Romance is nice. Great sex is awesome. Laughter is a big plus. But having trust in your relationship? That’s a no-brainer. Of all the things that help keep things between you and your bae healthy and happy, being able to rely on them and believe what they do and say is pretty damn important.
“Being able to trust your partner is the foundation for a healthy relationship. It helps you develop positive communication skills and reinforces the idea that you respect and honor your partner's differences and desires without your own ego getting in the way,” sex and relationship expert, Dr. Kat Van Kirk tells Bustle.
But even if you both know how vital it is to have faith in one another, many struggle with trust in relationships. From being cheated on in the past to how they were raised and the home they grew up in, there are many contributing factors that could cause someone to be overly suspicious. If you’re worried your partner doesn’t trust you — and you want to do something about it — see if these signs sound like your relationship:
1. Looking At Your Phone Can Cause A Fight
Picture it: you’re enjoying a chill night in with your partner and your phone goes off. Even though it’s just your mom reminding you for the tenth time about something happening in six weeks, your partner can’t help but question if you’re talking to someone else. Constant connectivity can be both a blessing and a curse for a relationship — and for those who struggle with trust, not knowing what’s going on in your digital life can be scary. “They feel entitled to this information. If you refuse, you may find that they accuse you of untrustworthy behavior,” Dr. Kirk says.
To help them trust you more — even if you haven’t done anything wrong — consider sharing the passcodes to each other’s phones. Dr. Kirk says that chances are, after a few weeks of looking through, they will relax when they know there isn’t anything you’re doing that is wrong. They will eventually stop having as many requests to see your phone because they’ll build faith in you and your relationship over time.
2. They’re Jealous Over... Everything
If you find yourself constantly accusing your partner of being jealous, it’s evident that they don’t trust what you do when you aren’t around them. Usually, you’ll notice signs that your partner wants to always be by your side and if they’re not, they’ll pick a fight. This might even stem into your partner asking you to not be friends with people they think could be a bad influence — and Dr. Kirk says that’s a big sign to change something, stat. “Their jealous may be triggered by one or more of your friendships,” Dr. Kirk says. “In turn, they may attempt to intimidate you or someone else into not engaging in whatever relationship is upsetting them.”
To the rescue? Have a heart-to-heart with your friends and explain what’s happening. And then suggest that when they’re around your partner next time to mention how much they appreciate them. Hopefully your friends are up for the challenge of carefully crafting that reassurance into conversation. This will make them relax more, and build trust not only in your relationship, but in your friendships, too.
3. They’re Always Questioning Your Choices
No matter what you do — from picking up groceries for dinner to booking your rental car for your vacation — if your partner isn’t trusting you to do anything or questioning why you do things, they don’t believe in your ability to well, be a partner. “Your partner's trust issues may be more subtle,” Dr. Kirk says. “They may not ever seek your opinion because they do not trust your feedback.” This type of distrust can be detrimental to your relationship because it not only pulls you apart, but can be trying on your self-esteem.
If you start noticing this sign, it’s best to confront and be honest with your partner about how it’s making you feel when he or she treats you that way. If they really value the love you share, then they’ll make an effort to change how they speak to you. If they don’t, it’s best to distance yourself and even possibly take a break until they can overcome their issues. If you can’t be someone who supports your choices and at least values your opinions, it is not a healthy way to fall or stay in love.
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