How Does Lack of Trust Affect a Relationship?

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Trust is part of the foundation for a healthy relationship. Broken trust in relationships leads to depression, anxiety and insecurity. The relationship can suffer from a lack of intimacy. A lack of trust in a relationship opens the door to a host of other problems which, if left unresolved, may destroy whatever is left.


Distrusting a partner in a relationship can lead one or both partners to feel depressed, advises therapist Kristen McClure in her article, "Trust Issues in Relationships." A partner can feel saddened by an occurrence in the relationship, such as infidelity or a partner lying about money. Once the trust is broken in a relationship one partner begins to question the entire relationship. A partner who feels the relationship has been a lie can then become depressed.

Decreased Intimacy

Suspicion of a partner often prompts a person to pull away physically from their partner. Reduced intimacy occurs when one partner is focused on the mistrust and not in resolving the conflict, says clinical psychologist Melanie Greenberg in her Psychology Today article, "Healing the Cycles that Tear Couples Apart." Perhaps a husband made a large purchase behind his partner's back. The wronged partner becomes so focused on feeling wronged that there is no focus on resolving the issue, and the partner withdraws physical affection.


Increased levels of anxiety occur following a break in the trust in a relationship, advises the article, "Trust Issues: How to Get Over Them in Relationships, Marriage and Life." The husband worries the spouse is continually lying or cheating after an affair. This anxiety runs over into the husband's other relationships as well. Perhaps the husband begins to mistrust coworkers or friends. The mistrust experienced in a relationship creates anxiety in the partner that eventually may require medication or therapy to overcome.


Lack of trust in a relationship creates insecurity in a partner. Negative assumptions and actions are prevalent among insecure people, says psychologist Rick Nauert in the PsychCentral article, "Insecurity Undermines Relationships." A woman who is insecure due to doubting her partner begins to act in a controlling manner toward her partner. Perhaps she will call or text incessantly throughout the day in an effort to keep tabs on the other partner. Insecure behavior such as this will drive the other partner away.