Rebuild Trust in a Relationship

Edited by Emmanuel M. Lardizabal, Lynn, Eng, Olivia and 7 others

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Trust is something that you learn from your parents. When parents treat you with love and care, provide your needs and fulfill promises, trust is established at an early age. It will take a lot of time and effort for a person to trust a total stranger completely. Depending on the life experiences of the individuals involved, and your experience with him, his trust may be easy to gain and regain, or it might be a huge challenge for both of you.

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About Trust

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When you've gained someone's trust, especially in a romantic relationship, expect this trust to be tested from time to time. You should understand that each individual is unique, and has a unique way of dealing with issues as they arise. Depending on your past experience in relationships, you may be easy to trust someone in a romantic relationship, or it might be very difficult for you. When a situation presents itself that causes trust to be lost, there is a long road ahead of you to regain the trust you once had in them.

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If you're the person who had damaged someone emotionally, you've got a lot of work ahead of you to earn the trust you once had. Your partner needs to believe that if both of you work on it, you will be able to once again have a romantic relationship that is based on trust. You might, however, decide that you want to move this relationship to a friendship. For some people, once the trust has been breached, there is no getting it back.

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In order for someone to decide whether he or she can trust you enough to continue the relationship with you, the person needs to try to relinquish the thought or feeling of what you have done. This can ONLY be achieved if you have deal with the issue properly, and you've heard every word your partner has said, and taken ownership of your actions. If you cannot convince your partner of this, the relationship will never be what it once was. Never!

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Young people who enter into romantic relationships come with their set of relationship ideals. It is this idealism that can bring issues to the relationship, or make the relationship sail smoothly through rough waters. However, for more mature couples, you'd assume they would have a more mature approach to a relationship, but often, because of negative experiences in the past, they are far more suspicious and reluctant to trust as they've been through issues that challenge their trust – many times.

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The thing is, both partners should know and understand that possessiveness is not equivalent to trust and that in order for the relationship to grow and deepen, there needs to be an equal balance of love, patience, commitment, loyalty – and trust.

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What Makes People Lose Trust in a Relationship?

  1. 1
    Infidelity.
    Infidelity.jpg
    It's also called cheating or having an affair with someone other than your mate or partner. Infidelity is one of the most common reasons lovers part ways. There are women who take this lightly and shrug their it off, but most will react emotionally and sometimes, physically - either to hurt themselves or hurt the other partner and the rival.
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  2. 2
    Insecurity and Possessiveness.
    Insecurity.jpg
    Insecurity begets jealousy. This is one of the most common problems that arise in relationships that are threatened by a rival. From jealousy, there comes the desire to possess the person. The more these behaviors are exhibited by a partner in a relationship, the more the other partner feels constricted and controlled. Fear causes people to react rashly their actions become. They want to know their partners schedule, whereabouts and who they're with. The constant questions and misunderstandings lead to conflict and arguments. Sadly, this relationship can be destroyed by these emotions, even if there was never an indiscretion committed by the partner.
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  3. 3
    Unkind words.
    Harsh Words.jpg
    There are individuals whom, when angry do not sugarcoat their words. They say what they want to say and most of the time, regret saying the words. This behavior is usual in a person who's childhood was spent in a blustery household. To a person who grows up in a household where people are always polite, and bury things that are complicated, these words can be devastating.
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  4. 4
    Broken promises.
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    Award winning author of children's books, Sylvia Ross said: "To break a promise is to break trust with your child." For mature individuals, one broken promise after another can mean a many things. Regardless of the reason, to the person on the wrong side of broken promises cannot help but feel they are not a priority in your life, and your word is not trustworthy. This will quickly fracture a relationship.
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There are a few reasons why people break promises.

  1. 1
    1. 2
      The person has serious time-management issues, and means well, but isn't able to follow through.
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    2. 3
      It's convenient to promise something in the moment, but they had no intention on living up to the promise.
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    3. 4
      Something always seems to come up at the last minute.
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  2. Committing a Crime.
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    A crime of any kind is enough reason for someone to doubt you, especially if this crime involves another person, whom your partner was not acquainted with.

The Fallout of Losing Trust

  • Emotional Pain. Feeling betrayed is deeply painful. Not only do you lose trust in the other person, you doubt they're ever having loved you. You also feel foolish, especially if other people knew what you did not.
  • Anger. It's normal to feel angry when does something that makes you doubt them. Be angry, but make sure you aim your anger in the right direction. Don't let the person who caused you the pain, turn the tables on you, and reproach you for being angry.
  • Lost. After your partner spent the weekend crying and throwing things away you've given them, they will feel lost. If they aren't ready to talk, don't push it. They can take as much time as they want to sort things out and perhaps make some life-changing decisions. Besides, you've already done enough damage. When you've already disrespected them, the worst thing you could do is disrespect them again, by not listening to them.
  • Recovery. During this phase, your partner may spend a lot of time with friends – going out for dinner, or to bars. They are attempting to regain the self-esteem. There will be times when you call her, and she will be out with friends or at a salon or spa. She needs some space to heal emotionally. This is the time that you should apologize and make sure that you speak to your partner about the relationship, but only if they are also willing to talk. They might not be ready, and you need to respect that. You should give her space but not so much that she heals without you. This period is a tricky balancing act. If she becomes indifferent to you, then all is lost. He or she may not want you back, and that is their prerogative. If this happens, your only hope is to ignore her for three days to a week or so and then see if she misses you. You need to go somewhere or do something where she won't see you for a few days. If you go too long she will never return to you. If you go away for too short a period then she will not have had time to miss you. Like fishing, you need to strike just at the right time, when she is missing you and forgetting about the issue that got you in this situation.

What Can You Do To Regain Your Partner's Trust?

You've probably had partners who have difficulty saying they're sorry. Likewise, you may have had a partner who apologizes like there's no tomorrow. Too little or too much – it's all about finding the balance. Often, the more you repeat a kind word, the more the meaning is lost. Apologize and make amends to be forgiven. You should feel and show that you deserve forgiveness or a second chance.

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Remember the first line of a song: "Once bitten, twice shy." A person who has had trust issues in previous relationships will find it difficult to trust again. You're lucky if your partner does learn to trust you again after you've been caught cheating. Here are some tips for regaining that trust.

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  1. You cheated. You were the one who stepped out on your partner. The best advise – resist blaming them for your actions. Men, especially, will try to turn the tables and claim it was the woman's fault. It wouldn't have happened if she'd paid more attention to me, wasn't working all the time, didn't spend all her time with the kids, had sex with me more often. This, people, is the cowardly approach. You are responsible for your own actions, and only a coward would try to blame their partner for their mistake.
  2. It meant nothing. This is the number one response from a man when he's caught cheating. No woman wants to know you jeopardized your relationship for nothing. Don't say it.
  3. You are important to me. Make your partner feel that he or she is an important aspect of your life. There are many creative ways to show that you value your partner. Surprise them with a bouquet of flowers or a homemade breakfast, although these are usual and predictable. Most flowers are given to women as an apology, rather than a token of love. Make sure your surprises are unique and from your heart. Remember that the best things in life are free. The effort and time you spend on coming up with a surprise for someone will make them realize their value. Concert tickets to her favourite group, a day at the spa, a romantic get-away and cooking a romantic dinner with candles, music and wine are some things you might consider. Day by day, the trust between you and your partner will start to take bloom again. Listen to the song "Love's Not Love ('till you give it away) by Bill Anderson. Take heed.
  4. Delete/block the lover. If the breach of trust is about your cheating, delete the lover from your life. Delete and block the person from all your social media, email, and phone. If you can do this in front of your partner, that might be better. If you find you cannot do this for your partner, perhaps it's you that has a big decision to make.
  5. Keep a cool head. During conflicts or misunderstandings, be composed, focus on the issue at hand and don't loose your temper. There is nothing in this world that sincere and open communication based on love, cannot resolve. Remember that you are two unique individuals.
  6. Don't compare a person to another. Not only this is unfair, but it brings competition to the relationship, which is not healthy. Especially do not compare your partner with the one you stepped out with. That would be deadly for your relationship.
  7. Misunderstandings are part of every relationship. It is through the misunderstandings that people get to know each other better and understand each other's limits and boundaries. Resolve disputes in a calm and endearing way. Always remember you want to save the relationship. In order to do so, you both must learn to forgive and forget each other's shortcomings. Unless a misunderstanding is so serious, try not to sleep with a heavy heart. Resolve the conflict before the day ends.
  8. Maintain open and honest communication. There is no need to inform your partner of your whereabouts day in and day out. You don't want to overdo everything. If you do, your partner may feel pity for you and let you go for that reason. You need to be honest when discussing this issue and every other one. One of you needs to talk about how it feels to have trust challenged, and the other needs to be honest about how it feels to do that kind of damage to your relationship.
  9. Invite them into your life. If there are people your partner needs to be acquainted with, then by all means, introduce them. Now your partner will realize that you are telling the truth regarding who you are with - this time.
  10. Be sensitive to your partner's feelings. You can only do this if you go out of your way to get to know your partner. Spend more time together. Talk. Ask questions. Listen. Only by doing so will you be able to know a person better.
  11. Maintain respect in the relationship. Make your partner feel as if they are the only person you care about. For instance, you spend a weekend together to do your shopping, make sure you don't become distracted by the sights and sounds around you. If you do, include your partner, point out beautiful things. If your weakness is women in shorts and tank tops, then buy her a similar outfit – if you think she'll like it. If you like men who don sports cap, then buy one for him. Remember the golden rule here: "Do unto others what you would have others to do unto you." So, don't go staring at a man's face or woman's leg for so long, that your partner notices. As much as possible, avoid these situations.

Additional Tips

 
  1. Where there is trust – there is no doubt. If all lovers and partners knew how to value each other, then trust would the foundation of the relationship. When there is trust, there is no doubt. If there is no doubt, there won't be major issues jeopardizing the relationship.
  2. Reflect and empathize with your partner. If the same situation happened, but this time it was your partner at fault, how would you feel and react? By doing so, you will be able to see how emotionally painful your actions were.
  3. Sincerity. Afterward, ask forgiveness, apologize sincerely. When love is great, it can forgive. But then again, if the pain is too much for the person, they may have lost faith in your apology.
  4. Don't repeat the behavior. Honor your words and avoid situations that may encourage you to do the same stupid thing again.
  5. Reaffirm your love. Tell her again what your feelings and affections are toward her, to decrease the amount of doubt in the relationship.
  6. Inclusion. Make sure you include your partner in all your activities. Even if you're pretty sure she won't want to come to your hockey game, and go out for a beer afterward with the guys, ask her. It will make her feel more secure. Invite her to hang out with your friends, and to things you might not thing are interesting or important, but they might be to her.
  7. Gifts. Sadly, some people can be won over by material things. If that's the case, you could buy her stuffed toys, her favorite food, and flowers – but why stop there? Maybe buy her a new car, or book a trip to the tropics. The thing is - you'll have to deal with the emotional fallout of feeling like you are buying her love. When giving her these gifts, apologize as well. Perhaps you'll create the right time to discuss the issue. Pay attention to what she's saying. Listen to her. This is her time to talk, Sir, you've already had your say. The most important thing is to convince her you will never do anything to jeopardize her losing trust in the future.
  8. Your apology might not be accepted right away. If your apology isn't accepted right away, try again tomorrow or the next day. A person who has been hurt by you can take all the time they want to forgive you – if at all.
  9. Learn from the errors of you ways. If you have been forgiven, don't do it again! Simple! Problem is, people often become serial cheaters – don't let that be you. Don't be weak. Trust takes ages to rebuild. Don't put yourself in the position to cheat.
  10. Get help. If this is a recurring issue in your relationships. If you've cheated several times, why are you even in a relationship? You probably have self-esteem issues yourself. Many men cheat because they like the feeling of "having" a woman, more than actually sleeping with the woman. Get yourself a counselor or psychologist.
  11. Stick to your promise. When you asked her for forgiveness, you told her that you wouldn't ever do that again. Keep your word. You are so lucky she forgave you, and another indiscretion will end up with you sitting on the curb with a suitcase at your feet.
  12. Lies. When someone lies to the person they claim to love, there is a breach of trust. Not only is the person suspicious of the situation surrounding the lie – maybe you claimed to pay a bill that you didn't pay, and got caught. Now that she knows how easily you lie, and she remembers asking you if you paid the bill, and you looked right into her eyes and said, "yes". She remembers all that when you come home late and tell her you were at work. She remembers that you can lie with ease, and even if you were working late, she may not trust that you were, and think instead, you were up to no good.
  13. Tell her the truth. When she confronts you about the infidelity, TELL HER THE TRUTH. Most women know when men are cheating. Some are okay not asking, while others need to know, and you owe them that. Don't compound the situation with more lies. Don't flip the situation and make them feel stupid for asking. That is such a destructive, manipulative thing to do.
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These tips are only helpful when you know your partner well. It's important that you realize that a relationship is an emotional investment. To feel betrayal after a long time of investing your feelings in someone is horrible. Don't be the person who causes this kind of emotional damage.

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Questions and Answers

How can I regain trust again with my ex-partner with whom I am trying to get back together with?

I have an issue with an ex-partner with whom I am trying to get back together with. When we were together, he felt I betrayed him by not being honest about some things such as putting in an application for university. He did not agree with this and he also felt I spent too much time with my family. In his words he feels that my betrayal is like an affair. He says that if there is any chance for us I need to get his trust back. I asked him if he could tell me How can I do this or how can I make it up to him. He replied he doesn't know and that it's up to me to figure it out. I feel helpless, I apologized so many times. Its been months. I don't know what to do!

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Applying for University is not a betrayal. Instead, he should have been excited for you and proud that you were gaining more education for a brighter future. Spending time with your family is also not a bad thing. Many men would appreciate that you were close with your family. Better hanging out with your family instead of partying in a club until 3 a.m. every night. It seems like he was using this as an excuse to break up with you. It also appears that he has serious insecurities because he felt threatened by you going to University and hanging out with your family.

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Helpless would be no education in 5 years, no good job and reliant on someone who treats you the way that he has treated you. It is time to move on and find someone who will appreciate you for your qualities and determination. This guy is not worth the effort and be glad that you got out when you did. Breaking up with someone is hard and messy but you can overcome it. There is nothing to feel bad about or apologize for and your ex boyfriend knows that which is why he could not give you a straight answer on how to make things right with him.

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Yes. This man is controlling. The reason people feel they have to control everything, is because they are insecure – which makes them afraid. He is not ready for a relationship, and you – you enjoy your fabulous life without him.

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How to explain to your partner how you felt after a broken promise?

You may wish to start the topic without accusations or a raised voice. You will have to discuss your priorities in life, where promises are next to the highest value. Explain that your set of values may vary from his or her's, but you would like to accentuate your feelings by offering him or her to take your place in a hypothetical situation: ask him or her about his or her priorities in relationships, which may be being faithful, not telling lies, going for a night somewhere and not calling afterwards, etc., and present him a situation that will disturb him or her. Comparison and individual examples can lead to the desired effect.

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Let us look at it in more detail. For example, he or she says that he or she feels desolate and helpless if you use bad language in front of him and start a bad habit. Then, you must tell him or her to imagine that you were smoking a cigarette and saying something not too nice in his or her presence. Let the thought sink into his or her mind; now, ask him or her about his or her action afterwards. This is what he or she would feel and do. You can use his or her own words and actions to explain how you feel (even though the sensation can be completely different: you are looking just for the effect).

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I'm having problems with my fiancée.

He thinks am scamming him for money

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Why do I keep cheating via text on my girlfriend?

For whatever reason I have done this two times in the last 5 months and got caught each time, and each time I felt dumber than the last time. I don't understand why I do it because when the occasion arises for me to cheat physically on my girlfriend I could and would never do it. I have tried: I tried ignoring the urge to flirt with others. I think it was caused by: ME and me cheating by flirting with other girls.

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You're insecure, and you believe attention from women makes you more desirable and more powerful. If this is something you can't control, there are two things you should consider. 1) You are not ready to be in a relationship and gain the trust of a woman. You seem more interested in why you do it, and how stupid you feel, rather than the damage you are doing to another human being – one that you claim to love. 2) Get help. You need to talk to someone about your issues.

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I need guidance on how to rebuild trust.

My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years now and we have built a lot within those 2 years. He has a 4-year old and I have a 10-year old. The parenting with other's kids is great and I get along very well with his child's mother and vice versa. But we have trust issues within the relationship. Insecurities are high right now, especially with me. The reason is, a year ago, we both stepped out of the relationship and we were not honest with each other. He is a great man and I love him to death, but when he's not around me, I think about nothing but negative things he could be doing. I try not to be that way, but it happens. I have tried: I have tried to be less insecure. Tried not to go through his phone, not to worry so much, but it doesn't see to be working. I think it was caused by: Previous cheating.

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