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6 Ways to Build Trust With Your Partner

Trust is one of the cornerstones of a great relationship.

Source: Ravipat/Shutterstock

Trust is one of the cornerstones of a great relationship. If you don’t completely trust the one you love, you will never be comfortable. However, there are many ways to strengthen or build trust. Here are some tips to get you started.

1. It may all be in your head.

If you have been betrayed in the past, you may still carry some of that old suspicion with you. If your partner is gone too long or is not answering their cell phone, it can trigger some unhealed wounds. Talk to your other half, and be honest about what you went through, so the two of you can work something out. If you have trust issues from the past, you have to deal with them.

2. Share your personal passwords with your partner.

You should have nothing to hide from the person you share your life with. (Note: This rule does not apply to passwords on professional accounts: for example, if you are a doctor or attorney, where you must maintain client confidentiality.) Generally, it’s a good idea to be transparent with your communications. It’s all about building a level of comfort for and with the person you love.

3. Always answer honestly.

When my wife asks me who I’m texting or talking to, I always respond, but sometimes I say “a client,” and it stops there. I don’t keep other chat programs on my phone, and she knows she can find me anytime she needs to, because I always keep my phone on, just in case. I want to be there for her and never give her a reason to doubt me and never have any doubts about her. Doubting your partner is too hard on any marriage.

4. Be open about your friendships.

One of the reasons we trust one another is that we know everyone in each other’s life, and we like to share our friends. This is a way of adding comfort and making it easier to be together or to feel fine when you aren’t. My wife is best friends with my ex, so when they are together, I know they are safe, and they have so much to talk about.

5. Socialize together.

I know that you can’t like everyone your partner likes, and vice versa, and maybe one of you golfs, and the other doesn’t. But as an example, I know several spouses who meet up after a round and have dinner with their mates and the other players and their partners. It's a nice way to have a party where you don’t have to cook or clean up afterwards.

6. Flirt with your partner.

This actually builds trust. If your partner knows you find them desirable, it removes any worry about fidelity or intention. I never let my wife forget that she is beautiful, desirable, and the luckiest woman in the world—and she reminds me that I’m the luckiest man. Some people lose that sweetheart banter along the way, which is a shame, because flirting does so much for your connection.

Trust doesn’t just come. It has to be earned—even if you’ve done nothing to break it. And remember, even things that have been built well and have a solid foundation need occasional maintenance. You can’t take love for granted. Ever.

More from Barton Goldsmith Ph.D.
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