This post was updated on Oct 14, 2023
You’ve probably heard that trust is the foundation for strong, successful relationships. Without it, a relationship will fail to grow or progress and can eventually collapse under the weight of uncertainty.
You probably know that trusting your partner is the most important part of your relationship. At times, allowing for trust in a relationship and emotional intimacy is easier said than done. Emotional intimacy can be challenging for some to safely experience because of past romantic relationships or even from instability in relationships with friends and family members. Perhaps there has been past experience that prevents you from developing a deeper connection to feel secure or even healthy communication.
So what happens if you’re in a new relationship and you don’t have trust yet? What if you lose trust or the strong foundation you thought you had? Over time can you develop trust and get it back? If you’re struggling to build trust in a relationship, you may want to seek professional guidance at an intensive workshop or coaching to help you grow a solid relationship. In the meantime, read this article to learn action items that you can take today.
Can A Relationship Survive When Trust Is Broken?
Before you can start building trust, you must understand what trust means for your partner and yourself. It’s essential that you have open communication to express your expectations and thoughts, as well as and understand your partner’s feelings, so you both can feel secure in your relationship.
Building trust starts with sharing your hopes for the relationship and what you expect each other to do (or not do) to keep your love alive. Communicate openly with your partner and try to determine the best approach for your relationship. Take small steps, be patient, or try engaging in trust building activities like a relationship intensive workshop.
This article explores what you can do to work on trust issues to build a healthy relationship.
How Do You Build Trust In A Relationship?
Losing trust is far easier than building it back up. If there has been a betrayal, you may feel like you’ll never be able to trust your partner again. Still, it is possible to re-establish trust if both parties in a relationship are willing to put in the effort. If you and your partner wish to rebuild trust and connect on a deeper level to make the relationship work, you should know that it will take quite a bit of time, patience, and compromise.
Steps To Rebuilding Trust In A Relationship
Trust is an essential building block in any mature relationship. If you are determined to build a deeper and healthier connection with your partner, you will have to learn how to be comfortable around your partner again if trust has been broken. Here are 7 steps you can take to rebuild trust in your relationship:
1) Be Vulnerable
Be open and vulnerable with your partner by sharing things you often keep hidden. If you’ve been hurt in previous relationships, then it’s likely you want to avoid talking about expectations and risk showing your vulnerable side because you don’t want to be hurt again. However, the only way to make the relationship work is to be real and talk openly.
2) Communicate Openly
If you have something important to discuss, we recommend that this is always done in person. Although using text, email or even phone calls to communicate is useful, it can lead to misunderstandings as the real meaning of the message can be misinterpreted. Difficult feelings and topics are better shared in person, to ensure you are able to communicate effectively.
3) Keep Secrets
One big way to build trust is to keep your partner’s secrets if that is requested and healthy. Treasure and respect them. As a couple, the relationship deserves privacy and for each person to feel safe. It is also one of the ways you can build mutual respect for each other by honoring personal boundaries.
4) Keep Promises
Make it a priority to keep your promises to your partner. Whether it’s a small thing or a big thing, keep your commitments. This shows respect, support, and reliability, which is the key to build trust in a relationship. If you need to adjust or break your commitment, open communication in advance to show your partner you are paying attention and care about them. Thoughtful consideration prior to making a promise can also support your efforts to foster a healthy relationship.
5) Respect Each Other’s Differences
Before you can build trust, you must respect each other’s differences without judgment. Your partner will set boundaries for a reason. Do your best to avoid defensiveness and instead lean into curiosity. Even if you don’t understand why something is important to your partner, simply respect the fact that it is important. Good communication can help with understanding, while sometimes acceptance or respect is the best place you will land.
6) Be Forgiving
Trusting each other doesn’t mean mistakes won’t happen. When they do, the important thing is to be forgiving. Holding onto grudges erodes trust in relationships. Instead, let go of the hurt, accept the apology and move on. Seek support through individual therapy, couples therapy or coaching if you find yourself struggling with moving forward after your partner makes a mistake. Rebuilding trust takes time, and forgiveness is essential part of lasting relationships.
7) Be Supportive
It is critical to be supportive of each other. Being supportive allows you and your partner to sense you can be authentic by knowing someone has your back. It means you can have confidence knowing you’re supported whenever you take risks, learn new things or even make mistakes. Showing up for each other through quality time and making an honest effort to understand their interests and life are just a few of the many ways partners can support each other.
How Do You Trust After Betrayal?
If one of you has been betrayed in the relationship, then building trust back is very difficult, but it can be done if you both want to. In fact, intentional efforts to build trust is crucial for the relationship to survive.
So how do you begin to heal from betrayal and rebuild trust? Here are three steps that can help:
- Apologize/accept an apology. When trust is broken in a relationship, the first thing to do is to acknowledge the feelings of hurt, apologize and take responsibility for what has happened. You might need to give your partner time to process what has caused them to lose trust. Make the decision to show love, care and respect for each other through this process. If your partner’s actions have betrayed you, make an honest effort to accept the apology.
- Promise not to hurt again. This promise must be real and this promise must be kept. Just as important, the promise needs to be backed up with action. Without consistency in actions, it will impact a person’s ability to trust in a relationship.
- Analyze your feelings. If you were betrayed, then take time to analyze and understand your feelings. Don’t deny or dismiss hurt feelings. Instead, ask yourself, “How deeply am I hurt?” “How long do I want to keep this feeling of hurt?” “What do I want from this relationship?” Life experiences from the past can sometimes complicate your ability to heal, so understanding your feelings is key to recovering.
Trust must be earned. It takes time and consistency. Especially if there has been a betrayal. But it doesn’t have to be impossible. Approach your relationship and each other with mutual respect and understanding. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be real. Take responsibility for what you say you will do. Stay true to yourself, and your expectations and a trusting relationship will grow.
We Bring Intensive Private Couple Retreats For Reconnection
It is only when you have love and trust, that your relationship will thrive. Unfortunately, many couples struggle with overcoming intimacy issues and building a stable and trusting relationship. Everybody needs a little support from time to time, and reaching out to experienced relationship coaches may be just what you and your partner need to make the relationship work.
If you would like help building deep trust and creating healthy relationships, then contact PIVOT. By attending one of our couple’s retreats, you will learn how to deepen your connections, build honest communication and rebuild trust. Our relationship intensive retreats and our relationship coaching designed for individuals and couples can give you the tools you need to facilitate lasting change. Give us a call today!