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How to Build or Rebuild Trust

Trust is the foundation for all of our intimate relationships. However, it is a bit tricky to nail down exactly how trust is formed. We know we feel the safety net of when trust is there and the pain of when it is broken but how do we build or rebuild the safety net of trust?  

The safety net of trust is built in small repeated acts over time.  These small acts tell our partner time and time again, “I hear you, I see you, I understand”.  These small repeated acts, along with several others, look like: 

  • A text message  

  • Sharing your experience with your partner   

  • Asking questions about your partner’s experience  

  • Small acts of services (taking care of dinner, setting up an activity for you two to do together, doing a chore unasked) 

  • Emotional check ins (e.g., You seem a little unsettled today, what is on your mind?) 

  • A touch  

  • Rituals of beginning and ending the day (a hug, kiss, recap of day) 

  • Showing an interest in your partner 

  • Less defensiveness, more listening, more understanding 

Initially, these acts alone feel small. However, over time each of these acts creates and fortifies that safety net. They continually let your partner know, “I hear you, I see you, I understand”. This makes it so when a transgression happens you both have the safety net of trust to fall back on.  


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