Trust is always mentioned as one of the top two or three things that a marriage must have to be happy and successful. A great deal of unhappiness in marriages is caused by a lack of trust. At the same time, a great deal of happiness in marriage comes from each partner trusting and being trusted by the other.
But what kind of trust are we talking about?
Drs. Evelyn and Paul Moschetta say there are different types of trust in marriage and each is vital to a happy and healthy relationship. They spell them out in a great article on Care2.com, called “5 Kinds of Trust Married Couples Need.”
The Moschetta’s state that
Research into strong healthy marriages revealed five specific kinds of trust husbands and wives give one another. So, we suggest you go over the following list and check which kinds of trust you bring (or do not bring) into your marriage. Ask your spouse to do the same and share your results. This is an excellent way to clarify where your trust is solid and where it needs work.”
Here are the five kinds of trust every marriage needs:
1. Trust that you will be faithful.
This is the type of trust most people mean when they talk about trust in marriage. The Moschettas say that a couple can recover from infidelity, but they should seek help to do it and that if you’re unhappy in your marriage, you should find a counselor, not a lover.
2. Trust that you will not harm, reject or control one another.
Trust thrives in an atmosphere of safety and security,” say the Moschettas, but fear and insecurity undermine trust. They add that “With control comes mistrust so make sure your love is not filled with a lot of possessive clinging which pushes your partner away.”
3. Trust that you love one another without ulterior motives.
You and your spouse need to feel sure you are loved for yourself and not some ulterior motive. That includes your looks, your money, your family.”
We’ll add that if you think your partner is unsure about why you love him or her, you’re the one to let them know, and often.
4. Trust that you will not abandon one another in the face of anger, conflict and disagreements.
Everyone knows that disagreements and even fights will happen in a marriage, even in a happy marriage. What matters is how you handle these issues when they come up.
Make it safe for the careful expression of anger and for disagreements to happen without raising a fear of abandonment. You do this by never using the threat of divorce against your spouse.”
5. Trust that you will keep each other and your marriage a top priority.
We talk about this issue a lot on Rockin’ Marriage because it is so essential to make your marriage your number one priority and to make sure your spouse knows it, too. As the Moschettas put it,
Partners trust that they mean it when they promise to love, honor and cherish one another. When you take each other for granted, neglect your relationship or consistently give too much time and energy to other things and people you break that trust.”
Take some time today to sit down with your husband or wife and see how you’re doing in these five areas of trust. If some of them need work, agree on ways to make every type of trust in your marriage as solid as it can be.