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How To Rebuild Trust In a Relationship After a Betrayal
People set out in relationships with high hopes and expectations that it would lead to happy ever after. However, change they say is the only constant factor in life. Sometimes things don’t always happen the way we expect and change may be negative.
Various forms of betrayal occur in relationships. These include: obvious and consistent negligence, consistent lies, dishonesty, disloyalty, unfaithfulness and infidelity.
Trust is a non-negotiable fundamental aspect of every successful relationship. A relationship devoid of trust is like a time bomb waiting to explode.
When a relationship like marriage suffers any form of betrayal, especially infidelity, rebuilding total trust can be quite difficult, but not impossible. Trust in a relationship is a two-way thing and both partners must be willing to work together and consciously rebuild or re establish trust in their relationship.
The following points on how to rebuild trust in a relationship after betrayal will help:
- Accept that the betrayal happened: Some people find it very difficult to accept an obvious betrayal by a loved one. Don’t live in denial of an obvious fact. Instead of trying to pretend and live as though nothing happened when in the actual sense you are dying in the inside, come to terms with what happened. This helps to initiate the healing process.
- Recognize that humans are not perfect: This is not to justify betrayal but recognizing the imperfection of humans helps you to consider giving the relationship another chance.
3. Be ready to forgive: Forgiveness can be tough, but it is one of the best things the victim of betrayal can do in order to move on from that hurt. When you hold on to unforgiveness, it negatively affects both your emotional and mental health. The forgiveness is both for the victim and the offender. Some people when they are betrayed in a relationship, try to justify the offender by believing that the reason for the betrayal is because of one thing or the other that they didn’t do well. This kind of feeling is not healthy if you really want to move on from the hurt state. The offender also has to forgive him/her self, as well as sincerely ask for the forgiveness from the offended or betrayed partner in order to move forward
4. As you forgive, try and also forget if possible. Keep the past behind you. On the forgetting aspect, in as much as it might be practically impossible to totally erase the act of betrayal from one’s memory, the offended should try not to keep recounting the act at any slightest provocation. Reminding your partner of the betrayal or bringing it up during every period of misunderstanding can delay the healing process.
5. See a therapist/Counselor if you need to: The hurt from some forms of betrayal like infidelity in marriage may be such that you may feel the need to see either a Counselor or respected confidant to talk to. This can be of help because talking about the hurt can help the healing process. However, don’t just talk to anybody. You and your partner can agree on who to confide in. The confidant might not necessarily be a certified counselor or therapist. It could also be a mature adult/couple you have known over the years, that have shown maturity and objectivity in handling issues.
6. Take conscious effort to avoid a repeat of the betrayal: This could mean relocation, change of job, change of habits, change of friends, being more open to yourselves, etc.
7. Create/Raise an accountability platform. Be more accountable to yourselves and be more transparent. The cheated partner should consciously carry the other partner along in their daily activities and movements. This shouldn’t be too pushy or be seen as unnecessary monitoring. Rather, it should be seen as an act to help restore trust in the relationship. The offending partner should also not be seen as seeking an atonement through rash or undue self monitoring. He/she should just be himself or herself and try as much as possible to act naturally.
8. Communicate more often: Always keep the line of communication open. Communicate more, both when you are together and when you are apart.
9. Be patient: Patience is really needed especially on the part of the offender. The offended partner may express doubt over some of your actions during the healing period. Be patient with your partner and be consistent with your positive attitudes. You really need to be patient.
10. Give it time: This applies to both partners. Time, they say, heals all wounds. Miracles can happen, but don’t expect overnight miracle. Even though trust can be destroyed in a moment, it however takes a lot of time to be rebuilt. So, give yourselves and your relationship time to heal. You will definitely get over it if both of you are truly committed to it.