How to Trust Again

Auntie Ozanne's Guide to Rebuilding Trust

It's likely happened to all of us. We've been lied to, cheated on, deceived, and ultimately hurt by someone we put a lot of stock in to. I have, and I've learned some things about how to mend the relationships I was in, or move on and not allow the next person to pay for someone else's mistakes.

How to Trust Again
One thing to recognize is how much of yourself was lost in the betrayal. If you have invested a lot in to one person and your relationship with them, you might be feeling a bit of loss of what you gave up. You may feel resentment that you gave up a lot of time, energy, and money toward someone who seemed to take it for granted. Before beating yourself up, know this: what the person did very likely has nothing to do with you, instead has everything to do with them. It is not your fault you were lied to. Nothing you did was wasted.

Below are some tips that have worked for me, some of my family and friends who have all rebuilt trust in relationships and had reasons for doing so with grace. You are the one with power when it comes to making things right by you!

1. Allow yourself the time to grieve. You have lost a part of your relationship and a part of yourself that trusted. If your partner has offered to "do anything" to make sure you will trust them again, let them know you need time to grieve and ask questions to put some security back in to your heart again. You need to be allowed to get mad, cry, and learn from the hurt.

2. What's happened is donewith. You can't change the past. You can only learn from this moment on with your partner how to make things right. Why look back all the time, when there is something ahead? Move ahead and realize that yes, a mistake was made, but to wallow in it is not fixing the problem. Accepting that you can't change the past and looking forward to new and better things will increase your chances at happiness.

3. Don't punish others for the mistake of one. If you have removed someone in your life who was responsible for the hurt, you made a choice to stop the hurt. Now it's time to start the happiness. If the next person you meet gets the new you with a big, emotional wall up and you have no room for growth, they will feel as though they are paying for someone else's mistake. Why? It's a sign you might not be ready to date, but if you disagree with this, then you need to recognize that someone new coming along is willing to take you on to make you happy, and here you are preventing this, straight out of the gate. Don't.

4. Stop being angry with the person who hurt you. If you choose to stay in a relationship with the person who you are trying to regain trust with, realize that the person is going through change also and needs your support. They are the next, new and improved version of themselves, just like it would be if you were dating someone completely new. If you continue to make them pay for their mistake, your relationship will not know new levels of happiness.

5. Stop putting insurance on your bad behaviour. Threatening your partner with bad behaviour or warning them of how you will have the upper hand is not fair. Yes, you were wronged, but this isn't a game of who's turn it is to treat badly. Be the right person that your partner feels was worth changing for. Tit-for-tat does not work in mature relationships or in real love. Have you ever made a mistake? Loving someone means you work to make things better and though what happened might have left you feeling victimized, it doesn't mean spiteful behaviour will improve matters. Instead it shows how little you respect a better a relationship.

6. Write letters. Getting your feelings out and on to paper for your partner to read helps you release your emotions and allows your partner to read your thoughts without interruption about what they had done to you. It allows them to even reread to hear your voice in their head talking to them. Communication is a two-way street and this allows you to start someplace if talking just seems too painful at the time. Don't bottle it all in.

7. Trust yourself. The only way to really know that you can build trust with someone is to do a test drive on yourself. Can you trust yourself to stop the pattern of feeling sorry for yourself and to move forward? If you aren't ready to do this, you need to let your partner know that this is a stumbling block for you right now. It allows your partner to feel productive in mending what is broken that has gives them a break from the blame. Reassurance that you're good enough needs to be given from your partner, and accepted by you.

8. Forgive. You love your partner, so part of that means to forgive them for what they have done. Loving someone is like reading stereo instructions sometimes. It's not so cut and dried when there are things you are wanting to accept from them, and want to be accepted for. Your partner might easily feel too that they cannot continue to the relationshipo knowing the pain they had caused you, but love you enough to try and get to the part where you can forgive. You can make this as easy or as hard as you want. When you find that moment where you finally feel free of the past, you will know that forgiveness will be the boost that your love really needed to move in to the next chapter of your lives.

How to Trust Again
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Most Helpful Guy

  • godfatherfan
    I will agree with most of it. I was with my ex wife 25 years. I loved her as hard as any man can love a woman. In the end she cheated on me even though she already filed for divorce and there was a end date for the marriage. To try and understand how someone stays with you 25 years and never loves you is something I will never be able to comprehend. to know that I was so stupid that I believed her lies and was made a fool of is hard to get past. She has made it so I cannot trust another woman. I have tried dating and until my current girlfriend I never felt anything for any of them. I did finally break through and fell in love, but unfortunately it appears she is just not to a point where she is ready to move on from her husband dying 3 years ago. She does not see a therapist, although she said she did in the past. but she is clearly not moved on and, more importantly, not trying to move forward. She has a lot of other issues that she really needs help with. While I love her and can over look at lot of things, she seems to put me farther down the list on priority then I am willing to be.
    I have adjusted my expectations. So I have basically mourned the loss of this relationship. I expect no more from her then someone who just went on a first date. so now that she is about to be done with school (she went back full time ) we will finally have time to spend together. I don't expect us to last even a month. But you never know.
    If nothing else she showed me that I can love again. She showed me I can let someone into my heart again. but she also showed me that I still have a big part of that heart walled off.
    I don't know if I will ever truly be able to trust any other woman again. we will see...
    ...
    as far as your take I agree with everything but the last part. I don't feel you should ever forgive the person. You should put the issue behind you and stop obsessing about it, but there is no reason to ever forgive what they did.
    Is this still revelant?
    • May I ask when did she started to cheat? Sorry, it's a bit unclear for me. Was it during the time she wanted to divorce (at the end of the relationship)?

    • The only ones I know for sure about is the last 2 years. But if she was cheating the last 2 years then it was probably going on the entire 25 years. she wanted the divorce, we went to therapy. it was on and off a few times. we went to a couples weekend called Retrouvaille. It was great. we went in apart and by noon Saturday we were having sex and back together. but 3 months later she just gave up. We became friends with one of the couples from the weekend. The wife found hundreds of calls and texts between them. I don't know if anything physical happened but emotional cheating is just as bad, esp with women. then she told me she had been cheating with another guy. she told me this 3 months after the divorce just to hurt me. she repeated that kind of thing over an over for over a year. it has been 15 months now and only because I finally got over her does it not affect me and she lost her power...

    • Oh... I am really sorry for that. I thought it was at the end, which is still sneaky and disgusting, but at least she loved you before (but there is no proof she didn't!).
      Maybe she was a very dependent person, had a crush on you and then she was scared of leaving you and finding someone else who could take care of her. My mother is kind of the same, she is very dependent on my father. They both do things that poisons their marriage but my mother was raised in a 'get married and have kids' way so she would leave if she wouldn't be so scared and basically, unable to do it. My father just feels sorry for her and takes everything. Again, they both take part of this poisoning, my father is very passive-aggressive. At this point I have the feeling they just got used to each other and love each other in this way, but not in a true, passionate way. I think they both would be happier with someone who fits them but they will never get divorce.
      They are both 58, and his kind of love but not true

    • Show All

Most Helpful Girl

  • kdizzleforizzle91
    I couldn't have worded this any better. The only thing I'd add (for some people) is to spend time between relationships to better yourself, indulge in your hobbies, learn new things, etc. That along with the other tips will help you appreciate yourself more and prepare you better for the next person you find.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

912
  • RainbowFanGirl
    I love love love this take. This hits close to home, and I was in an abusive relationship before I got with my current boyfriend. I'm having very bad trust issues, and I need help learning to trust again. Thank you for writing this!
    • Ozanne

      I'm glad it can help. Good luck with your new love. :)

  • phanindra554
    I saw many of your posts they are simple super and they are so helpful to people.
    nice job :-)
  • Grope
    I am sorry, but you have fallen into the same trap that girls who stay with abusers do. Listen, I am a guy and I will tell you the truth: once a cheater always a cheater, once a liar always a liar. I don't care how sexy or hot he is, I don't even care if he is the daddy of your baby. Move on before he gives you a disease and messes up your life. Run, Run away.
  • nygiantsfan
    I am sorry, but you have fallen into the same trap that girls who stay with abusers do. Listen, I am a guy and I will tell you the truth: once a cheater always a cheater, once a liar always a liar. I don't care how sexy or hot he is, I don't even care if he is the daddy of your baby. Move on before he gives you a disease and messes up your life. Run, Run away.
  • Kabloosh75
    Number 3 is so true. I've been a victim of it a few times and it sucks when you meet someone promising they don't want to move further because they don't feel ready because of their past relationship.
  • Starfishlover
    My idea is that I should never punish someone for what someone else did. People punished me for what other ho's did. So I would never do that.
  • HoneyButterCup525
    What a shit take man who can stay with a cheater? I'm sure most leave but as for those who stay I don't see it ending up well at all...
  • genericname85
    for me trust is a decision. you do it or you don´t. if you don´t, then don´t continue the relationship.
  • lusciousB
    Good take, and it's reassuring to know that I'm on the right path.
    • lusciousB

      Will be taking time off to do some projects though, but great take!

  • astatine
    i honestly love reading your takes... you are really intuitive
  • DeltaDanner
    Thank you, this was very helpful to me
    • Ozanne

      That's good, I'm glad it helps! :)

  • YourFutureEx
    Good take :)
  • skeptic007
    nah I can't trust women they say they won't cheat but give it time they eventually will
    • You might be choosing the wrong ones

    • skeptic007

      you're 18 what study have you done nothing, all you've done is taken the females word for it so don't talk without study

  • JackKerouac77
    Thanks Auntie Ozanne!
  • Needtoask
    Dou you all think taking a break is what is needed to do after getting cheated on? I got cheated on and still after 7 months it hurts so bad. I am trying to give a second chance but I still have to cry a lot (I mostly do it when I am alone) and until now I have not thought about taking a break. But right now I think maybe that is what I need to see if he really wants to be with me, not just be with me because it is the most convenint right now. He has money issues (he acutally owes me money), I am just working on getting over the cheating. I have the feeling that after a break we can both see if we really want to be together and if so see it as a clean new start. Or do you think that a break would you be the beginning of the end?
    • You should take a break you could be just hanging onto him because you don't have enough confidence that you will find another

    • Needtoask

      @OrdinaryGentleman thanks for your opinion. I don't think I am afraid of finding another but yes maybe a little to find someone that I acutally want to be with all the time (usually I got tired of my boyfriends after 2 years because something came up that really bothered me). I am most afraid that he is with me for the wrong reasons (money support, comfy etc). That is why I consider a break so he can show me that this time he really owns up to his promises. And also to have a clean cut and really start the relationship on a new fundament.

  • abundantlyrich
    Thanks auntie. Your advice is valuable.
  • Despondency
    Hm. Innocence.
  • hypno-trip
    I trust people so far
  • Asianperverts
    Know that everything is lie
  • Xbox720guy
    Thank you, I needed this.
  • Anonymous
    Shit take for sure
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