How to Rebuild Trust in your Marriage
All of us have character traits that we don’t like, and that our partner’s certainly don’t like. In other words, we all make mistakes. Unfortunately sometimes these mistakes lead us to distrust each other. When we think of trust being broken, we thing of cheating, or something to a similar magnitude. But we don’t realize that trust can be eroded slowly over time. The first step in how to rebuild trust is to understand the different ways that trust can be eroded or broken.
Passive breach of trust
There are common ways to break trust. The first is a passive breach of trust. Trust is spectrum. It is not either you do or you don’t ( at least all the time). Passive breaches of trust rarely are absolute. This type of breach happens slowly over time, by repeated actions from your parter.
Example: You are a clean person, and your partner tends to be a little messier. When your relationship started, they made a good effort to be cleaner for you, but over time, began to stop cleaning or doing what you asked them to do. Over time, you stop trusting in their ability to keep the house as tidy as you want. That is a passive breach of trust. This is a little thing to many of us, but important to many of our partners.
A lot of the time, passive breaches of trust lead to one partner feeling like they can’t trust their partner with their feelings , like their feelings are not being nurtured, or that they can’t even talk with their partner’s.
Here are some other examples.
Direct breach of trust
Direct breaches of trust are much more obvious, and usually more traumatizing. This can be anything from a lie your partner told you about a large purchase, from them cheating on you one time, to a full blown affair. These are usually devastating. And the reason is because they betrayed an agreement that you had when you committed yourself to them. These are easy to identify, and incredibly difficult to move past.
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How to Rebuild Trust
We have come up with a four step process to help you rebuild trust with your partner. They are simple in theory, but can be difficult in practice.
1. Want to rebuild trust
The first step in that you have to want to rebuild trust. And you have to communicate with your partner that you want to make things good again. But if there is no desire, then there is no chance. Also, if you want to rebuild trust, but your partner does not know that you want, they are likely to give up hope.
Communicating to your partner that you want to reconcile your relationship does not mean that you have you to pretend that you haven’t been hurt. It means you need to be completely honest with them, tell them why they hurt you, and tell them what you need from them. If you are the transgressor, then you need listen and accept.
2. Acknowledge & Apologize
It is uncommon that betrayal’s are one-sided. More often than not, direct breaches of trust are the result a passive breach of trust from the other partner. That doesn’t mean that the actions are excusable, but they can be understandable. All of us make mistakes, and small mistakes over a long period of time can cause others to feel unloved, and do the unthinkable. This is why, both parties need to take responsibility for what they did wrong, improve their behavior, and apologize the right way.
3. Make Changes
After you’ve apologized, and acknowledged what you have done, the next step is to is establish what each of you need to do to move forward. Understand what your partner needs from you, and do it.
4. Extend Trust
This is the most challenging part. There is point where you can’t know what will happen, until your partner is able to make the changes that. The final step is that you have to choose to trust that your partner will make those changes, and give them the benefit of doubt. This is difficult, and you might feel stupid for letting your defenses down. But you can’t build a wall if you want to rebuild trust, you have to extend the trust. It will create a more positive environment, and help your partner make the changes they need to make.
If you can understand why trust has been broken, then you can take the necessary actions to rebuild trust in your marriage. Keep in mind that it always takes time, but it also takes a positive shift in mind set to be successful.