Trust—the act of believing that your partner acts with your best interests in mind—is the foundation of all healthy relationships. Trust not only enables couples to live together harmoniously, but it also helps partners pursue their dreams while feeling loved, supported, and valued.
When a partner prioritizes their own needs and desires above their relationship, trust can be damaged. Depending on the severity of the betrayal, the relationship may no longer feel like a source of love and support, but rather a source of resentment and uncertainty. So, how can you rebuild your relationship after a betrayal of trust?
1. Create new memories together.
After experiencing a betrayal of trust in your relationship, the first step is to work on creating new positive experiences with your partner. Creating positive experiences is an important part of the healing process—it can help shift the energy away from betrayal, and you’ll be able to laugh, smile, and reconnect with each other in a positive way. Creating new memories is not only one of the best ways to rebuild your relationship, but it’ll also remind you and your significant other that you’re capable of having a good time together.
If you’re not sure where to start, try planning a romantic getaway with your partner, like a road trip to nearby state parks. The Mill Casino Hotel & RV Park, often called a “Site for Shore Eyes,” offers lodging in Coors Bay, Oregon near Sunset Bay State Park, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park. With countless entertainment options, renowned local restaurants and bars, and gorgeous scenery, you’ll be able to plan a fun adventure and create great memories with your significant other.
2. Be honest with your partner.
“If you don’t have trust, you don’t have anything. There’s nothing to build on. It’s just sand that washes away,” says Less Parrott, Ph.D., psychologist and co-founder of the Center for Healthy Relationships at Olivet Nazarene University. When trust is broken in a relationship, it can make you question whether your relationship will survive. But even if you or your partner has broken the trust in your relationship, that doesn’t mean that your relationship can’t be saved.
Whether you’re interested in building trust after your partner cheats, you’ve witnessed a betrayal of trust in your relationship, or you’re responsible for infidelity, it’s essential to put everything out in the open. With broken trust, it’s easy to become skeptical or fearful of each other’s intentions, honesty, and commitment. The point of building trust is for your partner to believe what you say. However, it’s important to keep in mind that building trust doesn’t just require keeping the promises you make—it also requires not making promises you can’t keep.
Being honest about your intentions and keeping your word not only shows your partner that you respect them and build your credibility, but it can also help you build a strong and healthy relationship in the process.
3. Reignite your connection.
Instead of viewing the betrayal of trust as a speed bump in your relationship, think of it as an opportunity for a fresh start with your significant other. Depending on where you and your partner are in the healing process, consider using this as an opportunity to rekindle the flame. One way to do this is to learn each other’s love language, consider each other’s own feelings, and foster healthy communication in order to build a loving, safe, and supportive relationship.
Rekindling your physical intimacy after a betrayal of trust can be an intensely emotional experience for both partners. While there’s no right or wrong way to resume intimacy after a betrayal, physical intimacy can be an important component of the healing process. The decision of whether and when to resume physical intimacy requires some conscious thinking, but it’s also based on gut reactions and your individual feelings.
One of the best ways to rekindle your flame is to go all out. Light some candles, sprinkle rose petals on the bed, and maintain an open line of communication with your partner. Ultimately, feeling good about your body and setting boundaries are essential when it comes to resuming intimacy. Whether you need a confidence boost or you’re looking to surprise your partner, consider shopping for some new lingerie. A new bra and panty set can not only help you feel more confident in bed, but it can also encourage self-love.
To avoid breaking the bank when lingerie shopping, try limiting your search to bras on sale. Brands like Soma sell bras for a wide range of cup sizes—so you’re sure to find a comfortable bra that makes you feel confident.
4. Take a deeper look at yourself.
If you’re responsible for mistrust or poor communication in your relationship, part of rebuilding your relationship will require you to take steps to understand what you did in the first place. Maybe you’re distant in your relationship, or there are anger issues, insecurities, or financial issues.
Understanding your own feelings and habits requires a lot of work, and you might not want to share this process with your partner. You should have enough space to realize and work through your emotions, but it’s important not to use this process as an excuse to avoid rebuilding your relationship or listening to your spouse.
After noticing behavioral patterns, you can start to work through them, understand why they occurred, and make the changes needed to restore your relationship. If you’re dealing with difficult emotions—like sadness, remorse, regret, or resentment—working with a counselor can help you jumpstart the recovery process, figure out your next steps, and take care of your mental health.
5. Focus on your future together.
A betrayal of trust doesn’t always mean the end of a relationship. Sometimes, betrayals can make a couple’s bond even stronger—couples who survive infidelity are the ones who are willing to look at their flaws and mistakes that led up to the affair.
Overall, reconnecting with your partner is the only way to rebuild your relationship, and couples must work toward building up their trust again. According to Tina Tessina, Ph.D., and psychotherapist, infidelity is often what lands troubled partners in couples therapy, where they can learn better communication skills and navigate uncomfortable topics, like intentions, insecurity, remorse, and emotional needs.
“Understanding these dynamics and learning to discuss what went wrong in the relationship, apologize and make changes will give both partners much more insight into themselves and their marriage—and might even help to make their relationship affair-proof in the future,” according to Tessina. If you’re nurturing a sense of connection with your spouse—striving to make them feel loved and appreciated—then you can build a stronger relationship in the long run.
Above all else, rebuilding trust after infidelity or a betrayal takes time, and it’s up to the betrayed partner to determine when and if forgiveness occurs. The success of your relationship isn’t determined by how happy you are with your partner when things are going well, but how you and your partner work through the difficult aspects of your relationship. Love requires the willingness to understand your partner’s feelings when they’ve been hurt, find common ground with your partner in challenging situations, and devote the effort to rebuild your relationship after a betrayal.