Build More Relationship Trust

If you’re like us, you’ve been amazed to watch how this US presidential election has unfolded over the past year.We’ve been especially interested in how much the idea of “trust” plays into who gets elected and what this has to teach us about our own relationships.

Regardless of your politics, the person who wins any election is the one who voters think is most aligned with their “rules” for living.A vote for a candidate, especially in this election where such a high percentage of people did vote, says “I trust you.”This is no different from how it is in your relationships.

As we are choosing whether to be in a relationship with someone or not, we are looking for how we are aligned with him or her. Whether we realize it or not, we are looking for someone with similar “rules” for living. We are looking for someone in alignment with whatever rules we’ve made up about what a relationship looks like.

When we do commit to being in a relationship, for most people, it’s a “vote” that says “I trust you.”

What usually happens when you make that commitment is that the relationship goes along just fine until (and we use the word “until”on purpose) one or both of you does something or not do something to break the trust–in small or not so small ways.

One or both of you might have made a half-hearted “trust vote” because of painful experiences in past relationships which makes trusting in this relationship pretty difficult.

You may have withheld trust because your “rules” say that you’ll be hurt if you do.

Now of course, most of us withhold our trust and ourselves from others from time to time and in some cases, maybe for good reason.

But if you want a close, connected, loving relationship with better communication, passion or whatever else you want, you’ll want to look at where you might be withholding your true self.

You might want to look at the “rules” that are holding you back from trusting and if you want to change those rules. The good part of this is that we all can change the rules that we’ve made up that are no longer working for us.

If we do, we can create more of what we want.


Our rules can be flexible if we allow them to be and we can open to allowing them to morph and flow with another person’s rules.

We can deepen our trust in one another.

Here’s a really simple example…

This past weekend we were at a seminar that was held in a city that was 7 hours from our home so we decided to drive. When we’ve done this in the past, we’ve left the seminar a little early on the last day so we could drive the 7 hours home that evening. Typically, we’d get home about 2am and would actually not accomplish a lot the next day because we were too tired from the trip.

Now, although we would both agree to this “rule,” (leaving the seminar early and driving home immediately) it was mainly Susie’s desire to get home so we could be productive the next day.

After doing this several times and NOT being productive the next day, it dawned on Susie that maybe her rule might not be the only way to look at this situation. This time we decided to stay over night and leave the next day after the seminar ended. We had a great trip and actually got a lot of planning work done in the car.

By being flexible, looking at the situation a little differently and changing some rules, we had an experience that seemed to flow. It deepened our trust for one another as we realized that we were both open and willing to looking at a situation differently to get a better result.

Here are some ideas on how to change some of the rules that may be keeping you from loving deeper and trusting the people in your life more…

1. Look at what seems difficult or lacks ease in your life. What are the rules underneath your dis-ease?  Maybe you are expecting someone to act in a certain way and he or she isn’t playing along with your rule.

2. Talk with your partner about your rules and be open to hearing your partner’s rules without judging them. Realize that you each have choices and these rules aren’t created in stone.

3. Decide if you are willing to change or be a little easier with those rules. If your rule is one that is in total alignment with your values and what you stand for, you may not want to change it–let’s say something big like monogamy in the relationship.  But you might be a little easier about your “monogamy” rule if it includes that your partner cannot talk or be alone with someone of the opposite gender–even though your partner appears to be faithful.

4. Look for evidence of more trust and ease between the two of you. One woman was very upset that her husband hadn’t been wearing his wedding ring and made up a lot of negative stories about why he had stopped. Her rule said that if her husband wore his wedding ring, it was an outward sign of his love and commitment.

Although she still believed in the symbol of their wedding ring, she eased her belief about what it meant that he wasn’t wearing it. Instead of focusing on his not wearing his wedding ring, she began focusing on the experience that she wanted with him. As she shifted her rule and her focus, more trust and love actually showed up in the relationship for both of them.

So this week, we invite you to open to looking at what is difficult in your life and your rule that is holding this difficulty in place.  Look for opportunities to create ease in your relationship while still being true to who you are.

Look for opportunities to shift your focus to what you want.

For more ideas about building trust, especially after an affair, visit

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