If you’re wondering how to build marital trust, it’s really pretty simple.
You’ve got to learn how to be entirely open with each other.
Yes, I know it’s hard. It’s worse than hard – it’s almost impossible.
But you’ve GOT to learn it if you’re going to build trust the way it is SUPPOSED to be in marriage.
Here’s an example for you…
One of the most devastating examples of broken trust in marriage is in the case of adultery.
What was once a naive trust on the part of the offended partner is jerked into reality with the delicacy of a train wreck.
Why do I call it “naive trust?” Because that’s what it is… trust based on assumptions and expectations – not on the reality of what’s going on in the offending spouse’s heart.
But if both partners had been committed to actively maintaining open, honest, entirely transparent communication between each other the marital trust would have been protected through loving accountability.
But that’s not what normally happens in marriages these days.
Partners rely on the assumption and expectation of faithfulness – which is valid to do. After all, he/she made a vow to be faithful, right? Yes, but vows have to be carried out in real life, and real life doesn’t play nice. The best of intentions can be derailed in an unguarded moment – just ask Simon Peter.
And if that unguarded moment comes to a husband or wife who’s already withholding things from his/her spouse – there’s no context of accountability that exists, no obvious reminder of the vows that have been made.
So what am I advocating? That couples build marital trust by telling each other EVERYTHING.
In every situation.
All the time.
I mean, think it through…
What does it mean to “be one” in marriage if things are intentionally withheld? Nothing. It’s a nice sounding phrase without truth beneath it.
The couple is deceiving themselves and each other, thinking they are closer, more secure in their relationship than they really are.
And the train wreck will come.
It may not be adultery… it could be abandonment, or a sudden divorce, or increasing distance that results in separate lives.
Whatever it is, it’s coming – simply because the couple is not actively working to prevent it.
It really is that simple.
Steps to building marital trust.
1 Confess and repent.
You’ve got to start over, to clean the slate and begin again.
That process starts with confession of what you’ve done wrong (lack of openness?) and turning toward what you know is right (honesty and transparency in all things).
- Read this blog post together.
- Let it spark an open discussion.
- Assess where you are and repent together.
- Ask God for His help and wisdom as you chart a new course.
2 Make a newfound commitment to openness.
Talk about why you haven’t been entirely honest with each other up to this point in your marriage. Be honest 😉
Is it because of…
- A combination of these?
Each of you may have different reasons that have combined to make things what they are.
Commit together that things are going to change and that your marriage is going to become healthier as a result.
If you don’t begin thinking in that direction together, who will?
3 Be intentional about your decision.
If you don’t determine a course of action, you’ll naturally drift back into the habits of non-communication you have been stuck in.
Plan your time together. I recommend daily.
You need to regularly know the pulse of each other’s souls in order to live as “one.”
You need to feel confident that there’s nothing hidden in your partner’s heart.
THAT is what loving accountability is… the comfort of knowing that someone who loves you knows everything – and will help you stay on track.
Grab a tool to help you get started. A study or book that provokes conversation is a good place to begin.
4 Fight to build the new habit.
Commitments and good intentions are great but they don’t last very long.
You’re going to hit a point where you are tugged back into the rut you’ve been in.
It’s at that point that you have to kill the things that threaten your commitment.
It will be hard.
You will have to fight.
But it’s worth it.
And with God’s help you will begin to see marital trust rise to new levels.
That’s my prayer for you. That’s what I know the LORD Himself desires for you.