Getting “Married at First Sight” is an ultimate relationship risk. Putting your trust in a complete stranger is another. When you combine these two, you have an extreme emotional vulnerability, often leading to fear.
But the greatest capacity for love happens in a relationship where there is no fear. In order to remove that fear, you have to build a solid foundation of trust…and that takes time, being dependable, responsible and reliable.
Derek and Heather
To develop trust, you must first define what that looks like to each person and set a solid foundation.
What is important to you when you think about trust? In what ways has past broken broken trust affected who you are now?
Heather: “I am a stubborn person. And sometimes I’m stubborn and it’s hurtful to me.”
Derek: “Heather and I share a very interesting connection at this point.”
Once you define what trust is, you begin by showing your partner you are dependable. Showing dependability means matching actions and words. It also means honoring your commitment and keeping your word.
Unfortunately Heather shut down before they could even have the trust conversation. Communicating those thoughts to each other clearly would have avoided their initial conflict and de-escalated their frustration.
The experience of being “Married at First Sight” is a rare opportunity. Can Derek and Heather take what they learned from this process and apply it to future relationships?
Nick and Sonia
The second component of trust is being responsible. While we’ve all made mistakes, taking responsibility means acknowledging choices, actions and the results they’ve led to.
Trust is a lifelong journey that ebbs and flows in relationships. Hurt is inevitable, along with the instinct to withdraw. However, creating a closed environment to protect yourself from betrayal, does not allow you to live life to the fullest.
How do Nick and Sonia move beyond their broken trust? Nick has taken responsibility and own up to his insensitive and hurtful comments, without being defensive or casual. Sincerity is a must for healing to begin.
Nick: “I apologize if I hurt your feelings. I guess
it wasn’t directly aimed at you, even though it was about you.”
It’s also critical for Nick to examine and address the real reason for his outburst. While being unkind and disrespectful is never okay, it’s important for Sonia to look at how she may have contributed to Nick’s disconnect.
Sonia: “It’s crazy how this changes like not even day to day, it’s hour to hour, minute to minute.”
Can Nick and Sonia truly forgive and begin to build trust beyond friendship? Is their relationship worth the ultimate risk of being honest, open and completely vulnerable?
Tom and Lilly
The third foundation of trust is being reliable. Reliability means supporting and comforting your spouse during difficult situations. Having their back and being in tune with their needs allows them to feel emotionally safe.
Tom: “I’m way more patient and thoughtful about feelings.”
Character strengths of emotional safety are being authentic, open and showing emotional integrity. Each week we’ve seen this develop with Tom and Lilly. But emotional safety can look different for each person.
Lilly: “For me, you not trying to see so long-term…or having these conversations, worries me.”
One layer of emotional safety for Lilly is knowing that Tom sees their relationship long-term. In order to completely give her heart to him, she needs to feel confident he has the capacity to match her goals and dreams beyond the six-week social experiment.
Creating an emotionally safe environment takes time, especially when people move at a different pace. Can Tom and Lilly get to a place where they both feel confident enough to break down their final barriers?