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Can you rebuild trust after you do something stupid? The answer is, "Yes!" Rebuilding trust is a common issue with couples. Trust can be destroyed by many different problems; infidelity, additions, lying and pornography are just a few. But these issues do not need to end the relationship. There is hope for restoring trust and building a healthier, stronger marriage.
The ten points below are steps to help overcome serious relationship issues and rebuild trust with a partner. Remember that you can't talk your way out of something that you behaved your way into. You have to actually change your behavior; focus more on action than on talk. The interesting thing about trust is that it has to be earned and it has to be given. The one who betrayed the trust has to work to earn it back and the one who has been betrayed must eventually give forgiveness.
TOP 10 WAYS TO REBUILD TRUST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP
#10 TAKE 100% RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PORNOGRAPHY ADDICTIONS
• Don't make excuses. Don't blame others, your partner or your hormones.
• Don't be the martyr. Just own your problems. You can't overcome an addiction you don't own. By owning the problem entirely, you can also own the solutions to the problems.
• Dig deeper into finding out specifically why you fell to the addiction. What was the attraction? What was the trigger?
#09 BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND
• Look at the big picture. Get a very clear goal of what you want most in your life and burn that goal into your brain. It's easier to say no when there is a deeper yes burning inside. What do you want your wife to say about you at your 50th wedding anniversary? What would you like your children to say? What is your ultimate goal?
#08 REMEMBER THE RULE THAT YOU CAN'T TALK YOUR WAY OUT OF SOMETHING YOU BEHAVED YOUR WAY INTO
• Quit trying to convince your partner that you've changed and instead, truly change.
• Focus more on action than words. People are much more inclined to believe what you're doing than everything you say you're going to do.
• Try to overwhelm your partner and yourself with healthy, consistent behavior.
#07 REPRIORITIZE YOUR MARRIAGE AND FAMILY
• After you've made pornography first in your life, the best way to rebuild trust with your spouse is to put your family first. Find ways to connect to your spouse daily. Find time to be together every day. Go on date nights and remember that the key isn't time only…but connection.
• Your spouse comes first even before kids or work!!!!
• Don't take your family for granted. Be there for family time, family meals, family prayer.
#06 GET OUTSIDE HELP NO MATTER WHAT
• Pornography is a silent killer… and must be pushed out into the open to be dealt with. Pride and pornography go hand in hand so when your partner sees you're not too proud to get help, it immediately builds trust.
• If you are too proud, ashamed or embarrassed to get help, then the poison of pornography will have a home in your heart. Many just push it under the rug and pretend they'll just stop it on their own. In order to rebuild trust, your partner is going to have to know you own the problem and are open to do whatever it takes.
• No matter how insignificant it is, get help from counselors, bishops, and/or addiction experts
#05 INCREASE YOUR DISCIPLINE & TRANSPARENCY
• Personally set rules and boundaries. "One of the best ways I've found to grow trust is simply to do things that are trustworthy."
• Activity- Set some boundaries or rules and live them religiously. Examples:
o Build walls around your temptations. Get rid of cell phones.
o If you have a cell phone, make sure your time and activities on the phone are transparent.
o Make sure you arrive home on time.
o Do less travelling alone.
o Go to bed together and at the same time.
o No alone computer time.
• Nothing can build trust faster than knowing that you can truly depend on yourself and your own discipline. Don't take the easy way out. Show your partner that you really put forth an effort.
#04 BE PRESENT IN YOUR LIFE
• Many times when people fall into addictions, they fall out of life. Nothing tells your partner that she's got the "real you" back more than you just being present. Being present means you're actually engaged in the activity or conversation when you are with your partner. Be present with your partner and in your life. Have you ever driven home and not remembered driving. Life takes place in the present. It's not in the past or the future. When you're home be home.
• We get stuck focusing on the past. Living the past gets us into self-fulfilling prophecy. Quote- "When you live out of the past, you're bound to that which is finite, when you live out of the present you are bound to that which is infinite."
• Quit focusing on the past and future and start changing your life right now. It means your head is in the room, you're not distracted, and you're focused on what is going on. Lose the distractions, excuses and guilt and become the change you want in your life.
#03 GET HEALTHY
• Use your energy to really get healthy. Healthy comes from the same root as hale and hearty. Healthy means whole. Every person wants to see their partner is whole.
• Get independent and strong. Get independent so you don't have to stay together but become independent so you can eventually become an interdependent couple.
• Do something today to strengthen yourself in these four areas:
o Physical - Start getting in great shape. You'll look better and feel better.
o Social - Build a network of friends.
o Emotional - Work on self-esteem. Find a coach, therapist or confidant to work out your emotional pain.
o Mental - Get your head in the game, read relationship books and build your relationship.
o Financial - Build a plan for how you'll make it on your own financially.
#02 BE HAPPY AND IN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS
• Recognize you're mourning…give it time.
• People trust their partner when they see they're truly happy. Most wives love to see their partner being happy and healthy. Nothing says you're healthier than truly being happy. Try smiling more, have fun joking and being with your family. That involves the spirit and builds trust. Sometimes in life, even faking being happy is a shortcut to actually being happy.
• If you used to have a temper, work on losing it. Sometimes anger at others is a sign of guilt and sinning, so when we no longer show such negative emotions, others can trust us more.
#01 FIND THE PEACE AND CELEBRATE THE PROGRESS
• All great changes come from the inside out. In order to make change stick you need to feel the difference deep in your heart.
• You need to have the seeds of healthy living and then the peace of integrity overwhelms your fears.
• Healthier Questions-
o What part of the problem am I?
o What do I need to work on most to make my life happier?
o What advice would the "old me" give to me right now?
o What messages are my instincts telling me that I've been ignoring the problem?