How do you restore trust in your relationship after betrayal? Is it possible? Do you even want to?
These are questions you may be asking yourself if you’ve been betrayed by someone you love. You may be wondering how to restore trust in your relationship.
First, you need to decide if this relationship is for you. We can lose trust for many different reasons, some are small, others are catastrophic. At what level is the feeling of betrayal for you? We are all very different. For some, forgiving a lie about finances (depending on the scale) can feel relatively minor. For others, the very same lie can feel like a substantial breach of trust. It all depends on how we perceive the act and the meaning behind the act.
If you have decided you want to give this person another chance, and you want to get past the hurt, here are a few thoughts that can help you on your way.
This is a big one. But let’s stop and think about what this means. To forgive has two aspects, behavioral and emotional. Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
I would argue that it’s easier to forgive on a behavioral level than an emotional level. Its easy to not-punish someone we love. But forgiving does not mean forgetting. It takes time to heal our feelings.
Give yourself time
Understand that even if you have decided to stay in your relationship, you most likely will not feel the same way you felt before the trust was broken for some time. But if both partners are committed to making the relationship work, it is necessary to trust that there is a good chance that it will. Even if you don’t feel trust again right away.
Acknowledge the importance of apology
Many people find it difficult to apologize. Apologizing can bring up feelings of vulnerability and fear. Especially if they grew up in families where wrongdoings were not usually acknowledged and apologies were not given or accepted.
It is important the offender acknowledge they have done something wrong. If your partner has hurt you and does not apologize, how can you forgive if he/she doesn’t acknowledge they made a mistake? if there is no apology, steps need to be taken to open up the lines of communication. Uncomfortable feelings need to be addressed on both sides. Make sure your needs for an apology and honest discussion are met.
Couples counseling can help
Couples counseling can help you and your partner change the way you behave with each other. Your therapist can help you understand the core issues that underlie repeated behavior patterns. The aim of couples counseling is to find healing, not just for one of you but both of you. If you would like to learn more, you are welcome to call and book an appointment or fill out our contact form and click Send.
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