20 Ways to Rebuild Trust In a Relationship
In This Article
Trust and relationship go hand in hand. Relationships affect us deeply, so it’s no surprise that when a relationship goes wrong, it can make it difficult to be vulnerable with someone new and start building trust after a bad relationship immediately.
When a partner breaks your trust or betrays you through infidelity, it can be hard to put your faith in a romantic partner. You can develop relationship trust issues while still recovering from a bad relationship.
How to trust after a toxic relationship?
Letting go of trust issues after a toxic relationship is the best thing you can do for yourself. But leaving a toxic partner can make you feel wary about starting a new relationship. Even if you want to love and trust someone else, making it happen feels like an uphill battle.
Learning to trust again after a bad relationship or when trust is broken can be trying for both partners, but with a little effort, you can have a successful new relationship. Don’t let what happened in the past affect your future relationships.
Why is trust important in relationships? Watch this video by marriage expert John Gottman on the importance of trust.
How can trust be broken in a relationship – 5 ways
You may end up breaking your partner’s trust by doing things that were decided to be deal-breakers or off-bounds in the relationship. While these can vary for each couple, some common things that can lead to the breaking of trust in romantic relationships include the following –
One of the most common problems that can ruin trust in a relationship is cheating or infidelity. Again, every couple may define cheating with their own set of rules in their marriage or relationship. While someone might consider an emotional connection with a third person as cheating, others might only look at the physical aspect when it comes to cheating.
Either way, when the terms around cheating are not adhered to by a partner, it can be a reason the other partner feels betrayed.
Another instance where a partner can feel that their trust has been broken is when they are lied to. It might have nothing to do with a third person or cheating. However, when you lie about one thing, it raises questions in your partner’s mind as to what other things you could have lied to them about.
This can become a common reason for mistrust in the relationship.
3. Broken promises
We all make promises when we are in love. All of us may not be able to keep all the promises we make. However, when the list of broken promises is too long, it can become a reason for distrust in the relationship.
4. Withholding information
Another common reason for mistrust in relationships can be withholding information. In a marriage or a relationship, your partner is your partner in everything. If you withhold important details or information from them, they are likely to feel betrayed.
5. Not taking responsibility or accountability
Another reason people can lose trust in their partner is when they do not take responsibility or accountability for their actions. Such actions can make your partner feel that you cannot be relied upon.
Reliance is usually a very important quality that people look for in relationships, and the absence of it can cause mistrust.
20 tips on how to rebuild trust in a relationship
So, what are the steps to rebuilding trust in a relationship? How do you build trust in a relationship again? Here are 8 steps for building trust after a bad relationship.
1. Take time for yourself
Leaving a bad relationship is tough, but building trust after a bad relationship is tougher. These types of partners can damage your ego, your mental health, and your ability to trust. It is wise to take some time for yourself after getting out of a bad relationship before pursuing another romantic interest.
Taking your time gives you the opportunity to get to know yourself. You could use this time to grieve your past relationship, start a hobby, reconnect with friends, travel, focus on your career, or simply use the time to relax.
2. Make a list
How to build trust in a relationship again? Start with making a list!
Now that you have been in a bad relationship, you know better what you will and will not tolerate in a new relationship.
To regain trust in a relationship, make a list of positive qualities they would like to see in a future romantic partner and a list of behaviors, habits, and characteristics you will not tolerate from someone.
3. Reconnect with your support system
How to fix a relationship once trust is broken? Reconnect with people you know will have your back.
Maintaining your relationships with friends and family can be difficult when you are in a bad relationship.
Your ex may have taken up most of your time, which alienated you from your support system. This is common in toxic relationships since it forces you to depend completely on your ex.
Now that you’re free of their bad influence, it’s time to reconnect with your loved ones. These relationships will help you heal from your breakup and teach you that trustworthy people are out there so that you can easily build trust in a new relationship moving forward.
They will act as a strong support system to see you through any trials that may come up in your life.
Related Reading: 20 Steps to Becoming a Supportive Partner
4. Go slow in romance
Just because you’re now single doesn’t mean you have to jump into a new relationship. If you are not ready to be in a relationship, don’t pursue someone as a rebound. It is not fair to you, nor is it fair to your crush.
When you are ready to be with someone new, take your time. Building trust after a bad relationship may take repeated efforts with different partners before you find someone to get serious with.
While understanding how to rebuild trust in a relationship, be cautious with your new partner and use your head and heart until you can trust them.
5. Communicate with your partner
Whether you’re starting a new relationship or have been with someone for years, communication will be your most important tool for maintaining a healthy bond. If you are starting a new relationship, you should communicate openly about your last relationship with your partner.
Tell them how your partner treated you and how it made you feel, and explain honestly to your partner about how you may be triggered by certain behavior or phrases for a while.
Being open about your trust issues will help your partner work with you to help build trust and a strong foundation for your relationship instead of working against you.
6. Your partner is not your ex
If you want to learn how to build trust after a bad relationship, you must remind yourself that your partner is not your ex. They have done nothing to make you question their loyalty or their affection for you.
You may have to drum into your mind a number of times and learn ways to rebuild trust in a relationship before your head, and your heart see things the same way.
7. Trust your instincts
To learn how to build trust after a bad relationship, you must learn how to trust yourself first. Bad relationships don’t usually start that way.
At first, you may have been very happy with your partner. You may even have thought they were good for you. But over time, the relationship became toxic for both of you.
During the period of toxicity in your relationship, you likely had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right. You didn’t like the way you were being treated or acknowledged that the behavior you were sharing wasn’t healthy. You may have ignored these gut feelings because you wanted to salvage the relationship.
This time, learn to trust your gut feelings and follow your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, call your partner out on it. This time around, pay close attention to red flags.
On the other hand, if your gut tells you that your new partner is worthy of your trust, go with it. Don’t punish them for a past partner’s mistakes if there is no basis for it.
Also Try: Relationship Trust Quiz: Does Your Relationship Have It?
8. Change your outlook
If you keep telling yourself that all women are liars or that all men cheat, you may start to believe it. When trust is gone, nothing feels right.
If you are learning to trust in a relationship, you must change your outlook on relationships. Don’t let one apple spoil the whole bunch, even if that apple was particularly rotten.
Let your new partner show you that they are someone who can be trusted and that they have your best interest in mind.
The behavior you experienced in a toxic relationship can leave you feeling distrustful of a new partner, but can you learn to trust your partner after a failed relationship?
The answer to this question is really simple. By making time for yourself, having open communication with a new partner, and having a lot of patience you can learn to rebuild trust after a bad relationship.
9. Practice active listening
Active listening does not mean you must silently listen to your partner without involving yourself in the conversation. It means listening to your partner and understanding their joys and issues.
Active listening is a sign of true commitment and an answer for how to rebuild trust in a relationship. In this, you ensure that you do not interrupt your partner as they speak, and you do not take their concerns as an attack on yourself.
Related Reading: How to Use Active Listening and Validation to Improve Your Marriage
10. Apologize for your mistakes
As another way of how to rebuild trust in a relationship, you need to be prompt with an apology when you make a mistake instead of flinching away from accepting your mistakes.
Acknowledging your mistakes might feel like hurting your ego, but it’s essential in the long run when your partner needs to learn to trust again.
11. Let them see the change
Actions speak louder than words.
Once you apologize, the next step for how to rebuild trust in a relationship is to put your efforts into action. Apologizing is not enough. To regain trust in a relationship, say the right words, do the right things and show them your sincere efforts to help them figure out your changed behavior.
12. Pay attention to physical intimacy
Physical intimacy lays the foundation of a strong relationship. It is one of the most important elements that bind the partners together.
When you are moving towards trusting your partner, ensure that you do not let go of intimacy just because your partner is upset with you. Make a move. Hug them. Cuddle with them and let them know how much you care about them. A small touch can do great wonders in adding sweetness to the relationship.
13. Set relationship goals
Relationship goals help the couple look forward to something fruitful for the relationship. They help the couple focus on the efforts that will bring positive results.
You can set these goals that you can work productively on and benefit the relationship. It will also help you work together and put the mind off distrust and complaints against each other.
Related Reading: 35 Relationship Goals for Couples & Tips to Achieve Them
14. Recreate old memories
You both got together for a reason. Remember when you both were so in love and expressed it without inhibitions?
As the years go by, couples often get too busy in their lives and take each other for granted. So, recall those old times and recreate those memories. It could be as simple as going to the restaurant where you had your first date to kissing at the spot where you both first kissed.
15. Be transparent
Transparency in a relationship is of utmost importance. This builds trust between the partners and helps them understand each other.
Being transparent means having no secrets from your partner. It means no hidden messages, no hidden finances, and not hiding emotions as well.
16. Resolve personal issues
To build trust within the relationship and gain someone’s trust back, you need to build trust with yourself first. Practice the art of self-forgiveness and start your healing journey.
It could seem like a tough road, but with this process, you will definitely bring positivity to the relationship.
17. Understand the reasons behind the betrayal
You may have felt betrayed by your partner if they lied to you or cheated on you. However, suppose you have decided to give the relationship another try and want to rebuild the trust in your marriage or relationship. In that case, it is vital to understand why the lying or cheating happened in the first place.
While it does not justify it, it does help you see the bigger picture and understand why it must have happened in the first place, and rectify the part of the problems you might have faced.
18. Practice forgiveness
Another way to build trust in your relationship is to practice forgiveness. Irrespective of who made the mistake that led to mistrust in the first place, forgiveness has to be given to both people. You might think forgiving your partner is enough when they have done something that has harmed your relationship.
However, forgiving yourself for not seeing it in time, allowing unhealthy behavior, or for things you did that led to this is very important if you want to rebuild trust in the relationship.
19. Do not live in the past
Another way to rebuild trust in a relationship is to let go of what has gone wrong and try to move on from it.
The more you live in the past, of how things used to be, or what went right or wrong with the relationship, the more it will outweigh your present situation. See what is the best way forward, and stop holding on to what was.
20. Understand your partner’s needs
When the relationship has gone through something traumatic or trust has been broken, one thing that is likely to change is a person’s needs.
If your partner did not require much reassurance at first, they might need the reassurance now. As part of rebuilding trust in a relationship, understand your partner’s needs now, and try to give them that.
Having an open conversation about the same can help.
5 signs of lack of trust in a relationship
Now that you understand how you can rebuild lost trust in a relationship, it is also important to know when it is time to implement those tips. How would you know that the trust in your relationship is lacking?
Here are five signs that can help.
Some people have had bad childhoods where they did not have someone they could trust around them.
This can lead to unresolved trauma and cause trust issues. Similarly, people with an emotionally-absent parent may have abandonment issues, so they might find it difficult to trust people.
2. Different value systems
Another reason for mistrust is when your partner has values that are extremely different from yours. When you do not share your values, their values might not make much sense to you, and you may not trust each other.
3. Attachment styles
People with different attachment styles may find it difficult to trust the other person in the relationship. People with a secure attachment style may not have trust issues, but those with an anxious attachment style, especially, can find it difficult to trust or rely on someone else.
Related Reading: How Attachment Styles Affect Relationships
4. Unrealistic expectations
Another reason for mistrust in a relationship could be unrealistic expectations in a relationship. If one person has unrealistic expectations from their partner, they will obviously not be able to meet them.
If they cannot meet these expectations, the partner might feel that they cannot rely on their partner, even for no fault of theirs.
5. Unreliable behavior
Suppose one partner is unreliable and does not take responsibility or accountability for anything in their life or relationship. In that case, it is only natural for their partner to be unable to trust them.
How to know when rebuilding trust is possible
Now that you are aware of the signs of mistrust in a relationship, and know how to rebuild trust, it is also vital to know when rebuilding trust in a relationship is possible, and when, unfortunately, it is time to let go.
To know when rebuilding a relationship after trust is broken is possible, look for these signs.
1. The person at fault admits their mistake
Maybe it was one of you who did something that caused mistrust in the relationship, or maybe both of you were at fault.
Either way, if the person who made the mistake admits to it, and is willing to accept the damage it has done to the relationship, rebuilding trust might be possible and even worth it.
2. You are willing to let go of the past
Another sign that rebuilding trust in the relationship is possible is when you are willing to let go of the past. If one or both of you wish to hold on to what happened, it might not be a good idea to try trust-building because then it might not work out.
3. You decide not to keep secrets anymore
One of the reasons why trust is broken is when one or both partners in a relationship start to keep secrets from each other.
A sign that rebuilding trust in a relationship is possible is when you both decide not to keep secrets from each other anymore.
4. You are willing to move past anger and resentment
When trust is broken in a relationship, you are likely to feel angry and resent your partner for a while, for doing you wrong. However, you know rebuilding trust is possible when you are willing to look past the hurt, anger, and resentment and willing to give your partner and the relationship another try.
More on how to rebuild trust in your relationship
Here are some of the most frequently and popularly asked questions related to rebuilding trust in a relationship.
Can trust ever be fully regained?
Trust can be rebuilt completely if both partners decide to move on from the setback and are willing to put time and effort into the relationship to make it work.
Trust is one of the foundations of a relationship, and its absence can hamper the health of your marriage. Regaining trust is possible, but at the same time, it is also extremely important if you want to keep a marriage healthy.
Can a relationship last without trust?
Well, while it may survive little roadblocks, a relationship without trust might not be able to stand the test of time.
Since trust in a relationship is required to get through the worst of troubles, it can be a prerequisite in a long-term, healthy relationship.
Related Reading: 20 Ways to Build Positive Relationships
How to rebuild trust in a relationship can seem like a difficult task, but with teamwork, it can be easily achieved. To repair trust in a relationship, these steps can do wonders and add a lot of positivity to the relationship. Make sure you make consistent efforts and enjoy the journey.
If you struggle to rebuild trust in the relationship, relationship counseling is also a good idea.
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