11 Things That Happen In Relationships Without Trust

August 25, 2023 | | Expert Validated By
Updated On: August 25, 2023
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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 which perfectly summarizes what happens when there is lack of trust in a relationship. 

When 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 is very important in a relationship as it helps us to 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 we progress in our understanding of our partner.”

I have learnt 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 loving someone happens spontaneously, with often no control over it.

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. 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 the entirety of it.

“There is no real movement happening in the relationship because no one wishes to move forward. Hence, a relationship without trust is nothing.” You need trust to build a strong foundation and to experience unconditional love. Or a relationship will soon begin to wobble and collapse. You need trust to be comfortable with one other. 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 relationships without trust cannot last long. 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. No reliability 

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 an essential aspect of a relationship as a reliable 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 and affection nurtures our being. Our mental health largely depends upon the quality of relationships we have, and when there is 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 vital for any relationship to run peacefully and smoothly. Communication problems can affect intimacy and emotional connection, giving rise to a lot of conflicts. Jayant says, “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.”

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 which takes place when we don’t trust our partner. He says, “All of us are imperfect. We are all born with flaws. But when there is lack of 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.”

Related Reading: 15 Signs He Never Loved You – And How To Get Over It

5. Outburst of emotions

When you love and trust someone, you tend to have honest and open conversations where you can address issues as they surface. 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.

Jayant says, “Because of all that is being swallowed instead of sharing with your partner, you will eventually adopt a passive-aggressive behavior. You will be moody, you will cry, get furious, and flare up all because there is no trust, and a relationship without trust is nothing.” 

infographic on things that happen in relationships without trust
Things that happen in relationships without trust

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.”

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. 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 in relationships without trust

Jayant elaborates on the previous point, “In relationships without trust, there might be complete 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.

Your personal space will be invaded. Your social media will be supervised. Your phone calls and messages will be checked without your knowledge. 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.”

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

9. Erupting into pre-emptive attacks

Pre-emption means doing something before the other person. This is not one of the things to do to gain trust back in a relationship. Suppose someone is planning to hurt you. But you hurt them before they can do any harm to you. You take the 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 a ‘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.”

relationship without trust is nothing

10. Infidelity

Jayant says, “Infidelity will take place if your partner is subjected to prolonged skepticism. 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.”

11. Relationships without trust can lead to breakups

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.”

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 marriage without trust. Your constant suspicion, lack of communication, and outburst of emotions will eventually make your partner put an end to the relationship for good. 


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 that 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 which comes and goes, but trust, once lost, is hard to find again. 

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