Trust is a very critical element if your relationship is going to survive and thrive. Without it, neither partner will feel secure or happy. And if it has been damaged it will be impossible for your partner to be his authentic/real self, open up, or be truly intimate with you.
Trust is both powerful and very fragile. It takes very little for it to be seriously damaged or destroyed within a relationship. Trust killers include things such as infidelity, secrecy, controlling or manipulative behavior, irresponsibility, lying, or not following through on what you say you will do.
Infidelity is one of the biggest trust killers for couples. Once it occurs, getting back on track is very difficult. It’s not impossible, though, and many couples are able to get past it and move forward. But affairs can leave permanent scars that never fully heal. And if the relationship ends, an affair often makes it very difficult for the non-offending partner to trust a new partner in the future.
Following are some tips to help you heal damaged trust in your relationship:
• If you are the one who has done something to break the trust in your relationship, you must take full responsibility for your behavior. Don’t try to blame your partner or make excuses for your behavior. Taking responsibility shows your partner that you are serious and truly value the relationship.
• Don’t repeat the behavior that damaged the trust. Period. A second chance is a gift; don’t expect a third one!
• Be open and honest with your feelings about the relationship. If you beat around the bush or give the impression you are hiding something or being less than honest, your partner is unlikely to trust anything you say.
• Don’t blame your partner for any relationship problems you may have. This will not regain your partner’s trust.
• If you damaged or destroyed the trust in your relationship because you had an affair, you must be willing to cease any and all contact with your ex-lover and stay clear of situations that would give your partner any reason to be suspicious (e.g., taking phone calls in private, going on business trips with male coworkers, etc). If you can’t avoid this contact (e.g. the person is a neighbor, co-worker, etc.) then keep it minimal and stick to business. Avoid compromising situations at all costs!
• Be open to your partner’s need to check up on you from time to time. If you react to this or get angry, you will only give your partner more reason to not trust you.
• Be willing to do whatever it takes to regain your partner’s trust. This may include getting professional help if you and your partner feel strongly that it is necessary.
With time and a lot of work, trust can be restored to a relationship. It may be a long road, so you need to be patient.