Repairing broken trust in a relationship can be very difficult. Many times the reason for the broken trust stems from infidelity or broken promises and these violations within a relationship can virtually destroy it. If you and your partner are committed to working through it though, you will find that your relationship can become stronger than ever.
Before any trust can be rebuilt you must address how and/or why it was broken in the first place. This is the time for brutal honesty. A complete confessional of how the trust was broken should only be done when you are both ready to hear it. Heartfelt apologies should be offered with indications of remorse and promises to not violate the trust again.
There is a massive amount of stress on your relationship once the trust has been broken. Reconciliation can happen first. This happens when both you and your partner make an agreement to work on the issues and rebuild the trust and the relationship. Reconciliation usually has to happen before forgiveness. It also indicates that you are invested in salvaging the relationship and not giving up on it. In many cases it will be up to the person that violated the trust to initiate reconciliation.
The most difficult task is then to forgive. It is never easy to forgive, but if you continue to hold on you will constantly live in a state of rage or anger. Forgiving doesn’t mean that you excuse abusive behavior. It does mean that you are able to work towards letting go of the past. Relationship experts suggest starting with forgiving your partner for their weakness. Your partner also needs to be ready to be forgiven and accept the consequences of their actions.
Sit down with your partner and reevaluate your goals. Remind each other what your priorities are and what unifies your life together. Sometimes a vocal or written commitment to the relationship is a good place to start. Try to avoid setting up conditions of forgiveness.
Getting outside help is strongly recommended. Make an appointment for the two of you to sit down with a relationship counselor. This should be a safe environment for both of you to be honest about how the trust has been damaged or lost. These counselors will have steps for you to go through that will help repair any damage, or in the worst cases, help you to safely walk away from each other.