“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” – Stephen R. Covey
Indeed, trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship. It’s some kind of magic glue that holds all of the most important parts of a relationship.
Of course, we are all humans and none of us is perfect. We make mistakes and those mistakes can cost us to lose our partner’s trust.
Fortunately, rebuilding trust in your relationship is possible. It’s all up to you, whether you want to make your relationship work again or not.
So, the most important question then is how to build trust in a relationship?
Without trust, no relationship can last. If there are trust issues, then there isn’t true love. Being able to trust your significant other can help your relationship grow and take it to a deeper level.
Building trust in a healthy relationship is a gradual process. It can’t happen overnight. It requires time and commitment from both partners.
A lack of trust is one of the most common reasons for a relationship to fall apart because where there is no trust, there is no love.
If your previous romantic relationship has left you with trust issues, then building trust in a new relationship will be more difficult for you.
Those lessons from the past will never let you rely on your partner and trust them completely.
Here are some of the most effective ways to build trust with your significant other.
How to establish trust in a relationship
If you just started a new relationship, the first thing you probably want to do is establish trust with the other person.
You want to see whether you can trust that person because you know that without trust, your relationship has no future.
In order to establish and build more trust in a new relationship, it’s important to take small steps first. Trust-building is a process that requires a lot of time and patience.
Here are a few steps that will help you to establish trust with someone you’ve just started dating.
1. Trust yourself before you start trusting someone else
If you had some bad experiences in your previous relationships or if your previous partner betrayed you, then you have trust issues and you probably never let people in for fear that they will let you down.
The battle to let someone new in is difficult but you have to fight it. Maybe you even use those trust issues as a form of self-protection.
But trust me, there are still good people in this world, people who are worthy of your love and your trust.
First, you have to accept that you will also make some mistakes. You’ll trust some people who will eventually betray you but don’t let that affect your self-confidence.
Don’t let those trust issues affect your self-esteem or self-worth. If you don’t believe in yourself and you can’t see how much you are worth, how can you believe your partner will?
2. Forgive yourself
You have to forgive yourself for all your past mistakes and the people who betrayed and hurt you. The latter aren’t actually your mistakes.
You trusted them because you loved them. They used your love and eventually betrayed you.
Forgive them for that, forgive yourself for making some bad choices and move on.
Accept your mistakes and let them help you evolve into a better person and be honest with yourself.
If you’ve done something wrong or you made a bad decision that affected you badly, you have to admit that you messed up.
Remember, that a mistake doesn’t define you; accept it as it is—just one small mistake. Learn from it, don’t let that happen again and move on.
You have to learn to forgive yourself for your past mistakes. You have to be able to trust yourself before you trust others.
3. Get to know your partner better
If you’ve just started dating someone new, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt. That’s the only way they’ll get a chance to gain your trust and prove themselves to you that they’re trustworthy.
Sometimes, you have to take a gamble in a relationship. You have to take risks and trust someone, even though you don’t know them well.
That’s, of course, if they don’t give you any reasons to think the opposite.
4. Be honest about your own feelings
Don’t be afraid to talk about your feelings with your partner. Being able to talk about your emotions shows a deeper level of trust in your relationship.
If you have a feeling that something is going on, that your partner is hiding something from you or lying to you, you have to talk to them about it.
Also, don’t be afraid to tell them how you feel about them. If you love them, tell them.
Don’t be sad or mad at yourself if they use your honest feelings to hurt you; then they’ll lose you and it’ll only be their loss.
5. Keep promises
If you’ve made a commitment to someone that you are going to keep your word, the only right and moral thing to do is keep that promise.
If you have to show someone that you’re trustworthy, you have to keep promises about the little things just as much as the big things.
This is an incredibly important part of a healthy relationship. Your partner will appreciate it as one of your best traits. If you break a promise you gave your partner, it is the same as if you lied to them.
If you continue to make promises and then repeatedly break them, you will most definitely lose your partner’s trust.
6. Keep their secrets
If your partner said something to you in confidence, it means that you’ve already gained their trust.
They chose to trust you. Now, you have to prove to them that they chose well. You have to keep secrets that your partner tells you.
Don’t share them with anyone, not even with your best friend or a family member.
You promised them that their secret would be safe with you and you have to keep that promise. Otherwise, not only will you lose your partner’s trust but you’ll also hurt their feelings.
Revealing your partner’s secrets is going to make them change their opinion about you and maybe also their feelings.
Before you do something like that, you have to ask yourself whether it is really worth it.
7. Stop digging into your partner’s past
You can always ask your partner about their past but you shouldn’t spy on them or dig into their past.
If you’ve just started dating, you have to give them the benefit of the doubt, until they prove you different.
Only when they give you reasons to doubt them are you allowed to spy on them or do whatever will help you find out the truth.
If your partner catches you digging into their past, you’ll lose their trust because you did it without their consent.
Even if you find out something bad about the person you’re dating, you have to know that their past isn’t a reflection of who they are now. You can’t judge them by their past.
Just think how you would feel if someone did the same thing to you. Wouldn’t you be angry if you’d found out that your partner was digging into your past behind your back?
Would you like to be defined by your past and be judged based on some of your mistakes from the past? I think not. Then you should think it through before you start creeping on your SO.
8. Give it time
Like we’ve already said, trust-building is a gradual process; it’s something that can’t happen overnight. Building mutual trust is a process that works on a continuous basis.
First, you have to get to know the person you’re dating. You have to create intimate and personal relationships with them.
Don’t rush anything. You have to see whether they’re worth your time and your trust.
How to build the trust back in your relationship
Trust is one of the most crucial building blocks for any intimate relationship. However, don’t panic if you’ve lost your partner’s trust.
Like we already said, fortunately, it’s possible to rebuild your relationship after a breach of trust and here is how you’ll do it.
1. Good communication is key
You have to learn to communicate effectively. You’ll have fights throughout your relationship, as every other couple has, but you must learn to handle those in a healthy and respectful way.
Good communication is key to solving all the problems in your relationship. If you need to discuss something with your partner, doing it over the phone isn’t going to help you. If you ask me, this should be one of the most important pieces of marriage advice.
Phone calls are useless in this situation. In order to have a more efficient conversation with your partner, you should talk face-to-face and make eye contact during the chat.
This is the only way your partner will know that you’re telling the truth. Making eye contact can help you to leave the impression of a confident person who has nothing to hide or lie about.
2. Accept your mistakes and apologize for them
If you did something wrong to your partner, you have to accept it and deal with the consequences. You have to show them that you know you made a mistake and hurt them.
They must see that you’re always ready to take responsibility for your actions.
Never be too proud to apologize to your significant other for your mistakes. Otherwise, if you’re being too stubborn to apologize, you’ll only lose the person you love.
Also, you have to apologize in an effective way. You have to mean it. The most important thing is that you have to promise them you’ll never make the same mistake again and you have to really mean it.
3. Express your feelings
If you’re angry at your partner because of something they did to you, you have to tell them. You have to be free to express your feelings whenever you feel the need to do so.
If you think that might cause a fight and ruin your relationship, trust me, it won’t but suppressing your emotions will.
4. Listen carefully to what your partner has to say
When you let your partner apologize for something, you must listen to them carefully. Don’t interrupt, just let them talk.
If your partner sees that you’re listening carefully to what they have to say, they’ll open their heart to you more.
That’s the only way to rebuild trust in your relationship, through talking and listening.
5. Give both you and your partner some space
If your loved one needs some alone time to think about your relationship, you have to give it to them.
That doesn’t mean that they’ll leave you for sure, it means that they aren’t sure of their own feelings or your relationship and they need some alone time to figure it out.
You also need some alone time. You need to think about your feelings, your partner and your relationship. You have to decide whether it’s worth fighting for.
How to build trust in a relationship again after cheating?
Very often, we believe that there is no such thing that could cause our partner to stop trusting us and that it is very easy to explain ourselves and our acts.
We think we can handle every possible issue that appears in such a way that nobody gets hurt and everything is fine.
Unfortunately, this can be a fatal mistake in many cases because trust is something that is built in a slow manner but it is lost in such a fast way that before you even know it, you end up without the person you love.
This means that even when someone trusts us unconditionally, trust is such a fragile thing that only one mistake can break it and it is then immensely difficult to repair it.
It is not impossible but it will definitely require more effort than the first time you earned someone’s trust.
It is a fact that many times in their life, someone does something they later regret later and it was way less effort doing it than admitting we did. Betrayal is one of those things.
Even though it is not easy, these following steps can help you to gain back the lost trust and to give your relationship a fresh start.
1. Think about your feelings first
When trust is broken, it is rarely just one thing that led to the point where you betrayed your partner and lost their trust.
Before you begin to fix the problem with them, that is why you need to fix the thing that made you do it in the first place.
Think about the way you felt while doing something that you probably knew would hurt your partner and what feeling it brought you in the end.
The biggest possibility is that you now feel even worse than before doing it, so before dealing with them, you need to deal with yourself.
2. Make peace with yourself
What you did was wrong and you know it. Now that you do, it will be easier to forgive yourself for what you did and make your partner forgive you as well.
Do not beat yourself up over the mistake; that won’t fix it, it will only make you feel miserable.
What you need to do at this point is admit to yourself and your partner that a mistake has been made and promise yourself first that it won’t happen again.
It does not matter what the mistake was, you need to make sure it will not be repeated.
3. Go back
One month, two months, half a year… rewind the tape until you find the moment when you believe the problem started.
Find the exact time when you started to feel like something was wrong and think about the ways in which you could do something differently this time.
By doing this, you will discover what made you hurt your significant other in the way that you did, you will discover where you made all the little mistakes before, all of which led you to the great one, the one that made your partner lose their faith in you.
4. Take responsibility
This is not easy, that is for certain. Still, if you followed the previous steps, this means that you came clean with yourself and it is now much easier to come clean with your partner.
Do not try to run from what you did, as it will make your partner run from you. Be an adult and confess if you cheated on them. Give yourself and your partner some time to go through affair recovery.
The worst-case scenario for both you and your partner would be your partner finding out from someone else, as it would humiliate them and by this point, your chances of getting them back are nowhere to be found.
5. Change your point of view
Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and imagine how you would feel if the situation was reversed—if you were the betrayed one.
Think about your reaction in that situation, as this will give you the best insight into your partner’s mind.
By doing this, not only will you be able to understand them in a better way but it will also motivate you to not repeat your mistake ever again because now you know what it feels like and what your actions have caused.
6. Give your partner space
Accepting that someone whom you love profoundly and trust endlessly betrayed you is not an easy task, so give your partner both time and space to let the information sink in.
You must be aware that they are the hurt one in this situation, so show understanding and leave them alone for a while.
It is not easy for them to wrap their brain around what they just found out, it takes time. Do not be pushy and if they ask you not to contact them for some time, you have to respect their wishes.
Seeing you and having you around them at this point is anything but painless; it keeps reminding them of what you did and makes scenarios and images in their mind even worse, so take a step back and let them be without your presence for a bit.
7. Let them release their anger
They have every right to be angry and disappointed and to have any other possible emotion at this moment.
This can be related to any kind of mistake that you made, whether you cheated on your partner, revealed their biggest secret or kept hidden something that they had every right to know.
All of these trigger different kinds of emotions of course but the way to heal those wounds is almost always the same.
You need to be ready to hear everything they have to say, even if their words might hurt you and they will most likely say something just to hurt you back.
8. Communicate with them
Only once they are ready, of course. You need to be patient and they will be ready to talk to you and hear you out eventually, so use your chance.
Talk openly about your feelings and about what made you do what you did and try to make them understand your side of the story as well.
At this point, do not expect them to accept that they have any blame in what you did, so be careful not to drive them even further away from you.
Be honest, do not lie and do not hide any details. The sooner they find out every single detail, the sooner they will process the whole thing in their head.
9. Show commitment
Words only are not enough, actions are what will show your partner that you mean what you say. Be there for them, show them that you care and keep your promises.
In your situation, any sign of you being ungrateful for the chance you have been given will infuriate your partner and tear apart any progress.
So, if you say you will call them, then call; if you say you will make dinner, make dinner. Show them that you did not say that you’ll be there for them just to bail on them again.
One step at a time, step by step and things will eventually get back to normal.
10. Do not expect them to forget
If your partner decides to forgive you and give you a second chance, do not take this as if they have completely forgotten about what you did.
That is impossible and there will be many situations that will remind them of it.
Of course, this does not mean that they should rub it in your face every chance they get but only that there will be times when this will come to their mind and you need to be OK with that.
After all, this is a wound that is not easily healed.
11. Create new memories
A weekend getaway, going to the cinema, a trip to the beach…All of these can serve you well with rebuilding your partner’s trust toward you.
Create new positive experiences, make them feel good around you again and remind them why they fell in love with you in the first place.
Our mistakes should not define us, so remind them of what does define you; remind them of your kindness and your patience, make them laugh with you and form a new connection.
12. Focus on the future
The last but not least step in this process is to focus on the present time and your future.
Going back to the past all the time won’t do any good once you have already revealed its problems. After you use it to help you, leave the past in the past.
Do not be the one who reminds them of your mistake; instead, make plans with them and openly communicate your desires—both yours and your partner’s.
Look ahead of you, think of the good you could create together and design a vision in which you are happily ever after.
Putting your trust in someone is always a gamble because you never know whom you can trust completely.
Remember that even the people who are closest to you can betray you.
It’s not true that it’s impossible to rebuild broken trust. You just have to know how to build trust in a relationship in the most efficient way.