Trust is like a mirror, you can fix it if it’s
broken but you will still see the cracks in the reflection. Seeing past those
cracks requires a lot of effort from both parties involved. Here are a few tips
to help rebuild trust after instances of infidelity or when picking up the
pieces after a divorce.
When someone betrays you, you go through the five
stages of grief, these are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally,
acceptance. Don’t try to fight any of these stages and don’t let any of them
consume you. Believing that each stage will come to pass is what will keep you
from doing something foolish. If you feel that you are not able to handle any
of the stages of grief then seek professional help.
Before efforts to rebuild trust in a relationship
are undertaken, both parties must be committed to rebuilding the trust in the
relationship. Trust is a two way street, you are either both in or not.
Rebuilding trust is not an easy feat, it takes real effort from both parties and
will only be successful if you are both fully committed to making it work.
Be an open book.
Trust is earned; earning it back after losing it in
the first place means can only happen if you are open. Do not give your partner
any reason to doubt you. Do not use cryptic language to explain what you were
doing, where you are going or whom you were with. Most importantly, expect the
same from your spouse. Share passwords, explain yourself in detail and always
be accountable for everything you do or say. This way there will be no gray
areas in your relationship and you will have no reason to doubt each other.
Put in the time and effort.
If you are the betrayer, you need to first give your
spouse the time and space to vent. This may involve some furniture throwing,
hurling of insults or passive aggressive action. Whatever they do, take it
because you probably deserve it. Next, you need to find out what your partner
needs. Is it some level of reassurance, closure or explanation? Find out
whatever it is you need to do to make things better. Basically, you need to be
consistently available for your partner to respond, comfort and reassure them.
If you are the victim, you need to accept what has happened and not wallow in
self-pity or over indulge in playing the victim. Consciously choose to look for
a solution rather than finding ways to torment yourself and others.
Knowing when to quit.
The most important thing about rebuilding trust in a
relationship is trusting yourself and knowing when to abandon ship. This type
of decision can only be made when you trust yourself first. Trusting your
judgment means knowing your limits and how much you can take before throwing in
the tools and moving on with your life.
Broken trust does not necessarily have to result in
a divorce or breakup. It is possible to build a stronger and more trusting
relationship if both parties are committed to making their relationship work.