Rebuilding trust in a relationship takes time. Once trust is broken, it is very hard to get it back. So how can you go about rebuilding trust in a relationship? How do you give an untrustworthy person another chance? Should you even give that person the chance? First of all, a couple will have to decide if they are both willing to put in the effort. One, or both, of you may have to regain the trust of the other with their words and actions. The other, or both, of you has to decide to forego the past and be open to giving them a chance to be trusted again.
Here are some steps to rebuilding trust in your relationship.
1. In order to rebuild trust in your relationship, you are going to have to wipe the slate clean to a certain degree. Put aside some time (not days) to have a conversation about where the trust was broken. Let the truth come out so you can deal with it. Don’t go in-depth in to every minor detail. It is not necessary. You will lose sight of the point of this exercise. It is to discuss the past so it will not be repeated, not so you can argue about it.
2. Apologies have to be made, and they have to be properly made. Stop trying to cover your butt or make excuses or minimize what you did or said. In order to begin rebuilding the trust, you have to be sorry. Your apology is all about the person you are apologizing to, it is not about you. Make it about them. Be sincere. Say your piece and then prepare to listen to theirs.
3. In order begin rebuilding trust in a relationship you have to start listening, and stop talking. Allow the other person to tell you how much they have been hurt by the trust being broken. Allow them to explain why it is so hard to trust you again. Keep your mouth shut while they are speaking, and really try to hear what they are saying. Don’t get defensive or go into denial mode. Don’t try to diminish their feelings or pain, and don’t try to tell them they shouldn’t feel that way. They have a right to, and you need to respect that. Don’t tell them they need to get over it. You need them to get over it, and you need to help them do that, and words just aren’t going to cut it anymore. You broke the trust, you get to fix it, not them.
4. Rebuilding trust in a relationship means you are willing to let go of the anger at some point. This can take a lot of time. Until you are ready to let go of the anger the process of building trust back up again can’t fully begin. It all starts with them of course, but at some point you have to be willing to give them a chance to earn your trust once they have proven themselves worthy.
5. It is time both of you were open books. No one likes to be without privacy, but when you lose someone’s trust, you may have to lose your privacy for a while. You should have access to each others social media, email, and phone (and whatever else may be an issue). Yes, it sucks to lose your privacy for a while but you are at the point where you can lose your relationship. Being transparent goes a long way to earning trust again. Especially is any of the above were used to break the trust.
6. Discuss the importance of giving your word. If your word doesn’t mean anything, you cannot be trusted or relied upon. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. If broken promises have been a problem in the past, take the word promise out of your vocabulary until you can really deliver on them. And promises have an expiration date. You can’t promise to clean out the garage and expect to have the rest of your life to get it done.
7. When you are rebuilding trust in a relationship it is a very fragile time. Don’t screw things up by being impatient. You may not prove trustworthy for a long time. Deal with it, accept it. There is no way someone is going to trust you 100% after what happened. Not right away. It is going to take time, a long time; not days, and not weeks. Be realistic.
A relationship without trust is like a house without a foundation. You can’t expect the building to stay up without a foundation. Just like you can’t expect a relationship to last with trust as its foundation.