Your relationship is rocky. Perhaps you cheated. Maybe you discovered your man’s been hiding a secret bonus check from work. There’s distrust between you, and it doesn’t feel like it once did.
Rest assured that trust can be rebuilt if you both work to do so. You can trust one another – and yourselves – once more. But your relationship won’t be exactly how it was.
Imagine this: your old relationship was like a vase. Whatever one of you did to break trust has broken the vase into pieces. You can’t glue them back together, but you can use the pieces to make a mosaic. It’s beautiful but not quite the same, and that’s okay.
How do you get to that point, however, where you can feel securely attached to your man and he can trust you back? It’s not easy, but we’ve got some great relationship advice when it comes to that.
Whether it’s you or your man who has done something to break trust between the two of you or you’re both a little at fault, the following steps can help you to rebuild trust.
1. ADMIT WHAT YOU DID
Perhaps you need to admit that you’ve been flirting with a co-worker or it’s your husband’s turn to admit he’s been thinking about divorce. Whatever it is, someone needs to come clean. There’s a right way to do this and a wrong way, however. You don’t want to do it when you’re fighting because it will come out in an angry and hurtful way.
Secondly, there’s a balance between being honest and providing details that will only make your partner feel worse. If we’re talking about cheating, this means you can say you slept with a coworker. But you don’t need to say how many times, where and what positions you did it in. This will only add insult to injury, even if your man demands to know the sordid details – and he might.
One partner’s admission to something that broke trust is going to illicit a lot of feelings, even if we’re only talking about something such as lying about liking something your man cooked for you. These feelings can include disappointment, anger, sadness, jealousy that stem from how hurt your partner is. Expressing these feelings probably won’t be easy for you to take as the person who’s coming clean, but this is about your partner right now.
Provide a safe space for him to vent when he needs to. Recognize this is a process that will take some time, even if you feel like you’ve moved beyond the issue. He may not be there yet. In fact, the entire process of rebuilding trust is like a dance with one step forward and one or two back. It’s not a straight line!
Obviously, the next step is to apologize – and to mean it. If you don’t mean it, your partner will likely be able to tell. Furthermore, it will make it difficult to rebuild trust. If you’re not truly apologetic or if you feel like your partner deserved whatever you did to breach trust, then you won’t be genuine when you try to make it up to him. And you probably won’t take the job of rebuilding trust seriously, which will pretty much make it impossible to do so!
You can talk about why you cheated if you think it will help, but you shouldn’t blame your man for something you did to break trust. Take responsibility for your own actions. You might uncover some existing issues that you need to fix.
It might help to take the Apology Language quiz to lean what methods are most meaningful to your spouse. This is a quiz made by Gary Chapman, the author of The Five Love Languages. Apologizing in the manner your guy needs can be more effective than trying to do so in another apology “language.”
3. EARN BACK HIS TRUST
It’s important for your partner to feel you’re being trustworthy again, which entails being transparent. What does this mean? Your privacy takes a back seat to giving your partner comfort of knowing what you’re doing and who you’re with. Here’s a few ways that you can potentially earn back his trust…
- Answer phone calls as soon as possible.
- Don’t make sudden plans without first consulting with him.
- Let him know about work projects ahead of time.
- Give him access to your communications with others.
- Share passwords to your devices and accounts.
- Introduce him to people you might be spending time with if he’s interested.
This might seem a little nagging to people who are free-spirited, but it actually provides little ways for you to rebuild trust in your relationship on a daily basis. Mention that you’ll be home at a certain time, then follow through. Let your man know you’ll call on your lunch break. Do it. Every time you follow up with something you said you would, you’re strengthening your relationship again.
Rebuilding trust isn’t just about what the person who broke that trust must do. If you’re trying to rebuild trust in your relationship after your man cheated on you, for example, you’ll have to be willing for him to earn back your trust.
4. AVOID THE SAME MISTAKE
Of course, you can’t rebuild trust if you repeat the mistake. It goes without saying that you need to end the affair, halt gambling or stop talking poorly about your man to other people once you’ve broken trust. No matter what the issue was, it needs to stop as soon as possible. It may be hard for you, but it’s at least as hard for your partner to go through this.
You should also remove temptation to fall back into an affair or other untrustworthy habits. If you find yourself not being able to be transparent with your partner, then it’s time to make some changes. Otherwise, you’ll threaten the very trust you’re trying to rebuild!
During these times, communication is crucial, and it’s not just about your communicating to your partner. If you want to know how to rebuild trust in a relationship and in your relationship specifically, you need feedback from that one person you share the relationship with. What does he need or want during this time? What will make him feel more secure in your relationship? How can you help be more trustworthy? Don’t ask us – ask him!
HOW TO REBUILD TRUST WHEN YOU’RE THE ONE WHO WAS BETRAYED
This isn’t to say that women are always at blame. Relationships are two-way streets, after all. You might find yourself on the opposite end when your man admits to something that’s a breach of trust. You’ve got a couple of options when it comes to dealing with it. Consider four things you can do after your man cheated.
Whether you want to continue your relationship after trust has been broken, even it was done in a small way, you’ll probably consider whether it’s worth it to continue. There’s a lot of things that can factor into this:
- The seriousness of the breech of trust
- If you can forgive him
- How long you’ve been together
- If you have kids
- Whether he’s broken your trust before
- If you think he’s actually sorry
Sometimes, a woman will stay with her man after he’s cheated or even emotionally abused her. More on that here. There’s no reason to stay with someone when you’re unhappy, unable to forgive and unable to trust that person, no matter how long you’ve been together or if you have kids. Don’t stay because it’s comfortable and easier than leaving. If you think you should break it off, read this post.
However, you might decide you want to try to work it out, which is great! The next step is to learn how to rebuild trust in your relationship. Hopefully, your man will follow some of the advice we’ve already outlined, and giving him this link might help. But it’s not just about him repenting.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be vigilant for signs that he might not have changed. Check out some ways you can catch your man cheating. There’s a balance between protecting yourself from getting hurt and being paranoid, however. If he’s being truly transparent with you, it’ll be a whole lot easier to rebuild trust between you!
6. BE PATIENT
Finally, both of you need to be patient. With one another. With yourselves. The person who broke trust often has a tendency to be extra hard on themselves. Self forgiveness is just as important as forgiving your partner, however. This doesn’t negate a wrong decision, either.
You might find yourself being short with your man after he’s cheated, for example. But patience is a must when you’re learning how to rebuild trust in a relationship. Be gentle and try to understand.
He’s not a perfect human being. He made mistakes before, and he will again. Just because you’ve been hurt by an affair doesn’t mean he’ll suddenly be able to perfectly read your mind or obey your every beck and call. You have to want to trust him again and to give him chances. You have to work at forgiving him, no matter how hard it is.
If you don’t really want to forgive, rebuild trust and move on, you won’t be able to do things like provide affection, make love and show appreciation for your man. Read more about that. All of these things are essential when it comes to rebuilding trust and moving on.
Because rebuilding trust in a relationship is so difficult, some couples never fully do it. It’s why cheating often leads to divorce. But it doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship. With hard work from both sides, you can come out stronger, with a better understanding for yourself and your man.