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.
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.
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.
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?