Trust in relationships is often challenging to create, easy to break, and difficult to regain. One of the most common issues I see is damaged relational trust. Here I will offer several things I have learned about how trust is rebuilt after a significant betrayal in a relationship.
1) Trust is not automatically rebuilt over time. Rather, trust is built on a daily basis through consistent, purposeful action.
2) If you have damaged relational trust, assume that the other person can only believe what he or she sees. In other words, your intentions or feelings may be in the right place, but your visible actions are what “count” in working toward rebuilding trust.
3) Leave the timetable behind. Each person and each situation is different. It’s easy to become impatient (including with yourself) in the process. Learn to accept the fact that wherever you are today in your recovery process is enough.
4) It is possible to love someone and not trust him or her. Love does not imply trust.
5) Trust and forgiveness are also not necessarily the same thing. You may forgive a person for hurting you, whether or not the person chooses to ask for forgiveness. But trust is always earned.