Updated: Apr 14
What do you do when trust is broken? How do you rebuild and restore trust with your husband or wife? Even though rebuilding trust in a marriage is not easy, trust can be rebuilt again after it has been broken. It will take time. And sometimes even years to regain complete trust in your marriage.
Below are 20 Tips to help you regain, restore, or rebuild trust in your marriage.
As you can see, I have focused in detail about most of the important ways to build trust because they are the same behaviors, thoughts, actions and choices that are required to heal and strengthen all relationships. Pick the most relevant ones to you at this moment and put them into practice today.
1. Apologize. Make amends and make a new commitment. Ask your spouse what you can do to earn back their trust. Be sure to read the article about apologies, highlighted for you.
2. Commit to living in Integrity. Promise yourself, and each other that you will be truthful even if it hurts. This is very challenging because one of the reasons we lie to to protect ourselves and others from feeling hurt.
3. Persist through Pain. Relationship struggles are extremely difficult. You have to fortify yourself to persist through the pain. We will all experience pain as we go through our lives, it is completely unavoidable. But understand two things, one "this too will pass". You won't feel unbearable pain forever. Take the time, and be willing to deal with your pain in healthy ways.
Number two, pain teaches us how to persist. Persistence is a quality required for us to succeed at just about everything. Don't be frustrated if your partner needs time to heal. Give them what they need. The more you persist at behaving in loving ways, the easier time your partner will have learning to trust you again.
5. Learn to disagree, discuss and even argue your differing points of view in a healthy way. It is getting more and more challenging in our society to agree to disagree. Opinions have been boasted by angry emotional steroids that keep us on the edge of rage for anyone we feel disagrees with us. Take a deep breath and realize that everyone does not have to have the same opinion as you do. The world is big enough for differing opinions.
6. Don't make future promises that you do not intend to keep. A promises is a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc. They are an expressed assurance on which expectation is to be based. When we fail to keep our promises, no matter how small, we are telling people that they are not safe to trust us. If you make a promise, keep it.
7. Be aware of the heartbreak you caused. It is good that you accept responsibility for you actions and chose to be fully accountable, but you also must do all you can to understand the heartbreak you caused and how it broke the heart of someone you love. It is time to invest in the love you want to heal and reestablish.
8. Remember your partner’s Centered personality tendencies. When we are attempting to rebuild trust we must dedicate ourselves to remembering our partner's centered personality tendencies. These are the BEST about a person. Our trust has been broken by lies, choices or behaviors that have come out of our extreme color personality tendencies.
9. Actively listen and pay attention to your spouse. Many people do not know how to listen. You can hear, but do you listen?
10. Eliminate the shame and blame-game. Instead commit to seeing the best in each other. Again, what is best and true about YOU and your partner are your centered color personality tendencies. We all, at some time or another, will move into our extreme tendencies but instead of shaming and blaming, choose to do all you can to help invite your partner or spouse back to their center.
11. Forgive your spouse. This can be very challenging, especially if you believe that forgiveness is a 'get out of jail free' card. Forgiveness is a gift, but the one who receives the most benefit of this gift, is the giver.
12. Trust in marriage is mutual. It takes two to make it happen. So, make sure your spouse is on board, then give your spouse an opportunity to earn your trust. Your focus is to help them succeed, not focus in on possible ways they can fail.
13. Be self-aware. Know yourself. You must know and understand yourself in order to forgive yourself. If you cannot forgive yourself, you will struggle with trusting yourself in the future.
15. Become aware of Entitlement and how it negatively impacts your life. Entitlement is the root of all misery. It is cancer to relationships and is always damaging and destructive. Become aware of your entitled attitudes and thoughts so that you can battle them with feelings of gratitude and appreciation instead.
16. Develop a plan of love in action. Then execute it. It is so important to know and understand the steps you are planning to take to earn back trust. You need to know what is on your trust to do list, and even more importantly, what is on your earn back trust 'not to do' list.
17. Accept that healing takes time, patience, listening and understanding. Ahhh, the time thing. Yes, we want to have the trust back immediately, but that is not how it works. Earning back trust takes time for you to prove, with your actions, that you are serious about doing the things you need to do to win the trust back of the one you love.
18. Show your spouse you love and appreciate them every day. Appreciation costs nothing. A kind word, a sweet recognition, a thank you, these are things that only take minutes to give and yet have lasting dividends. Don't be selfish with your appreciation. Think of appreciation and gratitude as water. People can't survive without water. And relationships struggle to survive without appreciation.
19. Set protective boundaries in your marriage to prevent a repeat of the same issues that caused the trust to be broken and betrayed. Create, and protect the marriage you yearn for. Be optimistic about your ability to regain the trust of your partner. It is worth whatever effort may be required.
20. Offer help. Whether it be offering help by listening, by helping with chores around the house, with family or children, offer help. This is a trying and exhausting time and all offerings of help will help your partner get over their painful betrayal.
If your spouse is willing to trust you again, you can always earn their trust back. This article and Relationship Help at Home courses are designed the help you find ways to heal a broken relationship and build back trust.
BUT what if your spouse doesn’t want to trust you again because of one or multiple betrayals like sexual infidelity? If that is the case, you will both need to talk about what chance your marriage has to heal without trust. It will be a difficult conversation, but one to have sooner, rather than later. Relationships require trust to thrive.
Dawn is the executive director of the RelationshipHelpResort.com in Arizona where she hosts private couples therapy intensives. Dawn is also the author and architect of the Primary Colors Relationship Personality Tests and Insight Tools.