Every relationship goes through the ‘rocky trust’ stage at one point or the other. Be it a platonic relationship or a romantic a relationship. Lucky you if you’ve never had to go through it.
Usually people say trying to re-build trust once it has been lost is a pointless task. Well, I don’t think it’s a totally lost cause.
There is still hope of trust, as long as both partners are willing to work at it, although the offender has to put in more work into regaining trust, rebuilding of trust takes joint effort.
Keep in mind, rebuilding trust takes a lot of time and continuous effort, so be patient. Once the bridge has been crossed, the relationship will come out stronger and better than before.
Below are a few tips I believe will put you on the right track in rebuilding trust in your relationship.
TO THE OFFENDER:
As the offender, remember that your main job is to be available, dependable, consistent and comforting to your partner.
- Give your partner time and space to vent and throw angry words at you. Your job is to listen, apologize and be comforting
- Take responsibility for your actions, think about what you did and why you did it, and make a firm decision not to do it again. Believe and trust yourself, this will make it a lot easier to convince your partner as you would feel sincere in your efforts.
- Be an open book! Be very open and honest about everything you do. Your whereabouts and your actions. Offer explanations even when you’re not asked. No more phone lock codes or private conversation, be open about everybody you talk to, have phone conversations in the presence of your partner because at this point, you shouldn’t even be considering privacy.
- Be true to your word! Whatever you say you’re going to do, YOU DO! No excuses and no lies. Don’t give room for disappointments. Call at the times you say you’re going to call. Do not make promises you cannot keep.
- Give assurance! They say words mean nothing without action, but they mean everything with the right actions. Assure your partner how much you love them, assure them regularly of your loyalty and trustworthiness.
- Show your partner how much you love and appreciate them in whatever way you can as often as you can. Always remember the three A’s: Affection, Attention and Appreciation.
- Accept that your partner is going to “relapse” once in a while. One day, everything is all bright and rosy and the next day you’re getting the cold shoulder and the silent treatment. It would seem like you’re back to square one, but understand that it’s part of the process, try and be calm, do not overreact of make any harsh statements when you notice the sudden changes. Stay calm.
- Take some time off to think and evaluate the relationship.
- Do not make any rash decisions without thinking about it first. Force the idea of “pay back” out of your mind. If you are looking to rebuild trust, this only makes things worse. Stop and think.
- FORGIVE. Tell yourself that you have forgiven your partner, and as difficult as it may sound, do your best not to purposely make your partner feel guilty after you have chosen to forgive.
- Put yourself in their shoes. Think about what you may or may not have done to drive them to do what they did. You will gain more understanding and this will help you know the next step to take in ensuring things become better.
- Focus more on the positives of your relationship, they will give you more confidence in your decisions.
- Give your partner the benefit of the doubt. Give them the chance to prove themselves. Don’t shut them down or shut them out.
- Understand that nobody is above mistakes.