How to repair trust in the relationship?
Updated: Aug 12
Building trust in a relationship is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy and long-lasting connection between partners.
Dr. Brene Brown talks of trust as being "braving connection" because there are zero guarantees in life and love. It takes courage to trust.
Dr. Sue Johnson talks about trust as being reliability - and found in asking the question "Are you there for me?". [If you're trying to find your way after discovering your partner's affair you can see my free resource here. And I have a mini-course, After The Affair, to give you some support too. But I highly highly recommend individual counseling and support in healing from the devastation of infidelity. Just so you know - you don't need to decide anything in the middle of a crisis, take your time to find which way is up first.] Here are some small but important steps to work at rebuilding trust in your relationship:
1. Communicate openly and honestly: Establish clear communication with your partner, and be truthful in your interactions. Avoid keeping secrets or withholding information, as this can lead to eroded trust over time. Learn the secrets to effective communication in my communication for couples course, here. (Currently at a ridiculously low price).
2. Show empathy: Empathy means understanding your partner's feelings and perspectives, even if they are different from your own. This can help build trust by showing your partner that you respect and value their opinions. If you don't respect or value their opinion - that's an important matter to investigate!
3. Keep your promises: Make commitments that you are able to keep. If you find that you are unable to follow through on something you promised, communicate this to your partner as soon as possible. And work to not promise things you can't keep. And don't make promises to keep them quiet. Your honesty and authenticity are important to the relationship. Also, extra tip: If you're lying to someone else it would be very useful to see where you're lying to yourself too. Because you almost certainly are.
4. Respect boundaries: Boundaries are important in any relationship, and respecting your partner's boundaries can show that you trust and value their preferences. I have a whole course on boundaries (which will be updated and added to again, sometime before the end of the year too).
5. Be consistent: Demonstrating consistency in your behavior can reinforce the perception that you are trustworthy. This means following through with actions and decisions.
6. Seek help if needed: If you or your partner have trust issues that are affecting your relationship, consider seeking professional coaching, counseling, or therapy. I love helping people work through the deeper facets of trust and building their relationships up from the inside out.
7. Transparency: The more mindful you are of your partner's hurts, needs, and triggers (you can learn a lot more about them in my The Ultimate Relationship Toolbox course) the easier it will be to avoid the blowouts from the triggers. If you're the one with the triggers, do get support to help you with the wounds. My clients have had phenomenal results with BWRT for triggers.
Please note, no matter how angry you are, verbally assaulting your partner isn't going to bring the healing you need and is more hurtful than helpful. Get support to give you the support and security and self-trust you need to feel stable again.
If you're wondering if trust can ever be the same again? Well, when you're both dedicated to repairing it and going deep within yourselves in the relationship healing process - it can actually be better than before. Watch my little video on it here.
I hope these steps help you build a stronger sense of trust in your relationship. Good luck!