- 7 Steps to Rebuilding Trust in Your Relationship
- Find a Therapist for Relationships
- 1. Own Up to Your Role
- 2. Make an Apology Plan
- 3. Ask for a Good Time to Talk
- 4. Accept Responsibility
- 5. Actively Listen
- 6. Back Up Your Words with Actions
- 7. Be Patient
- 9 Steps to Healing Broken Trust in a Relationship
- Tips for Rebuilding Trust in Your Marriage
- 9 Steps To Dealing With Betrayal And Getting Over The Hurt
- 1. Name Your Feelings
- 2. Resist Retaliating
- 3. Take Time Away
- 4. Examine The Betrayal
- 5. Examine The Relationship
- 6. Talk To A Third Party
- 7. Reflect On Things
- 8. Speak To The Person Who Betrayed You
- 9. Cut Ties With Repeat Offenders
- Moving On
- 7 Steps to Healing Broken Trust
- 3 Soulful Steps To Healing From Broken Trust
- 1) Take Some Time to Yourself
- 2) Share How You’re Feeling with a Trusted Friend
- 3) Uncover Your Most Compassionate Side
7 Steps to Rebuilding Trust in Your Relationship
Rebuilding trust in your relationship can be difficult after it has been broken or compromised. Depending on the nature of the offense, convincing your partner that you can be trusted again may even feel impossible. The good news is it’s not. Trust can, in fact, be rebuilt if both partners are willing to put in the time and work.
Any healthy relationship is built on a foundation of mutual trust. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a breach of trust, the steps for reparation may vary. Certainly, there is a difference between a “little white lie” and an emotional or physical affair. If your relationship has experienced the latter, you may benefit from couples counseling.
Find a Therapist for Relationships
Although there is no one-size-fits-all guide to restoring trust in a relationship, the steps below serve as a basic outline for reparation.
1. Own Up to Your Role
If you have offended or hurt someone by breaking trust, it’s critical to reflect on your actions and acknowledge and own your role. Dismissing, deflecting, minimizing, or casting blame will not help you in your efforts to come to grips with what happened and work toward repair. You must own your part to yourself before you can convince your partner you have taken ownership.
2. Make an Apology Plan
For many people, apologizing doesn’t come easily. It can make a person feel vulnerable, bringing up feelings of anxiety or fear. Be intentional about moving forward with your apology despite your discomfort. Gather your thoughts in advance. Writing down your thoughts can be helpful.
Rehearsing what you want to say by standing in front of a mirror and practicing may help put you at ease. If you do rehearse, though, it’s important to mean what you intend to say. Don’t plan to simply say what you think the other person wants to hear in the hopes you’ll be forgiven and the offense forgotten.
It doesn’t work that way.
3. Ask for a Good Time to Talk
The adage “timing is everything” can make a difference when apologizing. Ask your partner when a good time to talk would be. Let them know you have something important you would to discuss. Let them dictate the timing of that discussion so they can give it, and you, their full attention.
4. Accept Responsibility
You have already owned up to yourself. Now it’s time to show your partner that you accept responsibility. Be sincere and use “I” messages: “I am so sorry to have hurt you,” “I really care about you and feel terrible that I have let you down.
” Be specific, when possible, regarding what you are sorry about: “I am so sorry I told you that I went to the store when I was actually somewhere else,” “I feel awful that I lied to you about how I spent that money.” Communicate that you want to make things right.
Let your partner know you recognize that you broke their trust and you are willing to work hard to regain it.
5. Actively Listen
After apologizing, hear your partner out. You’ve spoken; now it’s time to listen. Use active listening techniques. This means being receptive not only verbally but with your body language as well.
Lean in and look your partner in the eye rather than folding your arms in a defensive posture. Be aware emotions may be heightened, yours included.
Stay calm and validate your partner’s feelings; they have a right to them.
6. Back Up Your Words with Actions
A genuine apology is worth its weight in gold. However, in the absence of follow-through, your words become meaningless and future attempts at repair may be rejected.
If your apology is accepted, it is up to you to demonstrate a pattern of dependable behavior over time.
Go the distance and commit to being your best self: be humble, be kind, be affectionate, be appreciative, be loyal, be loving, and be trustworthy.
7. Be Patient
It takes time to rebuild trust. Be patient with the process and with your partner. Also, recognize that being remorseful doesn’t mean beating yourself up. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes.
Take responsibility but be kind to yourself. It is normal to experience some guilt, shame, or self-loathing; just don’t let it overwhelm you.
Look at this as an opportunity to grow and make your relationship stronger.
© Copyright 2018 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted by Angela Bisignano, PhD, therapist in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.
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9 Steps to Healing Broken Trust in a Relationship
By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source
The people closest to you are supposed to be the people you can turn to when you need a shoulder to lean on. They’re supposed to be the ones who will accept and support you through thick or thin. This is especially the case when it comes to your romantic life partner.
So when you find out that the person you’ve chosen to become most intimate with has lied or betrayed you in some other way, it’s natural to feel angry, devastated and lost.
But with time, understanding, kindness, and strength, you can start to heal.
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source
Here are 9 steps you can take to heal the pain and move on with your life.
1. Don’t play the blame game.
It’s easy to think that maybe it was your fault for being so naive, or that it’s their fault for deliberately deceiving you. But pointing fingers won’t help you heal.
Perhaps they were in the wrong for deciding to betray you, but blaming them will only make you angry, and anger will fester into something more toxic.
So the first step you need to take towards recovering from betrayal is to avoid falling into the finger-pointing trap. Accept that it’s happened, and move on to the next stage.
2. Learn to trust yourself again.
Before you can trust others again, remember how to trust yourself first. Fight through the fear of your instincts failing you again. Remember the times when your gut instincts have helped you and have been accurate in the past. Remember that one misjudgment does not mean that you have poor judgment in general.
3. Put yourself first.
As much as you want to wallow in sadness, anger, and resentment, you’re letting the act of betrayal win. You deserve to be happy so don’t let a negative event ruin your chances at happiness.
So don’t dwell on the negative, shed it dead skin, go out there to do the things that make you happy, and build the life you want.
When you’re working towards your happiness and seeing your efforts come to fruition, confidence in yourself will come back on its own.
Recovering and moving on from a betrayal takes time, and you should never feel pressured to go faster than you’re comfortable.
4. Hold off on entering a new relationship.
If you’ve decided to leave the relationship after a betrayal, don’t jump straight into a new one. Even though you may think that a new start will help you get over your previous relationship, that may not be the best thing to do.
The pain of betrayal, especially the loss of ending a relationship, is a type of grieving. You need to let yourself heal. Take some time for yourself.
Rediscover who you are, reaffirm your priorities and goals before jumping into a new relationship.
5. Realize that not everyone's the same.
Understanding that not all people will betray you is key to moving on and recovering from a past betrayal. Just because one person lied to you doesn’t mean that all people are liars too. If you fall into a cynical mindset where everyone cannot be trusted, you’ll only isolate yourself and breed a toxic mindset that can cause you to feel even more misunderstood and lonely.
6. Set clear guidelines.
If you’ve decided to continue the relationship with a partner who has betrayed you, it can be helpful to set some clear expectations you may have for them from now on.
You may feel more reassured when you have expressed your boundaries and expectations that need to be met for you to begin to trust them again.
In doing so, you’re also presenting your partner opportunities to regain your trust, which leads us to the next point.
7. Give opportunities for them to prove themselves.
It’s normal, and often easier, for you to want to pull away completely from the person who betrayed you. But sometimes forgiveness and rebuilding trust can be a better option for you and those around you. So don’t let your fear of being betrayed again destroy your relationship.
Resist the urge to build a fortress around your heart, and offer your partner opportunities to prove themselves to you.
If allowing your partner back in again makes you feel a little too vulnerable, setting a limit to the opportunities you give may help you feel a little more in control of the situation.
8. Give yourself time.
Don’t let anyone or anything rush you towards trusting your partner again after a betrayal. Recovering and moving on from broken trust takes time and you should never feel pressured to go faster than you’re comfortable. Trust takes time to earn and will take even longer to regain when lost, so don’t let anyone set expectations on how long you should take to recover.
Finally, and most importantly, being able to forgive is the most powerful and effective way for you to move on. It doesn’t matter if an apology was never made, it doesn’t matter if you never find closure. Forgiveness will become that closure for you.
Holding on to grudges and resentment for the person who hurt you will only fuel negativity and invite toxicity in your life. So forgive and forget at your soonest opportunity.
You're too good for that kind of negativity to linger and pull your life down.
By Scott Webb. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source
Tips for Rebuilding Trust in Your Marriage
Verywell / Cindy Chung
Trust in an intimate relationship is rooted in feeling safe with another person. Infidelity, lies, or broken promises can severely damage the trust between a husband and wife.
That, however, does not necessarily mean that a marriage can't be salvaged.
Although rebuilding trust can be challenging when there is a significant breach, it is, in fact, possible if both partners are committed to the process.
It takes much time and effort to re-establish the sense of safety you need for a marriage to thrive and continue to grow. Recovery from the trauma caused by a break in the trust is where many couples who want to get back on track can get stuck.
Research has shown that couples must address the following five sticking points in order to effectively move past a breach of trust:
- Knowing the details
- Releasing the anger
- Showing commitment
- Rebuilding trust
- Rebuilding the relationship
Whether you were the offending partner or the betrayed, to rebuild the trust in your marriage, both of you must renew your commitment to your marriage and to one another.
Even in seemingly clear-cut cases of betrayal, there are always two sides.
The offending partner should be upfront and honest with information, in addition to giving clear answers to any and all questions from their partner.
This will give the betrayed party a broader understanding of the situation. What happened, when, and where? What feelings or problems may have contributed to this situation? What were the mitigating circumstances?
Even minor breaches of trust can lead to mental, emotional, and physical health problems. Partners may have trouble sleeping or diminished appetite. They may become irritable over small things or be quick to trigger.
While it may be tempting to stuff all of the anger and emotions down, it is imperative that betrayed partners tune in and reflect on all the feelings that they have. Consider the impact of your partner's betrayal on you and others. Reflect on how life has been disrupted and all the questions and doubts that are now emerging. Make your partner aware of all these feelings.
Even the offending partner is encouraged to express any feelings of resentment and anger they may have been harboring since before the incident.
Both parties, especially the betrayed, may be questioning their commitment to the relationship and wondering if the relationship is still right for them or even salvageable.
Acts of empathy—sharing pain, frustration, and anger; showing remorse and regret; and allowing space for the acknowledgment and validation of hurt feelings—can be healing to both parties.
Building off of this, defining what both sides require from the relationship can help give partners the understanding that proceeding the relationship comes with clear expectations that each person, in moving ahead, has agreed to fulfill.
Both parties must work to define what is required to stay committed to making the relationship work. In communicating this, avoid using words that can trigger conflict (e.g., always, must, never, should) in describing what you see, expect, or want from your spouse. Instead, choose words that facilitate open conversation and use non-blaming “I” statements.
For example, favor “I need to feel a priority in your life” over “You never put me first.”
Together, you must set specific goals and realistic timelines for getting your marriage back on track. Recognize that rebuilding trust takes time and requires the following:
- Decide to forgive or to be forgiven. Make a conscious decision to love by trying to let go of the past. While achieving this goal fully may take some time, committing to it is what's key.
- Be open to self-growth and improvement. You can't repair broken trust with just promises and statements of forgiveness. The underlying causes for the betrayal need to be identified, examined and worked on by both spouses for the issues to stay dormant.
- Be aware of your innermost feelings and share your thoughts. Leaving one side to obsess about the situation or action that broke the trust is not going to solve anything. Instead, it is important to openly discuss the details and express all feelings of anger and hurt.
- Want it to work. There is no place in the process for lip service or more lies. Be honest about and true to your wishes.
Once the above points have been taken to heart by both sides, talk openly about your goals and check in regularly to make sure you are on track.
As the person who compromised the relationship, it may be hard or even painful to be reminded of your wrongdoings. Remember, though, that the above steps are essential to the process of repair and recovery. As you work on them:
- If you are the one in your marriage who lied, cheated, or broke the trust, your partner needs you to show that the errant behavior is gone by changing your behavior. That means no more secrets, lies, infidelity, or anything else of the sort. Be completely transparent, open, and forthcoming from now on.
- Be honest. Work to understand and state why the bad behavior occurred. Statements such as “I don't know” don't instill confidence or help you get to the root of the issue.
- Take responsibility for your own actions and decisions; defensiveness will only perpetuate the conflict or crisis. Justifying your behavior what your spouse is doing or has done in the past is also not productive.
While moving forward hinges a lot on what your partner is able to show you, remember that work that you do also have a lot to do with your potential success. As you proceed, day by day:
- Actively work on understanding why and what went awry in the relationship before the betrayal actually took place. While this won't help you forget what happened, it may help you get some answers you need to move on.
- As hard as it may be, once you have committed to forgiving your partner, work on providing positive responses and reinforcement to help give your partner consistent feedback to things that please you or make you happy.
- Know that it's also OK if you do not want to continue the relationship after considering the above steps or beginning them. Just be honest with yourself, and your partner and don't go through the motions just because you feel that is what is expected of you as a devoted partner.
While there's independent work to do, remember to:
- Listen completely to one another.
- Remind one another that you each deserve open and honest answers to your questions about the betrayal.
Once couples have committed to rebuilding trust, they must work on treating the relationship it is a completely new one. Both sides must ask for what they really need and not expect their partner to simply know what it is they want.
Do not withhold trust in this new relationship, even though it is with the same person. Withholding trust fear or anger will prevent you from emotionally reconnecting with your partner. This keeps your relationship from moving forward in a healthy way.
Instead, work toward rebuilding the relationship by doing the work required in building trust and rebuilding a mutually supportive connection. Come to an agreement about what a healthy relationship looks to you both.
Some examples include establishing date nights, working on a five year, ten-year and even 20-year plan together, finding your love languages, and checking in with your partner about how you feel the relationship is doing or if it is living up to your expectations.
Remember that all relationships require work. Even the closest of couples have to work hard at renewing the spark while working to grow in the same direction together, year after year.
You can work on building a healthier, happier, and more honest relationship if you address the five issues listed above, and hold onto the bigger picture: that getting through this is only possible if you stay strong and commit to working on it together.
A therapist can help you process what, why, and how of what happened to help you both move forward. Both parties must be open to seeking counseling to have a better understanding of what caused the trust to be broken, but know that you may want or need to seek individual therapy in addition to couples' therapy.
There are several forms of treatment for couples that are designed to re-establish trust, communication, and connection that can be especially helpful. Through continued work and therapy, you may even end up with a more solid marriage after going through such a crisis.
9 Steps To Dealing With Betrayal And Getting Over The Hurt
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You’re feeling betrayed. Someone you care about, perhaps even love has broken the bonds of trust and done something that cuts deep at your heart.
What do you do? How can you get past this betrayal and heal? Will you ever be able to forgive them for what they have done?
Whether it’s a betrayal by a family member, best friend, partner, or someone else entirely, the steps you might take to get over the hurt caused are roughly the same.
1. Name Your Feelings
Betrayal is an act. The emotions that result from it are what we mean when we say we’re “feeling betrayed.”
In order to start recovering from the act, you must be more specific about the feelings it has given rise to.
Some of the more common ones you might encounter are:
Anger – you’ve been hurt and one of the most natural feelings in such situations is anger. “How dare they?! How could they?! They’ll pay for this!”
Sadness – you might become very low, weepy even when you discover a betrayal. This might be because you feel a sense of loss; a loss of trust, a loss of the person you thought they were, a loss of the happy memories you have of them, a loss of the future you saw with them.
Surprise – yes, you are probably shocked to find out that this person or persons have betrayed you. You might not have had any inkling that this was ly.
Fear – you may worry about the consequences of this betrayal. It might mean major upheaval in your life and these unknowns scare you.
Disgust – you can’t even bear to think about it or them because it makes your stomach churn.
Insecurity – you may question yourself and doubt whether you are worthy of love and care. After all, the person who betrayed you clearly felt you weren’t.
Shame – you may blame yourself and feel ashamed by what has happened and how others may now see and treat you.
Loneliness – this is your betrayal and nobody else’s. “How could they possibly understand?”
Confusion – you may simply not be able to comprehend what’s happened? None of it seems to make any sense to you.
It is an important step to identify what it is you are feeling at any given time. You may feel many or all of these after a betrayal – most ly a few at a time and swinging back and forth as you process them.
For instance, surprise and confusion might be the first things you feel, which then give way to anger and disgust or sadness and fear. You may then return to surprise tinged with shame.
There won’t be a clear or uniform progression from one to the other, but rather a turbulent maelstrom of emotion.
2. Resist Retaliating
With some betrayals, you may experience an overwhelming urge to retaliate.
You may be feeling angry about what happened and you may feel they deserve punishment, but rarely is this ever a productive endeavor.
If there’s one way to prolong the hurt and delay the healing process, it’s by plotting and planning your revenge.
Consider the analogy of betrayal as a cut or gash in your bodily flesh. A scab soon forms over the wound, but there is often a desire to prod it and pick at it. It’s itchy, it’s sore, and you feel the need to do something about it.
Yet, you know from experience that the more you touch and pick at a scab, the longer it stays and the more ly it is to leave a scar.
Retaliation is a bit picking a scab: it’ll only uncover the wound once more and cause you further pain. And the more you do it (even the more you think about doing it), the more ly you are to carry that pain with you for the rest of your life.
Resist the temptation to get your own back. The feelings will eventually fade and pass and you’ll be glad you held off from inflicting similar suffering on your betrayer.
3. Take Time Away
When you’ve been betrayed by someone, the best short term solution is to avoid them as much as physically – and electronically – possible.
That means not seeing them, not messaging them, not checking their social media every 5 minutes.
I know y’all love an analogy, so here’s another one for you: think of those feelings we talked about above as being fuelled by a fire. At first, the fire burns strong and the feelings glow white hot in the flames.
The most combustible fuel for that fire is contact with the one(s) who betrayed you. Thus, in order for the fire to burn out, you must stop adding fuel to it.
You must take some time away and break ties with that person.
Now, if they try to contact you (and they probably will), you can just tell them in a calm manner that you need some time and space to deal with what they’ve done. Ask them to respect your wishes and leave you be.
Your emotions will eventually begin to fade as the fire becomes mere embers. Now you’ll be in a much better position to think clearly and process the events and decide what to do next.
4. Examine The Betrayal
People do hurtful things for all sorts of reasons and it might help for you to think about how this betrayal came about.
Was it carelessness? Was it caused by weakness? Or was it a deliberate, conscious act?
We all sometimes say or do something in a split second and instantly regret it. A careless act of betrayal such as revealing personal information someone told you in confidence is no doubt hurtful, but it is somewhat forgivable.
It can be easy, when involved in a conversation, to not be 100% focused on the importance of what you’re saying and things really can “slip out” by accident.
Of course, the greater the significance of the information, the less easy it is to believe that your betrayer revealed it by mistake. Some secrets just don’t come out naturally in conversation.
The next level up from a careless betrayal is one that comes about due to someone’s weakness.
Some people find it incredibly difficult to control certain urges, even if they have promised you that they would.
Addictions are a good example of this. You may, for example, feel betrayed that a partner or family member has said they will give up drinking, only to find out that they’ve been doing it behind your back and lying to you about it.
Other people may find it almost impossible to keep what you tell them confidential. They just have to talk to someone about it, perhaps as a means of processing their own emotions on the matter.
It still stings when you find out, but perhaps you can have some sympathy.
Then there are betrayals that are plain and simple deliberate acts, either of malice or of heartless indifference.
Perhaps the office gossip overheard you talking about a particularly difficult time in your life, and they proceed to tell anyone who will listen about your private business.
Or maybe your partner cheats on you, a family member belittles you in front of your children, or a business partner reneges on a deal you had agreed.
These acts are taken consciously with little consideration of how you might feel.
Understanding which of these is most true in your case can help you to overcome the negative emotions and move past the incident.
You may also (article continues below):
5. Examine The Relationship
Someone you care about has hurt you, but just how much emotional pain are you in?
It all depends on the closeness of that relationship. After a betrayal, you’ll probably find yourself asking just how much that person means to you.
Betrayal by a friend who you’ve drifted apart from and who you now see no more than once or twice a year is going to feel very different to betrayal by a spouse or parent who is very much a major part of your life.
How much you value the relationship will determine whether you choose to keep that person in your life or ditch them for good (which we’ll talk more about later).
6. Talk To A Third Party
In these situations, it can help to talk through the incident and the feelings you have about it with a trusted confidant.
It can be cathartic to express your emotions outwardly and tell another soul what is going on inside your head and heart right now.
The crucial thing, though, is to talk to someone who is able to remain fairly, though not entirely, neutral.
The reason for this is that they will be able to offer honest advice and constructive feedback about your plan for dealing with the situation.
What you don’t want is a yes man or woman who will gee you on as you bitch about your betrayer and add fuel to that fire we spoke about earlier. This may feel good at the time, but it will not help you work through your feelings.
7. Reflect On Things
When the dust has settled a little bit and your feelings are less raw, you might benefit from a period of introspection.
This is a time when you look inward and try to understand the betrayal, the aftermath, and the longer term consequences in your life.
You might want to reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, immediately after you were betrayed and consider how you might try to avoid similar situations in future (or act differently if you do encounter one).
To get the most benefit from this, some psychologists suggest that you focus not on asking why-based questions, but what-es instead.
The theory, as summarized nicely in this article, goes that asking why something happened or why you felt or acted in such a way, keeps you trapped in the past, ruminating over events.
It may also instill a victim mentality whereby you focus on what has been done to you and who is to blame for it.
What, on the other hand, is a more proactive question: what am I feeling, what are my options, and what will really matter most 5 years from now?
These are all forward thinking questions that can lead you away from the betrayal and toward a place where you can heal and recover.
So reflect, by all means, but try to make it productive reflection that doesn’t dwell too much, but seeks to move on.
8. Speak To The Person Who Betrayed You
This is a big step and one that requires some guts and determination to take. But what do you say to someone who has betrayed you?
Well, when you feel ready, it is worth speaking to them and communicating how their actions made you feel then, and how you still feel about it now.
One crucial tip is to structure what you have to say in a way that focuses on you and not them. This way, you can avoid putting them on the defensive and keep the conversation amicable.
So, start your sentences with “I” and try to stick to the facts. Saying, “I felt shocked and angry when you…” is better than saying, “You betrayed me by…”
Be specific. You should have a handle on all the different emotions that you experienced if you named each one as we advised above; use these words to convey the impact this person’s actions had on you.
Not only that, but be specific about what it was exactly that hurt you the most. Is it that you no longer feel able to trust them, or have their actions caused repercussions in other parts of your life?
Put it all together and you might say, as an example, “I felt very ashamed, alone, and scared when you let slip about my pregnancy to our colleagues – it has put me in a difficult position with the boss and I’m worried about my future job security.”
If it helps you to put your thoughts and feelings into words, you might also consider writing a letter to those who have hurt you. You can either give it to them to read, or read it out to them. This is especially useful if you get flustered in situations where you have to confront someone face-to-face.
9. Cut Ties With Repeat Offenders
Whether you choose to forgive a betrayal and maintain the relationship will come down to a lot of things: the severity of it, how much you value the relationship, and the way the betrayal went down (see point 4), among others.
One thing to bear in mind, however, is whether or not this was the first time they have done something this to you – or indeed to other people you may know about.
If someone has hurt you before, or if they have form that you are aware of, you should strongly consider whether keeping this person in your life is best for you (and best for other important people in your life such as children).
Generally speaking, the second strike will put so much more strain on the relationship and your interactions with each other that it is best to call time right then and there.
A third strike or more and you’re straying into the territory of enabling them. Reach this point and they will think they can betray you and get away with it.
When you feel betrayed, it’s not something that can be dealt with too quickly. You need time to process everything that has happened and this will vary depending on the specific events.
At first, you just have to do your best to cope with the storm of emotions inside while maintaining some semblance of a normal life. After all, you still have responsibilities to take care of.
In time, you’ll find you overcome the initial shock and start to heal your emotional wounds. As you recover from the ordeal, you’ll think less and less about it, and the emotions surrounding it will be fade.
Eventually, you’ll be able to consign the betrayal to your past… at least for the most part. You may never be able to let go of it entirely, but it will no longer affect your life in any great way.
Still not sure how to approach the betrayal you have experienced? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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7 Steps to Healing Broken Trust
Betrayal: It's Not Just About Infidelity
Few people would argue with the idea that honesty is the best policy. Policies, however, are not always adhered to, even those that we believe in and support.
Regardless of how much we may desire to live a life of integrity in which we “walk the talk” and live in accordance with our inner principles, it's ly that there will be times that we miss the mark.
Nobody's perfect. Every relationship is going to have occasional slippage.
Great relationships, however, require a high level of integrity in order to thrive. When a violation of trust, large or small, occurs, it's important to examine the conditions that contributed to the situation and to engage in a healing process that will restore trust and goodwill to the relationship.
A betrayal is a broken agreement, implicit or explicit, that is considered vital to the integrity of a relationship.
The capacity of a relationship to recover from a betrayal has a lot to do with the responses, particularly on the part of the betrayer to the situation.
The more open and non-defensive they are, the more ly it is that there will be resolution. When both partners are committed to this as an outcome, the lihood increases exponentially.
When there has been a cover-up to a transgression, the lies and denials can do much more damage to the integrity of the relationship than the violation itself.
Even if the offense is never revealed, there can still be great harm done to the foundation of the relationship. Trust is inevitably sacrificed even when secrets go undetected. Most, but not all betrayals and acts of deceit can be healed.
While there is no generic template to apply to these situations, there are some guidelines that can facilitate the recovery process.
- Acknowledge your actions to your partner before, not after they find out. The sooner the better. The longer you have been living a lie, the deeper the damage, the more difficult the possibility of a full recovery, and the longer the healing process takes. Acknowledging the transgression before your partner affirms it from another source creates a higher level of trust than waiting until you've been found out.
Be guided by the question “Is this information necessary for the healing of our relationship?” Keep in mind that your intention in this process is to communicate in a way that will restore good will. It's not necessary to give details that will be unnecessarily inflammatory.
Try to see the questions as an opportunity for you to demonstrate the kind of truth telling that your partner needs to see in order to begin to trust you again.
Even if the questions seem to be repetitive or unnecessary, they need answers in order to come to terms with the situation.
It's possible to listen respectfully even if you don't see eye to eye about everything. Feelings aren't necessarily rational, but they are real.
You will have your turn to express your perspective, but not until they've expressed what they want you to hear.
In the end however, it is ly to bring about a deepening of the connection between the two of you. Resist the temptation to urge them to “get over it.
” Give your partner reassuring words : “I know that I am serious about this commitment and I understand that you need more time to see the evidence and trust me. I can give you all the time you need.”
Keeping your word in the first place will spare you the anguish of healing a betrayal. But in those cases in which the damage is already done, most of the time, recovery is a real possibility. And the benefits greatly outweigh the costs of reconciliation. Take it from the thousands of couples who have found out for themselves.
For more by Linda Bloom, LCSW, and Charlie Bloom, MSW, click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.
3 Soulful Steps To Healing From Broken Trust
Trust is perhaps the most important quality in any relationship. Its value is boundless and once that trust has been broken, it is difficult to restore.
While there are certainly many instances of intentional betrayal, more often than not a betrayal simply stems from a poor series of choices that ultimately implode.
After the betrayal has surfaced, there can be many uncomfortable feelings that come up for both sides.
The relationship may never be the same again, but there is an incredible opportunity to look inward and open up to the possibility to come out stronger – together.
It’s not easy, but the discovery of how transformative a challenge this can be is extraordinary. We are all capable of harnessing the inner power within our soul and healing the hurt.
The most important part is to remember that while we can never control the actions of other people, we can always master our own.
Here’s how to connect to your soul and let the healing commence.
SEE ALSO: 10 Simple Tips For Life-Long Happiness
1) Take Some Time to Yourself
Seeking solitude may seem daunting at first but it’s a vital first step in calming your soul. It’s especially key to create some separation between yourself and the other person involved.
Get quiet with your feelings, write them out, and allow yourself to feel whatever comes up.
Too often we run away from the difficult feelings only to have them resurface later in the relationship.
When we deal with a challenge head on it creates the necessary space for healing to take place.
2) Share How You’re Feeling with a Trusted Friend
Being honest with someone about what’s going on can be extremely liberating.
It takes the burden off of you alone and simultaneously lends a compassionate ear. Make sure to communicate that this is a highly sensitive and private matter.
The point of this sharing is not to get advice but rather to think out loud with someone who deeply cares for you.
Do not spend this time trashing the other person and instead use this time as a way express your hurt and better understand your feelings around the situation.
3) Uncover Your Most Compassionate Side
If you can connect to your most compassionate side the recovery period will undoubtedly be much smoother.
We are all human, we all make mistakes – and it’s a terrible feeling when we do. One of the most invigorating actions is to be the person who provides compassion to someone who has made a mistake.
Being compassionate is a lot easier when we’re not emotionally involved in a situation. Finding that same compassion when we are involved is so empowering. It helps us to create a much stronger sense-of-self while uncovering new levels of how truly powerful we are.
A great way to start is by using the following Mantra: I understand how this person is feeling and I allow compassion to be my guiding force.
Healing after you’ve been hurt is a journey that takes time and requires you to connect to a deeper part of yourself. There will be times when healing means letting go and moving on and that’s okay too.
If you’re in tune with your inner most needs, you’ll be able to make the best decision for yourself and for the well-being of your soul.
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