How To Rebuild Broken Trust In A Relationship

Build healthy and enriching relationships with these practical and effective strategies.

Reviewed by Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill, Ed.S., LMFT
By Harini Natarajan, Certified Emotional Intelligence Practitioner

Trust is an essential component for a healthy, strong relationship. But what if trust is broken? How to rebuild trust in a relationship? Trust is the foundation for any bond, and you need to put in a lot of effort and dedication to rebuild it.

Reestablishing trust also needs commitment and consistent actions. Though it could be a laborious process, it is possible to gain your partner’s trust once again. You need to be patient, honest, and sincerely make an effort every day.

But if you are wondering how you can ever do it, worry not. We have listed the 10 wonderful ways you can rebuild trust in your relationship. Check them out here.

10 Ways To Rebuild Trust In A Relationship

1. Consider The Reason Behind The Lie Or Betrayal

Consider the reason behind lie or betrayal to rebuild broken trust in a relationship

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When betrayal happens, you might not be concerned about what caused it. You are just overwhelmed with emotions. What happened? When? Where? What circumstances led to this betrayal? All these are essential questions that will help you clarify the situation. People often lie when they don’t know what else to do. This doesn’t make their choice right, of course. But thinking through this can help you consider how you might have reacted in their position.

Your partner may have lied to you to protect themselves or they wanted to protect you from bad news. Knowing the real reasons behind their actions will help you decide if you’ll be able to rebuild the lost trust and faith.

2. Communicate And Work On Your Relationship

Communicate and work on your relationship to rebuild the broken trust

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One of the most significant aspects to rebuild trust after a betrayal is to communicate and start working on your relationship. Observe your partner’s sincerity and give them a fair chance to talk. You may find it uncomfortable and emotionally draining – but you must see if your partner is genuinely remorseful for their actions or are just being defensive of them.

If you want to work on reconstructing your trust, make sure both of you are willing to work on the relationship. Miscommunications and misunderstandings can lead to further problems. A significant step towards reconstructing faith is simply checking in and making sure both parties are on board and are willing to put in the work to make the relationship happen.

3. Apologize

Apologize to rebuild broken trust in your relationship

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To rebuild trust in your relationship, you have to take responsibility for your actions, own up to them, and most importantly, apologize for what you have done. Do not justify your actions with any excuses or lame explanations. Approach the apology with openness and let your partner ask you any questions that they may have about the situation.

Your partner has the right to be vexed about the breach of trust – so do not take their emotions with levity. You will need to find inside of yourself genuine empathy for how you have hurt your partner. You should admit your wrongs, answer your partner’s questions, and eventually seek forgiveness. It is always better to be honest and forthright before they hear the story from someone else.

4. Learn To Forgive

Learn to forgive to rebuild broken trust in your relationship

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If you want to repair your relationship after betrayal, you have to practice forgiveness and learn how to forgive your significant other. Forgiveness can be difficult, especially when your trust has been broken – but it is not impossible. Holding a grudge will create doubt, restlessness, and resentment in you and destroy your peace of mind.

But do understand that forgiveness doesn’t excuse your partner’s behavior – it only gives you peace. Try to see things from your partner’s perspective – it can help you better understand the events that occurred. If you find yourself getting angry and frustrated, take a step back and try to remember the good qualities of your partner. Recognize that everyone has flaws and makes mistakes.

5. Don’t Withhold Your Feelings

Express your true feelings to rebuild broken trust in your relationship

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It is natural to get overwhelmed with so many emotions when you discover that your trust has been broken. You may not know how to express yourself. But hiding or suppressing your feelings will lead to a host of unhealthy and negative emotions. Take some time out for yourself to identify and understand the myriad of emotions you’re experiencing – it will all help your mental health. Whatever you feel at the moment – whether you need a good venting session, or want to cry, scream, or express your anger – please don’t keep it within yourself. Let your emotions out. This way, your partner will come to understand what is going on in your mind.

6. Be Willing To Let Go

Be willing to let go of the past to rebuild broken trust in your relationship

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After communicating or letting out your feelings, slowly you will need to stop dwelling in the past. Do not take your partner down memory lane and start referring to incidents that are not even closely related to what is happening in the present. Bringing up past offenses can ruin your present and break any chances of rebuilding trust. It can be challenging to start trusting someone who has lied to you before. But if you want to restore your bond, ultimately, you will need to let go of what happened. Create a positive mantra to counter your painful thoughts. Open your mind to allow for the positiveness that lies ahead of you.

7. Be Honest And Ask For What You Need

Be honest and ask for what you need to rebuild trust in a broken relationship

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The key to strengthening any relationship is to have an open and honest conversation about what you want. If you’re working towards rebuilding trust in your relationship, be very honest about your needs and what your partner must do to reconstruct the relationship. What would help you feel more secure in this relationship? Think through a few ideas and talk about them with your partner. Once you identify your needs correctly, you’d know what to expect from your partner.

8. Create New Memories

Create new memories to rebuild broken trust in your relationship

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Plan on creating new, everlasting memories and experiences together. It will help you both shift your focus from all the bad and negative that happened to something new and positive. Do things that will make you both reconnect positively. Memories are the building blocks of every relationship, and creating them will enrich your lives. New memories will instill a firm belief in both of you that you’re still capable of having happy interactions with each other.

9. Be Vulnerable

Be vulnerable to rebuild broken trust in your relationship

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If you want your partner to deeply know and completely understand you, you have to be more vulnerable. There are many preconceived notions about the term ‘vulnerability’. Still, when you’re genuinely looking forward to strengthening your relationship after a breach of trust, it is important to keep your ego aside and be vulnerable. The ability to be susceptible requires you to believe that you are worthy of a deep connection. It allows you to feel genuinely heard and understood by your partner. When you keep everything out in the open, you’ll feel loved, validated, and appreciated for who you are. This will create a strong level of intimacy with your partner.

10. Focus On The Future

Focus on the future to rebuild broken trust in your relationship

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When you’re trying to restore trust in a relationship, you must be willing to leave the past behind. It might be challenging, but it’s not impossible. You and your partner must focus on what’s ahead rather than dwell on the past mistakes. As you know, communication is key. Have an open and honest conversation about how you both want to move forward into a new phase of your relationship and start things afresh. Design a vision of your future together. Remember to focus on both short-term and long-term goals to strike a healthy balance in your relationship.

Every bond is built on the foundation of trust. When both partners trust one another and are open to resolving disputes, a partnership grows. But being fragile, trust can be easily broken. And once broken, it can be challenging to earn back. However, broken trust does not always imply that the relationship is over. You can certainly reestablish trust and mend your relationship with committed and consistent actions. Honesty, apology, patience, persistence, and deep conversations can go a long way when rebuilding trust in a relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can trust ever be fully regained?

Rebuilding trust in a broken relationship is difficult. While it may be regained with time, it depends on the nature of the offense/mistake and if both the partners are willing to put in their time and effort.

Can a relationship last without trust?

Trust is an essential factor in any relationship. Without trust, a relationship can not last.

Key Takeaways

  • Rebuilding broken trust in relationships may seem impossible, but if a couple is willing to put in honest and sincere efforts, they can mend the broken trust.
  • Both partners in a relationship must reflect on their past behavior and actions to identify the cause of dishonesty, openly communicate about it, and start working on them.
  • Apologies are due. Do not make excuses, shift the blame, or try to justify your mistakes. Unless you let your partner know that you acknowledge you were wrong and regret having hurt them, you cannot rebuild your relationship.
  • If you wish to move forward, forgive your partner for their mistakes. What has happened has happened. If you hold on to it, you will be stuck in the same place.
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Sharon Gilchrest O’Neill

(Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist )
Sharon Gilchrest O'Neill is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Family Business Consultant. She holds degrees in Marriage &... more

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