You might recall a previous article all about building trust and how important trust is to healthy relationships. We talked, then, about how trust is a belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, and effective. We also talked about how trust is instinctive, or perhaps intuitive.
But what isn’t intuitive is learning how to trust again once it’s been broken and we feel we’ve been betrayed.
What Happens When Trust Has Been Broken?
Once trust has been broken, whether through lies, cheating, or other activities it can be tough to trust again. Depending on what has happened to cause a violation of trust the damage can range from minor and easy to repair to catastrophic and perhaps a total loss of the relationship.
The relationship itself, the emotional bond you have with your partner, is what takes the direct hit; it’s the epicenter of the damage. Soon mistrust and distrust form, loving your partner, and perhaps others even, feels far more vulnerable.
Protecting your heart becomes priority and distance forms between you and your partner. Emotional connection suffers and emotional intimacy is nearly obliterated. All of this can lead to a communication breakdown with an increase in conflict patterns.
It can be tough to pull yourself from that spiral and learn to trust again. But remember, trusting is an act of vulnerability. And vulnerability is powerful.
All hope is not lost though! Read on…
Rebuilding Broken Trust
All of this sounds pretty awful and like the whole relationship is dead in the water. But that just isn’t the case. True, your relationship is floundering, but you have the power to change that through vulnerability and the conscious act of rebuilding. So how can you start building trust?
- Step 1: Become fully aware of the nature and extent of the hurt you feel. If your feelings are dismissed or not validated in any way then feelings fester and trust can’t be rebuilt
- Step 2: The person that betrayed you must really see and acknowledge the hurt they have caused. Apologies must be sincere and heart felt.
Missing a step can stop the healing process and trust won’t be repaired.
Trust Building Activities to Do Together
Perhaps you’ve heard of trust falling? If not, it’s when one person stands behind you, and as you fall back toward them, you trust that person to catch you and not let you hit the ground. These trust building activities are stepping stones in creating a living breathing bond of trust with your partner. So what are some activities you and your partner can get out and do? (The following links contain affiliate links.)
- Answer each others questions without avoiding the topic.
- Don’t password protect your electronic devices. (It gives the illusion of mistrust)
- Go on a romantic vacation that you’ve planned together.
- Let the other partner drive.
- Plan mystery dates for each other.
- Text each other during the day.
- Surprise your partner with a pre-planned night out.
- Make a game out of it with these great conversation starter questions.
Building trust, and Maintaining Trust, doesn’t have to be a difficult task nor does it have to be a negatively emotional one either. These simple and actionable steps can help you start on a joyful pathway to trusting a new partner or rebuilding trust after it has been damaged.
JoyWork Suggestion: Make a habit of taking an actionable step each day and planning an activity every week. Let me know how you’re doing on the Accelerated JoyWorks Facebook page or in the comments below.
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