At dinner parties, hair salons, on airplanes, and grocery lines people LOVE talking about what I do for a living.
They always ask how I know if a couple needs help. Like, how do I know when they REALLY need to see a counselor. Everyone (I mean EVERYONE) asks this.
One easy way to read the strength of a couple is to notice how present trust is this:
Can you give them the benefit of the doubt?
Giving someone the benefit of the doubt means you have a general baseline of goodwill and trust.
Couples with a generosity of trust are better equipped to stay connected through tough times and handle conflict with less intensity.
Here are a fre examples of how the benefit of the doubt might show up. Notice if any of these resonate for you:
You're able to hear a short tone in their voice and think "they don't mean to be short, they've probably had a hard day."
You ask your partner for help in the kitchen and don't get a response. You think "I bet they didn't hear me."
They're late to arrive and before getting upset you think they must be stuck in traffic, or something important must have come up.
Bottom line: before taking something personally, jumping to negative conclusions, or getting defensive, you assume your partner has your best intentions at heart.
This generosity of trust will carry you through challenges unlike any other relationship skill.
If those aren't present for you, it doesn't mean you have to end things, but we've got work to do. Perhaps trust has been broken in this relationship or others from your past and there's room for resolution.
There are plenty of reasons this happens in relationships- but it's important to get out of this pattern sooner rather than later. Come in for a free consultation to talk about supporting your relationships health.
Hi! I'm glad you're reading. Let me know if I can help you:
- open your relationship & practice polyamory with integrity
- move beyond jealousy, fear, and insecurity
- manage intense emotions that arise in conflicts
- rebuild trust after infidelity or dishonesty
- shift stuck communication & codependent relationship patterns
I lead couples retreats, host workshops, and see private clients online and in Portland, Oregon. Call me for a free consultation to rethink the way you do relationships.
Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a communication consultant, sexuality counselor and certified relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, and infidelity.