Without trust, it is impossible to build a healthy relationship. However, breaking trust in one capacity or another throughout the course of a relationship can sometimes be unavoidable. That is why it’s important to learn how to rebuild trust in a relationship and recognize the ways in which it can become broken in the first place.
There Is No Healthy Relationship Without Trust
Trust is the foundation that a relationship is built on and just like a house, if there is not a strong foundation holding it up, it will crumble. Trust also provides a sense of security in a relationship that allows each partner to be authentically themselves, vulnerable and compassionate.
This authenticity and vulnerability fosters further growth in a relationship, reinforcing the foundation of trust it is built upon. When there is emotional trust couples are stronger to overcome most differences and challenges. Trust also results in emotional safety, and creating deep emotional, physical and sexual intimacy.
What Causes Trust to Be Broken
When trust has been broken, the foundation of the relationship cracks which can cause emotional and physical intimacy to be damaged. It can sometimes only take a second to break trust but the damage can be long lasting. The following list is ways in which trust may be broken:
- Lack of honesty
- Emotional, physical or sexual cheating
- Criticizing or judging
- Conflict and a lack of healthy conflict resolution
- Getting stuck in the power struggle stage
- Accepting differences
- Withholding the truth
- Projecting your own negative issues or those of others onto a partner
- Unclear or vague communication
- Lack of genuine emotional or physical intimacy
- Not accepting the partner
- Putting up emotional walls
- Not being clear on expectations
Even if trust is broken, it is possible to rebuild it with tools, skills and genuineness. The attempt to re-build trust is important, even if your partner may never trust you again as it is still an important learning and healing experience so that you don’t bring it forward into a future relationship.
5 Ways to Rebuild Trust
1. Genuinely taking responsibility for your part in breaking the trust, consciously or unconsciously. Holding yourself accountable is the first step in starting to rebuild your relationships trust.
2. Learn what your unconscious patterns and habits are that contributed to the breaking of trust. Even if it was broken unconsciously and out of your direct awareness, it’s important to identify why it happened so you can prevent it from happening again.
3. Learning your partners love language and work to better meet their love language and needs. Being aware of their love language will help you better communicate to them in the form they prefer and appreciate.
4. Learn effective communication tools and skills that can build emotional safety and intimacy. Taking time to learn these tools will allow you to work towards rebuilding a strong foundation for your relationship.
5. Learn effective conflict resolution skills. These skills will allow you to better mitigate and address issues that can arise in the future with the potential to break your relationships trust.
Get the Help You Need
Using the above ways to rebuild trust in your relationship is a great start to regaining your partners trust. But sometimes there are certain situations where the partner whose trust was broken is unable or unwilling to try and rebuild it. In these situations, enlisting the help of a professional can be extremely helpful. Couples therapy is one of the ways this can be done, read our blog post on what it is and what to expect to learn more about how your relationship can benefit from a session.