Here are some tips for those couples who are invested in that process. These recommendations can help
promote the chances for a progression through the hurdles of repairing trust to a new life of possibility as lifelong partners:
• Get a good handle on any projections that might be being triggered from the past; your boyfriend is not your ex or your father who may have hurt you before. Focus on the here-and-now and deal directly with this current reality and not those distractions that you’ll still need to grieve and complete.
• Reach out to others. Nothing can help restore the human spirit better than serving those in need or seeing acts of kindness in motion. This helps renew the fact that there is goodness in people and this can be accomplished through volunteering for a charity or tapping into spirituality venues, for example. Access your support system too.
• You and your partner will need to communicate and listen to each other; make sure you know how to do this well and enlist the help of a trained therapist if needed. Difficult discussions abound and you each will need to be able to express and understand each other’s perspectives. You will also need to acknowledge and validate each other’s experiences of the problem and reach an understanding of how and why this happened, staying focused on the issue-at-hand.
• You will each need to take responsibility for the roles you played in the indiscretion and be open to apologizing and forgiving each other.
• In your problem-solving, you will need to create a new “relationship contract”, agreeing to behavior that’s fair vs. unjust and ensuring you each share these same definitions. Identify any unrealistic expectations to avoid any set-ups for sabotage.
• Create a healing climate in your relationship. There is no room for competition, jealousy, blame, or defensiveness any more. Introduce more tenderness and attentiveness to each other’s needs. Demonstrate to each other consistently that you are each priorities to one another and remember that you get back what you put into your relationship (The Law of Attraction).
• Monitor your self-talk and counter any negative thoughts that could interfere with your relationship efforts and self-esteem. Begin the process of re-establishing a secure identity where you’re open to taking risks and being vulnerable again.
• Learn to “let go” of any bitterness to allow each of you the opportunity to grow and change. Take an inventory of the positive memories, behaviors, interactions, and characteristics of your partner to keep you balanced and hopeful.
The road to recovery
Recovery from broken trust can lead you to a lot of self-discovery and growth in your relationship
with sustained effort and a positive mindset. Recognize how trust issues play out between you and
your partner, identify the behaviours needed to overcome obstacles, and confront any blocks
that might hold you back from your goals. And lastly, realize that trust needs constant feeding in relationships
and that the hardest thing in the world for you to do right now is an essential component of moving forward—becoming
vulnerable again. But by opening yourself up, you’ll truly be able to see if you’re loved for who you really are and
you’ll be a more active and happier participant in life.