How To Rebuild Trust In A Relationship

by Raven Ishak
hugging, affection, forgiveness
Rowan Jordan/E+/Getty Images

Any relationship, no matter how strong it is, can go through tough tribulations. Of course, most situations can be worked out, but if you are noticing signs of not trusting your partner anymore, then you might want to start re-evaluating the relationship and asking yourself why you are feeling this way. Because most of the time your gut is telling you something important.

I've gone through my fair share of relationships in which I've lost trust in my partner. Whether it had to do with them being unfaithful or hiding a different type of situation they didn't want me to know about, I usually had a keen sense as to when something wasn't right. With any relationship, there are always going to be issues, but not trusting your partner constantly isn't normal. Communication is completely vital during times like these.

Don't be afraid to express your feelings just because you don't know how your partner is going to react. It's both of your responsibilities to bring honesty and openness to the table — and it will never work if the relationship is one-sided. Unfortunately, we are in a world where infidelity and secrets are things that sometimes do happen, but a constant feeling of suspicion isn't healthy or necessary in any relationship. A lot of couples can overcome tough situations, you just need to know how. Here are a few ways you can rebuild trust in your relationship.

1. Start Out Slow

There's no reason to dive right back into your relationship when your partner has violated your trust. If you and your partner choose to work things out, take this time to re-evaluate the situation. The relationship you once had is no longer there, and now is the time to casually date again without any pressure to see if you can learn to move forward in the relationship. If you rush back into it, you can easily jump back into old habits and lose sight of the problems you both need to work on. According to PsychCentral, therapist Michael J. Salas explained that if you were the one that betrayed your partner, it would seem like you don't have respect for your partner's feelings by trying to force them to get over the situation.

2. Reach An Understanding

When you and your partner are trying to bring trust back into the the relationship, it's best for both of you to have a clear understanding of each others' feelings. When discussing the situation, try to see it from your partner's point of view. Comprehend why they are upset and discuss how and why the trust was broken to begin with. When my ex cheated on me, I needed my feelings to be understood before I could move forward with the relationship in any way at all. Even though my ex and I broke up for different reasons later in the relationship, at the time, he made me feel like I was being heard when we discussed the infidelity, and that reassured me that we could work through that particular problem. There's a better chance for the trust to be regained when your partner feels like their feelings are being heard and respected.

3. Apologize Correctly

Properly apologizing to your SO is one of the most important things you can do when you are trying to rebuild trust. You have to apologize effectively, though, and not just for the sake of it, either. If you don't know what you are apologizing for, then there's no way for the relationship to completely heal. Instead of just saying, "I'm sorry," apologize for the specific reason trust was broken. For example, try saying, "I'm sorry that I broke your trust in that way, and I was wrong for the way I treated you." And don't give excuses when you are apologizing either, said psychiatrist Scott Haltzman in an article for the Huffington Post. The gesture won't seem genuine. Your or your partner needs to accept the responsibility.

4. Don't Let Your Partner Doubt You

If both of you decide to work through the issues and continue to stay together, there should be no reason for your partner to doubt you from that point forward. Of course, trust is not going to be regained overnight, but if you or your partner choose to be sneaky or continue to give excuses, then the relationship is probably not going to work. According to Psychology Today, Dr. Joe Kort explained that when it comes to trust, both individuals need to be completely transparent with their actions and words. Don't let your SO feel like they are in the dark. If you do, they may continue to question everything that you do and that will only hinder the relationship from growing stronger.

5. Don't Harp On The Past

The beginning stages of rebuilding trust are never easy, but if you and your partner decide to give the relationship a shot, you have to be OK with slowly letting the past go. It's not a good idea to jump back into the relationship like nothing had ever happened, but for you to have a successful future with your SO, you can't keep on bringing up the past in arguments — keep the discussions in the present, said professional matchmaker Paul C. Brunson in an article from his personal website. If you both decide to work on this, you have to leave the past in the past and start to work on the goal that you both agreed to. Instead of harping on the past, try to focus your energy on the present and take things one day at a time. The situation is not going to be fixed overnight, but if you see promise in your relationship, then there's always hope.

6. Be Patient And Don't Add Pressure To The Relationship

Healing will involve a lot of patience. Because being able to trust a partner again doesn't happen as quickly as we would like, we have to realize that being patient and not applying pressure to the relationship is one of the most effective ways to rebuild a relationship. If you start applying a timeline to when everything should feel healed again, then you are only going to give yourself more stress. According to The Huffington Post, marriage and family therapist Sheri Meyers wrote, "rebuilding trust means rebuilding your credibility." And that is going to take time. Don't forget that it's OK to live day by day. Start enjoying the little moments with your SO and learn to appreciate each other again.

If you and your SO want to work things out and get back together, remember that it's going to take a lot of time to heal. Knowing how to apologize and how to communicate is key when regaining trust in a relationship. It will take a lot of hard work, but it can be worth it once everything is out in the open.

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