When it comes to rebuilding trust in your relationship, many tag it to infidelity. Although that is primarily where we see it come into play, trust goes far beyond those crumbled boundaries.
Restoring trust in a relationship takes focus as well as commitment but is also a pretty straightforward and simple action. (Okay Mister Smarty Pants, if it is so easy, why is it so hard?).
Relax, I didn't say it would happen overnight. However the first thing is to understand how to start the process. When you are working to restore trust, you are saying and committing (in no uncertain terms) that "my behavior will (or has) changed for the better. If I find myself back in a similar situation, I will respond differently."
My 7 Building Blocks to Build Trust
Own your mess! You can blame others until the cows come home. Yes there may have been variables involved but ultimately, you and only you made the decision that led to the riff in your relationship. Don't make excuses. Just own it. Accept, Acknowledge & Affirm.
What would you need to do (behavior wise) to make the other person comfortable moving forward?
Be transparent. One of the worst things you can do is to not put the whole truth out there and it's found out later that there was more to the story.
Know that your "Trust Bank Account" is empty (bankrupt and closed in some cases). You will have to add to that account over a period of time to get it back to an acceptable place of trust.
Forgiveness may not be automatic but you should (in humility) 100% forgive yourself.
Do what you say you are going to do, be where you say you are going to be and do not deviate from the agreed upon plan.
Stay clear of anything the resembles what caused the initial issue. Where there is a place where a fire was just put out, the smell of smoke will still linger long after the fact.
While you may conclude in your mind that someone should just "get over it" understand that you cannot control that part of the process. What you can do is ensure that your behaviors are consistent with your commitment.
Lastly, no one is perfect, we all will or have made mistakes. Do some self-reflection and find out the "why" of your moment. Ask yourself, what is going on inside of yourself that made you respond in the manner you did? What is broken in you? If you cannot answer that question, then none of these steps matter. With the right set of circumstances, the probability is high to repeat the mistake at some point because you have not gotten to the core cause of your response to the issue from the onset.
And to that person that keeps bringing up your mistake and cannot let it go? I would ask that person to be careful. Your need for forgiveness is coming somewhere down the road. It is human nature 101. Think about extending forgiveness to someone because you will more than likely need it from someone at some point.
Remember, no one is perfect and we all misstep. Some are just better at hiding it than others.
Do you have feedback? What do you think? Feel free to send your comments to Coach Kenn at: firstname.lastname@example.org