Communication Advice for Couples:
3 Ways to Talk Trust
By Susie and Otto Collins
One sure-fire way to rebuild trust in your love
relationship or marriage is to improve the ways that you and
your partner communicate. Too often couples fall into
communication habits that contribute to disconnection and
Once you are aware of the tendencies that take you further
apart, then you can learn and practice new ways of
communicating that will help bring you closer together.
It is not so important for you to figure out which of you is
to "blame" for the mistrust and possibly disconnecting
Instead, we recommend that you and your mate make it your
intention to talk trust more of the time. Learn how to
communicate with more honesty, transparency and integrity.
This will help rebuild trust and restore your connection.
Try these 3 ways to Talk Trust:
#1) Don't lie or hide the truth in order to "keep the
peace" or make your partner happy.
Think about a child who lies about accidentally breaking a
lamp because she is afraid that her mother will be angry
with her for breaking the lamp.
Undoubtedly, the mother discovers that the lamp did not
break on its own and the dog was outdoors all afternoon. The
mother comes to the realization that her daughter broke the
lamp and then lied about it.
In just about every case, the mother is unhappy with her
child because of the lying and not so much about the broken
If you didn't learn this lesson during childhood, learn and
remember it now. People are usually most upset when they are
Whatever you did or said that you worry will make
your partner unhappy, it is probably much more manageable
than if you lie about it or hide the truth.
You really can't know for sure how another person will react
to something. Don't allow your negative expectations lead
you to be dishonest in your relationship.
Take a deep breath, get clear about what you know to be true
about your words or actions and then be honest and
transparent about them.
#2) Communicate from the present moment, not the past.
This is huge issue for many couples. Sometime ago in the
past-- or even in a past relationship with another person--
a situation or event happened in a particular way and from
that past event, the person assumes the present will follow
along in the same way.
The problem with assuming your partner will respond the same
way he or she did in the past to a similar situation is that
circumstances are often different and people themselves
It is highly likely that you and your partner have both
changed and grown over time, your preferences are different
and so are the things that trigger you.
Yes, you are the same in many ways. But you both are
different as well.
Before just about any conversation, remind yourself that you
and your mate are here in this present moment. Don't take
for granted what your partner might be thinking or assume
what he or she is about to say.
Instead, listen carefully and ask questions when you aren't
sure and would like more information.
#3) Don't agree to what you can't or won't actually do.
When you talk trust, you only make agreements with your
partner after you've checked in with yourself first. You
don't say "yes" to a request made by your mate just to get
him or her "off your back."
This almost always leads to trouble and irritated or hurt
If you feel backed into a corner about something your
partner really wants you to do, ask for some time and space.
In almost every case, you can take even a few minutes by
yourself to really tune in to how you feel about the
specific issue and request.
Ask yourself if the request is something you are willing to
do and really consider whether this is doable for you.
If you are willing to meet your mate's request, but you are
concerned about being able to follow through, share that
with your partner.
There might be a way that he or she can slightly alter the
request to make it feel more doable for you.
In order to improve communication with your partner, it is
essential that you stay in touch with your own feelings and
Get clear within yourself about what you want--
both for yourself and for your relationship. Be honest about
what you are feeling and desiring.
When you speak in an affirming way about what it is that you
want-- rather than on what you don't want-- even more
difficult topics can be easier to communicate about. You can
talk trust and move closer together.
It requires a willingness to tune in to yourself, listen
closely to your mate, and stay open and honest.