Consider how much the presence of absence of trust can impact your relationship? It’s a critical element of what I often refer to as “emotional safety,” that which ideally
allows for a safe haven in each other. John Gottman, PhD recently completed another in a long line of books about the research behind what makes or breaks couples. It’s called, What Makes Love Last? How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal in which he speaks to the importance of attunement in building trust.
How is attunement broken down into behaviors? Here is one helpful acronym:
Awareness of your partner’s emotion
Turning towards the emotion
Tolerance of two different viewpoints
Trying to understand your partner
Non-defensive responses to your partner
and responding with Empathy
Obviously there is more to trust than attunement. For example, if the trust has been broken in your relationship (infidelity, hiding behaviors, failure to support on important areas, etc) then work needs to be done to repair this. Without trust, what do you really have?
In my couples therapy practice I help couples find ways to reconnect after trust violations and behave in a more “attuned” way towards each other moving forward.