Aditi, 38, and Samar, 42, sat on opposite ends of the couch during their first couples counselling session. When I ask them about some of the obstacles, they are facing in their 5-year marriage, Aditi opened up about why she wanted to meet with me.
Like Aditi and Samar, many of the couples that I work with in my clinic have feelings of mistrust when it comes to facing daily life challenges initial years are always challenging and often it has a lot of things to do with trust.
Aditi said Samar has been cold-shouldering her ever since she spent without his consent and was unhappy with the billings. Even though it was strictly for her own business.
Trust is an Important Aspect of Intimacy
Aditi knows that her emotional sensitivity makes it hard for her to open up to Samar and increase her fear of being hurt or left alone by him. She strives to be clear with Samar about finances but struggles to do it because she does not feel secure in her relationship with him. After going through a difficult divorce, Aditi has trust issues and describes how she is fearing of losing Samar.
Although Aditi does not believe she was overspending on her business, she also understands that withholding financial information is building mistrust and damaging her marriage.
Then Samar said, I do not always want to talk things through, but it does not mean I do not love Aditi. She feels insecure and wants me to reassure her every time that I will be there for her and she needs to understand that I am not going to leave her as her ex-husband did. When she gets mistrustful, her voice tone changes, and she mostly threatens to leave me.
Then Aditi responded, things do not always go well when we disagree. When we have issues, Samar does not normally want to talk about it. And I have an issue because my ex-partner also gave me the silent treatment and then left after saying that he wanted a divorce. I feel dejected and rejected when Samar goes into his shell, but I am learning to let go of my old baggage and provide him space.
So, what can they do now?
Learning to trust each other
One of the toughest things about trusting someone is learning to have faith in your own judgment. Trust is about a lot more than finding signs that your partner has been dishonest. It is about believing that they have your best interests in their heart.
Every person is born with the ability to trust others but due to life experiences, you may have become less trusting as a form of self-defense. Falling in love and getting married can be uplifting and scary all at once. An incapability to trust a new partner can take several forms, from feeling they are dishonest or secretive, to doubting they are going to keep their promises or be fallible.
Take a moment to think about this. Your partner is not alone responsible for creating mistrustful feelings. In the majority of the cases, you should take equal responsibility for making an atmosphere of safety and security in your relationship. In order to start the process of overcoming mistrust, ask yourself:
· What is the story that you are narrating yourself?
· Do you fear of loss and abandonment cloud your perspective and cause you to overreact to your partner’s actions?
· Is your mistrust coming from something that is really happening in the present, or is it related to your past?
· Do you feel comfortable asking for what you need and allowing yourself to be vulnerable?
· Do you bring your best self to your interactions with your partner?
· Do you possess self-love and allow yourself to be loved and respected?
Several relationships are damaged by self-fulfilling prophecies. If you believe your partner will harm you, you can unconsciously boost hurts to emerge in your relationship. But gradually, if you learn to operate from a viewpoint that your partner loves you and desires the best for you, you can enjoy trust in your marriage.
Here are 7 ways to proactively build trust in your relationship.
Identify your feelings and practice being vulnerable in minor steps
Develop confidence in being open with your partner. Discussing small issues like schedules and meals is a good place to begin before handling bigger matters like disciplining kids and finances.
Be honest and discuss about key issues in your relationship
Be certain to be forthcoming regarding finances, your past, and issues with a family member, co-workers, or kids. Do not sweep vital issues under the rug since this can lead to resentment.
Challenge mistrustful thoughts
Ask yourself, is your lack of trust due to your partner’s actions, your own insecurities, or both? Be aware of unresolved problems from your past relationships that could be triggering mistrust in the present.
Believe in your intuition and instincts
Have faith in your own perceptions and give attention to red flags. Be prone and ask for reassurance if you feel mistrustful.
Think your partner has good intentions
If he/she lets you down, it could just be failure incompetence at times people simply make a mistake.
Listen to your partner’s side of the case
Believe that there are honest and genuine people in the world. Unless you have a valid reason to mistrust him/her, have faith in your partner.
Practice having a recovery conversation post an argument
Take a little break if you feel overwhelmed and flooded and set a timeline to process what happened. This will provide you both time to calm down and analyse your thoughts so you can have a more meaningful conversation with your partner.
For a relationship to succeed in the longer course, you should be able to trust each other. Building trust with a partner is actually about the small moments of connection that lets you to feel safe and to truly believe that your partner will be there up for you. It is the bedrock of a happy, long term partnership.
An important part of my work with Aditi and Samar focused on facilitating conversations between them that assisted to rebuild trust and affirm their commitment to each over time.
For example, Samar was able to be vulnerable and apologize for giving Aditi the silent treatment, which triggered her feelings of being mistrust and insecurity. Rather than telling her, she was too needy, he started responding to her bids for connection quite often. Luckily, Aditi gave Samar a sincere apology for her monetary infidelity linked to expenditures for her business, and she promised to practice complete disclosure in the future.
In the end, Aditi said, it was not expected when Samar was willing to listen to her side of the story and not throw out blame. I made an error and was willing to accept it for my actions but he did not rub it in or make me feel guilty than I already did. It feels like we can start again now that I have apologized and made a promise to be more open with Samar. I understand that I am fortunate that Samar forgave me.
You have the ability to shackle free from the hold that mistrust has on your relationship and make the kind of intimacy you deserve.
**To keep the confidentiality intact the names of the clients have been changed.
Marriage Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo
I am Counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo, I am an experienced and certified counselling psychologist, Gottman Method Certified Couples Therapist and works with eminent Hospitals in Delhi. I have helped over 17,000 couples and individuals, both in India and abroad, and helped them to solve their relationship issues, communication difficulties, and intimacy issues and rejuvenate their marital life.
I also have specialization in the area of Personal Crisis interventions like coping-up with Separation and Divorce, Domestic and Sexual Abuse, Child and Adolescent issues, Depression, Stress, Loss, and Grief, Suicidal feelings. I am currently working with India’s top hospital groups like IBS Hospital New Delhi (Institute of Brain & Spine) and with Express Clinics. I am also a Level 3 Trained Gottman Method Certified Couples Therapist.
Your Counselor Is Now Just Skype/Video Call Away
During the current challenging time, it’s common to experience anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and relationship challenges at home. While you are under lockdown and maintaining social distancing norms to help the country to control COVID-10 spread, your very own counsellor Shivani is now just a call and Skype video call away from you.
However, in this age of coronavirus, we hope to offer our therapeutic help. Change is difficult for all of us and changing the way you meet with your therapist is no exception. But try it before you disregard this option. This is a challenging moment in time, and fears and anxieties are running high.
You may find, telepsychology isn’t a second-rate option. Instead, it’s an effective and efficient upgrade to a valuable service!
Feel free to call Counselor Shivani Misri Sadhoo at +91-8860875040 for telephonic or video support and to book an online counselling session to address any relationship issues, emotional and psychological challenges.