11 Small Things That Can Break Trust in Your Marriage

BY: - 28 Sep '17 | Marriage

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Trust is the core of a marriage. A thriving marriage is built upon godly commitment. While every husband and every wife will surely make mistakes year after year, when those mistakes cause distrust to build, the marriage slowly erodes.

Sadly, there are some who think they can keep from doing the “big” stuff that would break marital trust (i.e. having an affair) but they fail to see the “small” things that are slowly eroding the trust in their marriage.

What is trust exactly?

Trust is the belief that your spouse is concerned about your overall well-being and makes decisions while acting with your best interest at heart. It’s the belief that your spouse keeps his or her promises while attempting to live up to one another’s expectations as best as humanly possible.  Trust serves as the foundation for a healthy marriage and allows spouses to be vulnerable with one another, feeling safe and secure within their marriage.

So how is trust broken?

Trust is broken when a spouse puts his or her own needs and desires ahead of what’s best for their spouse and marriage. Also, trust is damaged when spouses break their promises and spousal expectations.

We are all familiar with the well-known ways to break trust by lying and cheating, again those “big” things.  However, what about the “small” day-to-day things we do that destroy trust? The ones that can be very easy to miss, or that we don’t even associate with trust.

Trust is essential to understand, because no truly healthy marriage can thrive in its absence.

What are some of these “small” things? Here are 11 things that some may think are small, but that can be eroding the very core of your marital trust.

1. You’re Always Late

Being a person your spouse can count on is an essential part of building trust. If you never show up when you say you will, or text when you say you will, you’re sabotaging that trust. Being on time is a challenge for some, but it’s absolutely something you can work on. It’s a small way to let your spouse know that you’re reliable.

2. You’re Judgmental

If you’re a judgmental spouse, you could be sabotaging the trust in your marriage.  Judgmental spouses are not easy to confide in, especially when it comes to deep, personal sharing.  There could be things your spouse has never told you, simply because they fear you will judge them.

3. You Lack Self-Awareness

Do you know people who seem to lack a complete sense of who they are? They say things like, “I’m the nicest person you’ll ever meet,” and they mean it. But in your head you’re thinking, “Um, stop lying to yourself.” Or, they say, “I’m a really motivated, active person,” and you’re think, “Girl, you’ve been on the couch for 15 years.” These people are hard to trust because they seem like liars, even if they mean or believe what they say. If you’re talking the talk, make sure you’re walking the walk.

4. You Don’t Express Your Feelings

If you don’t express your feelings, and go deep, emotionally, you’re creating an imbalance of trust. If your spouse trusts you with some really strong feelings, and the most intimate details of their lives, they trust you. When you don’t do the same, it becomes clear that you don’t feel the same. Trust involves a give and take. It may take you time to learn to open up and share your feelings, but its required work for both spouses.

5. You Don’t Listen

Your spouse is not going to trust you with their feelings if you don’t listen.  To be a trustworthy spouse is to be a person your spouse can confide in. That means you have to learn to listen without interrupting, changing the subject, not hearing, or not giving your spouse’s words consideration.

6. You Hate On Their Friends and Family

You can’t control who your spouse chooses to have in their life, and constant negativity will just cause stressful situations.  Make your feelings clear, but don’t entertain hating on folks. Now if their friends and/or family are truly toxic or dangerous to your spouse or yourself then it is time to take action to remove these individuals from your inner circle.

7. You’re Shady

Being shady is such an annoying trait, but your spouse needs to be able to trust, with a reasonable amount of certainty, that you’ll be where you say you will be and do what you say you will do, even if those things are seemingly unimportant to you.

8. You Don’t Do Your Share

Doing your share of the housework may not seem like it impacts trust, but it is absolutely part of being reliable. If you’re not holding up your end of your responsibilities, your spouse could easily feel like they can’t count on you (trust you) to do other things like “How can I trust you to take care of a baby/home/pet/etc when I can’t even trust you to do your share of the dishes?”

9. You Have a Temper

If your spouse has a temper, they’re breaking trust in the marriage. People don’t like to tell things to those with tempers. They keep secrets and avoid doing things that might set off tempers.  This is a level of emotional and literal dishonesty that others have had to maintain to keep themselves safe from spousal anger.

10. You’re Super Emotional

Being super emotional isn’t necessarily a bad thing. And it’s also not always something you can control. But unfortunately, the people who love super emotional spouses sometimes find it easier to keep things from them rather than make them upset. This can have a negative impact on the trust in a marriage, from both spouses’ perspectives.

11. You’re Sneaky

You leave without saying where you’re going. You sneak in really late at night. You whisper when you talk on the phone. You don’t like to talk about your day, what you did, or where you were. You don’t necessarily have to stop doing these things, and they don’t necessarily mean you’re not trustworthy BUT now consider when you add them all together; they sure do make you look sneaky and suspect.  Opening up a little about the life you lead when you two are together will help tremendously by providing insight to your spouse.

Hopefully you notice some room for improvement in your marriage and make some positive changes, because nothing feels better than having a spouse who is your rock and I know this to be true from experience!

BMWK, how can you eliminate trust issues in your marriage?

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 45 articles on this blog.

Coach Da-Nay Macklin is a Certified Christian Life & Relationship Coach, founder of the Courageous Conquerors Mastermind and Author of Love After Adultery: The Breakthrough Journey of the Brokenhearted Available on Amazon She is one of the nation’s leading experts on infidelity and a thought leader on maximizing potential as she assists couples and individuals to live life by design and not default. Da-Nay has been has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Network’s show Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal after successfully navigating adultery in her marriage, and named one of the 15 most powerful women on the south side of Chicago. She now resides in Charlotte, NC with her loving husband and daughter.

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Marriage on the Rocks? Here are 5 Reasons Professional Counseling Works and 5 Reasons it Fails

BY: - 2 Oct '17 | Marriage

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Before getting married, my husband and I went through a pre-marital counseling of sorts. With another couple, we sat and discussed our desires, expectations, and understanding of this lifelong commitment. The idea was to prepare us for as many potential pitfalls as possible. Through a spiritual lens, this couple aimed to teach us how to navigate some of the murky waters we may one day find ourselves in.

Armed with scripture and undying passion, my man and I entered a world of wedded bliss, eyes wide open…or so we thought. You see, despite all of our preparation, nothing could prepare us for the onslaught of issues that rocked our boat around year nine. Navigating murky waters seemed almost a joke as we were tossed around by any opportunity to be misunderstood, disappointed, or hurt. The time eventually came where professional counseling was the only option. But could this individual truly help us bring our marriage back from the brink of disaster?

Now, 16 years in, I look back on that time and praise God. I mean, we have friends who, when their relationships were seriously challenged, also sought professional intervention. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to turn things around and right the ship. I’m not sure what made the difference for us. But statistically these days, couples seeking help from a therapist have a 50/50 chance of making it. With that in mind, here are 5 reasons professional marriage counseling works for some, and 5 reasons it fails for others.

5 Reasons Professional Counseling Works

  1. Both partners agree to seek and participate in therapy as scheduled with a mutually accepted counselor or therapist. This first step is important. While not impossible, it will be exceptionally difficult to fix a damaged relationship if only one party is on board with both the method and the therapist.
  2. Both partners take responsibility for his/her role in the marital conflict. If both partners are willing to see their part in the gradual decay of their relationship, it becomes that much easier to turn things around. The transition to change and healing, though still challenging, becomes less daunting.
  3. Both partners share similar goals and expectations from this experience. If the endgame, healing and reconciliation, is the same for each person, then they will be pulling in the same direction each time they meet with their counselor. As a result, all three parties working together can help them achieve the ultimate goal.
  4. Both partners commit to and cooperate with the treatment being given. By recognizing the professional training of their chosen counselor and then following their advice, a couple can begin mend their broken relationship.
  5. Both partners work together as a team to achieve their clearly defined goals. When each person in the relationship pulls their emotional, mental, and spiritual weight, the challenge to rehabilitate their relationship becomes half as difficult.

5 Reasons Professional Marriage Counseling Fails

  1. One person forces the other to agree and attend therapy sessions. If only one person is really on board with the help from a professional, then the partnership is destined for failure.
  2. The therapist may not be the appropriate match for the couple. One size doesn’t fit all in marriage counseling. It’s important to recognize if the professional you are dealing with is able to competently meet and understand the needs of both partners. If not, move on.
  3. One individual has a different agenda for the therapy sessions. If one partner’s objective is to merely lay all the blame at their spouse’s feet, then counseling won’t work. Each person must take responsibility.
  4. If either party is unwilling to forgive and move on, the therapy sessions will end in failure. Your therapist won’t drag you kicking and screaming to forgiveness. But they will make it clear that forgiveness is essential for healing. If either party is unwilling to let go of the past, the therapy sessions will be futile.
  5. Unclear goals and unspoken expectations will set both the couple and the therapist up to lose. It’s important for both partners to know and communicate what they expect from their sessions. Without a clear vision for the desired outcome, the path to recovery will be impossible to map out.

When all is said and done, the success or failure of professional marriage counseling begins and ends with each partner. If both are on board, willing to fully commit to treatment, and willing to find the right professional, the possibility of success is great. Reconciliation can only be hindered if any of those things fall out of line. So, if your marriage is on the rocks, pay attention to the signs and decide for yourself which path you want to follow.

BMWK, if your marriage is on the rocks, are you ready to turn things around?

About the author

Joann Fisher wrote 116 articles on this blog.

Joann Fisher has been a writer and editor for both print and online newpapers and magazines for the last 10 years. She now serves as a Writer/Editor at BMWK and lead Editor for The Joy Network.

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