There a few things forever unchanging about trust in a relationship:
1. Its importance can never be overstated.
2. Building trust in a relationship takes time.
3. Building trust in a relationship goes both ways.
4. Trust in a relationship is one of the few things much easier to build than to rebuild.
There’s practically a blueprint that can be followed to build trust in a relationship. Mending and rebuilding a broken trust, however, is not so straight an affair (no pun intended.)
If building trust takes time, then re-establishing trust in a relationship takes a lifetime. The good news, though, is that it can be done. But before we delve into the steps necessary to be be taken to re-establish trust in a relationship, here are a few things forever unchanging about steps to re-establish trust in a relationship.
1. To re-establish trust in a relationship is very possible.
2. It requires ten times the work (from both sides.)
3. It may take a lifetime.
4. To re-establish trust in a relationship is also a two-way affair.
5. Once a re-established trust is broken, it is pretty much the end.
To help make the following steps much easier to follow, we have broken them down into three categories:
Category of Steps to Re-Establish Trust in a Relationship:
1.The steps to be taken by both parties in the relationship.
2. The steps to be taken by the trust-breaker, i.e the initial violator of the trust.
3. The steps to be taken by the violated.
As an important caveat we should mention that even though the bulk of the work falls on the party who violated the trust, it doesn’t, by any means, make the work to be done by the violated any less important.
COLLECTIVE STEPS — TO BE TAKEN BY BOTH PARTIES
1. Introspection: Looking Inwards
The very first step, and perhaps the most important, in the journey to re-establish trust in a relationship is the introspection.
It all begins and ends with the heart, (with a few contributions from the brain in between.) The purpose of looking inwards, for both parties, is to examine the heart. For the violated, among the questions to be asked include:
How did we get here? Is there still hope? Do I fight for this? Is it worth it? And most importantly — do I want this?
And for the violator:
How did I get here? Is there still hope? Can I fight for this? Do I have it in me to? And most importantly — do I really want this?
2. Inspection: Looking Outwards
After looking inwards to your heart, the next thing to do is answer those burning questions by looking outwards. Examining the surroundings and the situations. Breaking down the external factors, because most times they’re just as important as the internal.
For both parties the goal is to find out if these external factors are a part of why trust was broken in the first place; and if they are, how to mitigate them.
Some external factors need to be completely annihilated, with some decisions as drastic and life-changing as, say, the partners uprooting their lives completely and moving to new cities or even countries, quitting jobs, while some may be relatively milder like quitting an habit.
Just as this is the most important factor in building trust, it is also one of the most important in re-establishing it, perhaps even more pressingly so in the latter.
It will get harder to do too, but if the relationship is to have even an iota of hope, then all barriers to communication must be broken.
There will be tears. There will be knots in stomachs and and knots in throats, but all these must necessarily be overcome for trust to be re-established in the relationship. The formula is simple: Talk it out. Yell probably. Cry. And then talk it out again.
4. Preparing for the Journey
It is a long and arduous journey. It may even take a lifetime. Both parties must be prepared for this. Yes, the relationship may never remain the same. And yes, that is fine! That is the beauty of life: it is forever changing.
And all good things take time. Don’t fight this. Don’t rush or feign progress. Be honest. If an aspect isn’t working don’t be too proud or too stubborn to admit it. Retrace your steps; start over on that particular road again.
We can assure you, in the end it’s all worth it.
5. Showing Willingness
Like we said earlier, the journey is an arduous one, filled with chasms and demons. And trust us, with every whiff of weakness the demons get stronger and the chasms grow wider.
Showing you’re willing to fight against all odds — and sadly there are many and they are all against you — is another step that cannot be overemphasized. You may get weak and weary, but never get disheartened and unwilling.
If either party should smell an iota of unwillingness in the other they automatically inherit that unwillingness and just like that the domino effect steps in and the relationship becomes utterly doomed.
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STEPS TO RE-ESTABLISH TRUST — TO BE TAKEN BY THE INITIAL TRUST VIOLATOR
This step needs to come both after and before introspection, seeing as firstly before you look inwards to find out what is wrong, you must have admitted, of course, that you are in the wrong, and after you have looked inwards and concluded, you must be able to admit where you’ve gone wrong.
Then and only then can you truly be on your way back to regaining your partner’s trust.
Admitting one is wrong to oneself is the first step, voicing it out to the other person is the next equally important one, which, by the way, is often taken for the granted.
We tell ourselves that at least we feel remorseful; that that should be enough in itself. But it isn’t! It isn’t, simply because there’s a layer of understanding to be unlocked by verbal apologies that just can’t be with insinuations, even the most obvious ones.
Your partner would be more willing to move on once she’s heard it from you, unequivocally, that you’re sorry. And what’s more, the emotions the act will bring out in you yourself will be more profound and more therapeutic than it would laying inside you, suppressed and unexpressed.
3. Be Patient
They will vent; they will get angry; they might even be condescending at times. You will get angry yourself, wonder if you really deserve all the BS.
But one thing you should never do is lose your cool. You have to understand, what you you have lost in trust you’ll have to make up for with a lot of other things, and patience is one of them.
4. Have Faith in Yourself
Make no mistake about it, you will be tested. The temptations will come. You will even doubt yourself. And the only thing that can help you in this case is none other than your faith in you.
Faith that you can be the person you need to be; faith that you can hold strong in the face of temptations; faith that you know what you’re doing. And finally faith that deep down, you are worthy of trust.
STEPS TO RE-ESTABLISH TRUST TO BE TAKEN BY THE VIOLATED
1. Complete Honesty
Yes, perhaps now more than ever you require ultimate honesty from your partner, but also now more than ever you require complete honesty from yourself to them!
You will need to constantly access the situation from time to time. And you must be brutally honest in your assessment. Do not be scared to voice out when things go wrong. And if the situation becomes completely non-salvageable, don’t be too timid to admit and pull the plug. Letting go is never as painful as holding on to something that wasn’t real.
2. Don’t Rub It In (too much)
This can’t be iterated enough. Bringing up how you’ve been victimized every second is not going to make things better. Neither is holding the trust betrayal over your partner’s head for the rest of their lives.
The fact that you’ve chosen to give the relationship a chance is an indication that you’re willing to put the past in its place — behind you.
Not mentioning the matter at all, of course, is also adding more skeletons in the cupboard, so is shying away from the topic. The moderation lies in not shying away when the situation calls for it, and only bringing it up at that time alone.
3. Scaling to Assessment
Be completely honest, and adjust the dynamics of your relationship to your assessment. There is a level of guard that must be put up in the beginning of the trust re-establishing process, and only let them down as the relationship progresses.
Keep all these steps in mind, and follow them carefully, and in the end your heart will lead you. Happiness awaits!
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