Do You Have Emotional Trust?
By: Kathy
March 25, 2012

I had a couple in my office recently and they were going back and forth.  I wondered why such a simple conversation was so difficult.  Then it hit me ~ they don’t trust each other!  The trust was so eroded in their relationship that they could not even have a simple conversation!  They lacked what I will call ‘emotional trust’.

Emotional trust, in my book, is different from the big trust issues like physical abuse, infidelity, secretly running up debt, abruptly abandoning the relationship altogether, etc.  These items certainly affect emotional trust, but the emotional trust I want to talk about is more subtle. It is about ‘creating an environment of every day trust with your partner’.

Is your partner on your side?  They don’t always have to agree with you, but are they genuinely interested in what you think?  Do they sometimes take your input and adjust their course based on it?

Can you talk to your partner without getting attacked?  Can you express your feelings, wants, needs, thoughts, etc. without fear of an argument or inquisition?  Can you trust your partner to respond in a respectful tone, with sincere interest in helping you to feel satisfied with the interaction?

Does your partner care if your needs are getting met or not?  Or are they more concerned about their own?  I had a wonderful conversation with someone recently who said, “your partner’s needs should matter more than your own.”  If both spouses are conducting themselves that way, then they have great emotional trust!

Does your partner genuinely care about your well-being? 
If you come to them with a problem, can you trust them to help you with it? Or are there things you avoid talking about or addressing because you don’t trust their reaction?

Does seeing you happy make your significant other happy?  Does what matter to you, matter to them?  Do they sincerely want you to get your needs met, even if it means theirs may go unmet for a time?

Does your mate care enough about the state of your relationship to resolve conflicts?  Do they follow up after a conflict to try to resolve it?  Can you trust that they will discuss it calmly if you bring it up?

Does your mate actually like you and believe you are a good person?  Do they trust that your intentions are good?  Can you share just about anything with your mate and feel they will still accept you?

Does your partner have your best interest at heart?  Can they hear when something they are doing is hurting you?  Are they willing to adjust their behavior or do they keep doing it ‘their way’?

Does your spouse honestly care about these things simply because they love you?  Or are they only going through the motions to get something for themselves in return?

Think about it this way. . . This is your primary relationship, the person you have committed to and have a history with.  Harville Hendrix summed it up best when he said, “Marriage, ultimately, is the practice of becoming passionate friends.

We all want intimacy in our relationships, but demanding intimacy when there is no emotional trust is like trying to get blood from a turnip!

To HAVE emotional trust – we must be able to be who we are in our relationship and still be accepted and loved.

To GIVE emotional trust – we must be able to put ourselves aside and be a good friend, a best friend, to our spouse.

For MUTUAL emotional trust, we must both be able to do both.

Whatever the current Emotional Trust level in your relationship, you can begin working to improve it – today!