, and really everyone. Once you learn the love language of those closest to you who are older, than four try to speak in their love language.
Then share your love language with those you trust to take care of your needs. Your needs will not always be met, so as part of selfcare, you can meet your love language needs by yourself and through friends.
For instance if your love language is physical touch and your significant others is not or you are single, spend time hugging others who are closest to you and getting a back rub. Another example is with quality time, you can use that with others you value spending time with. One person does not need to meet all of your needs.
It is rare to have the top two love languages be the same for both halves of a relationship. Here is a link that talks about the mental health benefits of speaking another's love language and having yours spoken.
Love languages often change over time, so spend time noticing your changing needs and the changing needs of those around you. This can also be called updating love maps. It is based on Gottman's love maps teachings.
How to Build Trust
The Relationship Attachment Model uses a stereo equalizer to show the order a relationship should be tuned to get to truly know someone without becoming attached too soon.
It allows time to get to know someone to find out if they are worth trusting, and as yellow line to the left goes up so do the ones on the right. Meaning the likelihood of moving to the next step goes up.
Once trust has been established, they show with time if they can be relied on.
Once they are found to be reliable, you can commit to each other.
Then touch comes in.
Doing it this way takes at least three months but it allows for red flags to be discovered before discussing long-term commitment.
This is especially important when dating someone who is showing their false mask or when you are projecting onto someone. It also allows for dating to end easily because deep attachments have not been formed.
The key to any relationship is compromise. Relationships can be rebuilt after trust has been lost, but both parties need to be willing to put in the required work for the foundation to be strong and last. Trust will be lost in small ways due to miscommunication, but repairing relationships is the key to making it last.
Tip: Spend 15 minutes uninterrupted with your significant other each day talking about anything and everything that is on each of your minds.
Make it a daily ritual and see what happens. This is an important way to make deposits into your relationship bank account. Because relationships are an investment of time and emotional energy. They also improve mental health.
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