Rebuilding Trust in a Romantic Relationship

On the pages that follow, we provide specific advice for rebuilding trust in a close relationship.

Before going over the step listed below, it helps to understand what’s at stake.

What benefits do people get from having a close, healthy relationship?

For starters, being in a romantic relationship provides many physical benefits—individuals in close relationships live longer and enjoy better health outcomes than people who lack such relationships (see Berkman & Syme; Sarason & Sarason). This gain is undoubtedly due to the fact that people in close relationships have a built-in emotional and physical support system—someone to care for them and provide comfort in times of need. Not only do people in close relationships live longer, but they report being happier and more satisfied with life than individuals who fail to find a companion (see Sarason & Sarason).

Second, having a romantic relationship provides many resource benefits. Sharing resources with another person is a great way to get ahead in life. Two people working together can live better than one. When you have someone close to share and trade resources with, you come out ahead (see Cole & Teboul).

Third, people in romantic relationships receive more social support; that is, having someone who is attentive to your needs and concerns. Having social support translates into many other beneficial outcomes. People who know that someone supports them make better decisions in life with less stress and anxiety (see Sarason & Sarason).

Fourth, having a companion often makes life more enjoyable. Having someone with whom to share life’s little things, like walking the dog, watching TV, eating meals is important; it enriches the experience itself and people report having a higher overall quality of life when they have someone to share it with (see Sarason & Sarason).

Fifth, relationships are useful because partners monitor each other’s potentially destructive behavior and make attempts to stop each other from doing things that may be harmful. For example, individuals in close relationships often try to get their romantic partners to quit smoking, drink less, curb their drug use and so on (see Sarason & Sarason).

Finally, people in romantic relationships have sex more often than single people do. Having sex on a regular basis is important for one’s well-being (see Regan).

All told, romantic relationships provide enormous benefits to people lucky enough to find someone to love and someone who loves them in return.

On the pages that follow, the specific steps to building trust are discussed followed by readers’ comments:

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