Six Tips To Rebuild Trust
We recently explored what trust is and how to identify whether or not you may be struggling with issues that revolve around trust. If you think you may have extreme trust issues you should definitely talk to someone about it and reach out for help.
This post will provide six tips to help rebuild trust in relationships. For the sake of this article we are going to break this post into two categories. First, we are going to discuss rebuilding trust in relationships generally. The second category is going to deal with starting to rebuild trust after infidelity in an intimate relationship.
How to Build Trust in a Relationship
Even when times are good, building trust is difficult. It takes time and effort to build trust and it becomes that much harder when someone's trust has been betrayed in the past. They tend to fall back on that experience which causes them to sabotage current relationships with skepticism, negativity, doubt, and so on. So how do we start to move on from this?
1. Face issues head on. If something is bothering you let it out and address the issue immediately. Learn to communicate openly and surround yourself with those that can this sort of candid conversation. If an issue does not violate the trust of the relationship, identify this early and move on. You may be trying to protect yourself subconsciously by making a bigger issue out of something minor. Again, seek advice from health / mental health professionals if you feel like your trust issues are negatively affecting your life. They will help you get to the root of the problem.
2. Accept the past and learn from it. Previous betrayals of trust in a relationship can be something someone takes with them for the rest of their life. However, it is unhealthy and unfair to think that all people will do exactly the same thing and hurt you. Accept that it did in fact happen, but that it does not mean it will happen again. Analyze the type of person that betrayed you and try to develop relationships with other types of people. Reflect on the patterns, thinking, people, etc. and remain committed to learning from it and breaking the cycle.
3. Baby steps. There is no need to dive right into a relationship and try to develop intimate trust right from the get go. Instead, focus on developing small relationships with others and very slowly and gently begin to build up trust with small items. Once you are comfortable with that level of trust you can decide whether you are OK with moving on to the next level of trust.
Trusting Again After Infidelity
Most people think that infidelity in a relationship only affect the partners involved in the relationship, but this could not be further from the truth. The mistrust from that betrayal spills over into some or all of the person's relationships. This can also be said of the person who cheated. They may find it difficult to trust themself and this causes them to distance themselves from relationships due to fear of hurting more people. There are ways to begin to address these issues:
1. Be open and honest with your partner. No matter how hard or uncomfortable make sure you are open and honest with you partner. Use this dialogue to set expectations of the relationship in terms of monogamy. Sharing insecurities with your partner will go a long way and these should be shared out in the open.
2. Separate the Past and Present. You know the expression, "that was then and this is now?" Learn to apply that to your life. Just because infidelity happened in the past it does not necessarily mean it will repeat itself. Times are different and you know a lot more about yourself now. Use what you have learned to set yourself up for success this time around.
3. Learn to Trust Yourself. Give yourself some credit for making it through that difficult time and the ability to recognize situations that weren't right. Acknowledge what happened, grieve, and start the healing process. Promise yourself to move on and to love again.
Hopefully people find this post useful and it can begin the healing process. If trust issues are negatively impacting your life please reach out to your healthcare and/or mental health provider(s).