Each of us has different life experiences. As we experience different things we explain why they happen to us by determining what experience means. People react differently to the same situation because they have a different understanding of what that situation means to them.

In my practice, clients come to me because they want to change, but the thing that I do observe is that some change and some do not.
Some people get frustrated with the process and stop coming.
Others power ahead, get breakthroughs and change their life.


So the real question is what makes it work for one, but not the other?

Overcoming anxiety is never easy. It takes a great deal of dedication and focus to overcome the condition. Sufferers of social anxiety must learn how to recognize the symptoms and develop an effective strategy for overcoming it.

The Second Horseman is CONTEMPT
Contempt is the actions that convey the sense to another that they are worthless or beneath our consideration. It shows up when we make statements that come from a position of us being morally superior.

The First Horseman is CRITICISM
It’s important here that when we talk about criticism that we differentiate between a complaint and criticism. A complaint targets behaviour, but criticism is an attack launched at who the person is.

While life follows a safe routine day-to-day, and I know what I’m doing and what’s likely to happen, I have a certain degree of security and an idea of who I am. However, life is currently changing, and we are not quite sure where it can end up or indeed, how it is going to look.

Uncertainty is something that we experience individually first, but then it affects our relationships as our anxiety and frustrations grow. Whatever you can change on an individual level will bring about a change on a relationship level as well.

Grief is defined as the expression of the feelings that you experience when something important to you is lost. The pain of grief goes through several stages and not necessarily in a set order.

At Startpoint Counselling, we understand that moving out of your comfort zone is never easy as it feels unsafe and in general “Yuk”.

To achieve the things that you want in your relationship or your personal life, you will need to move out of your present comfort zone and make some changes.

Rebuild trustIn my previous articles I looked at How to Strengthen Trust in Your Relationship and Three Reasons Why it is Difficult to Move on After There is Broken Trust. Click on the links to read these articles if you missed them.

In this article I will explain how to rebuild broken trust in your relationship.

Broken trust in a relationship cannot be fixed by confining the problem to the past and moving on. There is no simple way to undo the damage. To commence the process of rebuilding trust the untrustworthy party must show they clearly understand what their partner has felt and experienced.

The person betrayed is likely to be suffering from some or all the following and will require their partner to understand and accept that their suffering is real.

  • Shock and or Depression – They often feel numb and have difficulty functioning in day to day life.

  • Self-Doubt and Shame – Many betrayed partners blame themselves for not having seen what was going on.

  • Commencing Detective Mode – Betrayed partners often go through their partner’s mobile phone, credit card statements, wallets, and pockets, as well as asking endless questions, to understand what has happened.

  • Symptoms Such as Anger and Mood Swings – Betrayed partners will go on an emotional roller-coaster ride with no apparent reason for the mood swings.

  • Seeking Revenge – An anger driven partner may act in ways that they later regret as they try to hurt the one who hurt them.

The Repair Process

There are some steps that you can take to start the rebuilding process. These steps will not be quick and will require time to produce the required result of restored trust.

The offending partner needs to be willing to prove to their partner time and time again that they’re genuinely sorry and work on earning back the trust. Your partner is not going just to trust what you say but will need to see consistent changes in your behaviour. They will need proof that you’re serious, reliable and safe to love before they’re going to trust you again.

As the offending partner, you need to

  1. Take full responsibility for your actions and choices. This means taking a long, hard look at why you cheated and how you can make sure you never cheat again.

  2. The betrayed betrayed partner will want complete disclosure. If the relationship is to continue, full disclosure all at once shields the betrayed partner from the ongoing emotional blows which occur when partial truths are revealed over time. It also increases the odds that trust can be rebuilt. An unfaithful spouse who tells the full truth and then continues to be honest about his or her behaviour has a much better chance of eventually regaining the respect of the betrayed partner.

  3. Ask your partner what they need, do whatever you can to change the situation and make it better.

  4. Give your partner the time and space to vent their feelings. This includes crying, allowing them to ask you questions about the affair and giving truthful answers. All the while, you should stand firm, stay faithful, continue to apologise and reach out to them with compassion and understanding.

  5. Accept that sometimes it’s going to feel as if you’re moving two steps forward and three steps back. Put a plan in place that will help you stay calm and while you navigate through the inevitable obstacles, landmines and setbacks.

  6. Be sure that all the promises you make are promises you keep. Your words and actions must come from unwavering integrity. Make yourself and your agenda an open book.

  7. Practice the following daily: Affection, Attention and Appreciation. Show your partner how much you love and appreciate them in big and small ways every day.

  8. Ask your partner what they need to see to assure them that you are genuine in rebuilding trust. For example, they might ask for access to your phone or computer at any time without notice.

As the offended partner, you need to

  1. Allow your partner to prove themselves to you. Try to avoid being quick to assume that they will screw up

  2. Let them know that you appreciate every change they are making no matter how small. If they do not get supporting feedback, they will give up.

Rebuilding trust takes time and can be an involved process.

Need help? Tracey Janke is skilled in assisting couples in rebuilding trust. For a complimentary 15-minute phone session to find out how I can help you with your individual situation click the link below.

© Tracey Janke – StartPoint Counselling 2019

If you like this article and would like to get copies of future articles directly to your inbox, please click here and sign up to receive a copy of “Relationships Done Right” twice per month. As a bonus, you will also receive my free mini e-book on Low-Cost Ways to Boost Romance and Passion in Your Relationship.

 

BrokenEvery case of broken trust impacts us on three levels, and the damage on each of these levels is what holds us back from healing the broken trust and moving on. It doesn’t matter whether the broken trust is real or perceived; impact occurs on these three levels.

The Emotional Level

For everything that happens in our lives whether good or bad we have an emotional reaction. Every experience that we have is stored in a memory not only as what happened but how we experienced the event using our five senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. The question is how that information makes us feel. We are not dealing with merely an event when it comes to memories, but an event that carries some very real information for us. When we encounter distressing situations in our relationship, we link things that have happened to us in the past to what is happening now. It may not be the same, but if it is similar, we will react strongly. The more times we experience a similar event, the stronger our emotional reaction. When trust is broken the impact on the emotional level is severe because broken trust represents the loss of so many things to us. It can mean things like the loss of security, the loss of stability, the loss of self-esteem and so on.

The degree of damage that exists on this level, that is not recognised by other people, and is left unhealed is the number one reason why it is difficult to move on after trust is broken.

The Perception Level

Perception encompasses our belief or opinion about certain things or people.

When something happens repeatedly, you will form a belief or opinion about the likelihood of it happening again. When we have a perception of how a person is going to behave in a situation, we place that perception on that person, and in our eyes, our perception defines their character. We perceive that they will do a specific action when faced with a particular set of circumstances. If that perception is negative, then we expect our interaction with them will be more negative than positive.

Human beings tend only to observe and hear things that confirm what they believe. So at this point no matter what your partner does which is right, if there is broken trust, you are only picking up in your interaction with them what is bad and what confirms that they are untrustworthy.

Our perception of our partner after they have broken our trust is the number two reason that we find it difficult to move on once trust has been broken.

Behaviour Level

Based on how strong our emotional level reaction is and how strong our perception of events or people becomes, we will moderate our behaviour in response. In a relationship, our emotional build-up and our perception of our partner can lead to behaviours on our part which at the worst destroys the relationship or at the best keeps our partner at arm’s length.

The actions that we take at the behaviour level as a result of the damage at the emotional level and the perception that we have built up of our partners, is the number three reason why we find it hard to heal and move on after trust is broken.

Summary

In relationships where one of the partners has cheated on the other and trust has been broken, there is a great deal of emotion built up which leaves the injured partner to believe the other one will always break or damage their trust. As a result, the hurt partner cannot just move on (change their behaviour) but will instead adopt practices that can destroy, cripple or keep the relationship at arm’s length. To begin to heal the relationship and to rebuild the broken trust the damage at the emotional and perception levels must be addressed first.

Next time we’ll look at how to rebuild broken trust.

If you like this article and would like to get copies of future articles directly to your inbox, please click here and sign up to receive a copy of “Relationships Done Right” twice per month. As a bonus, you will also receive my free mini e-book on Low-Cost Ways to Boost Romance and Passion in Your Relationship.

Broken trustTwo types of trust can exist in a relationship

Firstly, there is conditional trust which says I trust you only when I’m having a good experience. If I’m not having a good experience, then I don’t feel that you have my back and I don’t feel safe.  The result is I don’t trust you. Conditional trust is found in the early stages of a relationship. Relationships based on conditional trust are easily broken and hard to repair.

Secondly, there is unconditional trust. This type of trust develops in a relationship over time. We feel safe and secure with our partner, and we think that they have our back in both good times and bad. Unconditional trust is the type of trust that can survive minor indiscretions in a relationship. If our partner for whom we have unconditional trust acts out of character, we realise that and work to resolve the issue.

Broken trust occurs when we perceive that something that we have agreed on in our relationship does not happen. When we talk about broken trust, many people focus on infidelity, but trust is also broken over time with an accumulation of small things such as not keeping your promises, not taking responsibility, inconsiderate behaviour or constantly missing important events.

Trust is paramount to the success of a relationship. We should be able to count on our partners. Many partners attempted to mask small issues with little white lies in the hopes that they will go unnoticed. Unfortunately, when the little white lies are exposed, the trust is further damaged.

Over promising and under delivering is one sure way to cause the trust to disintegrate over time. Often, we overpromise in the hopes of keeping our partner happy. Unfortunately, in the long run, we’re damaging the relationship. Better to promise less and deliver more.

Keeping some secrets may seem harmless, but it slowly destroys the sense of security that your partner has in the relationship. It in effect sends the message that there is a part of you that you are deliberately withholding from your partner. Healthy relationships have transparency as their foundation.

To keep trust strong in your relationship

  • Keep your promises – under promise and over deliver

  • Take responsibility for your choices and actions – avoid blaming other people. People tend to trust people who take responsibility.

  • Avoid inconsiderate behaviour – people need to feel that you are there for them before trust can exist

  • Avoid constantly missing important events – attending events that are important to your partner shows them that you are dependable and trustworthy

  • Be open and honest – don’t keep secrets from your partner

If trust is suffering in your relationship, getting professional help now, will stop the damage spreading and restore your relationship.

Call Tracey Janke 07 34581725 or book a complimentary 15 min phone consultation for more information.

Next Time – What gets in the way of repairing broken trust?

© Tracey Janke – StartPoint Counselling 2019