Trust in a marriage is an important factor to keep the relationship smooth and satisfying. It gets damaged through what we call ‘trust breakers’, incidents ranging from lack of information, deliberately leaving out details of what has been happening, lying through to deceit and affairs. If you are committed to making your marriage work after such an incident, you must make rebuilding trust a priority. In the following article, we will look at ways to rebuild trust.
Trust builds up with time in gradual development. It is dependent on the following factors: reliability, consistency of actions, words and behaviour, truth and honesty and confidentiality.
Sometimes trust breaks because of something we fail to do, for example letting our partner know that we are planning to stay out late, and sometimes it breaks because of something we do, like having an affair. Trust is a delicate structure that can more easily and quickly be broken than repaired. Once it is damaged, it takes much longer to rebuild than it originally took to create it.
Rebuilding trust needs to be a joint goal. Both partners need to be prepared to accept that a ‘trust breaker’ has happened and that the intention is to continue in the committed relationship. Remember that this is a process of time, depending on the severity of the ‘trust breaker’.
Choose from the following tips. Some might apply to your situation, some might not.
Tip 1: Be attentive to your partner. Both of you are hurting or feeling guilty and it is important to be mindful of your partner’s present state.
Tip 2: Be honest and speak the truth. In most cases it does not serve to re-build trust if you leave out important details that might be revealed later. If trust is once broken and then rebuilt, it might not survive another break due to the same issue.
Tip 3: Stay true to your word. Stay away from empty promises, no matter how small they are. If you can’t follow through, don’t promise!
Tip 4: Allow time to heal. Rebuilding trust will take time and it might take different amounts of time for your partner. Don’t rush yourself, don’t rush them.
Tip 5: Think carefully who you talk to. Your friends will give you their opinion and perspective on your issue based on their history; it might not necessarily be helpful to you. You then have to not only deal with yourself but also with their view on it.
Rebuilding trust can deepen and strengthen a marriage if you both support each other in dealing with it.