Everyone knows at least one person they do not consider trustworthy. If you cannot trust an individual in even one area, the repercussions are many. Let's say you know an individual who regularly cheats on their spouse. This behavior will, most assuredly, taint your entire relationship with that person. If they will cheat on their spouse, you might well conclude that the person will easily lie to you. Perhaps you have an employee who consistently promises to meet deadlines, but, for the most part, fails to do so. These examples illustrate how trust in relationships needs to be nurtured and maintained. While it's true that everyone can make mistakes, an isolated incident will not ultimately destroy a friendship, business relationship or marriage in the case of generally healthy and established trust in relationships.
When you first meet a person, you probably tend to give that person the benefit of the doubt, expecting that they will treat you in an ethical and trustworthy manner. However, the proof is in the pudding, as the relationship becomes established. Trusting people may easily be taken advantage of by people who are inherently undeserving of trust. When a trusting person realizes that another is not bound by ethics, the trust in relationships with that individual is damaged, sometimes irrevocably.
On the other hand, there are people who approach every relationship with mistrust. Such people require that, upon establishing any type of relationship, the other person must first prove themselves honorable before any trust is conferred. For example, consider the case of an employer, who has been burned by untrustworthy or unethical employees too many times. This employer, upon hiring a replacement, might appear to be gruff and demanding, watching your every move with suspicion. Here, your best bet is to work on establishing trust in relationship to your boss. If you conduct yourself ethically and honestly, to the best of your ability, sooner or later you will win his trust. If you fail to do this, you might well be looking for a new job.
Being truthful is key to establishing trust in relationships of any type. If you give your word to do something, you must follow through. Again, there is always the odd situation that can crop up in anyone's life. Your mother ended up in the hospital and you must take time to attend to her needs, unable to fulfill a promised obligation. Everyone understands that such things happen. It's the person whose grandmother has died three times in the last year that loses credibility.
In spousal relationships, jealousy can be a major cause for a lack of trust in relationships. Some people simply are possessed of a jealous nature, seeing suspicious behavior where it's not warranted. This case is another story altogether. On the other hand, if your behavior or actions warrant suspicion, as might be the case of a partner who flirts shamelessly in your presence, any previously established trust in the relationship might well go down the drain.
In the end, trust in relationships is a two way street. Both parties must behave ethically and deal truthfully. In every case, trust is built, earned and maintained. This simple element of trust between people affects your entire life. Take care to make it happen.