Think of a time when you lost trust with a person you were in a relationship with; what emotions did you feel?
In my marriage, my behavior has broken the bond of trust with Jen, and I have had to work at rebuilding that trust. At the same time, Jen has had to take steps to grow in her trust in me. Today, I want to share six keys to rebuilding trust in a broken relationship. I’m not listing honesty as one of the essentials; honesty is primary in a relationship. Please note, there are steps for each of us in rebuilding trust; we each have to do our part to experience the relationship we desire.
6 Essentials For Rebuilding Trust
Essential 1: TIME
Time is the first essential to growth. Time is constant. We have 24 hours in a day, seven days a week, and 365 days in a year. Each moment of each day we can use to build trust or continue to damage it. However, over TIME, when the relationship is HONEST, trust will grow.
Galatians 6:9 (NLT) – So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Essential 2: THOUGHTS
Our thoughts will play tricks on us. Many times trust is train-wrecked because of faulty thinking by one or both of the people in a relationship. Therefore, we must be active in confronting our faulty or toxic thoughts. What are your thoughts about? We might be having faulty thinking about ourselves, about our partner, or even about life itself. To work through our faulty thinking, we need to submit feedback from relationally safe people. That feedback will help us to recalibrate our thought process. At this step, you will want the help of friends of high character or the assistance of a coach/counselor.
Essential 3: FORGIVENESS
Although third on the list, this might be first in priority. What’s more, forgiveness goes both ways. Both the person who violated trust needs to seek forgiveness, and the person who was hurt needs to forgive. Again, this process might require the help of a trained marriage coach or counselor.
Essential 4: TALK
The following three essentials are closely linked together. It will be the HOW trust in a relationship is restored and tested. First is talking or the idea of having open & ongoing conversations: the more conversations, the better. Additionally, the conversations cannot simply stay on the surface (talking about “to do” or staying in the area of “facts”). No, the conversation has to go to the place of each person’s thoughts and feelings. These types of conversations might be a new area of growth for you or your spouse, so a life coach might be a great place to learn the necessary skills.
Essential 5: RISK
At some point, you will have to take a risk and step out and trust again. But you can take a guarded risk, a smart risk. Working with a life coach or counselor, you will determine when and how you can take a risk to trust that would bring about the best growth possibility.
Essential 6: EXPERIENCE
These essentials are all theory until you start putting the principles into practice. When you start talking more, taking risks to trust, and spending time with each other, you begin to build on your library of shared experiences. As you have more shared experiences, you will have the opportunity to see REAL LIFE CHANGE. As you see life change, you will be able to take more risks in the relationships, bringing about more trust.
What essential do you need to work on this week that will bring health & life to a current relationship?