How to Rebuild Trust in a Damaged Relationship
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According to the statistics website, Statistic Brain (2014), approximately 40% of married couples (one or both individuals) commit adultery (betrayal).
Have you recently experienced a betrayal that damaged your relationship? Did this betrayal cause you to lose trust in yourself, your partner, and your relationship as a whole? If so, you are not alone. It is normal to lose trust in everyone and everything after experiencing heartbreak, regardless of the cause. However, it is especially devastating when the heartbreak stems from some type of betrayal (i.e. deception, lies, infidelity, etc.). Truth-be-told, a good relationship takes persistence, time, and effort. In other words, both partners must be willing to work on the relationship. If you have been hurt, but still want to save your relationship by rebuilding the trust you once shared, it is possible – with a lot of sweat and tears. If you truly love one another, and you can push past the pain towards forgiveness, then there is a chance that your relationship may actually be salvageable. In order to regain the trust in your relationship, you and your partner must re-evaluate your relationship. In other words, “something” is broken in your relationship, so “things” cannot stay the same. More specifically, there will need to be changes in how you relate to one another, if you want to rebuild trust, and save your relationship.
As mentioned previously, “something” between you and your partner is broken, and now you must work together to “fix” it. To repair your damaged relationship, you will need to be extremely considerate of your partner’s feelings, and vice versa. The key is respect, which if there has been a betrayal, is sorely lacking in the relationship. In addition, both you and your partner will need to be more conscious of your actions around and away from each other. Truth-be-told, regaining trust in a damaged relationship is a delicate task. Once trust has been broken in the relationship (by you, your partner, or both of you) it can take years to repair it, but if you love each other it is worth the wait and effort. Beware; there will be feelings of sadness, anger, disappointment, resentment, confusion, bitterness, and regret on both sides (the victim and the betrayer). Although most people like to blame one partner or the other for the decline of the relationship, in most situations, both parties are to blame, in some way.
Have you been so busy with work responsibilities that you have neglected your partner? Do you spend more times with friends than you do with your spouse? Have you made time recently to talk to your loved one? How much time do you typically spend together a week? When was the last time you cuddled, talked, or went on a date? Do you simply not have the time or the desire to spend time with your partner? There is a good chance that you and your partner may be questioning why you ever entered into the relationship in the first place, and you may also be wondering if your relationship will ever be like it used to be. It is normal to question your judgment and/or wonder how your relationship will change, however, if you really love one another, and want to make your relationship work – it will survive. Apologize to one another for the roles you played in the breakdown of your relationship, forgive, and move on…with each other. If you believe in your relationship, and want to get back to those feelings of security, love, trust, and respect, you have come to the right place. This article will teach you how to rebuild the trust in your damaged relationship.
If you want to rebuild the trust in your damaged relationship, you and your partner will need to make some sacrifices. As mentioned before, “something” is going to have to change for you to rebuild trust in your relationship. Your relationship will not survive, if you return to your old ways. Look at this time as an evolution – a rebirth in your union. This is the time to start fresh. But, you will need to be willing to sacrifice to regain the trust in your relationship. For example, if your partner needs you to pick up your daughter or son from daycare, but you want to “hang out” with friends that you have not seen in a while – pick your child up from daycare, and reschedule with your friends. Placing your partner’s needs above your own shows him or her that you are committed to the relationship. It also shows your partner that he or she is important to you.
Listen? Yes, listen. One of the most effective ways to regain trust in a damaged relationship is to actively listen to what your partner has to say, and vice versa. If your partner needs or wants to talk to you about something that is pressing on his or her mind, take time out of your busy schedule to simply listen to him or her. In the same vein, if you need to share your thoughts and feelings with your partner, he or she should listen to you. It is a two-way street. Do not interrupt one another, and always show consideration for each other’s feelings. Apologize to one another for past wrongs, and forgive, forgive, forgive! Also, do not criticize or dismiss each other’s thoughts, opinions, and/or beliefs. Both points-of-view are valid. Be honest with one another, even if you and your partner become angry, sad, and/or upset. In other words, try to be as objective as possible, even when it hurts. Be prepared for deep-set resentment, hurt, and sadness. Also, be prepared to answer questions. Although this may be one of the hardest steps you take in the reparation of your relationship, it will help rebuild the trust between you and your partner. Listening to each other – hearing the words, and understanding the context, will strengthen the way you and your partner feel about each other.
You can rebuild the trust in your relationship simply by being honest with one another. In other words, tell the truth. Getting caught in another lie will only further damage an already weakened relationship. Most importantly, it may interfere with your ability to rebuild the trust between you. It is important to remember that honesty encourages trust, which is what you are striving for. So, sit down with your partner, and tell him or her how you really feel about everything. In return, listen to your partner, as he or she shares his or her feelings with you. Furthermore, refrain from be critical and judgmental towards each other. Do not blame each other for past transgression; rather focus on rebuilding the trust, and repairing your damaged relationship.
Keep Your Promises
One of the best ways to rebuild trust between you and your partner is to keep your promises. In other words, follow through with what you say you are going to do. In order for the trust to be rebuilt in your relationship, you and your partner will need to “keep your word.” So, if you promise your partner something, try your best to keep that promise, and if for some reason you can’t, explain the reason to your partner – in advance.
You can regain the trust in your damaged relationship by being accountable. In other words, take responsibility for your own actions. Do not blame your partner for what happened in the relationship. Why? Well, because you both caused the damage. Note: I am not blaming the victim for the betrayal and loss of trust, however, I am stating that usually a relationship is damaged because one partner feels that something is lacking in the relationship, and the other one ignores the issues. Rarely is one person solely to blame for a damaged relationship. However, it is never ok to cheat, lie, and/or deceive people – Period. Once you and your partner take responsibility for your own actions, you will be able to start rebuilding the trust in your relationship. How? Well, you will slowly start to believe in your relationship again. You and your partner will learn, over time that you can trust each other again. In other words, you will start to believe that your relationship is salvageable. Truth-be-told, the keys to rebuilding trust in a damaged relationship is to always be consistent, reliable, understanding, patient, loving, respectful, and considerate towards one another.
- Dr. R. Y. Langham
Bedrick, D. (2013). Building & repairing trust: Keys to sustainable relationship. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/is-psychology-making-us-sick/201310/building-repairing-trust-keys-sustainable-relationship
Healing Hearts Counseling. (2015). How to rebuild trust in your marriage. Retrieved from http://marriagecounselingknoxville.com/how-to-rebuild-trust-in-your-marriage.html
Raffel, D. (2015). How to win at love. Oprah. Retrieved from http://www.oprah.com/relationships/How-to-Succeed-at-Love-Build-Trust-in-a-Relationship
Statistic Brain. (2014). Infidelity statistics. Retrieved from http://www.statisticbrain.com/infidelity-statistics/50/