7 Simple Trust Building Exercises for Your Marriage

BY: - 7 May '18 | Marriage

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If you’re anything like me, growing up, you heard “trust is easy to lose and hard to regain.”  Have you found this to be true?

It can be challenging for some spouses to place all their faith into their spouse.

Sometimes, a lack of trust is a result of not so favorable life experiences even without any major hurtful betrayals occurring.  However, if you add a betrayal to the equation, you can certainly expect it to be even harder to regain trust…but not impossible.

For the sake of the marital union, both spouses must genuinely partner up as a true team to not only heal and restore, but nurture the day-to-day situations to intentionally promote trust.

No matter what level of trust you and your spouse may have, the following trust exercises for couples will help you both feel that much more comfortable with one another and establish or expound upon your foundation of trust.

Start Off Sitting Face-to-Face

In a world full of distractions this basic but effective method communicates that your spouse has your undivided attention. Use this for any future conversations big or small and watch the subtle difference it will make.

Hold Your Spouse’s Hand

When you have something on your mind big or small that you are getting ready to share with your spouse, set a tone of intimacy and union by holding hands.

Touch Tenderly

Connect first, communicate second. Engage with one another in your own way.  Do what makes you both feel comfortable and cared for while being mindful to be sweet, soft, and loving with one another.

Soft Eye Contact

Sit at eye level with one another, get comfortable, and softly gaze into each other’s eyes for five minutes. The primary benefit besides building trust that comes from this exercise (along with emotional connection), is that unanticipated emotions surface that tends to lead to intimate conversations allowing that emotional connection that builds trust.

If you and/or your spouse find it difficult to do this, then it might be revealing an area of opportunity for deeper intimacy.

Terms of Endearment

Share special terms of endearment with your spouse.  For example, my term of endearment for my husband is “Luv Bug.”

Try to create something unique for your spouse, but you will want to keep it simple. You can use the classics such as “honey” or “my love” which still go a long way in helping your spouse understand you still care deeply about them. It’s also a great way to set the tone for any talk – you’re not attacking your spouse, you’re discussing how to have a closer, stronger marriage.

Gratitude Game

Think of the movie “Why Did I Get Married.” Taking turns, remind one another what you love about each other that helped lead you to the altar.

Set a timer and take turns, each rattling off a list of 10 things, or you can alternate thought for thought until you’ve exhausted your thoughts for that time (you will have plenty more for later).

This exercise supports your spouse in his/her knowledge and being reminded that there is a surplus of things that you love about them; then they will have more mental and emotional life preservers to hold on to as they conquer internal stinking thinking.

Create Consistency

Trust is built on reliability and consistency…so what can you can do to build trust? Be reliable and consistent.

There is no activity that will give you and your spouse immediate trust in a matter of minutes, but here is the next best activity…ask your spouse what things are there that you do that help them feel cared for, nurtured, safe, and last, but certainly not least, loved.  Perhaps you can schedule a weekly date night and show up on time; or, clarify which household responsibilities are yours and do them without being asked.  Always be honest and transparent with your thoughts and emotions and allow your spouse full access to your internal world.

Now make an intentional effort every day to do one of those things to the best of your ability.  If you can’t do something every day, then maybe once a week or bi-weekly but the key to remember and DO is…BE CONSISTENT!

Just like love takes times, building trust takes time and is not an overnight accomplishment.  Building trust requires repetition that becomes a habit.  The above suggestions will certainly help bring a deeper closeness and sense of connection in your marriage, but understand trust needs time to establish the foundation of your marriage.  Send this article to your spouse letting him/her know you would like to try these out. Take baby steps towards your increased sense of connection and your marriage will flourish…in time.

BMWK, are you ready to build trust in your marriage?

About the author

Da-Nay Macklin wrote 57 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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Can Being Selfless Enhance My Marriage?

BY: - 8 May '18 | Marriage

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Dr. Buckingham, I am having a hard time in my marriage because my husband believes that I am too self-centered. I grew up with three older brothers and spent most of my life having them do everything for me. When I met my husband 8 years ago, I was used to being taken care of. He knew that I could be a little self-centered when he married me. Now he wants me to change and be more selfless. I am not used to putting others first and as a result, I really do not fully understand the concept of being selfless. My question to you is why does it matter whether I am selfless or not? Can Being Selfless Enhance My Marriage?

Thanks in advance,

Mrs. Self-centered

Ask Dr. Buckingham

Dear Mrs. Self-centered,

Yes, being selfless can enhance your marriage and make you a better wife. When you put the good of your marriage above your own self-centered needs, love, trust, and vulnerability flourish. These factors are key to building a marriage that will endure over the test of time. If your husband believes that you have his best interest at hand, he will do what is needed to meet your needs. I often remind individuals that the key to getting their personal needs met in a relationship is to think about how they can serve their significant other.

Some people believe that being selfless is a mindset. I partially agree. Being selfless is a mindset and is also behavioral. You can work on being more selfless by surrounding yourself with people who behave in a selfless manner. Also, try doing little favors for your husband and assess how you feel. If you can put yourself aside, eventually you’ll feel good about your decision to serve your husband.

As you strive to become more selfless, please remember to use a balanced approach between self-centeredness and selflessness. Taking care of yourself is not a bad thing; just make time to fulfill your marital obligation. By being considerate of your husband and making him feel that his needs are just as important as yours, it’ll bring peacefulness into your marriage.

Believe it or not, being selfless toward your husband is a blessing to him and you. Your happiness in marriage is partially based on your ability to create a win-win situation. Also, keep in mind that God commands us to serve others. Philippians 2:4 tells us to “look not only to our own interests but also to the interests of others.

I believe that married individuals should always be looking at ways in which we can put what we enjoy into action even if it is not something we enjoy so much or even at all. We also need to serve our spouses with joy and a willing heart. Your marriage will be enhanced not by your personal fulfillment, but by your willingness to grow with your husband as one.

Best regards,

Dr. Buckingham

If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to askdrbuckingham@gmail.com

Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions, and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.

About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 216 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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