Is it naive to trust a partner?

Distrust and control

Being able to trust others is a skill that develops in early childhood and can vary in strength based on experiences. A person who was able to build up a healthy "basic trust" as an infant and who also experienced the reliability and sincerity of his caregivers in later childhood finds it easier as an adult to build trust in other people than a person who has to experience again and again that others cannot be relied on. The childhood experiences always have an impact on later relationships.
Anyone who finds that they are prone to excessive mistrust, jealousy or control of the partner in relationships should urgently seek professional advice, as such characteristics can very often lead to significant problems in couple relationships.


Blind trust and healthy distrust

The ability to trust is important for living together, but one should be aware that absolute trust is not possible and can even be harmful. People are not perfect and have weaknesses, and realistically you have to expect that even the most trustworthy person will make mistakes or not stick to agreements under certain circumstances. Blind trust Having in the partner is naive and unrealistic, because it inevitably leads to disappointment and / or puts the partner under enormous pressure through idealization. It’s better then, despite all the trust, one too healthy distrust to have, which means nothing else than the recognition of the reality that the other is only a person with human weaknesses and very own needs.


Mistrust - unfounded or justified

Basically it can be assumed that mistrust a relationship damaged, if not destroyed. Just like trust, mistrust is also an "advance payment", because one suspects in advance that the partner will not adhere to the agreed rules and looks for evidence of a breach of trust. The partner who is mistrusted has little chance of regaining the trust. Even if he sticks to the agreements, he is accused of "lower" motives ("You would have wanted it, you just didn't have the opportunity").
Is this Unfounded distrust, the other feels extremely unfairly treated, because he feels innocent and yet has no way to prove his trustworthiness. This can have fatal consequences. At some point it can happen that he actually does what he is suspected of, because it makes no difference to him, he is not believed anyway. Now he is at least rightly accused and a certain degree of justice has been restored. In the long run, such behavior patterns (of both partners) lead to considerable relationship problems.
That yourself reasonable mistrust, e.g. B. after a massive breach of trust, intensified or even discontinued, is normal and understandable. And it is difficult for both partners to restore a stable basis of trust. This is only possible if both partners really have the will to do so. It takes a lot of time, in-depth communication about motives and needs, hurts and disappointments, and honest understanding and empathy on both sides.



The less trust there is, the more the need for it grows control. If you had absolute control over your partner, trust would be unnecessary. But you can never control everything, definitely not the feelings and needs of the other. But the actions of the partner cannot be completely monitored either, unless you live together on a lonely island. Who is doing that anyway?
In addition, control does the opposite of what it aims to do. The more the partner feels controlled, the more he looks for ways to evade control. Everyone needs their personal freedom, and the more this is restricted, the stronger the need to break out. In order to be able to accomplish this, lies and excuses are invented, which under certain circumstances arouse the mistrust of the partner even more and lead to increased attempts at control. The vicious circle is closed.


Copyright 2011 Dipl. Psych. Ingeborg Prändl