Can We Really Trust Our Partners?
The other day I found myself sitting in front of the televsion in shock after learning about the alligations involving Hank Baskett, the husband of playmate Kendra Wilkinson, being accused of cheating on his wife while she was 8 months pregnant. Yes, I can admit that I am guilty for having a love of their television show, especially since they seemed like one of the "normal" couples in the lime light; however, the shock simply came from the fact that this was out of left field for me, the public, and even Kendra herself, or so it appeared on the show. Now I am not saying that I believe all Hollywood gossip, but I did sit there wondering the question, "How well do we really know our partners?"
For most people, many hope to find a partner where they can share similar values, communication, and most importantly trust. But what do we really base trust off of in our partners?
According to Divine Caroline in her article, "Six Ways to Build Trust In A Relationship", she shares that "giving your relationship exposure to a wide variety of situations and scenarios will allow you to predict the behavior of your partner better and will allow you to trust your partner more." I believe it is important that we learn about our partners in different situations, especially since it will give you some insight about how your partner might react or involve you. But again, how does this elicit trust?
From my experience with working with couples in my private practice, I have learned that communication is key. We will never really know whether or not our partner is going to the grocery store as he/she says, or whether our partner might be having thoughts about infidelity. But the important piece is that we have to trust that our partner will discuss their thoughts and feelings with us. More importantly, we have to be open to be willing to hear where our partner is coming from so that he or she can begin to open up.
Quite often the people that I have met in my office that have ended up cheating or breaking the trust in their relationship were due to the fact that they did not feel that they could communicate with their partner. This is not always the case, but we owe it to ourselves and our partner to understand not only them as a person, but also ourselves. What do I mean by that? Specifically, we owe it to ourselves to know where we stand in relationships. Some important questions to ask yourself are the following:
-What do I want in a partner?
-What does trust look like to me and in a relationship?
-Do I trust myself in a relationship?
-Are there any past situations that I need to address before I begin a new relationship or plays a role in my current one?
-How can I create a healthy relationship so my partner feels like he/she can communicate to me?
-How will I show my partner that I can listen to him/her?
-Am I willing to listen to my partner, even if I may not want to hear certain difficult conversations?
-How will I know when my trust with my partner is not there? Is there?
When it comes to relationships, trust and communication are key. We often know this, but really take the time to ask yourself what does that look like to you and your partner. It is different to every relationship, and discovering where you each stand and who each of you are as individuals is crucial in order to build trust and intimacy within a relationship.
I have no idea whether or not Kendra and Hank will stay together, nor do I believe it is any of my business what goes on within their relationship, but I do hope the best for them and anyone in a relationship. Again, we may never really know what our partner thinks or does, but we have to find ways in which we can trust our partner and allow open conversations to take place so that trust can deepen within ourselves and with our partners.