Anytime trust is broken, there’s going to be a rift in the relationship. It might be painful to face, but leaving these issues unaddressed won’t help anyone in the long run.
1. Take full responsibility if you’re at fault
If there has been infidelity or trust has been broken, it’s important to take full responsibility for what happened and be understanding of how your behavior hurt your partner.
Avoid becoming defensive or sidestepping your mistake, but don’t fall into self-loathing either. “You should own it in a loving way that creates the space to start to rebuild trust,”
2. Give your partner the opportunity to win your trust back
While you have every right to feel hurt and angry, there should be a desire to work on the relationship.
“Trust can never be restored until the person whose trust was broken allows their partner a chance to earn it back.
3. Practice radical transparency
Instead of bottling up emotions, I encourage couples to be “radically transparent” with each other about what has hurt them. This involves truly getting it all out there, even if you feel a bit silly or self-conscious admitting certain things.
If you’re the one who broke the trust, this also involves being radically transparent with yourself about what motivated you to do so. Was it simply a lapse in judgement? Or was it an attempt to sabotage a situation you didn’t know how to get out of?
4. Use skilled communication
Once tempers have calmed down, it’s important to make sure you both have a chance to get your points across. Try to give each person space to communicate their point of view.
“Being open and honest about one’s thoughts and intentions about the relationship itself and the future can restore — or newly create — a sense of safety” in the relationship.
5. Speak from your heart
In order for your partner to truly hear you, it’s important to communicate what you’re really feeling below all the tension.
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