- To Honor and Build Trust in
by Susie and Otto Collins
"One Way To Honor and Build
Trust in Your Relationship and Each Other"
There are things in every relationship
that are sacred. One of these things that we think is most sacred
is the trust that can be developed if both people in the relationship
honor that thoughts and feelings, whether they are of a positive
nature or negative, will be shared first with each other.
Here's an example from our own
lives to show you what we mean...
Both of us, in our previous relationships,
felt the need to talk to friends and not always our spouses about
what was really on our minds. We often chose to tell our inner
most secrets and frustrations to our friends and omit this information
when we talked with our spouses.
Although this wasn't the primary
reason both of these relationships ended in divorce, we think
that it was one way that trust was eroded and not built in those
When we got together in our relationship,
we figured out that if we hoped to have a relationship built
on trust and deep connection that this type of intimate sharing
with others was a pattern of behavior that had to stop.
If there was conflict, disagreement
or challenges that came up, we agreed that we would talk to each
other instead of venting our frustrations with a friend or co-worker.
This was our sacred agreement with each other.
We just love Bruce Springsteen's
song, "If I should fall behind" because it says exactly
how we have chosen to be in a relationship with each other. In
the song he says, "Let's make our steps clear so the other
To us, this means telling the
other person what we are thinking as soon as we have sorted it
out ourselves. We don't feel like we have to hide or sugar-coat
our truth about a situation or unload on a friend how we are
truly feeling without first telling each other.
This doesn't mean we never talk
to friends and other family members about our thoughts or what's
happening in our lives. Quite the contrary.
What we are saying is that we
have agreed to tell each other first, things that are personal
and feelings that come up about the other person.
If you find that you have been
complaining to other people about your partner or someone close
to you and you are not telling your partner how you are feeling,
By talking to others first about
your issues instead of the person involved, you will continue
to erode the safety and trust in your relationship. By talking
to others about your issues instead of the person your conflict
is with, you could be playing the role of the victim or martyr.
Believe it or not, you may actually
be enjoying the sympathy and attention from other people that
you are getting from complaining about the situation with your
If you want to build trust and
create a close, connected relationship, we've found that this
kind of behavior has to stop.
Choosing to let your partner
know where you stand and what is going on inside you is not only
a way to build trust but also a way to deepen your connection