When you are in a relationship with someone it should be built on a foundation of trust, mutual understanding, and respect.
Whilst these characteristics are incredibly important to help a relationship work and move forward, there are times when trust issues can crop up and it pushes the limits of any relationship no matter how strong it appears to be.
If you are in a relationship and something has occurred, maybe your partner cheated, or they are being emotionally unavailable which is making you feel untrusting towards them, but you want to do what you can to rebuild trust again and work through the healing process for a healthy relationship, then hopefully, this article will be able to help you as you work through this next step in your relationship.
What Can Happen in a Relationship That Breaks Trust?
Rebuilding trust is not something that can happen easily, and depending on the reason behind the breaking of that trust between two people, it may or may not be achievable.
Getting a partner’s trust back will not be easy, and if you are thinking of what the next steps are after they have confessed something to you or you to them, then you are going to need to take it slowly so that you and your partner respect each other properly.
Things that can break trust in a relationship are –
- Withholding love and affection
- Having physical intimacy with someone else
- Showing addictive behaviours (drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.)
- Discussing their partner behind their back in a mean or derogatory way
- Breaking promises
- Not taking responsibility for bad things they have done
Signs That Show a Lack of Trust in a Relationship
If your partner does not trust you, there are signs that will show this which can make you feel like you are under a microscope and worried about what will happen next.
Before you have an open and honest conversation with them about what is going on, you will want to take note of what they have been doing if you want to talk to them about what’s going on or confront them for something they may be hiding from you.
They Are Always Trying to Control You
There is a chance that the person you are with now has previously been in a relationship where they have been cheated on, and in doing so, they feel like there is broken trust there in any relationship.
If they are constantly checking up on you, asking you questions, or wanting to know where you are each minute of the day, that can make you feel like they are being untrustworthy too, so now you are both skeptical of each other.
They Withdraw From You
To have an honest relationship, you should be able to speak to your partner about everything and open up to them when you need to.
If they are emotionally or physically withdrawing from you and have started to pull away and do not communicate openly like they used to, this may be because they are just feeling overwhelmed or they just need some space.
But if you do not ask then this can conjure up all types of scenarios which can make you feel worried about what may be happening.
They Accuse You of Being Unfaithful
There is an observation that if your partner is accusing you of being the one who is cheating, then they in fact are the one who is cheating and are trying to deflect the label away from them.
This may not be the answer all the time, but it does happen, so if your partner cheated they may be calling you a liar or unfaithful and not give you any honest answers when you switch the script.
Rebuilding Trust in a Relationship
In this section, say you were the one that was cheated on, or you were the one that your partner betrayed by talking behind your back, breaking promises, or lying about anything.
If you want to rebuild trust and practice forgiveness so that you can keep your relationship going, then there are some things that you will need to do to make this possible.
If this is a new relationship or a long-term one, there will be different needs and conversations that will be had, but if you want to have honest communication and make sure that you both do not go through the destructive process of throwing accusations and breaking it all down, then here are some ways you can try and make it work.
Make a Conscious Decision to Commit to Each Other
You have heard what has happened, you are aware of the details and you want to repair broken trust and move forward.
It won’t be easy in the slightest, but if you both put in 100% commitment to make it work so that they can regain trust and make you feel better about the situation, then it has the potential to work out.
Don’t do it For The Sake of it
If it is worth fighting for, then fight, but don’t just fight because you are afraid to be alone.
You are putting yourself in a bad position if all you are thinking about is ending up alone if you break off this relationship.
It is better to be alone and happy than with someone who makes you feel terrible and lonely.
They may make the same mistake twice, or even more times, then what would be the point of being with them?
You need to show yourself some self-respect.
Each One Take Responsibility
If the breaking of the trust was not done by infidelity but by something else like poor communication or emotional distance, then it is important to note your own actions in this and know that it wasn’t just one partner that caused problems, it may have been both.
If you had a part to play in this, you are not the only hurt partner, but you are the one who may have got it worse, so you need to think about what happened and how things transpired into what they are now.
Did You do Anything?
The injured partner (you) could have also done something that set off things in motion which made them react the way they did.
You don’t know until you sit down and talk with them, they may divulge to you that you hurt them in a way that made them lash out making this situation worse.
Whilst their reaction is on them and they need to own up to that, you cannot sit there and not think about what has happened with you as well.
You may not be the only injured person in the room.
Talk it Through
You are both going to need to set time aside to talk about what happened between you both and what the next steps are concerning your future together.
It is going to be a serious discussion and it will take a lot of time and energy to go through it and try and find a way that you both can move past it.
Not all broken trust issues are huge, but anything that breaks like that is still going to require a serious discussion on the topic.
Set Your Communication Style
Once you have talked about it, you both will need to discuss how you guys want to communicate moving forward and how that can help you both be honest with one another.
To avoid future breaches of trust, make sure that you both understand what expectations there are in the relationship and how that can support both of you in the future.
Go to Couples Therapy
Some things you go through as a couple can be bigger than a simple conversation, in some cases, you may need to bring in experts to help you with moving forward and rebuilding trust once again.
They will be able to break it down for you and have you talk with each other honestly.
It is an open space that can get very emotionally charged, this is why a mediator can help with keeping things on track and stop you from veering off into other areas that may bring up too much all at once.
Couples therapy may be the best option for you if one of the trust issues you have is communication and you want to make it better for you both.
You May Get Resistance
If you are the one to suggest going to therapy, then there is a chance that your partner may resist going if they feel apprehensive about showing their emotions to someone else.
This may be precisely why you both need to go, so don’t immediately get mad at them for saying no, talk it out with them and show them that this is beneficial for you both and important for your relationship to flourish after going through something defining in your relationship.
Take Time to Forgive
You need to forgive yourself and them as time goes on.
Forgive yourself for whatever part you played (if you did at all), and forgive them for what happened, especially if you want to keep being with them and carrying on the relationship.
It won’t be linear forgiveness, it will go up and down, but if you are committed to doing it, then it will happen to you eventually.
What Happens if You Can Forgive?
Sometimes the betrayal is too deep to forgive.
Don’t be angry at yourself for not forgiving this person, it is not easy to just move on from something that happened in a relationship you thought was solid.
Some things are just too big to handle and we all have our limits.
If it is time for you to move on, then you should move on.
Now that you are aware of how to rebuild trust in a relationship, you are hopefully able to do so without too many issues.
It is okay if you need to walk away from the relationship, it is not something that you should beat yourself up about.
You did what you could and sometimes it isn’t meant to be.