A healthy relationship is built on commitment, honesty, respect, and trust. It takes time to build trust in a relationship, but it can be lost a little at a time or all at once, depending on the situation. A big trust-breaker is when one partner has an affair, but there are other ways for trust to be broken: perhaps one partner never follows through on promises, flirts with other men/women, continuously lies, or isn’t available for you when you need them.

These situations chip away at the trust you’ve built. Trust can be rebuilt, depending on the situation and the partners involved, but it isn’t an easy process; it takes commitment and patience from both sides.

Deal with your emotions: When your partner does something that makes you lose trust in them, it can be a painful, confusing experience. Dealing with these emotions is critical when trying to rebuild trust.

In order to deal with your emotions, you must be willing to communicate with your partner. Ask questions, and be honest with each other. Let them know exactly how they’ve hurt you.

“It is vital that the hurt person feels heard,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Janis A. Spring. “It’s easy to feel crazy with grief, and they need to understand that they have a language to talk about their pain.”

Apologize: When trying to rebuild trust, it helps to give the right type of apology at the right time. Truth About Deception advises that apologies work best after you’ve given it some thought and consideration. The best way to apologize is to say you’re sorry for the harm you’ve done. It is best to let an apology stand on its own, and it’s okay to offer an explanation once it’s asked for.

Talk about what made you do it: It’s important to talk about why you did what you did and take steps so that it doesn’t happen again. Opening up and taking responsibility for your own behavior will help prevent further infractions. If there is an addiction, be willing to attend meetings or do what is necessary to make it better. If there is loneliness in the marriage, make an appointment with a counselor.

See a therapist: Talking about your feelings is the best way to connect again. If you are serious about rebuilding your relationship and you haven’t make any headway on your own, seeking the help of a therapist might be beneficial. That way, you have a third-person mediator who knows how to listen effectively and ask questions to help each partner.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or via Twitter or Facebook.

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