Building Trust


So, following up on my last blog entry, how do couples build or restore trust? When it comes to infidelity, this is not always easy to do. For more information of how to restore trust after infidelity, go to my web site page at:
However, betrayal can be more than sexual infidelity or also abuse. It can be more subtle. It can happen in just one interaction.
In the other behaviors of betrayal (for example: your partner is never there for you), trust is built in very small moments. In any interaction there are chances of connecting with your partner or turning away from your partner. Let me give you an example of that from my own relationship.
One evening I was in bed getting ready to relax and catch up on the day with my wife who was washing her face in the bathroom. She stayed longer than usual. I kept waiting. I called out, "Hon, are you coming to bed?" I got a closed mouth response....Yeah. Then when she finally got into bed, she remained very quiet and seemed distant.
I had a choice. I could simply turn out the light and say goodnight and literally turn away from her, feeling angry that she was so distant. Instead I turned to her, reached out and touched her arm and asked: "Are you OK? You seem so quiet." And she told me that yes, she was upset by a comment I had made to her at dinner. So I tuned in and asked her what I said and then we had a conversation so I could understand why she was so upset. After the conversation, I told her I understood her feelings and that I understood why she felt hurt. With a loving smile, she thanked me for asking about her and said she felt better.
Now, at that moment, I was building trust; I turned toward her and was there for her. In other words I was not choosing to turn away from her and thinking to myself how distant and angry she is and thinking, "I don't need this!" These are the moments, we've discovered, that either build trust or undermine it.
Of course, one moment of turning away is not that important, but if you're always choosing to turn away, then trust erodes in a relationship--very gradually, very slowly.
Another word for the basis of building trust is ATTUNEMENT. Attunement is being aware of your partner's emotion, turning toward the emotion, trying to understand your partner and responding non defensively or empathically.
I believe to achieve a lasting loving bond, we have to be able to tune into our deepest needs and longing and share them with our partner and have your partner respond--a partner you know and feel is there for you. That is how trust is built.

For further inquiries:

Check out Jim Covington, marriage counselor, at

Phone: (917) 656- 4363