Trust is the bedrock of what makes relationships work. It is the fundamental process of love and intimacy. When trust goes, what goes with it are safety, security, respect, love and friendship, replaced by anger, insecurity, anxiety, fear; the aggrieved person becomes like the police, the FBI, and/or the CIA.
If you are in the situation where you lost your partner’s trust, you must also be frustrated, because your partner is probably reminding you of the one or several lies that you told in the past.
But we suggest to you several very useful steps toward restoring your dating partner’s trust in your relationship:
1. Be genuinely contrite and sincere.
Go out of your way! Do not try to justify yourself or give excuses. Do not use “but” or “if only” in your apology and know that any attempt to turn things around on the other person will backfire. You must not shift blame, but rather accept responsibility yourself.
2.Understand your partners distrust.
Try to understand and relate to what your partner is going through and to how difficult it is believing someone after they gave you a reason not to. Truly put yourself in their shoes and try to imagine how it would feel to be lied to, and how difficult it would be to trust the person who deceived you once before if you expected full honesty and mutual trust from each other till that moment.
Take some time.
Time will give you the distance to understand what happened and express your feelings better. An apology that is offered when you are in the heat of the moment can feel insincere—like a way to quickly get out of trouble without effectively dealing with the underlying issues.
3. When apologizing, be detailed.
For instance, “I’m sorry I was mean to you,” doesn’t convey that you actually know what you have done. On the other hand, it is clear that you understand what you’ve done when you say: “I’m sorry I stood you up at the party. That was selfish and thoughtless.”
4. Resist the urge to pressure for forgiveness.
After coming clean, it is natural to want to be forgiven immediately and the hurt you caused to go away. However, it is likely you will not be, and it will take time for the other person to be ready to forgive. Trust, once lost, is very reluctantly given again.