When you’re faced with delicate relationship issues, it’s time to reconnect and build trust.
Learning how to build trust is an important element of a successful relationship, but it’s not always the easiest thing to do, especially when trust has already been lost.
In the span of just a couple of hours, we’ve heard the stories of two women who needed to learn how to fix a relationship after dealing with what they called “thorny relationship issues” with their partners and they didn’t know what to do.
The first woman said that when her kids were sick, she and her husband disagreed about whether to take them to a family physician for treatment or to a naturopathic doctor for alternative care.
She felt really strongly about taking a more natural approach to healing but her husband thought the kids were so sick that they needed a more immediate solution than the “natural” remedies would provide.
The second woman explained that her partner was “friends” with a woman at work and she was worried that their relationship would go beyond friendship. However, her partner had dismissed her fears and denied that anything was going on.
In both cases, neither woman felt heard or understood. And when you’re not heard or understood, trust issues start coming up.
We all experience relationship problems and issues from time to time, not just with an intimate partner but also with family members, friends or co-workers. These are issues that when a decision is made, it appears that one person “wins” and the other “loses”.
And the reality is that both of you “lose” in situations like these because of disconnection, resentment, and loss of trust.
But there are ways to look at this kind of situation a little differently so that you don’t have to stay disconnected and distant even though you disagree — and you learn how to fix a relationship and build trust in the process.
Here are 3 ways to fix a relationship when you’re faced with these trust issues.
1. Recognize when you are deeply invested in being right and turn your attention inward.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have strong opinions or values. It does mean to get conscious about how you’re coming across to the other person when you do.
And you discover this by tuning inside you to find out how your body is responding to your convictions:
- Is your jaw tense and hard, showing the other person a hard, unbending exterior?
- Are you taking very short, shallow breaths that are upping your anxiety level?
- Are your eyes penetrating and hard, discouraging discussion and making the other person defensive and holding onto his or her opinion even more fiercely?
Check-in with how your body is reacting and consciously relax parts that are tense by taking some slow deep breaths. This builds trust and promotes openness in both of you.
2. Recognize that your thinking is just your thinking.
We all have thoughts that come in all shapes and sizes and our tendency is to believe the worst possible scenario thinking that somehow it will keep us safe.
When we give energy to those thoughts, we keep ourselves stuck. When you hang onto being right, there is no room for any other possibilities to open up.
Your creativity is blocked and you’re unable to discover a solution that might be acceptable to both of you.
When you find your mind fixated on an absolute truth that is directly in opposition to your loved one, take a moment, relax and allow for the possibility for a new, fresh idea to emerge.
It’s surprising how this simple idea has created trust in our relationship when we’ve allowed the space for another way or solution to come to light.
3. Think opportunity, not ‘my way’ or ‘your way.’
As Susie says:
“Whenever I’ve realized that I’m just in a ‘thought storm’ of negativity about Otto and that I don’t have to buy into it, magic seems to happen. I get softer in my body (no, that doesn’t mean that I ‘give in’ all the time) and I’m more of an invitation to him to also soften and open to me. When I relax inside me and not make up ‘stories’ about him or how he should act, I open to opportunities and a discussion rather than bracing to try to get my way.”
Healthy relationships have trust that took time, patience, and understanding to build.
And our wish for you is tons of more trust and love in your life and that begins with you and how you’re able to navigate those “thorny relationship issues” that are inevitable in relationships.
Choose a new way today!
Susie and Otto Collins are certified Relationship Coaches who have helped men and women have happier, easier communication, relationships, and lives for the past 20 years. Go to their website for more articles on communication and other relationship topics on their website.
This article was originally published at Susie & Otto’s website. Reprinted with permission from the author.