Trusting a lover is not always easy. We’ve all experienced some form of betrayal and even when we’re trying to mind our own business, news and rumours of sexual infidelity surround us. From neighbours and friends to celebrities and politicians, almost every relationship will be tested by the temptation or aftermath of a sexual affair.
So how can you learn to trust your partner when you’re seemingly surrounded by marriage breakdowns and cheating spouses? Read on for my top three suggestions and feel free to add your own in the comments below.
1. Understand that supervision doesn’t amount to trust.
Some lovers believe that having their partners check-in on a regular basis will affair-proof their relationships. Others try to spend every waking moment together as a form of supervision. The reality is that neither of these approaches works and failing to maintain some degree of independence can actually backfire and wreak havoc on a relationship.
If you find yourself acting like a helicopter-partner, take some time to think about why you feel the need to supervise your sweetheart and consider talking about these concerns with humility and honesty.
2. Express your insecurities openly.
Jealousy and insecurity are perfectly normal and can be constructive as a means to identify our values, fears and desires. However, if our behavioural responses to jealousy are not constructive (e.g. lashing out, playing games or attempting to control our partner’s behaviour), the personal and relationship consequences can be disastrous.
The next time you feel insecure, express your concerns and feelings to your lover without making accusations. Embrace your feelings and ask for honest reassurance.
3. Have open conversations about monogamy
Monogamy is not for everyone and it means different things to different people. It is one of many options and we need to sincerely consider whether we are ready for a monogamous relationship before committing to one. We also need to listen to our partner’s needs and attempt to relate to their unique perspective; though we don’t have to accept their views, it is important that we are both comfortable discussing this topic without judgment.
It is ideal to have this discussion from the onset and revisit it regularly to validate and address one another’s changing sexual feelings and desires. Even when lovers have different expectations, it is possible to find common ground, but we cannot do so without open conversations.