Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship. When this is lost, regardless of how it happens, it can lead to the deterioration of that relationship. However, rebuilding trust is possible.
That said, it is a challenging journey that requires effort, dedication, and patience. Numerous couples have gone through the process and successfully rebuilt trust.
This article will discuss the delicate process of rebuilding a relationship. We will delve into practical strategies and actionable tips to help you and your partner heal and rebuild trust.
The Importance of Trust in a Relationship
Trust is vital for any romantic relationship. When someone trusts their partner, they expect them to act consistently with their values and expectations. It allows couples to be open and vulnerable with each other.
Furthermore, it leads to more intimacy and a deeper emotional connection. Without trust, a couple’s relationship will be strained and filled with misunderstandings.
Trust needs to be earned, and it takes time and effort to build. In a relationship, you must be honest and consistent to build trust.
When trust is broken in a relationship, it is quite challenging to repair. Fortunately, it is not impossible. With time, dedication, and intentionality, it is possible to regain the same level of trust that was broken.
Effects of Broken Trust
Broken trust in a relationship leads to various negative effects, from anger and insecurity to a sense of loss and resentment. This also leads to paranoia, anxiety, and suspicion when a couple is not together.
If distrust is not addressed or treated, it can lead to toxicity and, in the worst-case scenario, the dissolution of the relationship.
Additionally, the effects of broken trust can go well beyond the duration of the relationship. The partner who was betrayed may have issues trusting other people, including those with whom they are not romantically involved. In the long run, this could lead to attachment issues and self-isolation.
Remember that the severity of a betrayal varies, and therefore, the approach for each situation differs. Regardless, the issue needs to be addressed so that both parties can start working towards building trust.
How to Rebuild
Acknowledge the Hurt
The first step in rebuilding is acknowledging the pain and hurt that the breach of trust has caused. During this process, both parties need to feel heard.
Creating a space where everyone feels safe enough to express themselves is vital. You both need to be open and honest about what happened and how it made you feel.
Apologize for the Hurt Caused
The partner who breached the trust needs to apologize genuinely. This shows that the partner is remorseful and is willing to work on the relationship and rebuild trust. They must be accountable for their actions and admit that they are the reason for the broken trust.
Transparency is fundamental to this process. If any truths related to the breach of trust are hidden, the truth might resurface in the future and slow down or halt the healing process.
As you apologize, allow your partner to ask any questions they need to get closure. On the other hand, if you are the partner who was betrayed, you must be patient because your partner may not have the answers you need.
You also need to learn to forgive your partner and be compassionate. This does not mean condoning their hurtful actions but letting go of the anger from the betrayal.
In many cases, couples cannot handle the complexities of rebuilding trust on their own. If you fall into this category, consider receiving help from a qualified relationship counselor or therapist.
This professional can offer valuable insights and guide both partners through healing, from healthy communication to actionable tips.
(While many professionals including myself are considered out of network, you can reach out to your insurance company and learn about HMO, PPO, POS, or EPO plan to see if any of the fee would be reimbursable to you. In some cases, the fees could be partially covered for out-of-network care, and in other cases, medical emergencies could be covered.)
Understand that Rebuilding Requires Patience and Time
You cannot regain trust overnight. This is a process that may take some time. Therefore, you and your partner need to understand this and be patient.
You both need time to heal, create boundaries, build trust, and feel safe in the relationship. This is not a linear process. Sometimes, you may experience some setbacks, but it is important not to feel defeated and to keep going.
Patience also applies when it comes to physical and emotional intimacy. While reconnecting on this level can help rebuild trust, time is needed to ensure the betrayed partner is ready to reconnect.
Make Changes to Behavior
While apologies go a long way in rebuilding trust, this is just the first step in the process. After the apology comes a change in behavior. Note that this varies based on the situation.
Changed behavior could be anything from being more present at home to allowing your partner to go through your phone if they want to. It could also mean not traveling or going out for certain activities for a while. Doing all this is vital to slowly rebuilding trust. With time, these restrictions may no longer be needed.
That said, keep in mind that no matter how much change is made, the betrayed partner will always have to handle the feeling of anxiety and insecurity of not knowing. This means acknowledging these feelings and practicing self-care. Reaching out to trusted friends or family members may be beneficial.
Photo by Khamkéo Vilaysing from Unsplash
Rebuilding a relationship is possible. This journey requires patience, open communication, and a willingness to change.
Both partners must acknowledge and address the hurt and then take all the necessary actions to heal, including seeking professional help.
If done right, not only can you rebuild trust, but you can also create a stronger relationship with your partner. Remember, the process of regaining trust is long and requires hard work, but it is worth it in the long run.
About the author: Lia Huynh is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has helped couples build trust, intimacy and deeper communication for over 20 years. If you are looking to build trust and need help, feel free to learn more about Lia here.