The old saying is true -- trust is the foundation of a relationship. If you don't have trust, there is nothing to build on. When trust is broken in a relationship, it can be a difficult hurdle to overcome. But that doesn't mean trust can't be rebuilt or a relationship can't be saved. Here are five steps for rebuilding trust in a relationship:
1. Talk about it
The first thing you should do is put everything out in the open. Be willing and open to discuss how trust was broken and what lead up to it. Don't hold back any of the details. This will only do further damage. Both you and your partner need to commit to talking through the problem to rebuild trust.
Whoever broke the trust needs to apologize to their significant other. The apology also needs to include accountability and ownership over the actions that lead to breaking trust in the relationship. If you are the one whose trust has been betrayed, try to understand that your partner may not have all the answers right now.
3. Demonstrate that you understand
Both partners need to be able to demonstrate that they understand the other's perspective and feelings. Depending on how much trust was broken, this could be a conversation that lasts for weeks. But, it's crucial you understand where your partner is coming from and why the guilty party did what they did.
4. Change certain behaviors
It's essential that you change the behaviors that led to the break in trust. If you had an affair, for example, this might mean leaving your phone on the table while at home or giving your partner permission to access your social media. However, the partner whose trust was broken should ease up on excessive scrutiny over time.
5. Evaluate the relationship
You should evaluate your entire relationship rather than only the situation that led to the break in trust. Some questions to ask include: Do you spend quality time together? Does anything feel unfair in the relationship? Do you argue about the same problems? This will help you work on other areas of your relationship to strengthen it.
Time heals all wounds
It takes time to rebuild a relationship when trust has been broken, but not all relationships can be saved. Depending on the situation, it can take anywhere from six months to two years to completely rebuild trust. But, if you've been working for several years on it with no progress, then it might be time to move on.