Rebuilding Trust In Your Relationship After It’s Been Broken
When it comes to relationships, I think we can all agree that trust is one of, if not the most important part of making it work.
On a daily basis, everything our partner does is passed through our filter of trust.
When the trust is strong, we rarely even think about it. We go about our lives with the assumption that we’re both functioning with integrity.
But when there’s a breach of that trust, everything you do is now seen through the lens of suspicion. Every statement about where you were is scrutinized. Who you were with is questioned over and over. Your intentions are doubted.
Your once safe and secure partnership is replaced with constant anxiety, fear and doubt.
The trust that took so much time and effort to build took only a moment to break and wreak havoc on your relationship.
When we think of broken trust, we think of the usual suspects like infidelity, a major lie or deceit, but it can also happen due to other things like your partner constantly not following through on what they say they would or not being there for support when you really needed them.
However, all this doesn’t mean trust can’t be rebuilt and a healthy relationship re-established.
With an intentional, purposeful and concerted effort, you can make it happen. But the question is, beyond an apology, what else is there to do?
So here are a few things you and your partner should focus on in your efforts to bring the trust back:
Be Patient & Commit To The Process
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the trust won’t come back overnight, and expecting it to be will only lead to more disappointment.
One thing I’ve found helpful is to consciously commit to the process of working it out, because there will be some days where you'll feel motivated to put in the effort, while other days, it’ll feel like a chore.
Keeping in mind the end goal and having confidence that you’ll reach it is helpful when you’re going through those uncertain moments.
So it's critical to be patient with the process.
Let Each Other In
If there was ever a time to be transparent, this is it. Clinging to your privacy will only makes things worse by creating distance between you and your partner, which leaves room for more suspicion to creep in.
The only way to counter the damage done by betrayal is through openness, transparency and honesty.
This means answering a million questions your partner may have about what happened. It means opening up about your struggles instead of hiding them. It also means being transparent about your activities moving forward for some time.
This one is difficult for a lot of folks because it requires you to be more open than you likely were before, but that’s the whole point. You have to be willing to go the extra mile to earn your partner’s trust back.
It’ll help you re-establish your connection with each other and demonstrate your willingness to steer the relationship back in the right direction again.
Work Towards Forgiveness
For the betrayed partner, it can feel like you have the right to hold onto your anger and bitterness, and you do, but keep in mind that doing so is only going to hurt you and keep you from healing.
You have every right to feel everything you do, but it’s important to be constantly working towards forgiving your partner daily.
And forgiving does’t mean you’re condoning their behavior, justifying what they did or even trusting them right away again.
It simple means you’re choosing to le go of the grudge so you can begin to heal without the burden of the past holding you back.
Creating and Respecting Boundaries
To prevent the past from repeating itself, boundaries have to be put into place and they have to be enforced.
That might mean distancing yourself from certain people, reordering your priorities so you can focus more on the relationship or adjusting whatever behavior led to the breach of trust in the first place.
The fact is, we often rationalize our way into compromising situations we can’t rationalize our way out of and end up regretting it later when we have to deal with the consequences.
If your focus is on doing better next time, you have to be honest with your partner and with yourself about staying clear of the things that could lead to those compromising situations in the first place.
It won’t always be comfortable or easy, but rebuilding trust is possible if the relationship is worth putting in the effort for. And many couples come out on the other side stronger than before.
So what are your thoughts? If you’ve had a breach of trust in your relationship, what did you focus on to rebuild it? What would you add to this list? Leave a comment and let me know!