Trust is one of the building blocks of any relationship. Along with love and respect, trust is the element that allows you and your partner to grow together, not only as partners, but as persons with individual lives.
But trust is also the element that is most fragile; the easiest to be broken. And it is the one that is hardest to rebuild. This is because once it is broken, you and your partner will start walking on eggshells just to find a common ground.
So how do you rebuild trust in a relationship? Here are ways that may help:
Lack of communication is often a reason couples lose their trust for each other. This is because when they do not talk, they distance themselves from each other and start to feel detached and uncared for. This should not be the case in the first place, but if you have already landed on such a slump, then it’s high time to start talking again.
Start talking. Tell your partner about your feelings, your whims and dreams, your issues and your thoughts about any topic. Let them know what’s in your head and where they are in your thoughts. And yes, give them the floor to speak as well. Listen to their ideas intently and proactively, so that by the end of the day, you two know where to move forward.
Communicating isn’t easy, true. But there are a lot of communication channels these days, so it would be best to make use of them as you see them fit.
Listening is not just part of effective communication; it is also an exercise of patience and understanding. This is very important in a relationship that has been tainted by broken trust, mainly because listening gives you both the opportunity to get to know each other again. Listening is also a way of showing your partner that you are there and you will stay by their side each and every step of the way.
Trust often gets broken not by superficial things, but rather by evasion and lack of attention. When you do not listen to your partner (and vice versa) you see open cracks and opportunities to find someone else to listen to you, to feel you, and comfort you, even if this is only on a platonic level. However, this platonic state can transition or even be misinterpreted into something deeper once your partner finds out, and this leads to the trust getting shattered into pieces.
So yes, it also begins by listening. Lend your ears. Give your time.
Couples who face trust issues but are willing to rebuild their bond are often recommended to go on a vacation. Sure, traveling does not immediately treat the problem, but it provides a great change in scenery. Maybe what you and your partner need is just a new environment so that you can take your relationship to a fresher reboot.
You need not go far; there are nearby places where you can spend a few days together with no distractions. It may also help if you go on a couples’ retreat, so you can meet other people who are going through the same ordeal.
4. Start doing things together.
Another reason trust becomes fragile in a relationship is when the couple doesn’t have the confidence in each other’s capacities. This leads them to finding others who have stronger faith in them and in what they can do. With that said, it would be better if you and your partner start doing things together, such as simple chores or games that require teamwork.
Doing these tasks or chores give the both of you the opportunity to see through each other’s strengths, skills, weaknesses. These are also the times when you are able to exercise your best qualities to achieve a shared goal, a goal that you will not be able to achieve by yourself. By doing these activities, you two are able to work together as one, and more importantly rebuild confidence towards each other again.
5. Dedicate time to spend together.
Trust issues are usually aggravated by not dedicating time for each other. This is because when either of you starts to prioritize other things and people rather than each other, you develop some sort of paranoia and think that your party is in the arms of someone else. To avoid this, it is best that you two dedicate a specific time to spend together.
Make it a point to go out on a date. Watch a movie, stroll in the park, or even just stay at home and cook a meal together. By giving your time, your partner will see that you are committed not only in making your relationship work, but in rebuilding your trust.
6. Turn to your support group.
Rebuilding trust in the relationship sometimes requires the help of other people. These include people who care about you as a couple, such as your family, closest friends, or your church. You may want to confide in them during times of distress, so that you can have a fresh perspective on your situation.
It is important, however, that your support group consists of people who are really concerned of both your relationship and your individual personalities. Confiding in the wrong people may only further cloud your judgment and they may also feed you with ideas that are unnecessary and detrimental to your relationship.
7. Pray together.
Lastly, praying together helps a lot in rebuilding trust, as you now put your problems to God. By praying together, you are both assured that despite facing issues as a couple, you are letting God lead the way towards finding a solution for your ordeal.
Broken trust pushes both of you to build walls to protect yourselves from feeling the pain that may arise in the future. And yes, without trust, both of you may just decide to end your relationship for good.