Relationships are built on a foundation of many things, few more important than a mutual feeling of trust. According to the dictionary, “trust” refers to a firm belief in the truth, reliability, or strength of someone or something, as well as the belief in this truth and reliability that people should have. In laymen’s terms?
Trust is knowing that you can believe the other person. It’s knowing that you can take them at their word and that when they say they are committed to your relationship, they mean it. Usually, trust is inherent and only builds over time. However, when something goes wrong in a relationship, the trust can be lost rather quickly.
At that point, is it worth even carrying on? Should you try to save a relationship without trust? There are a lot of factors to consider because every relationship is different. Here need to know what to do when someone breaks your trust in a relationship.
How Trust Happens
Trust starts building in a relationship as we get to know another person. The more we can predict their behavior and actions, the more trust we develop. When people are consistent, they’re easier to trust. The fact is that we can never truly know what our partner is saying or doing 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Even if they tell you, detail by detail, every event of their day, you may not have the trust required to believe them.
That’s how important trust is, and that’s why even though it takes a while to build, it’s time worth spending. Increasing the sense of security and trust over time comes with more time apart, more situations where the trust proves to pay off (worrying about them and then they reappear saying they were dealing with a family matter, for one example), and more conflict resolution that is executed effectively.
The problem is that while trust is slow to build, it can dissolve in a matter of seconds.
When someone betrays another person, it can hurt deeply. Depending on what took place and how seriously it affected the people involved, the relationship’s trust can be irreparably damaged. One single indiscretion could ruin years of trust and once that trust is gone, the rest of the relationship becomes quickly undermined.
No trust in a relationship often leads to miscommunications. Since we can no longer trust, we don’t communicate effectively. Even when we try to, the lack of trust gets in the way and we often have a hard time taking what people say at face value. It may always feel like there’s an ulterior motive. In any case, it’s important to be able to trust your partner and communicate with them to have any kind of relationship.
So, can you trust someone after they’ve created a situation that puts that trust into question? That’s a loaded question with a lot of variables and ultimately, you’re the only one who can answer it. However, here are some cautionary things to keep in mind.
Relationship Without Trust, Nothing Matters
While you might think that you can “get past” whatever you are dealing with, it doesn’t always go so smoothly. Someone is likely to be resentful and frustrated at the situation, and perhaps even at the other person directly. If you do not trust each other for some reason, you will not care to effectively communicate, let alone be able to do so. Trust is sometimes a matter of perspective, too, so make sure that you sit back and look at whether there’s really a trust issue or if you’re just amping up your minor feelings of insecurity that come from past relationships.
If you don’t trust someone, you are never going to feel secure in your relationship. You will constantly be questioning their intentions, actions, and behaviors. You will always worry that they’re “up to something” or that they aren’t giving you the relationship that you deserve. It can be difficult to maintain intimacy and feel connected to a partner when the trust dissolves.
How to Save a Relationship Without Trust Or Leave?
This is the big question that most people have when they’re in a relationship with trust issues. You might not be ready to throw in the towel just yet, but you know that something’s got to give. That’s why trust is important in a relationship. Before you do or decide anything, here’s what you need to know:
- This is a two-person process. You can’t be the only one trying to save your relationship and rebuild the trust. Make sure that you are both on board here. Otherwise, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and effort because it takes a lot of work and compromise to overcome trust issues.
- Has trust actually been lost? If not, it can be even harder to repair a relationship. Being able to point out an exact issue or element of mistrust is much easier than feeling suspicious or untrusting of someone and having to essentially take them at their word. The unfounded mistrust usually stems from prior relationship issues or past experiences, so it’s something that the person struggling needs to work out on their own.
- Is forgiveness possible? Some things happen in relationships that will completely ruin trust and be unforgivable. Depending on your circumstances and situation, the event that broke trust may or may not be something that you can forgive. If not, it’s time to walk away and leave everyone to move forward. If you think it is a possibility, though, you’ll have to be willing to put in the work.
- Can you communicate openly? This is a major factor in determining what the next steps in your relationship should be. Even if you want to salvage things, if you can’t communicate openly and honestly with your partner, it’s not going to work. If you want to save your relationship, you need to start over and re-learn how to communicate so that you can start rebuilding that trust.
These factors will help you get a better understanding of the state of your relationship and what your next move should be after trust has been lost or questioned. It’s not impossible to recover from, but it does take time and effort from both partners.