In my clinic in Sydney where I see people for marriage guidance and relationship problems, I always tell them the first thing that relationships are built on is trust.
When you are in a long-term relationship you depend on the other person to support you and have your back in difficult times. So, it follows you must also bring those qualities to a relationship.
Relationships are based on trust
For so many reasons, however, people get themselves into a situation where they may be withholding information from, lying to or chronically deceiving their partner.
Once you go down this road it can be very hard to come back from and before long there is a whole underlying lack of trust happening within the relationship. This causes resentment, suspicion and ever greater deception, until the relationship is just not working at all.
Deception in relationships is like a cancer
If there are children involved, the break-down of the relationship can have catastrophic effects on the family and those children’s sense of security in discovering their parents aren’t working things out.
You might say you are a great parent but in truth if you are not doing what’s required to make your family work, you are not the great parent you think you are.
Answer these questions:
- Are there things you are afraid to tell your partner?
- What chronic lies are you telling?
- Do you hide things from your partner?
- What things are you afraid to discuss in your relationship?
- Can you spot the areas where problems have occurred due to deception?
- Have you and your partner got an agreement about being honest with each other?
As human beings we all have great triumphs and mistakes in the way we live our lives. As the proverb goes ‘To err is human, to forgive is divine.’ And of course in relationships that needs to cut both ways.
In reality, however, it must always begin with you setting the tone for the relationship and negotiation with your partner about how you can built that trust every day you are together.
So, at times you and the person you are in a relationship with need to be able to set the reset button together, talk about what is working and the thorny subject of what is not working, work towards fixing the problems, and make the effort to actually fix them.
Anyone can have a good relationship when things are going well but the test of a relationship is how you handle the difficult times together as a team.
So can you say with your hand on your heart that you are a team?
- Love is never enough to make a relationship work, as it is what you do, not just what you say
- Don’t play the blame game as we all make mistakes
- Create a pact to be honest with each other on a day-to-day basis
- Make trust the foundation of the ways you interact with each other
- Take the responsibility to work on your relationship daily
- Constantly celebrate the many positive, loving connections you make together
Do you need help with your relationship?
I work with couples and families in marriage guidance and relationship counselling to help people create more positive, trusting and connecting relationships. I am a member of the College of Psychotherapy in the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) and a member of the Australian Association of Sex Educators, Researchers and Therapists (Assert, NSW). I see couples in my clinic in Sydney and also consult via Skype in Australia and other countries.