Betrayal by a loved one is one of the hardest things to get over which leaves us grappling with questions like, “How to trust someone again?” or “Is it possible to trust someone again?” We all come into relationships with a certain degree of vulnerability and hope that our partners won’t break our hearts. Unfortunately, as human beings, we make mistakes, we mess up, we break hearts, and get our hearts broken. We can’t help but sometimes find ourselves saying, “I am feeling vulnerable because my trust was broken.” We suddenly find it extremely difficult to trust people.
And then we knock at Google’s door to ask, “How to trust someone again after they lied?” Our trust and faith in someone are like glass. You can still see the broken lines after gluing the pieces together. Learning how to trust again after cheating becomes a daunting challenge. But sometimes, people genuinely regret breaking the trust of a loved one. They feel mortified seeing the pain they are causing you. True that you need a lot of courage and emotional strength to trust your partner after lying has taken hold in your relationship. But, if their remorse is genuine, you may choose to take that chance and find it in your heart to trust people again.
It takes a great deal of effort and good intentions to rebuild trust in a relationship. Unless both partners are on the same page, and willing to honestly work on the relationship, it’s not going to be easy to attach the broken pieces. So, how to trust the same person again after they hurt you? After they broke every promise that they made to you? Is it possible to trust again after cheating? We bring you the answers in consultation with psychotherapist Jui Pimple (MA in Psychology), a trained Rational Emotive Behavior therapist and A Bach Remedy practitioner who specializes in online counseling.
How To Decide Whether You Should Trust Your Partner Again
“When hurt, deciding how to trust the same person again who hurt you requires a crisp evaluation. Start by examining the severity of their actions and the impact they had on your relationship,” advises Jui. Was it a minor hiccup or a major breach of trust? Next, observe their remorse and efforts to make amends. Do they genuinely acknowledge their mistake and take responsibility, or do they brush it off like crumbs on a table? If their remorse is sincere and they actively work to rebuild trust, it might be worth considering giving them a second chance.
However, don’t ignore your own feelings and boundaries. Trust is like a delicate soufflé; once deflated, it loses its structural integrity. Take time to assess your emotional well-being and whether you feel safe and respected in the relationship. Engage in open and honest communication, and see if your partner actively listens and addresses your concerns.
If their actions align with their words and they consistently demonstrate positive change, it may be a sign that trusting them again could be a favorable possibility. But if their efforts fall flat or they repeat past mistakes, it might be best to prioritize your peace of mind and consider moving on. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you decide either way:
- Has your partner taken genuine responsibility for their actions?
- Have they demonstrated consistent efforts to change their bad behavior?
- Can you effectively communicate and rebuild emotional safety?
- Do you genuinely believe in their potential for growth and change?
Related Reading: 10 Steps To Recover If You’re Being Fooled By Someone You Love
Trusting Someone Again After They Hurt You – Tips By An Expert
When some or all of the signs of lack of trust in a relationship have become evident and you realize you have been betrayed by someone you trusted implicitly, you’ll be left wondering, “How to trust someone again after they lied?” Trust is, after all, one of the foundation blocks of any healthy relationship, and once gone, can be hard to rebuild. To understand how to trust someone again after they hurt you, it’s important to establish clear definitions of what trust means in your relationship or more importantly what it means to you now.
“Trust also means having enough faith in yourself to be open and vulnerable with your partner after they have hurt you,” says Jui, “And once you have reached a space where you feel safe with them again, you’ll also have to trust yourself enough to have firm relationship boundaries. Only you can decide whether you’re ready for it or not.”
When trust is broken in a relationship, trusting your partner again is a conscious decision that should not be forced upon you. You have no obligation to return to a toxic situation. Take your time to heal and set clear boundaries before considering giving them a second chance. Rebuilding trust in a relationship takes time and effort. Remember, it won’t be easy, but these 11 tips on re-establishing trust can help you move forward and find some solace:
Related Reading: 11 Ways Being Cheated On Changes You
1. Take time to grieve
When someone breaks your trust, take your time to grieve and heal. View the betrayal as a loss and allow yourself to mourn. Recognize that rebuilding trust will change the dynamics of the relationship. Embrace your emotions and give yourself space to process them fully. It is okay to accept the fact that you’re hurting and let the pent-up anger erupt with statements like, “I am feeling vulnerable because my trust was broken. I will never trust you again.”
“Grief is hard to process,” Jui warns, “And it’s tempting to pretend things are better than they are and that you’re doing fine. But letting your feelings build up and boil over is not a healthy way for you or your relationship. You can’t rebuild trust if you’re holding onto the feelings you never allowed yourself to feel.”
How do you trust someone again after they cheat? Well, a good first step is not to brush your feelings under the carpet. You have every right to be bewildered, angry, and sad. Feel your feelings and honor them before starting to let them go. Only then can you possibly begin to trust again after infidelity, being cheated on, or being hurt.
2. Communicate your feelings
Building trust after betrayal requires addressing communication problems. Although the urge to vent angrily may be strong, it’s crucial to find healthier ways to express your feelings. Consider journaling to release your emotions or confiding in trusted friends who can provide validation and support. Trusting your partner again involves breaking the silence and initiating a conversation when you feel ready.
Openly communicate your emotions and thoughts to your partner, allowing them to understand the impact of their actions on your trust. Remember, rebuilding trust in a relationship takes time, and effective communication is a key component. By finding constructive outlets for your emotions and expressing your feelings to your partner, you can pave the way for healing and potentially restoring trust in your relationship.
“When you are ready to communicate with your partner, do so firmly and politely,” Jui says, “They should understand what you’re going through and see that you’re trying to help sustain this relationship. If you’re unable to draw up any tender feelings for your partner, communicate that as well, so they know where things are going.”
3. Listen and hear them out
You might be hesitant, thinking, “Why should I listen to my cheating partner? I’m feeling vulnerable and hurt. They should be the ones listening. How can I trust again after being hurt when all I do is listen to them?” We understand your skepticism, but learning how to love again after being hurt involves some level of acceptance. While you don’t have to accept their excuses or shift blame onto yourself, hearing your partner out can provide insight into the reasons behind their betrayal and help you understand their perspective.
By looking them in the eye and actively listening, you can gain clarity on any relationship issues and determine necessary changes moving forward. Recognizing the underlying problems allows you to begin a new chapter and work toward rebuilding trust in a more informed manner.
“When listening, stay open and alert,” Jui advises, “Don’t be carried away by sensitive, soft words; rather try and get to know the intention behind the words. Don’t let preconceived notions or judgment cloud your mind while listening. “I hear you” are the strongest trust words in a relationship.”
Related Reading: 12 Ways To Get Your Husband To Listen To You
4. Get your own space
Living with a partner who has betrayed you can be incredibly challenging and toxic. Constantly facing them as a reminder of the broken trust can hinder the healing process. Taking some time away, like staying with a friend or finding your own space, allows you to collect your thoughts and regain perspective.
If possible, suggest that your partner also find a temporary living arrangement, whether it’s with family or friends nearby. Communicate your need for space and time to sort through your emotions. When contemplating how to trust again after betrayal, creating distance from a toxic relationship can be a healthy step toward healing.
Even if you are willing to give the relationship another chance, reconnecting with someone who broke your heart will take time. According to Juhi, getting your own space when you’re hurt and confused can help you in the following ways:
- It offers a dedicated space for healing and reflection, free from reminders of betrayal
- It empowers you and helps rebuild self-esteem, fostering a sense of control over your life
- It allows for establishing new routines and a fresh start, allowing you to detach yourself from the pain caused by the betrayal
5. Practice forgiveness
“Why is it so hard to gather yourself when someone breaks your trust?” “How can I trust again after being hurt?” “How to forgive your partner for lying?” You may find yourself agonizing over questions like these because being hurt by someone you hold so close is frustrating. Your agony is justified.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all wonderful loving beings who forgave each other easily at all times? But, we’re not, and certainly not when a romantic partner has betrayed us and we’re plotting ways to bring them down! So, what to do when someone betrays your trust?
You cannot take a step ahead without a forgiving mindset. That holds true regardless of whether you want to save the relationship or not. I know, easier said than done to let go of something so horrible. But if you don’t, you will be holding onto the same grudge five months later and nobody can be happy in the relationship. It is a step toward saving your relationship with yourself.
Like active listening, forgiveness in relationships, too, is an action you’ll need to practice every day as you attempt to trust somebody again after they hurt you. According to Jui, some ways that will help you with your practice are:
- Mindfulness: Acknowledge and remind yourself that forgiveness clears your mind and promotes healthy and positive thoughts, all of which are better for your own health and peace of mind
- Perspective: Try and understand your partner’s personality traits, situation, and past experiences that may have contributed to what they did to you. When you understand better, you forgive more easily
- Emotional replacement: Negative, unforgiving thoughts can be replaced with positive, reinforcing ones. You could try and focus on the good memories you and your partner have every time you think of their betrayal
It’s easy to respond to “How do you trust someone again after they cheat?” with “Forgive them”. But forgiveness doesn’t come spontaneously when you’re hurting and you will have to work at it, it takes time.
6. Let the past go
Bringing up past wrongs in the heat of an argument may feel tempting and almost natural but it only hinders the process of repairing a broken relationship. Resentment and vengeful thoughts will corrode your ability to trust again. To truly move forward, it’s essential to let go of the past and free yourself from the cage of anger and bitterness.
Constantly dwelling on past betrayals prevents the growth and healing necessary for regaining trust in a relationship. Instead, focus on learning from the past and embracing a future without old grudges. Holding onto negativity will only weigh you down, hindering the potential for a healthier and happier relationship.
We understand that hearing them accept, “I lied and ruined my relationship”, will soothe your pain. But when learning to trust again after a bad relationship, resist using past transgressions as ammunition just to have them confess to their wrongdoings. It will only push them on the defensive and make matters worse. Disagreements will arise, but allowing the past to dictate present conflicts will impede progress. Let go of the past and embrace the opportunity to build a fresh foundation of trust.
Related Reading: Making Peace With Your Past: 13 Wise Tips
7. Learn to trust yourself
Regaining trust in a relationship after being cheated on involves rebuilding your self-confidence and self-esteem. Trusting yourself is crucial before trusting your partner again. Have confidence in the choice you’ve made. Whether to give the relationship another chance or break it off temporarily, trust in your ability to overcome any obstacles that arise regardless of the choice. Remember that even in the face of broken trust, you can trust your instincts and heart to navigate through the healing process.
“There’s no point trying to rebuild trust in a partner if you’re floundering yourself,” Jui says, “Your inner strength and convictions are what will carry you through this tough time and that’s what you need to focus on first. It’s like how you put on your oxygen mask first before helping anyone else.”
8. Avoid being the victim
‘Victim’ is a terribly passive term and seems to denote someone who has no say and no control over what is happening in their lives. When you constantly see yourself as a victim, you become someone to whom things happen rather than someone who makes things happen.
You’re a survivor. You get to be sad, you get to wallow, and you get to articulate that terrible things have happened to you. But what happens after that? Do you control the narrative or do you simply label yourself a victim and let things happen to you? To learn to trust again, you have got to be confident in your own skin. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind about victimizing yourself according to Juhi:
- Constantly labeling yourself thus can keep you from making active choices and conscious decisions that will help you rebuild trust and have faith in your own strength and ability to move past tough times
- Take charge of your own life and make things happen for you
- Most importantly, stop seeking external validation for your excellent qualities
Related Reading: Manipulation In Relationships – 11 Subtle Signs You Are A Victim
9. Consider the future
While considering how to fix a relationship with trust issues, you should also consider the future. The future perspective will open up your mind to the repercussions of the choice you’re about to make. It will help you detach from your current emotional state and assess things with better clarity. Consider your life and everyone in it, while you’re considering an attempt to rebuild trust with your partner.
Who will be affected in the long term? You certainly will be, as will the children (if you have any) and any extended family you share. Even if you decide not to stay together, attempt to rebuild trust so that you’re both happier as co-parents and as individuals. Maybe you’ll no longer share a romantic bond but there can be trust and respect, and a healthy family environment that works well for everyone.
“Look ahead and think about what you want,” Jui says, “Do you want to stay in an unhappy marriage for the kids, do you want to separate for a while, or do you want to genuinely give things another chance? The degrees and kinds of trust you build will depend on your decision and how you see the future.”
10. Have clear boundaries
Rebuilding trust after being hurt requires establishing and respecting boundaries within the relationship. It is crucial to have open discussions about new boundaries that need to be set and reinstating old ones. Addressing situations like workplace interactions and potential attraction to others is important, especially if cheating or infidelity was the cause of the broken trust. It is also important to establish quality time expectations and time management for the relationship.
Talk about how to navigate these scenarios and establish boundaries that both partners are comfortable with. While compromise can be considered, it is important to be firm in setting non-negotiable boundaries. Having practical and honest conversations about boundaries will contribute to gaining trust back and maintaining a healthy relationship moving forward. You have to keep in mind that only you are responsible for your happiness.
Here’s Juhi’s take on the role of boundaries in re-establishing trust in a relationship:
- Setting clear boundaries establishes a foundation of respect and mutual understanding
- Clear boundaries provide a sense of safety and security, allowing you to regain trust gradually
- Boundaries help prevent further bad behaviors and create a framework for rebuilding trust
- By communicating and enforcing boundaries, you demonstrate self-worth and establish expectations for a healthier future
Related Reading: How To Heal After Being Cheated On And Stay Together
11. Seek professional help
Building trust after betrayal is a heart-rending journey and you may find yourself weak and helpless in the process. You don’t have to handle all of this alone. And it always helps to have an impartial, professional ear to listen to and help you sift through the painful muddle in your head. When dealing with someone you can’t trust, it’s vital to have someone in your corner who you can. You could start out by going to a counselor yourself and eventually go for couple’s therapy.
Remember there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help and going to a professional doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. Grief, anger, and betrayal are all valid reasons to talk to someone and will help you navigate your way back to a place from where you can start gaining trust back. Therapy also establishes a routine and pattern in your life through trust-building exercises for couples and individuals. Loving yourself, self-respect, and self-care are important at this stage, and getting help is a big part of that. If that’s something you’d like to consider, skilled and experienced counselors on Bonobology’s panel of experts are always here for you.
“Counseling and therapy mean that you’re getting an outside perspective from a professional who sees every side of your situation,” Jui says, “It’s healthy to hear a narrative from someone who’s not too close to you to be able to see things clearly.” How to trust someone again after they hurt you is one of the trickiest relationship terrains you’ll ever have to navigate. Understand that no matter how much love and effort you pour into it, your relationship will not go back to what it was before. But that doesn’t mean it cannot be beautiful and fulfilling.”
- When betrayal occurs, we’re often left with questions like, “Can you trust someone who cheated?”, “I hurt someone I love, how do I fix it?” or “What is a relationship without trust?”
- Allow yourself the time and space to grieve and heal
- Have clear communication so that you can share your perspectives
- Try to forgive your partner and let go of the past
- Think about what you want for your relationship in the future
- Set some clear boundaries this time as you move forward
Whether it’s about repairing a broken relationship with someone you hurt or someone who has betrayed you, there’s no ready-made map for this journey. If you choose to work toward rebuilding your relationship, you might have to approach it as a whole new relationship with completely new rules and expectations.
So, if you ask us, “Can you fall back in love with someone who hurt you?” or “Is trust recovery possible after duplicity?”, we’d say yes! As with most people and relationships, if you choose each other every day and communicate clearly, if you’ve promised to tackle everything that comes your way together; there’s every chance you’ll repair and rebuild your trust all over again.
This article was updated in July 2023
Yes, you can. If you have decided to trust them again, if you’re willing to communicate again and to listen with both compassion and a clear mind, you can trust them again after being lied to. Be ready to take your time and feel huge amounts of relationship insecurity before you’re ready to trust again. Take time and space for yourself, and be clear about what you want. If you feel like you can’t wrap your head around finding the answer to, “Can you trust someone who cheated?”, remember that’s fine too.
There’s no one way or easy method to do this. You have to decide that you want to trust them again, that they are worth the time and effort it’s going to take to open up and be vulnerable again. There will be new boundaries to create and new expectations to live up to. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge that this is no longer the relationship you once had. To trust a liar again, you will need to see them as a person who is capable of hurting you yet someone you still want to trust.
The first order of business to move forward after being betrayed by someone should be to take some time off from each other. The space will help you analyze the whole situation and gain some fresh perspective. Before you make up your mind about getting back together, have open communication with your partner and hear their side of the story.