(Re)Building Trust Takes Time, And That's Okay
The notion that trust is essential in a strong relationship is so universally held that it’s often taken for granted. But in order to have a stable, satisfying relationship, you and your partner must have confidence and trust in each other. Once that trust is broken, it isn't necessarily irreparable, but it will take effort and consistency to get it back.
Whether you broke the trust in your relationship or your partner did, these are the necessary steps you both must take in order to get it back. The first step is: don’t rush it.
The notion that trust is essential is so universally held that it’s often taken for granted.
In It For The Long Haul
Understand that a quick apology is not going to mend the rift between you immediately. It does not absolve the partner who broke the trust, and it certainly doesn't repair the damage done to the injured partner. Trust takes a long time to build, and so does forgiveness. “Realize that if you are wanting someone to forgive you in your timing or on your terms that you are being very selfish,” says Mary Beth Lipson, clinical psychologist. Therapist Michael J. Salas agrees by saying that encouraging the injured partner to ‘get over the situation’ shows a lack of respect for their feelings.
And although this seems like it might skew more towards the partner who broke trust... don't worry, it doesn't. It's a skill you both need to practice as you work to mend and restore your relationship. For instance, the partner whose trust was betrayed in the relationship will need to follow through on their promises as well. Saying "I want to hear your side" but then interrupting when their partner talks is inconsistent. For you and your partner to start to forge a path of normalcy through this chaotic time, the first thing to instill in both of your daily lives is consistency.
That means no over-promising, under-delivering statements like “Sorry I didn’t make it, something came up,” or “Yeah I know I said I would do it, but I forgot.” Even the simplest oversights show each other you’re not invested in restoring trust.
So, how do you both demonstrate staying power? It’s simple. Say what you mean, and follow through.
Keep in mind these two principles:
- Be honest about your intentions and be transparent in your actions.
- Hold your partner to the same standard of integrity.