Relationship Trust Issues – 5 Tips to Deal With it
The cornerstone of any healthy, happy relationship is trust. Without it, it is impossible to be truly intimate, open up or share oneself authentically.
There are many things that can damage or destroy trust in a relationship. One of the most powerful and damaging is infidelity.
For many couples, forgiving a cheating partner is impossible. Affairs destroy many relationships and can leave the non-offending partner with deep wounds that may never heal.
Sadly, this makes it very hard to trust any future relationship partners.
Other things that destroy trust include lying of any kind, secrecy, dealing with a controlling or manipulative partner or being irresponsible or unreliable. Each of these can tear a couple apart, particularly if they occur frequently.
How to Deal With Relationship Trust Issues Successfully?
So, what is the best way to deal with trust issues in your relationship? Well, there are ways, although this is going to take some work and some time. However, if both of you are truly determined to get back on track, it is not impossible.
The following five tips are primarily focused on the person who violated the trust. It is very difficult to regain trust if the offending partner is not willing to make some changes.
1. Take responsibility for your actions and behavior
If you have had an affair or done something else to cause your partner to mistrust you, the first thing you must do is take complete responsibility for your behavior or actions. If you try to make excuses or blame your partner or another person, you might as well forget it.
You and only you made the choice to behave in the way you did. Owning your behavior shows your partner that you mean business, and that you understand that you can’t repeat the behavior if you truly want to rebuild trust. This is going to take some hard work, but if you value your relationship, then it will be worth it.
2. Be honest about what has happened
You also need to communicate in a very honest, open manner about what happened. For example, if you cheated on your partner, you need to help your partner understand why and how it happened.
This does not mean you need to give every gory detail – unless your partner asks you to – but you do need to be upfront and not hide aspects of the situation.
Keep in mind, that while you must not blame your partner, you do need to talk about any problems in your relationship (e.g., feeling unappreciated, your partner works all the time and is never home, etc.) that you feel contributed to the situation.
It is crucial that you frame this in “I” statements. Rather than, “You work all the time, what did you expect me to do?,” state something like “I feel like you don’t love me when you are gone all the time. I want to be close to you but don’t know how if we don’t spend more time together.”
A caveat here – don’t make statements like that, unless they are the truth. More lies will destroy any chance of regaining trust in the long run.
3. Get professional help
Be willing to get professional help if it is warranted. For example, if the trust was violated due to an addiction such as gambling or alcohol, and you kept promising to change but didn’t, show you are serious by getting the treatment you need.
Talk is cheap. By seeking treatment or doing whatever it takes, you show your partner that you really value the relationship and are determined to be worthy of his or her trust.
4. Don’t make your partner suspicious
If trust was damaged due to an affair, you must end all contact with your lover and avoid situations that may cause your partner to be suspicious or make you vulnerable for repeating the past.
5. Be patient
Don’t get upset if your partner checks up on you for awhile. And do not let your partner down – unless of course you want to lose his or her trust once and for awhile. If you are getting a second chance, don’t take it for granted.
Trust can be regained, but you must be patient. This is not going to happen quickly, so accept the fact now that the road may be a long one.