Trust is the bedrock of any relationship. It is the fundamental ingredient for love and intimacy. When trust goes, what goes with it are safety, security, respect, love and friendship, replaced by anger, insecurity, anxiety and fear.
If trust is broken in your relationship, here are five ways to rebuild it.
- Say the truth
Denial only leads to more distrust. So the truth has to come out along with the willingness to take responsibility for your actions. However, detailed truth can sometimes make the hurt even worse and compound the pain, and therefore the healing process. Couples can spend tons of time on details while losing the thread of what needs to be done to correct the misconduct.
- Don’t get angry
There must be a sincere effort to work out the issues, or the wall will never come down. The angrier you are, the less you are able to hear what the aggrieved one has to say, and the worse what they feel will get.
- Talk about what made you do it
Opening up about your own struggle, the need to get help and the awareness of what got you there in the first place will help to prevent further infractions. If there is a sexual addiction problem, you must be willing to do what is necessary to make it better. If there is loneliness in the marriage, talking about your feelings of alienation is the best way to connect again.
- Be an open book
That means open your cell phone, email, and appointment book for a period of time. This is usually the hardest part because any person who has lived that clandestine underground life of secrecy likes it that way. They feel entitled to privacy, and they become righteous and indignant. At this point, you will need to take a moment and ask yourself what is really important: your relationship or your privacy. It really comes down to that.
- Renew your vows
Whether married or not, there is a need to discuss values about living life and what that entails. This may be the most important part of the process. Take time to talk about what you want, what got you into this mess, and what needs to happen moving forward. Write it all down and make a ceremony out of it. Invite your friends and family. Tell the world what you are going to do and mean it.