Cheating is one of the most destructive forms of deception in relationships, but even small lies can have an adverse effect on trust.
A simple fib like pretending to love their lasagna when, in reality, they despise it could cause damage.
More serious deceptions like secret purchases could be even more hurtful.
It is essential for successful relationships to have trust and open communication, but if either of these is broken it could lead to more fighting, anxiety, and stress.
Although rebuilding trust can be difficult, it is possible. It requires effort from both parties as well as taking time to rebuild the foundation that was destroyed.
To start off with a fresh slate, here are some practical ways to rebuild trust in your relationship.
Let Yourself Be Angry, Disappointed, Or Even Upset.
Facing up to the emotions triggered by even a seemingly minor lie can be difficult, but it is an essential step in finding a way forward.
Ernesto Lira de la Rosa, PhD, a New York-based psychologist and advisor for the Hope for Depression Research Foundation, advises people to embrace the feelings of rage, confusion, insecurity, and sadness that arise, even if it means having a good cry.
Taking the time to observe your feelings with curiosity and compassion can help you make sense of them.
However, it’s important to remember that there is no “wrong” way to feel, and fighting your emotions will only prevent you from working through them.
If you find yourself stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts, reach out to a friend or trusted confidante for help in processing your feelings.
Taking the time to deal with them now will make it easier to start rebuilding trust and move forward in your relationship.
Sit Down With Your Partner & Talk It Through.
When it comes to dealing with a partner’s deception, it can be difficult to know how to handle it.
It is important to understand that there will be many questions and doubts that arise, and this is completely normal.
Experts advise that you need to have all the answers in order to move forward.
If your partner is not open or willing to talk about this issue, it may be a sign that something else is going on.
It is essential to have patience and vulnerability from both sides in order to discuss the deception without leading to more arguments down the road.
Ultimately, it can be difficult to deal with a partner’s deception, but with some understanding and effort, you can work together toward a resolution.
Hear Them Out—as Calmly As You Can.
When a partner has been dishonest, it can be hard to resist the urge to argue and confront them.
To have a productive conversation, it is important to remain calm and avoid accusing language. Using “I” statements such as “I feel hurt by what you did” or “I don’t know if I can trust you again” will go a long way in helping the conversation progress.
While it may be difficult to hear your partner’s explanations, it is important to remain open and accept their side of the story.
Ultimately, understanding each other’s feelings and expressing them calmly can help build trust and foster healthy communication going forward.
No amount of excuses can justify dishonesty, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about the reason behind it.
Listening and understanding each other’s feelings is key to rebuilding trust after a lie has been told.
See If They’re Trying To Become More Trustworthy Through Changes.
Forgiving your partner after their dishonesty is a difficult task, and it’s important to pay attention to the changes in their behavior.
Ask yourself: does my partner take responsibility for wrongdoings and apologize sincerely? Do they openly discuss hurt feelings or do they try to conceal them from you?
These are essential components of rebuilding trust and understanding if your partner is truly committed to changing their behavior.
If not, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.
Resist The Temptation To ‘“Helicopter” Over Them.
If your partner truly wishes to make amends for the trust they have violated, they must back up their words with tangible actions.
To do this, it is reasonable to expect them to give you access to their messages, and even let you know their location 24/7.
While monitoring them may seem like a good way of getting even, it does more harm than good in the long run.
It will only increase feelings of anxiety, distrust, and frustration. What is needed to re-establish trust is mutual understanding and compromise.
For instance, if your partner was suspected of having an improper friendship with a colleague at work, instead of expecting them to completely cut off contact outside of the office, you could ask them to limit contact with this person.
On the other hand, constantly keeping a watchful eye on your partner or questioning their loyalty will not lead to trust being established.
No matter how understandable it may be that you are trying to prove that they are trustworthy, it can become a problem if you keep pushing them away.
So, if your partner is really sorry for breaking your trust, it is important to have a conversation with each other and come up with reasonable expectations that you can both stand by.
This way, you can begin rebuilding the trust that was once lost.
The road to recovery may be a long one, but if you both remain dedicated to giving it your all, then trust will be restored in no time!
Learn To Not Dwell On The Past & Focus On The Future.
When dealing with the aftermath of a betrayal, it can be difficult to move forward and trust again.
It is common for individuals to become fixated on the past in an attempt to make sense of what happened and to cope.
However, ruminating on the lie for too long may deepen wounds and prohibit progress.
To move forward, forgiveness is a must, but this does not mean absolving your partner of responsibility.
Instead, you should focus on building up the relationship through activities such as date nights and weekly check-ins to address any doubts or concerns.
With time, patience, and commitment, it is possible to gain trust in each other again.
Remind Yourself That It Takes Time.
Rebuilding trust is not an easy task, and it is not a linear process. It may take days, weeks, or even months to fully regain trust in a partner who has lied.
Even if one follows all the steps outlined by experts, there may still be days of doubt and anxiety over the betrayal.
Therapists can provide couples with tools for communicating productively and rebuilding their relationship.
Couples therapy can also help individuals manage their feelings of mistrust moving forward.
It is important to remember that no matter how much damage the lie has caused, both partners have control over how they proceed in the relationship going forward and the possibility exists that they may even come out of the experience stronger than before.