At their core, healthy marriages are grounded on mutual trust. Sometimes that trust is broken. That can happen for any of a number of reasons, but the result is the same. Rebuilding that trust is a key to cultivating intimacy in marriage.
The intimacy I refer to is emotional intimacy, the sense of closeness that we long to have with our spouse. That intimacy involves knowing and being truly known by the person that you are closest to in the entire world.
There are several principles that are key to this process. First, when you have the chance to speak the truth, tell the entire truth. In many cases, it can be helpful to do this with a counselor in the room with you. Know that you will never experience true closeness in your relationships when you hide.
Second, remember that an honest question deserves an honest answer. The truth may not always be pretty, but it is always better in the long run than cultivating a habit of hiding from each other.
Remember that trust is broken in an instant, but takes time to rebuild. Similarly, just letting time go by does not rebuild trust. We must be deliberate in our efforts over a period of time. How long does it take? That is kind of like when your kids ask, “How old do I have to be in order to be mature enough?” Maturity does not always come with age. Likewise, trust does not always come with time. But in both cases, you know it when you see it.
That can be frustrating for each person. One takes a risk to trust again after being hurt. The other takes a risk of being rejected if he/she is completely honest.
As one looking in from the outside, with the experience of walking this journey with couples, I want you to know that it is worth the risk.
We are here to help you navigate through these challenges. Call us today for an appointment.
Robert Otto, Ph.D.