They say trust is like glass. Once broken, it will never be the same again.
As a significant foundation of a marriage or relationship, a couple should work hard in keeping the trust.
However, trust issues can happen even to the strongest relationships.
You may feel like rebuilding trust after it has been broken is impossible.
While it’s definitely not easy, there are ways to bring back the shattered pieces.
Keep reading to learn how to rebuild trust in a relationship after lying.
What Trust Really Is
Ask any relationship expert, and they will tell you that trust is the “glue” that holds all relationships.
Without trust, maintaining a healthy relationship is difficult.
Trust can mean so many things to different people, but in a nutshell, it refers to the confidence or belief that you have in someone.
A person’s ability to trust in marriage gets established before tying the knot.
Here’s how trust looks like in a healthy marriage:
- You feel committed to your relationship.
- You feel safe with your partner.
- You know your partner listens when you need to communicate your needs and feelings.
- You both respect each other.
- You support each other.
- You can be vulnerable together.
- You’re sharing your emotions, dreams, struggles, and goals.
- You turn to each other, not on each other.
- You don’t feel the need to hide things from your partner.
Sign of Trust Issues in Marriage or Relationship
When people think of trust issues, infidelity is the first thing to come to mind.
However, even though cheating is a major trust issue, it isn’t the only way to break trust in a relationship.
Lies could also be in the form of so many little lies like hiding the cost of unnecessary purchases or secretly smoking.
It could be more serious, like cheating or concealing things about your past that your partner or spouse should have known a long time ago.
Other possibilities include:
- Withholding or keeping something back
- Lying or manipulation
- A pattern of breaking promises
Lying Destroys Trust
Needless to say, lying destroys trust. The person being lied to will most likely feel devastated and betrayed.
They may become angry, disappointed, and hurt.
Eventually, they would shut down and decide to end the marriage or relationship.
Lying also creates a tormenting cycle of distrust, blame, and defensiveness.
How To Rebuild Trust in a Relationship After Lying
The pain that lying causes a relationship can be difficult to heal. It can take time.
In some cases, it doesn’t heal at all.
Thus, it takes great efforts from both parties to rebuild the trust and start fresh in their relationship.
When You’ve Been Lied To
Forgiving your spouse or partner who lied to you is probably one of the most difficult things to do.
If you want to attempt to rebuild the trust, here are some suggestions to make the process easier:
- Consider the Reason for Their Lies
Lying hurts, regardless of the reason. When your spouse lied to you, you may not care much about the reason.
However, it’s still worth knowing why your partner betrayed you. Maybe they have a valid reason.
Or maybe they lied because of miscommunication or misunderstanding.
People often lie for a reason: insecurity, fear, shame, etc.
Or, it could be that lying was their way to survive and manage other past relationships.
Whatever happened, it’s important to clarify that lying isn’t okay, no matter the reason.
That said, knowing why they did that can help you decide whether you can rebuild that trust once again.
It can also calm your emotions and allow you to decide how to best proceed.
- Know When It’s a Deal-Breaker
Not all lies are created equal. A single instance of major dishonesty is different from chronic lying.
Chronic liars are considered “unfit partners.”
If your spouse is one, rebuilding trust issues requires professional help.
The same goes for partners or spouses who break the agreements caused by previous lies.
The fact remains that a person who continually lies to you or intentionally deceives you isn’t worthy of your time, trust, and love.
- Practice Forgiveness
When you decide to rebuild the trust, forgiveness is the key.
It’s the most difficult part, and it can take some time. Don’t rush.
Forgiving your partner is empowering yourself to leave it in the past.
It also means giving your partner a chance to learn and grow from their mistakes.
Before you finally move on from the betrayal, it’s important to talk to your partner about the situation.
It may be painful or uncomfortable, but it’s part of the process and the road to healing.
Be honest and tell your partner how you feel about the situation, why their lies feel hurtful to you, and what you need from them to start rebuilding trust.
- Set Clear Boundaries
The next step is to set clear boundaries around honesty. Establish that lying is not part of your relationship.
At the same time, help your spouse or partner avoid lying by creating a safe space for honesty.
You can do this by establishing the premise that truth is more welcome than a lie.
Avoid blaming, punishing them for telling the truth, or beating your partner up verbally.
Put the issue to rest. When you decide to forgive and give your relationship a chance, you should also be ready to bury the lies in the past.
- Avoid Bringing It Up in Future Arguments
At the same time, go easy on constantly checking in on your partner to make sure they aren’t lying again.
If you can’t help dwelling on the past, it could mean that you’re not yet ready to work on the relationship.
In this case, couples counseling can help.
When You Lied
If you’re the one who lied, understand that you can’t regain your partner’s trust overnight.
You have to work hard for it. Here’s how to rebuild trust in a relationship after lying:
- Be True To Yourself
You’ve lied to your partner, but don’t lie to yourself.
No matter how difficult things are, nothing warrants lies.
Recognize that the truth will come out no matter what, and the consequences of lying can only aggravate the pain of the situation.
- Take Responsibility for What You Did
When your partner confronts you about a lie, do not get defensive or justify your actions.
Accept your mistakes and take full ownership of your actions, no matter what your reasons may have been.
- Apologize Sincerely
Tell your spouse or partner you are sorry for lying to them.
It’s fine to explain your side of the story, but don’t make it seem like you are justifying your actions.
- Listen To What Your Partner Has To Say
Just because you apologized doesn’t mean your partner should forgive you right away.
Let them say their piece.
They may be disappointed, sad, angry, and extremely hurt.
Sometimes, they won’t even talk.
Give your spouse or partner time to acknowledge their emotions.
If they start talking, let them vent and wait for them to finish before you respond, even if what they have to say upsets you.
- Be Honest
Let them know the details about why you lied.
Answer their questions to the best of your ability without getting defensive or evasive.
If you lied about an affair, relationship counselors often recommend avoiding providing specific details.
Your partner may have a lot of questions about what exactly happened.
However, talking about the details can cause further pain.
If your spouse insists on the details, consider asking them to wait until you see a therapist together.
A marriage counselor can help you navigate the healthiest ways to address these questions.
- Don’t Rush Your Partner To Forgive You
It can take time to come to terms with broken trust.
Avoid pressuring them and let your partner know you’re ready when they are.
Sometimes, people may need both time and physical space.
This can be difficult, but respecting your partner’s boundaries can go a long way toward showing that you’re sincerely sorry.
- Prove That You’re Worth It
To rebuild trust, you have to be consistent.
If your partner forgives you, it’s time to prove to them that you’re worth it.
Sure, there are some pitfalls to consistency.
However, you have to make conscious efforts to stay consistent and honest, or your partner will think that you’re just playing with their trust.
Lastly, find ways to reconnect with your partner emotionally.
Rebuilding Trust Is a Two-Way Process
Rebuilding trust isn’t an easy task.
Once a couple committed to re-establishing trust, they should treat their relationship like it’s an entirely new one.
You should sit down on it, communicate, and communicate more.
Agree on what a healthy relationship looks like to you both.
Revitalizing a relationship after an incident of lying requires work.
The Essential Role of Humility
The most important ingredient for rebuilding trust in a relationship is humility.
That means one or both of you will need to take responsibility for the actions or behaviors that led to lying.
That is why communication is so important.
If something warrants an apology, the person responsible for it has to ask for forgiveness sincerely.
If you think you can’t do it together, get help from a professional therapist.
Support from your loved ones is also essential.
How To Rebuild Trust After Lying: A Recap
Rebuilding trust after lying is not easy, but it’s possible.
It takes hard work from both parties to regain what’s been lost and start anew.
If you’ve been lied to, try to understand their reasons and know when it’s still worth it to forgive.
If you decide to forgive, set clear boundaries and avoid dwelling in the past.
If you’re the one who lied, you must apologize and mean it.
Also, give your partner time to process their emotions.
If you’re both struggling to try to start over again, consider seeking a therapist.
Couples counseling can be a safe venue to tackle your trust issues.