The Crucial Role of Trust in a Relationship

Marcelina Hardy, MSEd, BCC
What is Trust in a Relationship

If you are in a turbulent situation with your significant other you may find yourself asking, "What is trust in a relationship?" Depending on someone and believing in that person is the foundation of all healthy romantic bonds. It provides intimacy and security between two people. You cannot be with your partner for long if you do not have trust in him or her.

Development of Trust

Trust in a relationship develops early in a person's life. People learn how to believe in others at a young age. Infants learn to depend on their caregivers as soon as they are born. When caregivers provide nurturance to a child, this child will learn that he or she can believe in others.

However, neglected infants feel insecure and have difficulty relying on others. The child will grow up worrying about whether or not other people will fail. This child will grow up with a fear of rejection and abandonment.

Betrayal in the past is another factor in the ability to open up to a current partner. If someone has betrayed another person by cheating or divulging personal information, that person will have a difficult time believing that it will not happen again. When a new partner tries to get close, the betrayed person will use a defense to avoid future pain. This guard will make it difficult for the betrayed to rely on another person even if he or she seems trustworthy.

Understanding What is Trust in a Relationship

When examining your romantic bond, take a hard look at your feelings. Believing that the other person is trustworthy is a good sign of a healthy relationship. Here are some other factors involved in determining the level of trust you have in your partner:

  • Letting go

Letting go of past betrayal is important in opening up to someone else. If you constantly live in fear that your partner will leave you or hurt you, you cannot rely on your partner. You need to let your guard down and understand this person is not going to harm you as others have done in the past.

  • Opening up

When you open up to someone you are making yourself vulnerable, which means you have faith this person will not harm you. Being able to discuss your fears, hopes and dreams is one of the greatest things about being with someone romantically.

  • Honesty

Honesty is crucial when sharing a romantic bond. The connection you have with your significant other cannot thrive if deception or manipulation is present. Dishonesty will cause you or your partner to shut down feelings. It can quickly undermine the integrity between the two of you.

  • Integrity

If your partner has cheated on someone else or been deceptive in the past, you may have a difficult time letting this go. Integrity is how you view that person as an individual. If you see this person as someone who has the potential to harm you in someway, you are going to have a hard time trusting that person.

Rebuilding Trust

Rebuilding trust is difficult but not impossible. Many couples who cheated on their significant other have worked on it and have rebuilt faith in that person. It takes a lot of work on both sides. The victim needs time to heal.

Healing after your trust has been broken includes a time to grieve. There are necessary stages of grief, including denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance. If you do not go through each of these stages, you will never reach the final stage of acceptance. Acceptance will allow you to let go of the past and move on to trusting again.

The time that it takes to get to the last stage of grief varies within individuals. It depends on the degree of pain. If you have betrayed your partner all you can do is be patient. Showing that you are regretful and willing to make up for your mistakes is a good start in helping your significant other realize that you are committed to rebuilding the connection you both once had with each other.

Final Thoughts

Understanding what it means to rely on someone is important in determining if your partner is trustworthy. This is the most important factor in the bond you have together. If you are able to completely open up without fearing rejection, betrayal or hurt, then you have faith in your partner. Having this knowledge of what is trust in a relationship can help you determine if you have a healthy bond with your significant other.

The Crucial Role of Trust in a Relationship