Trust can be a very important aspect of any relationship.
But it’s not a feeling embraced by all married couples.
A new survey from OnePoll, a U.K.-based market research and survey company, found that 10 percent of married women don’t trust their partners, with 9 percent of women also checking their husband’s social media accounts to see what they’re writing about and who they’re speaking to.
These numbers weren’t as high for men, as 3 percent of men check their wives’ social media accounts and 5 percent say they don’t trust their spouse, according to the survey, which interviewed 1,000 married couples from 18 to 65 years old about their attitudes towards marriage.
We’ve seen these sort of numbers before. As CNN reported, a 2013 study done in the U.K. found that about 1 in 3 women said they looked through their partner’s cellphone without their significant other knowing about it. About double the amount of men admitted to doing the same, the study said.
These findings show there’s some level of mistrust among married couples, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, since trust has been one of the most important aspects of any relationship.
That’s because snooping on your partner or not having trust in him or her could prove troublesome for your marriage.
In fact, snooping can sometimes be a “last straw” in a marriage. This was the case for Micky, a mother of two, who told CNN that she saw her marriage fall apart after her husband snooped on her.
“Ultimately, the marriage ended after a big blowup when he confronted me about some remarks to a friend in a private email, revealing that he’d been snooping on me,” she said about her husband.
Micky didn’t learn from her husband’s earlier failings, though. In her second marriage, she read some of her husband’s Skype message conversations since she mistrusted him.
“It was a huge mistake,” she told CNN. “He explained the conversation but was really disappointed in my snooping since it revealed a mistrust on my part. I was so embarrassed and ashamed I had done that.”
Marriage expert Tim Lott wrote for The Guardian there are three aspects to a successful marriage — communication, respect and trust. He called trust “the hardest of all” since anyone who’s been let down, like Micky, will struggle to trust someone in the future. And it’s not just distrust over major marital issues like infidelity, but small problems, too, like when a spouse breaks a promise to his or her partner.
“You have to trust, even though you have no guarantee you won’t be let down, and then, if you are let down, trust again, and then again,” Lott said. “You must keep doing this as long as you are humanly able to, and your marriage will either stand or fall on it.”
But learning to trust isn’t always easy. It sometimes requires spouses to practice “forgettory” — or, as Lott put it, the idea of forgetting about any ideas of mistreatment or possible hurt, which will only drag partners down. “Dragging the weight of the past behind you will drag you down in the end,” Lott said.
This was the case for Micky, the aforementioned mother of two who saw both of her marriages fail because of snooping. She told CNN that snooping and mistrust for your partner only show insecurities and ruin relationships and marriages.
Like Micky, Terri Orbuch, Ph.D., suggests having “trust chats” with your spouse in which couples share their feelings about trust, secrecy and honesty. She also suggests sharing concerns about your marriage with your spouse to see how they react.
“A relationship without trust is worthless,” Micky told CNN. “If you want to know something, ask.”