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?