Anyone who's ever been in a relationship knows that love isn't the only important component to making it work. In fact, there are many things that are far more important than love in a relationship, if you want it to last. One of those things, if not the most important thing in addition to love is trust. Without trust you have, well, not much.
"Falling in love and being in a committed relationship require a leap of faith," LeslieBeth Wish, noted author, licensed psychotherapist, and founder of Love Victory, tells Bustle. "You have to put aside your insecurities and trust your partner. But, oops, if you tend to be insecure or if you and your partner have fallen into troubled waters, well, then you could easily read — or misread — some of your partner's behaviors as signs that you should not trust them."
Trust isn't simply just about trust either. Mutual trust is also a sign of mutual respect and, again, that's something that's profoundly paramount in any relationship that has any chance in hell of succeeding. But the problem with trust is that once it's lost, it's hard to get back, and sometimes that lack of trust can come from the most unlikely of places and situations. Here are seven unexpected small habits that can make partners less likely to trust each other, according to experts.
1. Being Secretive About Money
According to Dr. Wish, if either partner is hiding the checkbook or making a beeline to the mail to the get the bank statement or credit card bills first, then that can shake trust in a relationship. Since money remains a top source of conflict in relationships, sometimes even leading to breakups, it's important to have an open dialogue about money.
2. Ending Phone Calls Abruptly
"Suddenly getting off the phone during a conversation can make trust questionable," says Dr. Wish. While, in theory, it doesn't seem like a big deal, but if you really think about it, you have to accept that if your partner suddenly says, mid-phone call, "I have to go," then the phone goes dead, something could be hidden. Sure, they might be planning a surprise getaway to the Caribbean for the two of you, but it could also be something else — especially if the habit continues.
3. An Abrupt Shift In Moods
Sure, we all have days when we're so far from being up to par that it can be aggravating and even suspicious to anyone who knows us, but if it's abrupt and often, then it will definitely make your partner wonder.
"Being moody, picking arguments, or being more withdrawn," according to Dr. Wish, are habits that can cause a rift in trust among partners. Such behavior points to the obvious — that something is wrong — and if that something isn't being shared or honestly discussed, then it's hard to find trust anywhere in there.
4. Phone Secrecy
Although we're all allowed some level of privacy in our relationships, when partners are extra secretive about their phones, things can start to feel shady. "Hiding your cell phone or changing the login [are habits that can cause trust issues]," says Dr. Wish.
But while this might be the case and may have you ripping out your hair in wonder as to what's on that phone, the last thing you want to do is go snooping. Not only will snooping drive you mad, but it's also easy to misread or misunderstand things if you don't know the whole story.
5. Working More Than Usual
"Staying out late, working more at the office, being on the computer longer, or meeting with others more often [can make partners less likely to trust each other]," says Dr. Wish. It's one thing if there's a big project to be worked on or finished, but if it continues, negative curiosity can arise.
6. Not Being Sexually Intimate
Sex ruts happen all the time. And if you and your partner have a relationship where sex has never been a big part of it, then trust, at least in regards to this habit, won't be an issue. But if you and your partner have sex regularly, then there's a major drop in just how often you're getting down and dirty — and it doesn't feel like the usual sex rut — suspicions may skyrocket, according to Dr. Wish. Granted, you're under no obligation, whatsoever, to have sex when you're not in the mood (and neither is your partner), but this is still a small habit that, if it continues, can have both you and your partner raising your eyebrows.
7. Your Suspicions Are Making Each Other Suspicious
Like a lot of feelings, suspicion can be contagious. If your habits are making your partner suspicious and your partner's habits are making you suspicious, then you can find yourself in a vicious circle. And the only way to put an end to vicious circles is to, of course, communicate.
"Your hunches could be true — or not," says Dr. Wish. "What should you do? Take a quick self-inventory of yourself. Ask yourself questions such as: Am I feeling insecure for some reason? Do I have a history from my family or past relationships that prompt me to be mistrustful? Am I the unhappy one — and I am doing or thinking of doing things that might break the trust in the relationship? If you think you have reason to doubt your partner, talk it out. Ask your partner if they are going through a rough time. Take your time —don't lead with accusations."
We're all guilty of shady behavior from time to time, but that doesn't necessarily mean we're up to no good or doing anything that might be even remotely hurtful to our partner. But, if you can make yourself — and your partner — aware of habits that are likely to throw each of you for a loop and down the long rabbit hole of distrust, you can get ahead of them and, ideally, avoid any unnecessary pain or drama.