It can be hard to regain trust after it’s lost. Healthy relationships require honesty, and if you want it to work out, you must find a way to rebuild the foundation.
You can regain trust if you and your partner are both willing to put in the effort to make it work. Some circumstances make regaining trust harder, while others are easy to overcome. The time and effort it takes to restore confidence vary based on each experience.
Some of the situations that require you to rebuild trust include:
- breaking promises
- going back on your work
- not being there when your partner needed you
- withholding or hiding information
- not being open about your feelings
- Withholding love, affection, or intimacy
- Not taking responsibility
- Addictive behaviors
- Unfair criticism or talking badly behind your partner’s back
Breaking your partner’s trust disrupts feelings of safety, confidence, and support within the relationship. You can regain trust in a relationship if your partner is willing to forgive you and discuss how to proceed positively.
What is Trust?
Trust is essential for a healthy relationship, and it occurs when your partner understands that you deserve it. You can’t force someone to trust you, and it can be hard to regain if you betray them.
The meaning of trust can vary depending on the person, but it typically involves:
- feeling committed to the relationship
- listening to one another
- openly communicating needs and feelings
- not feeling the need to hide things
- feeling safe and respected (both physically and emotionally)
- vulnerability from both partners
On the other hand, explaining trust requires explaining what it doesn’t involve. Trust does not require:
- saying everything that comes to mind
- giving access to financial accounts
- going through personal electronic devices
- monitoring social media activity
- constantly checking in on your partner
Eleven Ways to Regain Trust in a Relationship
You can regain trust and heal together if committed to moving forward. It requires mutual understanding, total honesty, and recommitment. However, these eleven tips can help you along your journey.
1 – Apologize Sincerely When You Try to Regain Trust
If you betrayed your partner, you must sincerely apologize to regain trust. Admit that you made a mistake and let them know you regret it.
Own up to your behavior and accept responsibility for hurting your partner. Breaking their trust shouldn’t be taken lightly. Reflect on what you did and admit that you were wrong.
Don’t justify your behavior or make excuses as you apologize. If there’s a reason for the betrayal, you can discuss it later, but don’t do it when you apologize. Avoid dismissing, deflecting, or minimizing your partner’s feelings, as it won’t help if you want them to accept the apology.
2 – Have a Plan to Regain Trust
Apologizing doesn’t always come easy because it requires vulnerability. It can make you feel anxious or fearful, and you might forget what you have to say. Having an apology plan can help you be intentional moving forward.
Reflect on the situation and consider what you want to say in advance. It might help to write it down and rehearse it before getting in front of your partner. Don’t practice saying what your partner wants to hear; your words must be sincere.
3 – Be Specific, Even When It’s Hard
Regaining trust requires showing that you know what you did was unacceptable. Be specific about what you did and how you plan to fix it. It requires honesty about the betrayal, too.
Telling the honest story won’t be easy for either of you, but it’ll help them understand. Address the facts, and then let your partner ask questions. A willingness to answer their questions shows you want to regain trust and move forward together.
4 – Go to Therapy or Couples Counseling
Regaining trust is harder if the situation involves an affair or similar behavior. If this is the case, couples counseling might be the best option. A professional therapist can help you and your partner work through the honesty issues and rebuild a solid foundation of trust.
Therapy can help you find a way to repair the disconnect within your relationship. A therapist will help you find better ways to resolve conflict, teaching you to make informed decisions about your relationship.
5 – Consider the Reasoning
When someone breaks your trust, you might not want to think about why they did it. However, once you can shift your focus, considering the reasoning can help. It doesn’t mean what your partner did was right, but it can help you think about how you would have reacted if you reversed roles.
Your partner might lie when they don’t know what else to do. Sometimes they lie to protect themselves; others lie to protect you from bad news or help someone else. Betraying your trust could also stem from a misunderstanding.
While it’s important to reaffirm that their behavior wasn’t acceptable, you can try to understand the reasoning. Thinking this way helps you decide if you want to rebuild trust and continue the relationship.
You might find no logical reason behind what they did, and that’s okay. Again, it can help you decide what to do moving forward. Go with your gut and do what’s best for you.
6 – Communicate Openly and With Full Honesty
Even when it’s uncomfortable, communicate with your partner. It’s one of the best ways to regain trust and rebuild confidence in your relationship. Communication is essential whether you’re the one who was betrayed or committed the betrayal.
You’ll want to talk honestly about:
- your feelings regarding the situation
- how it hurt you
- the reasoning for the betrayal
- what you need from one another
- how to start trusting again
Give each other a fair chance to talk without interrupting them. Watch for signs of sincerity and regret in an apology or explanation if you work toward forgiveness. If they seem defensive and deflect responsibility, they might not be sincere.
Once you’ve had the initial conversation, don’t stop communicating. Talk about your feelings every day, even those unrelated to the betrayal. It can help with developing a healthy, long-lasting relationship.
7 – Forgive
If your partner betrayed you, forgiveness is necessary if you want to move on and rebuild trust. You’ll have to practice forgiveness toward your partner for the betrayal and forgive yourself. It’s easy to blame yourself for what happened, but it can cause self-doubt, interfering with the recovery of your relationship.
Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what your partner did was okay. Instead, it means that you’re willing to accept what happened and let it go. It empowers you and allows your partner to grow and learn from their mistake.
Forgiving your partner means not dwelling on the past. It also involves not bringing it up in future arguments or treating them differently. Forgiveness isn’t always easy, which is why you should keep practicing.
8 – Commit to Repairing the Relationship
Both of you must be committed to regaining trust in your relationship. It involves healing and overcoming issues, and honesty is a long-term commitment. You can make it happen, but you must commit to the process.
9 – Accept Your Partner’s Attempts to Regain Trust
When your partner issues a sincere apology and you decide to repair the relationship, you should accept their attempts. They might do something nice for you or go out of their way to make it up to you, and it’s helpful to allow them to do so. It promotes healing and building new happy memories as you move forward.
Accepting their attempts also helps you feel better about giving the relationship another chance. You’ll see that your partner is trying their best, showing their commitment to regaining trust.
10 – Don’t Rush Your Partner
Give your partner time if you betrayed them. They might not be willing to talk about it, meaning your apology will have to wait. It might take them some time to accept what happened and decide if they want to rebuild the relationship.
Everyone processes betrayal differently, so go with what your partner needs. If they need space and time, make sure you give it to them so they can make a beneficial decision.
Respecting what they need shows them that you accept their boundaries. It can help them see that you’re willing to do what they need so they can depend on you again.
11 – Show Them That You Meant What You Said (Honesty Will Go Far Towards Mending the Rift)
After apologizing and telling your partner what you will do differently in the future, back up your words with actions. Your follow-through can make all the difference in building a stable relationship. Show your partner that you’re dependable and trustworthy so they can heal from the betrayal.
Final Thoughts on Ways to Regain Trust in a Relationship
You can regain trust in a relationship after a betrayal, but honesty takes commitment. Considering whether you and your partner are both willing to put in the effort is essential.
If you decide to move forward together, remember that the process can take time. You can become a strong couple if you both focus on trusting one another. Focus on putting in the time and effort to rebuild a solid foundation in your relationship.