Still Hearing About Your Mistakes of the Past? 4 Keys to Rebuilding Trust

Best-selling author Stephen Covey once said, “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” I couldn’t agree more! Trust is the foundation of any relationship. Without trust, there is no meaningful relationship.

So what do you do when you were the one that made the mistake and broke her trust? How do you handle the constant reminders of what you did, and how much pain you caused? Is it ever OK to tell her to “get over it”, “It happened a while ago”, or “I’m not the same person”.

If you are like me, you’ve done things to hurt those around you. Some more deeply than others, but hurting someone is hurting someone, regardless of how we want to quantify it. Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks. And depending on a persons’ background, trust could be more difficult to rebuild once it has been broken.

Here are 4 Keys to Rebuild Trust in a relationship.

  1. Understand they are still hurting. George MacDonald said it best, “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” The reason why they continue to bring the issue up is because they are still in pain. Failure to acknowledge their feelings only causes them to feel as though you aren’t mindful of what they may be going through. Though you may want to move forward with getting things back to the way they were, you must allow your spouse to set the pace for how quickly things move. Rather than focusing on being loved by your spouse, focus on being trusted by your spouse.
  2. Stay away from the wound. Albert Einstein once said, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” One of the easiest ways to stay in the doghouse, and keep your spouse from trusting you again is by telling “little white lies”. Any form of deceit will cause your spouse to remember what happened and reinforce why they can’t fully trust you again. Demonstrating integrity by always telling the truth, will help her to trust in the character that you a displaying on a daily basis. Remember, one lie can reset the entire healing process. Bo Bennett said it best, “For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.”
  3. Healing their hurt is more important than your temporary frustration. At the end of the day you must ask yourself this question, “Am I in this relationship for what I can get, or for what I can give?” If you are in the relationship for what you can get, you will find this process extremely frustrating and will be tempted to give up. If you are in the relationship for what you can give, you will be able to keep your spouses needs as the priority ahead of your own, and focus more on “how they are doing” rather than “what they are doing.”
  4. Rome wasn’t built in a day; neither will re-building your relationship. Scripture says in James 1:4 to “let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.” There is something about the work of patience that makes everything worthwhile. It doesn’t make it easy, but it does make it worth the process. Keep the vision alive everyday of what you want your relationship to look like, and be willing to put in the work necessary to live the dream.

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