It’s 4th of July week on Married at First Sight and the fireworks are out in full force. All three couples continue to push through and tackle some really difficult issues.
The common thread my husband and I saw this week was trust. We sat down and had a conversation about what trust looked like for each of us and how it’s changed in our marriage over the years. Why do we love Married at First Sight? Because this is the first time in over 30 years we’ve had this conversation. Amazing.
In the early years of our relationship, we made some mistakes when it came to trust. The first one was assuming we both felt the same way about trust. Those assumptions caused some initial conflict.
The next mistake we made was talking to other people about what trust should look like in our relationship. The truth is, there is no one outside of the two of us that can define trust between us; no family members, friends or other well-intended people.
A third mistake was criticizing our spouse when their perception of trust was different from our own.
Through the years, we learned that trust is based on the core experience of who we are. It’s something we work on every single day, both individually and as a couple. It can be fluid, based on day-to-day life.
Relationships are a journey of trial and error. When you’re building trust, there are bumps in the road that can cause cracks in the foundation.
Great communication is the key to smoothing the bumps. When you open up and allow yourself to be vulnerable, you let your partner know you trust them with your innermost thoughts and feelings.
Equally as important, when your partner is speaking, listen with support, empathy and compassion. We saw some great examples of both of these this week.
Honor Your Word
There is a very simple formula to build authentic trust. It’s when someone’s words match their behaviors, over time. ~Dr. Joseph Cilona
Standing by your word is important, whether it is staying committed to living together, speaking in a thoughtful or respectful manner to each other, coming home at the time you are expected, sticking to the number of guests you invite to a party, or being honest about who you are going out with. Honoring your word shows you are reliable.
Invest in Your Relationship
The greatest relationships are built from really great friendships. That’s the way to build a connection, closeness, intimacy, trust. ~Dr. Logan Levkoff
Finding out about your spouse through shared activities, friends and family is major. Learning about their culture, religion, hobbies, personality, or finding a better way to communicate, shows you are making the effort to get to know and understand them. The couples are making attempts at this and we see progress.
Plan For Your Future
When you talk about the future, whether it’s relationship goals, where you will live, or the ability to see your spouse as a parent to your kids, it sends a message that you are in this for the long haul. Although it’s only been 4 weeks, those conversations are starting to happen with the couples.
Here are the takeaways from our discussion as it relates to trust in this episode:
Consider Your Partner’s Feelings
Feeling respected, honored, listened to and valued are critical components for building trust. Given the short time frame of this social experiment, it’s critical to fully invest in the process to build and strengthen the foundation of trust.
It’s common to want to dismiss your partner’s feelings to justify your actions. Building trust is when you acknowledge your partner’s thoughts and feelings, even when you don’t agree with them. Sometimes we just need acceptance and understanding, not justification.
There is risk involved when inviting a friend of the opposite sex to a gathering early in your relationship. The thin veil of trust you’ve worked so hard to build can be easily torn. Is it worth the risk? A mutual decision with the utmost consideration of each other’s feelings will determine if and when you are ready for this.
When you express confidence in your mate and your feelings for them in front of others, it gives them a sense of security.
If you need space or a break from an intense emotional conversation, it’s important to do it in a way that leaves your partner feeling they can always depend on you to be there, even when you disagree.
At times your partner will respond to a question in public in a way that you don’t agree with. Having a private conversation at a later date will give them the opportunity to explain themselves while keeping their integrity intact.
Through the examples set forth by the experts and participants, these are the lessons my husband and I learned from watching the show this week. We are not experts or paid writers, rather we are sharing our journey to strengthen our marriage by watching Married at First Sight
Season 3 of “Married at First Sight” is on Tuesdays at 9/8c on FYI and A&E.
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