As a professional counselor, I have seen that a lack of trust is toxic to a relationship. Trust is difficult to earn, but very easy to lose. Trust is the glue that holds relationships together. Trust is your believing that your partner has your best interest at heart. Without trust, it is impossible to have a healthy relationship. However, trust goes both ways.
Can You Handle the Truth?
If you trust your partner, you tell the truth and you are open to hearing “your partner’s truth”. You are willing to have an open mind and listen even when what you are hearing is difficult to accept. If you cannot tell the truth or you refuse to hear the truth, trust becomes damaged and possibly irreparable. “The truth hurts.” But it is easier to handle and hurts less when you hear it from someone with whom you share mutual love and trust.
It might be argued that our relationships are the most important things we have. However, they are full of challenges and difficult to maintain. This is especially true at the start of a relationship. So, an important skill to master is building and rebuilding trust.
The Benefits of Trust
If you desire a close, healthy relationship being able to repair damaged trust is imperative. Close relationships offer many benefits, too. People in close, healthy relationships are said to live longer and enjoy better physical and emotional health. This can be attributed to the fact that people in close healthy relationships have a built-in emotional and physical support system. They have someone to care for them and provide comfort in times of need. Not only do people in close healthy relationships live longer, but they report being happier and more satisfied with life than individuals who have a hard time maintaining a healthy relationship.
Trust Enough to Share
It has been said that “two can live as cheaply as one”. That may not be completely true. However, there are many tangible benefits of being in a close trusting relationship. Sharing resources is a great way to get ahead in life. It is possible that working together, two can live better than either could on their own. When individuals find someone to trust and share with, both come out ahead. This is true, whether for a season or a lifetime.
People in close trusting relationships also receive more social support. They each have someone that is attentive to their needs and concerns. Having social support creates a lot of benefits. Knowing that someone cares, and wants for you what you want for yourself, allows you to handle life’s problems more effectively. People who feel loved and supported make better decisions and they experience less stress and anxiety in the process.
Trust Makes Life More Enjoyable
Finally, having a companion makes life more enjoyable as you share life’s little things. Sharing or preparing meals together, exercising, walking the dog, enjoying a movie, worshiping, entertaining or shopping . Together, everything can be more fun. So, the bottom line is close relationships “can” provide many benefits to people who are willing and able to build and maintain healthy, trusting relationships.
* J Thomas Smith is host of “Sunday Morning Live” on KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 am). He is an attorney, author, keynote speaker and mental health consultant. Your comments are welcome: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @drjtsmith102.