Help for Rebuilding Trust in Your Relationship
Trust is an essential component of a healthy relationship. Without it, there is no intimate connection, vulnerability, or sense of emotional safety. The critical ingredient in establishing trust is integrity which is being consistent in words and actions. It is doing what you say you will do when you say you will do it. When a partner doesn’t keep their word, the foundation of the relationship is cracked and may even crumble, depending upon the severity of the breach of trust. Repairing and rebuilding trust takes time if both partners agree that the relationship is worth saving.
Causes of Trust Issues
Trust issues can be caused by the following:
- Not keeping your word
- Not taking personal responsibility for bad behavior
- Using love and affection to manipulate your spouse
- Little to no physical intimacy
- Emotional distance and unavailability
- Addictions – drugs, pornography, gambling, etc.
- Affairs – emotional or physical
- Being criticized by your spouse in the presence of others
Signs that Trust Needs to be Rebuilt
- Your spouse checks up on your constantly and seeks to control you. This can lead to resentment, jealousy, and insecurity.
- You are accused of being unfaithful or secretive. This clearly shows they don’t trust you and feel insecure in your relationship.
- They become unavailable to you – either emotionally or physically or both. It would help if you found out what is happening with them and what is causing this behavior.
- Your communication is suffering. Your spouse refuses to communicate in honest and vulnerable ways. Lack of communication can lead to problems, including misunderstanding, invalidation of you both, jealousy, possessiveness, or even cheating.
- Your motives and actions are always suspect. You feel like you are walking in a minefield, never knowing when a misstep will cause an “explosion.”
Is Rebuilding Trust Possible?
How do you know if rebuilding trust in your relationship will be possible? There are some indicators to look for that trust can be restored after it has been broken. One of the most important is a willingness from both partners to invest time, energy, and resources to work on the relationship. In addition, there must be a common goal to create a relationship in which both parties feel safe and secure.
Rebuilding trust is possible if:
- The person who has suffered the offense is not pressured and is given time to consider whether or not they will take the risk involved.
- They decide to forgive the offense(s) and leave the past in the past.
- They do not fall into a destructive pattern of interrogation and defensiveness.
- Broad questions about the betrayal are answered honestly without going into the minute details. (If you are dealing with infidelity, see the blog, What to Ask Your Spouse About Their Affair.)
- Both partners want to work on restoring trust in the relationship.
- The objective is to make the relationship safe for both partners.
How to Begin Rebuilding Trust
- Listen to your partner and let them express their anger and hurt.
- Empathize with them by sharing their feelings.
- Discuss what boundaries are necessary to prevent a repeat of the behavior.
- Be honest and consistent in your words and actions to rebuild integrity.
- Own your actions. Shifting the blame to the other person or sidestepping the issue will only delay or prevent the healing.
- Make a sincere apology expressing your regret for your words and actions and how you have damaged your partner and your relationship.
- Don’t stop talking. Even though it may be uncomfortable and you want to “move past” the betrayal of trust, continue to have open and honest communication.
As profoundly as the trust in your partner may have been damaged, there is hope to rebuild that trust and enjoy a mutually satisfying relationship. You may find your relationship stronger than ever before, but it will take effort from both of you and time for the wounds to heal. Attending Love Recon is one of the best ways to expedite the process. We offer help, hope, and healing. It’s what we do!
If you want to discuss how we can help you and your relationship, please contact me at [email protected] or call 866-218-1716. You may also visit our website, www.LoveRecon.org, for testimonials and information.