“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche
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. [.]
1. Coming clean does work—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. Being defensive, righteous or casual about the problem never works. 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. Talk about what made you do it. Opening up about your own struggle, the need to get help, and the awareness of what got you there in the first place will help to prevent further infractions. If there is loneliness in the marriage, take the initiative to make an appointment with a counselor. Talking about your feelings of alienation is the best way to connect again.
4. Be an open book. 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.
5. Renew your vows. Whether married or not, there is a need to discuss values about living life and what that entails. This may be the most important part of the process. Take time to talk about what you want, what got you into this mess, and what needs to happen moving forward.
6. Apologize. This one should be obvious, but unfortunately, sometimes it gets overlooked. Even if you do not feel the need to apologize, you should offer the person you hurt a simple “I’m sorry for hurting you.”
7. State your desire to rebuild trust. This is another seemingly obvious step that can sometimes be overlooked. Admit to the other person that you realize you broke his or her trust in you, and emphasize your desire to rebuild it.
8. Let the other person vent. Hard feelings exist after any betrayal. The person who feels betrayed will need to vent his or her emotions and thoughts in order to heal. It might be unpleasant for you, but it is essential for the other party involved. [.]
9. Be sure that all promises you make are promises you keep. Your words, actions and deeds must come from total and unwavering integrity. Simply put, what you say you’re going to do, you DO. No lies. No excuses. No exceptions.
10. Practice the three A’s: Affection, Attention and Appreciation daily. Show your partner how much you love and appreciate them in big and small ways every day. [.]
What You Need
•Commitment to your marriage
When a loved one dies, the natural grieving process tends to come in five stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.
These five stages can also occur when you lose trust in someone.
Don’t fight any of these stages.
You’ll usually get through all of them – with time. Seek out help from a professional if you’re having an especially difficult time. [.]
Forgiveness can also be added as the sixth stage in regards to trust.
“Forgiveness does not mean forgive and forget”
Stop labeling yourself the victim
If you’ve been betrayed, you are the victim of your circumstance.
But there’s a difference between being a victim and living with a “victim mentality.”
At some point in all of our lives, we’ll have our trust tested or violated.
Some people choose to wallow in the sting of betrayal while others make an effort to overcome it.
If you choose to become a wallower, you will stifle your ability to truly heal because you’ll end up angry and blaming everyone else for something you actually have more control over than you think.
You didn’t lose “everything”
When we’re severely betrayed, we tend to feel like we have lost everything that means anything to us. Once trust is lost, what is left?
Instead of looking at the situation from this hopeless angle, look at everything good you still have in your life.
Seeing the positive side of things doesn’t mean you’re ignoring what happened.