Sadly, there are many many different ways to break your partner’s trust – from secretly spending a significant portion of shared savings on a personal luxury item, to having an emotional affair by confiding in a close friend about issues instead of discussing them with your significant other. However, this does also mean that there are many ways to rebuild trust where it has been broken.
So whether you’re tired of trying to catch your partner in a lie with drug test cups or nostalgic for date nights that didn’t dissolve into fighting, here are 4 steps to take to try and trust your partner again.
Acknowledging the Hurt
Sweeping things under the rug never really works, especially when it comes to hurt feelings. So, one of the first things you want to do is acknowledge any pain and emotional impact of the breach of trust, openly recognizing and accepting the damage caused.
For example, say there’s a scenario where one partner lied about their financial situation. The other partner feels hurt, betrayed, and anxious about their shared financial future. Acknowledging the hurt in this situation means the lying partner must empathize with their partner’s feelings and understand the gravity of their actions. They might say, “I understand that my dishonesty about our finances has hurt you deeply, and I’m truly sorry for causing you this pain.”
Setting Clear Boundaries
One of the primary ways to combat trust issues is with clear boundaries. Why? Because you want to have a framework for understanding expectations and preventing misunderstandings that erode trust.
Say there’s a case of infidelity. Setting clear boundaries would include both partners agreeing on what constitutes inappropriate behavior with members of the opposite sex. Such as, “We agree not to have one-on-one social outings with people of the opposite sex without prior communication and consent from each other.”
More often than not, seeking outside help is not only a good idea but essential when it comes to regaining lost trust in a relationship.
Often, trust is broken because of deep-seated reasons that need to be addressed, and having someone whose job it is to not only help both partners understand the underlying issues that contributed to the breach of trust but also suggest coping strategies for a way forward can mean the difference between reconciliation and further estrangement.
Much like Rome, trust can’t be built in a day. Instead, it is an ongoing process that requires consistent effort where regular assessment and discussion of any progress made is essential so that necessary adjustments can be implemented.
For example, monitoring progress for the financial infidelity scenario might involve scheduled meetings to review the financial situation, ensuring transparency is maintained, with check-ins that explore what additional steps or changes are needed.
So don’t despair just yet. Acknowledging any hurt, setting clear boundaries, seeking support, and monitoring progress are integral parts of rebuilding trust in a relationship that is likely to work when procedures are followed correctly.