11 Things That Happen In Relationships Without Trust

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The correlation between trust and love is central to building healthy relationships. As the beautiful Zendaya once quoted, “Relationships without trust are like phones without service. And what do you do with a phone without service? You play games.” It’s a hard-hitting fact that perfectly summarizes what happens when there is a lack of trust in a relationship. 

We reached out to psychologist Jayant Sundaresan for his inputs on a relationship without trust and respect. He says, “A relationship without trust is like a car without gas. Trust helps us focus on our partner’s good aspects. Your partner will stand by you through thick and thin once the two of you have established a tremendous amount of trust in each other. This foundation is built slowly as you progress in mutual understanding.”

I have learned some valuable lessons in the past where mistrust spread like wildfire in the relationship. The reason that I believe trust is more important than love is because love is blind but trust isn’t. Trust is rational while love is a rush. Trusting someone is a logical act whereas the act of loving someone requires no control. You can fall in love with as many people as you want and as many times as your heart desires, but you need trust to stay in love and to support that love. 

Can Relationships Work Without Trust?

Jayant says, “There are many activities to build or rebuild trust in a relationship. We need a partner who listens to our innermost thoughts and feelings, who will understand them, and validate them. Distrust won’t allow us to open up to our significant other. In relationships without trust, you are neither open to receiving nor giving love. Both of you are limiting yourself from one another and curbing the growth of the relationship. Do you see how the lack of trust in a relationship won’t allow you to relax with each other?

“In a marriage without trust and respect, you won’t believe the other person no matter how much proof of innocence they lay in front of you. A lot of heat and fire will surround the relationship, waiting to set ablaze to its entirety. No real movement happens in the relationship because no one wishes to move forward. Hence, a relationship without trust is nothing.”

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The bottom line is, you need trust to be comfortable with one another. It makes us feel secure in our lover’s presence. It makes us feel protected, and we begin to rely on our partner to not hurt us. But can you love someone and not trust them? The short answer is yes. Perhaps your partner betrayed you in some way and you just couldn’t turn off the feelings overnight. As much as you detest them for their deception, it’s annoying how much you still love this person.

That being said, love without trust cannot build the foundation for a successful relationship and love alone is never enough to hold the fort. Eventually, the romantic partners will get caught up in suspicions and doubts, failing to make things work. Like Jayant said, a relationship without trust is like a car without gas. And how far can one travel without gas? Not far enough. 

Related Reading: The Foundation Of Your Relationship Is Weak, If You Can See These 8 Signs

11 Things That Happen In Relationships Without Trust

Trust takes time to build. Imagine you meet someone on social media. You start chatting with them constantly. You even talk to them on video calls. You know where they live and what they do for a living, yet you take your time before meeting them because you don’t want to be scammed or ghosted. Trust is essential when it comes to all types of relationships. Below are the things that happen in relationships without trust. 

1. You can’t rely on each other 

Jayant says, “Relationships without trust on both sides will have zero reliability. How do you move ahead in the relationship when you can’t rely on your partner? To keep a relationship going, you need to rely on one another. Unreliability can take place in many forms. Let’s say your partner promises to come back home for dinner on time, but every single day, they come back extremely late.

“An unreliable partner cannot be depended upon as they will say something but do the opposite of it. You can’t deepen your connection with your partners when their words and actions don’t align.” Reliability is one of the key ingredients of a relationship as such a person is consistent and can be trusted. 

2. There is no safe harbor 

Jayant says, “A relationship is like a safety blanket. A safe harbor you can come home to at the end of the day and feel secure and protected. There should be emotional safety in every relationship. We are all humans fighting against a billion things in our day-to-day lives. When there is no safe harbor, we don’t feel protected from harm and judgment. In a relationship without trust and respect, there will always be a lack of feeling of safety and belongingness. You might even feel that the other person is using you.”

When there is trust in a relationship, you come back home to a person who is willing to display their care and affection toward you. This love nurtures our being. Our mental health largely depends upon the quality of relationships we have, and when there is a lack of trust in a relationship, the quality keeps diminishing. The bond rots away and affects us in more than one way.

3. Things that happen in relationships without trust Breakdown of communication

Communication is the most important thing for any relationship to run peacefully and smoothly. Communication problems can affect intimacy and emotional connection, giving rise to a lot of conflicts. Suppose your partner is coming home late for a few consecutive days. You are curious, you are suspicious, but you don’t ask them a thing simply to avoid an unpleasant confrontation.

Instead, in your head, you start speculating scenarios of them cheating on you. If you bothered to ask them, you would probably find out that they have been assigned a new project that’s taking up a lot of their time. That’s exactly how poor communication feeds into trust issues. This is how Jayant describes the collapse of communication:

  • Breakdown of communication is one of the main things that happens in relationships without trust on both sides
  • You won’t share with your partner about your dreams, your ambitions, and your fears
  • When you stop communicating, you feel less connected with your partner with each passing day
  • This will result in escalated conflicts even if the argument is about something insignificant
  • You will feel as if you aren’t seen or heard
  • You will constantly form a negative perspective of your partner even if they are well-intentioned
infographic on things that happen in relationships without trust
Things that happen in relationships without trust

4. Flaws are amplified 

Jayant shares a thought-provoking pointer about flaws being amplified whenever we don’t trust our partner. It is one of the most common relationship problems that takes place. He says, “All of us are imperfect. We are all born with flaws. But when there is no trust in a relationship, those imperfections are viewed with a magnifying glass. If your partner doesn’t trust you, they will always examine every little aspect of the things you do and the things you don’t do.

“Such a pessimistic attitude comes from a place of negativity where there is no trust. Trust is the central requirement in a relationship. It instigates a positive anticipation of wanting to be with someone. When your flaws are being sifted and inspected, it creates a damaging and harmful environment.”

5. Outbursts of negative emotions

When you love and trust someone and have a fairly healthy relationship, you tend to have honest and open conversations where you can address issues as they surface. On the flip side, when you stifle those issues instead of speaking up, you will soon have to face emotional flooding in the form of passive-aggressive anger and resentment toward your partner. According to Jayant, here’s what happens in a relationship full of miscommunication and mistrust:

  • Because of all the negative emotions being swallowed instead of being shared with your partner, you will eventually adopt a passive-aggressive attitude
  • You will blame your partner for every little inconvenience and most of your conversations might eventually turn into an argument
  • You will be moody, you will cry, get furious, and flare up and the sole reason behind your bad behavior is nothing but difficulty in trusting your partner

Related Reading: 18 Signs He Never Loved You – And How To Get Over It

6. You avoid spending time with each other

You need to spend time with your partner in order to understand them better and to form a deeper bond. When you love someone, you can’t get enough of them. But in relationships without trust, you don’t spend any quality time together.

Jayant says, “In a relationship or a marriage without trust and respect, you won’t make any healthy compromise for the other person. This will lead to countless differences of opinion. These fights will make you spend less time with your partner, and you will feel trapped in the relationship.”

couple dynamics

7. Frequent thoughts of suspicion and betrayal

Jayant says, “Let’s say you and your partner go to a party. The two of you are in different rooms. Your mind starts to wander and is filled with negativity regarding your partner. You’re thinking about what they must be doing. You are thinking maybe your husband is talking to another woman, or that your wife has sneaked away with someone else. Although both of you are at the same party, you imagine them cheating on you just because your eyes can’t see them.

“You question your partner’s morality and sincerity toward you even when they are completely loyal. When there is a lack of trust in a relationship, you will assume the worst possible things about them.”

8. Invasion of privacy is common in relationships without trust

Jayant elaborates on the previous point, “In relationships without trust, there might be monitoring of your personal space and time. Suppose you are a few minutes late from work. You will have to justify those missing minutes. You will be expected to account for those minutes promptly.

“Your personal space will be invaded. Your social media will be supervised. Your phone calls and messages will be spied upon even though checking a partner’s phone is never a good idea. Let’s say you are the one who doesn’t trust your partner. You become a watchdog. Once your partner finds out that you are keeping an eye on all their actions, very soon, they will start to hate you. Owing to your incessant investigations, your partner will feel stifled in this distrustful atmosphere.”

9. You’ll erupt into pre-emptive attacks

Pre-emption means doing something before the other person. Suppose someone is planning to hurt you. But you hurt them before they can do any harm to you. You essentially take an action in order to prevent them from taking the same action. Jayant says, “Relationships without trust on both sides often indulge in pre-emptive attacks.

“You think, ‘Let me do that to you before you do that to me. After all, it was your negative intent which I pre-empted.’ It’s basically an ‘I will trick you before you trick me’ mindset. Pre-emptive behavior stems from fear. If you fear that your partner may cheat on you, then you will cheat on them. Because you want to hurt them before they hurt you.”

Related Reading: My Marriage Is Falling Apart – Expert Suggests 13 Ways To Turn It Around

10. Odds of infidelity increase

The odds of your partner having an affair are really high when there is no trust in a relationship. Let’s just take a moment to point out the irony here. All these days you have been suspecting and may even falsely accusing your partner of being disloyal when they were truly innocent. In the end, it’s your constant unfair allegations that push them toward infidelity. Jayant elaborates on the scenario of how infidelity creeps into a relationship:

  • When one partner receives so much pessimism in a relationship, meeting new people will feel like a breath of fresh air
  • That fresh air will make them realize that people can be different and relationships can be happier
  • Due to the trust issues in their relationship, this partner might end up doing something which they never intended to in the first place
  • Distrust will push them into the arms of another person where the conversations are easy, more comfortable, and relaxed
  • They will see the contrast between their relationship and this new dynamic, realize how a healthy relationship works, and will now seek happiness with this new person
when there is no trust in a relationship
False accusations might push a partner into the arms of another person

11. Relationships without trust can lead to breakups

Ultimately, it all boils down to one question, “Can you love someone and not trust them? Can a relationship survive if the partners have no faith in each other?” Well, we are sorry to be the one to break it to you, but love without trust is not the strongest force to keep a relationship together in the long run. If you can’t trust a word coming out of your partner’s mouth, if you feel insecure about their commitment toward the relationship, if neither of you are ready to take the first step toward rebuilding trust, perhaps it’s better to put yourself out of your misery and break it off.

Jayant shares, “Relationships without trust won’t progress. Due to the inability to grow and all the self-sabotaging behaviors, your relationship will be stuck at the beginning stage. No matter which stage you were at previously, lack of trust will put you back in the first phase. Unless and until both the parties make efforts to build trust and find ways to come out of mistrust, there will be an inevitable bad end to the relationship.”

Key Pointers

  • Without trust, you won’t be able to rely on your partner for anything and won’t feel secure about their intentions
  • Due to the lack of trust, you eventually stop communicating with each other and start living with biased speculations and doubts
  • When there is no trust, your partner’s minor flaws seem to look giant and you keep an eye out for pre-emptive attacks before they can hurt you
  • Untrusting partners might keep a tab on each other, invade privacy, and completely start avoiding each other’s company
  • Without trust, infidelity might creep into the relationship, eventually breaking it down

You will drive your partner away and won’t get your happily-ever-after if you have cynical thoughts about them. A separation will be the end goal of a relationship/marriage without trust. Your constant suspicion, lack of communication, and outbursts of emotions will eventually make your partner put an end to the relationship for good. 

That being said, we can’t leave you in despair and let you go with no rays of hope. Difficulty in trusting someone is a deep-seated mental health condition sometimes that might root back to your childhood or problematic past relationships. However, it is not impossible to get over with professional help and a supportive partner by your side. To rebuild trust, begin with small steps like discussing your inhibitions with your partner, active listening, spending more time with each other, and keeping an open mind. The important thing is, you both work as a team to win each other’s trust and keep the relationship alive.


1. Should you stay in a relationship without trust?

The answer can’t be a straight yes or no. If your partner has given enough reasons for you to doubt them and their intentions, then maybe you are right to wonder if you should stay in the relationship. But if you don’t trust your partner because it’s all in your head and they didn’t do anything to deserve your skepticism, then you need to fix it before they leave you. Try to find ways to build trust with them if you don’t want the relationship to end.

2. Can a person love without trust?

Love can mean different things to different people. If it’s just physical attraction or infatuation, then love can work without trust. But if it’s a committed relationship with both of you demanding trust from one another, then the answer is no. Love is a feeling that comes and goes, but trust, once lost, is hard to find again. 

3. What lack of trust do to a relationship?

It infuses your relationship with bitterness, conflicts, relentless wars of words, and mental agony for both partners. You will constantly be in a state of uncertainty and wariness about your partner’s intentions, their whereabouts, and whatnot. “Is she having an affair?”, “Will he ever introduce me to his family?” — You might find yourself haunted by a series of disturbing thoughts like these when there is no trust between you and your partner.

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