Trust is so difficult to build, and yet so easy to lose. A lie, a broken promise, or infidelity may lead to the weakening and breaking of trust between partners. Sometimes rebuilding that trust may seem impossible. But the good news is that it is possible to restore trust in a relationship.
When one of the partners in a relationship, through their actions, destroys the foundation of trust and realises they’ve hurt the one they really love, they can, with effort, rebuild that trust. Sometimes things can even turn out better than expected. The whole process is a difficult, long-term one, says psychologist Sheri Meyers, (a family and marriage therapist and author of the book Chatting or Cheating: How to Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love, and Affair-Proof Your Relationship), in her article for the Huffington Post.
1. Take responsibility for your actions!
Analyse the reasons why you’ve broken your partner’s trust and think about how you could avoid that in the future, Meyers writes in her book.
2. Restore trust in a relationship: Ask your partner for forgiveness
3. Find out what your partner needs to get over the incident
Unfortunately, as much as you might wish it to be so, you cannot erase what happened, but you can show interest in your partner’s needs to move on in your relationship. Listen carefully to what he or she has to say.
4. Do the right thing
Sometimes it’s not just the one who was wrong but both partners who must change their behaviour and actions to avoid repeating the situation that led to the loss of trust, according to The Trust Ambassador.
Also, trust is built over time and is based on actions which convey safety and support to the other person, says pastor Rob Edmondson, from Immanuel Baptist Church, in his article for the Christian Post.
5. Be transparent when trying to restore trust
If the act you committed is so serious that it led to the loss of trust in the relationship, it is necessary to prove to the other that you have nothing to hide. Furthermore, you should be honest even if that sometimes means entering into conflict with your partner.
If you hide or omit things just to avoid tense moments, remember that this is a form of lying too. Try to present the less pleasant details in a nice way.
Even if you are the one who did what caused the loss of trust in the relationship, it is possible that your partner contributed to what happened to a certain extent. Admit to yourself that you might actually blame them, and forgive them.
But you also need to forgive yourself for what you did, making a commitment to yourself that you will not repeat your mistake, and will do your best not to hurt those around you, or yourself, again.
7. Be patient
Depending on the seriousness of the deed, the process of rebuilding trust may last longer than you think. You might lose your patience at times, and other times you will lose the hope that you will ever come to regain the trust of the person you love. However, if you feel that your relationship is worth saving, prove to the other that you will stand your ground and remain next to them without thinking about how long it will take before the balance between you is re-established.
As Pastor Edmondson says, this stage might seem like the most difficult of them all. At times you might feel that, after taking a step forward, you take two backwards, Dr. Meyers says. It is very important not to let yourself be discouraged or filled with negative thoughts, but to choose to act in a positive way in such situations.