Researchers will tell you that marriages end in divorce because of issues in these top 3 areas: communication, sex and money. Communication issues will range from not talking to one another (not opening up) to continuous conflicts or verbal abuse. Sexual issues could range from not having enough sex to someone having an affair. Money issues could include fighting over not having enough to pay bills (and the stress it produces), to battles over who will pay for what and the separation of finances as a means of control. All three of these issues have one common denominator in them: lack of trust.

We all know communication is key in relationships. There are several ways to improve your practical communication skills, money management and sexual connection. I will offer a few of  those in my next few posts. But first, I want to address the deeper issue of trust that can undermine a relationship in all of these areas.

If you value trust in your relationship, you will not only trust your spouse, but you will be trustworthy. You will be fully committed to them and loyal to them. If you trusted your spouse, you would give them the benefit of the doubt that they would never do or say anything to harm you intentionally. And you would behave the same way. Trust means you have given yourself fully to one another and will mutually care for the other’s heart as your main priority.

If you want your marriage to really thrive, you have to fully open yourself up to your spouse. Intimacy means “into-me-you-see”. You have to trust them with your whole heart, your body, your finances and your future. You have to open up and reveal the deepest parts of you: your insecurities, weaknesses and failures, as well as your hopes, dreams and aspirations. And when you do this, you make room for them to do the same for you. Now I know that some of you have experienced when spouses have broken trust. Or maybe it was you that has broken trust. Well, the good news is, trust can be rebuilt and earned back. But you have to be willing. And so does your spouse. But since we can’t control other people (nor should we try), let’s focus on what YOU can do to build trust and BE trustworthy. Here are the 5 ways to build a better spouse…YOU!:

1 – Be honest – tell the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. And do it with love and gentleness. Even in the worst of cases, like unfaithfulness, it is vital to rebuild a relationship with honesty. Now I will also add that managing this process can be really difficult and bumpy, so of course, I would recommend processing in counseling sessions to help you along.

2 – Do what you say and say what you mean.  – Be a person of integrity. When you say you will do something, do it. Your word should be golden. It should be kept and mean something. Work on your ability to communicate what you mean to say. Words matter but so does how you say something.

3 – Be present – When you are home, are you really home? Make eye contact. Share a hug or kiss. Be mindful of your mate and investigate the condition of their heart. It is supposed to be your priority, right?

4 – Honor one another – Treat your mate with respect and look out for their interests. Show honor not just when they deserve it, but even when they don’t. You should honor them because you are honorable. This is royal behavior. Kings honor not out of duty or because someone deserves it., but because the king (or queen) is royal themselves.

5 – Love unconditionally – Be a safe person to your spouse by truly loving them, inside and out. Love them past their flaws. Love them in the middle of the messes. Love them right where they are and for who they are. Wouldn’t you want to be loved the same way?

The best way to improve your marriage is to improve you first. What changes do you need to make to be the best you? The worst thing to do is nothing. You can make a difference the moment you make the choice to and follow it through with action.

So what will you do to take the first step?

Blessings in abundance!

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