What to Do About Broken Trust in a Relationship

What can we do about broken trust in a relationship

Broken trust in a relationship is something you and your loved one can come back from, but it takes delicacy, the desire to rebuild, and effort.

Sometimes in a relationship people do things that cause the trust to break. Let’s say one person calls or texts someone outside of the relationship. This can have a devastating effect on the other person.

What Leads to Broken Trust in a Relationship?

Broken trust in a relationship stems from things like secrets or people outside of our relationship meeting our unmet needs.

If this happens then trust has been severed. This can occur in relationships, so what can a couple do?

If someone is stepping out of the relationship it is likely that this person doesn’t feel loved or accepted, respected or valued. In essence they just don’t feel what they want to feel from the one they love.

If another person is interested in them and shows them attention and flatters them and makes them feel important, that can at times turn someone’s head. And if the other partner finds out about it, the relationship can become very difficult.

Repairing Broken Trust in a Relationship is a Delicate Process

Rebuilding a relationship after trust has been broken is a complicated, delicate process.

I work with people in this type of situation. And it takes some delicate hands to hold two people who don’t want to break up but can’t figure out a way back to where they were.

It’s hard to realize that where they were is not attainable anymore. That secure place where both people felt deeply connected with each other has changed. There can still be a good relationship, but it takes some doing.

The one who stepped outside the relationship must own what they did. Not in the way where they tell their partner what a terrible person they are, but in a noble way where they see the impact of their actions on their beloved.

Empathy is Part of Repairing Broken Trust

Empathy can help rebuild trust that's been broken in a relationship.

When the one who hurt the other can understand the pain and difficulty their partner is going through and really feel it, then the healing can begin. To feel another’s pain is called empathy.

It is when you hold a newborn and feel their tenderness. Or saying goodbye to a loved one where you both cry. This is the most vulnerable that you can get with another person.

Two people feeling something between them. Now if the person who talked to another outside the relationship can engender this kind of feeling and really understand what their beloved is feeling, then this is where we start.

Genuine, Sincere Apology and Rebuilding

A sincere apology is one of the first steps to repairing broken trust after something like infidelity in a relationship.

And the words that accompany this closeness are also very tender. They must come from the heart and convey what the person feels, and it might sound like, “Baby, I recognize that what I did hurt you. I am so sorry that I did that to you. I love you. I see that it was wrong of me. I am so sorry. I love you.”

That is a sincere apology. It doesn’t solve all the issues surrounding broken trust in a relationship, because hurt feelings take more than one conversation to heal. But it is a great start. If you are saying these things you might have to say them to your person in a different way many, many times.

And there must be a belief that the two of you can and will get through this. You will build a new foundation, and it will be made up of what has been missing, including your truth.

Ready to Repair the Broken Trust in Your Relationship?

Read a Book About Relationships

'Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship.' A book by Linda Nusbaum.

Learn how to communicate more softly, empathetically, and effectively by reading Linda’s book, Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help both of you feel more understood, connected, and loved. Give it a read.

Get Couples Counseling

Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.

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