Are you rebuilding trust in a relationship? The word “rebuild” implies that a relationship has been torn down and needs to be established once again. Something you said or didn’t say or did or didn’t do to your spouse, child, relative, or friend has adversely impacted your relationship with someone. But don’t forget—trust is not something anyone owes you.
Trust must be earned. That means you need to provide something to the other person in order for him or her to trust you once again. It is not something you just do one time, but rather something you need to display consistently, day in and day out, over a period of time. How do you do it? By living out these 3 things.
1. You are who you say you are.
In a marriage relationship, for example, you are either a husband or a wife. And when you got married, you probably promised to be there for each other, “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, ’til death us do part.” You also committed to becoming “one flesh.” That means the other person should be able to rely upon those promises—he or she should be able to trust that you will not tear the marriage apart and that you will be there, as husband or wife, no matter what happens.
2. You always speak the truth.
There are no such things as “little white lies” or “half-truths.” What you say is either true or it is not. Let me illustrate. If your wife asks you something simple—like “What have you been doing?”—don’t just answer “mowing the lawn” if you have also been watching television and posting on Facebook. Remember, truth is the whole truth. To rebuild trust, speak truth in everything, big and small. Doing so will help build the other person’s confidence in your trustworthiness.
Speaking truth also means not keeping secrets from your spouse. Whether it’s a purchase you made, an addiction you have, an illness you’re experiencing, or where you’ve been, nothing should be kept from your spouse. A surprise party may be an exception! Sharing challenges, problems, and emotions with your spouse may be difficult initially but will help rebuild trust and ultimately intimacy in your relationship.
3. You always do what you say you’ll do.
In simple terms, when you say you’ll do something, the other person can “check it off the list” or “take it to the bank.” It’s a “done deal.” If, for some reason, you are unable to do it, let the other person know immediately. Also, the seeds of suspicion and distrust seem to germinate when the person working to rebuild the trust does unpredictable things. So, for example, if you are going to be unusually late coming home from work, tell your spouse in advance and let him or her know why.
As you rebuild trust in your relationship, remember that one of the best things you can do is ask the other person this question: “What can I do to earn your trust once again?” Then, be sure to listen carefully and take action.
What advice would you give to somebody who’s asking you about rebuilding trust in a relationship? Share in a comment below.