Trust is an essential key in any relationship. I’ve helped couples rebuild trust after an affair, financial dishonesty, physical and emotional abuse as well as constant lying over small things. I’ve also worked with individuals to trust again after previous childhood trauma or relationship pain from their ex-partners.
Be wary of any clichés that promise quick solutions to rebuilding trust. We cannot expect trust to come back instantly, it takes time to restore and the process cannot be rushed. What helps the countless couples I work within the save my marriage program online or 1 to 1 is to have a plan to rebuild trust, full of actions that the “wounded spouse” needs and appreciates, also what must be changed in the relationship for you to become closer.
Trust can be likened to a bank account with every person we meet we have an account of how much we trust them and vice versa, how much they trust you. Typically when we start a new relationship with someone we start a zero. Unless we have been badly hurt before and may, in fact, come into a new relationship with a deficit account, “in the red.” That happens when we have learned not to trust.
The amount of trust increases in the account when your spouse does things that make you smile, show he/she cares, are thoughtful, share their secrets, keep their word and are faithful.
On the other hand, when he/she break their promises to you, lie to you, hurt you or do other things that lack integrity they make withdrawals. It may be lying over something very small, yet if stacked up over time, small things can become big things.
For many years your spouse can be making ongoing deposits into the trust bank account you have with them and if things are going well, very few withdrawals.
Then he or she does something that breaks your trust and all of a sudden your trust account plummets into a huge negative, I see this all the time with sexual infidelity, emotional infidelity, and abuse.
It can make you close the account permanently and end the marriage or continue with the marriage but feel very insecure, second guess everything he or she says and does. Or constantly evaluate if you are safe with them or not, which is emotionally and physically draining.
In order to move forward, you need a plan of action. Nothing someone says will allow for you to trust them again if it’s something important to you and/or if you do not understand why.
Trust is not like a light switch that you can just turn on again after it’s been turned off, it is more of a dimmer switch that grows stronger over time. The mistakes I tend to see couples make is giving verbal reassurances again and again and then getting annoyed that their spouse is not making any changes.
So how can you rebuild trust?
- Every time you tell the truth you can rebuild trust
- Acts of kindness
- Giving quality time and undivided attention
- Explain honestly everything about the betrayal or breach of trust.
- Answer any questions again and again with patience and understanding
- Express appreciation in a meaningful helpful way
- Show affection, whether physical or not, demonstrate how you care
What destroys trust and stops the repairing process?
- Lack of responsibility, blame, deflection
- Lack of transparency and withholding information
- Further dishonesty, (especially after full disclosure has been asked for and promised)
- Refusal to talk about the breach of mistrust and answer any questions
- Lack of empathy and patience
If you have broken the trust of your partner in a serious way to stop divorce you will need to be sure that you avoid the above otherwise, the trust may deplete to an alarming level that destroys the relationship.
The problem is many couples will try to ignore them, put the past behind them by not talking about it, but this never works. There is no way around it, you have to go through it.
Often this can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful process, for lasting happiness, it cannot be rushed.
Both in the couple need to be committed to the truth to honesty and to invest the time and energy in rebuilding the trust. This is where many benefit from getting some outside guidance on actions right for them to rebuild trust. In the save my marriage program, I have couples outline what they value, love and appreciate most in a loving relationship and get them to share with examples to strengthen their connection and closeness. It is step 2 and 3 in my online 10 step program to saving your marriage. I talk about how to rebuild love and trust in the 10 Essential Keys to Avoid Divorce & Transform Your Marriage a FREE 40-minute video you can watch to start repairing any damage, stop divorce and become closer.
A couple can settle for a marriage that has no trust, but it won’t be enjoyable or peaceful. It will be full of insecurity, drama, and unhappiness. Who wants to live like that?
You need to see the mistrust as an opportunity to strengthen the marriage. I know that might sound crazy but I have found it to be true working with hundreds of couples. In order to have a great marriage, you need to focus on turning any crisis or challenge into an area of growth, whereas a team you get through it. Start today to strengthen your relationship watch the 10 Essential Keys to Avoid Divorce & Transform Your Marriage
I get asked all the time “Nicola if there is no trust, does that mean the relationship is over?” It depends honestly if the trust is over something specific that has happened if that is the case yes trust can be rebuilt and the couple can stop divorce. If you however no longer trust anything they say in all areas of life, it will be much harder to save the marriage and stop divorce. Normally it will require the individual and couple to have some marriage counseling or coaching on the lying and trusting again.
Lastly, I wanted to share about a man who came to me last week with the sexual problem of impotence. Impotence is common in relationships where trust has broken down. Impotence and other intimacy issues is an area I support many men and couples with. Often they come to me after seeing a doctor for the impotence, have got tablets but they don’t make a difference. The reason the drugs don’t help is because impotence, like other sexual problems, is psychological and emotional not purely physical. There are 3 main areas in a marriage that need to be present for a good sex life, one is a trust and transparency. In order to be intimate with someone you need to have total transparency, hidden things in the marriage can often affect your desire for physical intimacy and experience of it.
From my heart to yours, Nicola
This article originally appeared at http://www.savemymarriageprogram.com/2017/03/05/rebuildingtrust/.
Nicola Beer is a UK certified grief and loss specialist, a leading authority on relationship psychology and divorce, an international best-selling author in 4 books and has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox News Network and Wall Street Select. She works with couples to save their marriage or if divorce has been decided she helps individuals to minimize the stress, anxiety and chaos divorce can bring. Which including strategies to help children through, and how to thrive emotionally and financially after.
People from all over the world schedule private skype or tele-sessions with Nicola Beer or thousands seek her counsel by listening to her audio podcast show “Divorce Talk with Nicola Beer” available on iTunes or by downloading her free e-books 10 Steps to Creating a New Life After Divorce” and “Protect Children Through Divorce. on her website http://savemymarriageprogram.com.