Repairing Hurt In A Relationship

5 Ways to Restore Trust in a Relationship


Nothing compares to the pain of feeling betrayed by the person you love and trust most. Whether it's disloyalty, dishonesty, unfaithfulness or withholding, betrayal can tear at the fabric of a relationship and make trust seem like an impossible goal. Here are five steps to restore trust and repair a damaged relationship, so you and your partner can start to move forward.


Provide a thorough apology. If your actions played a key role in your relationship troubles, you need to make amends. You don't have to take accountability for everything that has gone wrong in your relationship. You should, however, honestly assess your mistakes and apologize for the things you got wrong. Your apology should be specific, addressing your errors and how they impacted your partner. You should also express remorse and explain how you plan to avoid making the same mistakes going forward. If your partner is the one apologizing, be sure to listen attentively and give him or her a chance to make amends.


Forgive the other person. It is simply impossible to regain trust until you first regain control of your emotional well-being by cultivating inner peace with the situation. Many people are reluctant to forgive, because they don't want to let the other person off the hook. In reality, forgiveness isn't about someone else; it's about your emotional freedom. If you find yourself struggling to overcome anger and resentment, try to step back and recognize your partner's qualities. You should also try to remember that we are all imperfect people who make mistakes.


Forgive yourself. Perhaps you made a key mistake in your relationship or have fooled yourself into taking responsibility for the other person's transgressions. Either way, it's important to forgive yourself if you want to move your relationship forward. Self-forgiveness requires self-acceptance and self-compassion. It means recognizing you have tremendous self-worth and deserve to be treated well, despite your flaws and vulnerabilities. Remember that your partner chose a certain behavior, and that choice is reflective of who they are, not you.


Address the future. It's easier to forgive someone if we believe they will not repeat the same mistakes. Ask your partner what behavior changes he or she would like to see from you and treat these requests with consideration and respect. If your partner did something to betray your trust, ask for specific behavior changes that will help repair your damaged relationship. This could be something as drastic as cutting off relationships; providing access to email or texts; limited use of social media; or financial accountability. It could also mean more date nights, more physical affection, increased openness about feelings and/or relationship counseling with a qualified therapist.


Start trusting again. It can be hard to accept, but there is always an element of faith when it comes to trusting another person. It's much easier to have faith when you haven't been let down. After a betrayal, however, you may feel overwhelmed by doubt, distrust and even paranoia. In the end, all you can do is decide whether the person has done or said enough to regain your faith.


Did your partner seem sincere when he or she apologized? Does your partner act with integrity in other areas of life? Were there unique circumstances that played a role in the mistake, or does the betrayal appear to reflect his or her overall character? If you feel good about the answers to these questions, you need to allow yourself to trust again. Only time will prove whether your trust is deserved. By withholding trust out of anger or fear, however, you make it impossible to emotionally reconnect and move your relationship forward in a healthy way.


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