No relationship can work without trust. It is the fundamental to love and intimacy. Lack of trust breeds anger, insecurity, anxiety and fear. Distrust causes spouses to look through cell phones, check emails, and ask prying questions. Huge amounts of time is spent in arguments, instead of making good memories. There is not a more deal-breaking issue than the loss of trust, in whatever form it may take.
However, there are steps that you can take to rebuild trust.
1. Coming clean but not completely clean
Denial only leads to more distrust, so the truth has to come out along with the willingness to take responsibility for your actions. However, detailed truth can sometimes make the hurt even worse and compound the pain, and therefore the healing process. Couples can spend tons of time on details while losing the thread of what needs to be done to correct the misconduct.
2. Don’t be defensive, righteous or casual about the problem
There must be a sincere effort to work out the issues, or the wall will never come down. The angrier you are, the less you are able to hear what the aggrieved one has to say, and the worse what they feel will get.
- 3. Be honest. That means open your cell phone, email, and appointment book for a period of time. This is usually the hardest part, because any person who has lived that clandestine underground life of secrecy likes it that way. They feel entitled to privacy, and they become righteous and indignant. At this point, you will need to take a moment and ask yourself what is really important: your relationship or your privacy. It really comes down to that.
- Renewing trust is not just a decision —it’s a lifestyle change. It’s about coming home to yourself and your mate, and making it work. Keeping a relationship clear and open is a valuable process. When we lie, cheat, steal and do bad things to ourselves or others, we pay the ultimate price, and we lose what is most precious to us. If you need help, get it. If you need a change, then make it. Creating trust is a big deal, so treat it that way. There are many facets and turns in this very delicate and daunting process of trust. If it’s not dealt with properly, then it will torch your relationship until what remains are ashes and regret. If you can look at the restoring of trust as a learning process that will hopefully bring with it greater intimacy and love, then go ahead on. If not, then make other plans.