Rebuilding Trust

Written by Lynette Hoy NCC, LCPC

Has your trust been broken? Talk to a mentor today.

One of my clients once asked me what it means to trust another human being. She wanted to know how she should react when a spouse or significant other is dishonest, inconsiderate or having an affair. She wondered if it is possible to rebuild trust in someone who disappoints us greatly.

What does trusting someone signify?

Trust, in a practical sense, means that you place confidence in someone to be honest with you, faithful to you, keep promises, vows and confidences and not abandon you. Here are some factors to consider about trust. Trusting another person requires a realistic perspective about people and an expectation of failure. Trust needs to be combined with a willingness to forgive and grows best in an environment of acceptance and love.

There’s no magic machine, you don’t put in a quarter and out drops a can of trust — trust grows over time. People are complex, broken beings therefore, previous hurts, fears or losses can impede their determination to trust and/or be truthful in a relationship. But, people have the capacity and the ability to change and to grow in trust and truthfulness. You can rebuild trust in broken relationships when you make a choice to do so with the supernatural help of God.

Adjust your expectations

Love & God
A Conversation about Love & God
Has love betrayed you? Is it preventing you from believing that you are a human being who is loved by God? You are intelligent, beautiful, loved, and not alone.

People are human, frail, and sinful. Therefore, you need a realistic type of trust when you choose to trust someone. Trusting grows in relationships over time because as you spend time together with someone you build knowledge, understanding and authenticity. You gain insight into another person’s character, needs, motivations and fears.

Unconditional love develops trust because as you express this kind of love towards someone — generally he or she will sense your acceptance and feel comfortable to be vulnerable and honest about their feelings. Unconditional love actually builds self-esteem in others and alleviates their fears of rejection. People learn that they can be authentic with you about their feelings, opinions, and failures. The result is a growing trust in the other person. Not because that person is perfect but because that person is growing in honesty.

Unconditional love is patient and kind

It is not self-seeking. It does not keep a record of wrongs. When love is not patient or enduring; when love is unforgiving and always disappointed or looking for something to go wrong, it generates fear and looks for imperfections in the other person. Fear-based love is conditional creating an atmosphere of distrust, dishonesty and instability.

You can have a limited trust in people as you grow to know them and they see you really care about them but the fact is that people will let us down. That is reality. Obviously, when someone has broken their vows and been unfaithful, has lied or been dishonest in the relationship, they need to change. You can make some requests for change and take the risk of starting over again. Get counseling and pastoral guidance. You can find a counselor or go to the nearest mental health center. If you are suicidal please contact 911 (in the USA & Canada) or go to a hospital emergency room.

If that person is not sincere about changing and continues to lie or betray you, then, you need to consider whether to end the relationship.

Take a look at yourself as well

You will never be perfect and therefore, you will probably disappoint your loved one as well. You can promise to never say something hurtful or never tell a lie or never exaggerate or always keep your promises or (you name it) but since you are human you will also make mistakes and disappoint that person. The only thing you or your loved one can promise is to grow, to seek God and ask Him for strength to change. Then you and your loved one will become more trustworthy in your relationships, though you will never be perfect.

Every human relationship will suffer hurt. Thus, we all need to become better forgivers and confessors. That ability to reconcile and spirit of humbleness will prove the depth of your love and commitment.

The components of love, forgiveness and commitment are as necessary to trust in a relationship as is honesty. Forgiveness gives you the chance to start over and trust another fallible human being again. Love helps to nourish trust. Commitment and honesty provide accountability to one another.

The ability to forgive is rooted in being forgiven ourselves. In the Bible it says that God loves the world so much that he sent his only son so that we could be forgiven. As people we all make mistakes, not one of us can live up to the standard God set on our own. But God promises that if we accept what Jesus did for us, we can be forgiven. The slate can be wiped clean no matter what has happened in the past. God promises us strength for today and bright hope for the future. Whatever happened in your yesterdays God can take care of all of your tomorrows.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Saviour and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of woman you want me to be.

If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, pray it right now and Christ will come into your life as He promised. If you invited Jesus Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

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520 Responses to “Rebuilding Trust”

  • Sharon says:

    its hard to rebuild trust but you are right Elkay it is possible with God thank you for your comments to Jake. God bless you. I am praying for you and Jake

  • jake says:

    “frankly, Madam, I dont give a damn” – Shirt on your back, walk out and lever look back – that means never think about her, cancel her forever in your mind. There is no second chance for betrayal at that level. Walk away, take your losses with you (which with your dignity if you still have it will be about nothing but that actual shirt on your back).

    This blog is wrong wrong and wrong in the context of God. There is no second chance at that level, you were in bed with a devil. She betrayed you, you RUN, RUN RUN.

  • jake says:

    “throw her to the streets”, “leave witht he shirt on your back” – the shirt on your back is the last of whatever pride you had left with yourself after that betrayal.
    And the true of throw to the streets and leave with the shirt on your back combined, is a ironic something, I mean just run. That is another they say it. RUN. Get out, leave, and never look back. SHe betrayed you, go cry, you are not the first. (and I promise you, if you discovered an affair, HE is not the first one either, she is a slut of babylone – lets not get into abuse – as I said, leave with the shirt on your back and never look back)

  • Tom says:

    Bottom line is a heart problem, usually on the part of both parties. I am standing for my covenant marriage while God works in both our hearts. I will never “throw her to the streets”, as she choose to leave, but release my wife to God because it isn’t humanly possible to change someone else’s heart.

  • jake says:

    It has nothing to do with GOd. A woman who has thrown herself to the devil while in your bed – Throw her to the streets, leave her with the shirt on your back and never look back.

  • jake says:

    Elkay, have you ever listened to any of the 100s of hours of lectures of Alan Watt – maybe you should.

    Around that time I searched everywhere for hope to forgive here, and this blog actually got me to go and dive in and forgive her and I came out the fool not twice but 5 times.

  • jake says:

    “throw her to the street” – It is the kind of comment the boys in the gym you are lifting weights with, your mates, your slap you on the back and tell you.

    I am trying to help anyone reading this to avoid the pain i went through.

  • Elkay Elkay says:

    Jake, you are smart and right — I did not expect you to agree with me . . . at the end of your July 9, 2015 at 2:08 am blog, you said “If a woman betrays you, throw her to the street.” With that attitude, I can see why you do not think trust can be rebuilt but with God, nothing is impossible even after 5 failures. He cares about the people He created and “promises that if we accept what Jesus did for us, we can be forgiven”; when we truly realize how much we need His forgiveness, that helps us to choose to forgive.

    Please do not give up on God nor on yourself nor on a future wife . . . this may not be the place to delve into the complexities of Biblical marriage, but if you will study Genesis 1-2 carefully, you will find that marriage is not living merely for yourself nor for each other; it is two flawed creatures uniting and joining hands to serve God. I pray this strikes a positive chord with you.

  • Jake says:

    Elkay, Well, as you know from what I have already written, I dont and wont agree with you. I have been there and I read on every forum warnings from people that getting burnt the second time hurts more than even the first. Yes, because you found a way to forget it and move on with her and give her a second chance… But then burnt again – try burnt 5 times.

    The whole blog is wrong but it was good because it inspired and still is inspiring many people to respond.

  • Elkay Elkay says:

    Jake, the author, Lynette Hoy is honest about the difficulty of rebuilding trust that has been broken because broken trust bring anger, insecurity, anxiety, and fear into human relationships. But, it can be done if you want to badly enough and will make the commitment. Here’s the deal: Jesus told us that the Second Greatest Commandment was to love others as we wanted to be loved and in this context, loving others means putting their needs as being higher than your own, making what they need more important than your needs. Now, if someone has broken your trust, their need is for a trusting relationship to be to be restored . . . and so this is of a higher need than your feeling of betrayal. Jesus Himself gave us a wonderful example of this after Peter betrayed Him, denying that he even knew Jesus. Then, right after His resurrection, Jesus was specific that Peter be included in the group of disciples He was to shortly meet. And He singled Peter out to say love Me! We can do this same for He is with us and He lives in us and the Holy Spirit is ever-working to make us more like Him. This is what the author means when she says “people have the capacity and the ability to change and rebuild trust in broken relationships when you make a choice to do so with the supernatural help of God.” No, it will not be easy and will take time and commitment but it will one day be worth it.

  • JAke says:

    Is a functional alcoholic an alcoholic. You think you see relationships that successfully rebuild themselves after an affair – or do you just see two functional alcoholics.

    Its not possible to rebuild trust. By definition, your mind has said it was betrayed, it will never think otherwise. And you can not rebuild it. Its finished. Walk away, its your life to live, walk away – everyone knows how sad that story is, many people have lived through it.

  • JAke says:

    This article about forgiveness in the heart for betrayal, its the reason today the Christian world is being raped and pillaged.

    Have some dignity in your spirit. NO need for revenge. But turn your back and walk away with your shirt on it.

  • JAke says:

    And you can see other comments from JAKE here from 2 to 3 years ago, trying to reconcile it because my love had been ture – I tell you there is no way to rebuild trust, its like the worst choice you have now is to go back into that relationship. Cut it. And let the chidlren know that was why and why it was. Your partner chose to betray everything, to suicide the relationship. SO the relationshup is dead. There is no rebuilding trust, try as you will desperate love boy, its gone. Girl gone.

  • JAke says:

    I really dont think you can rebuild trust. In my life trust was something I give to every person I meet immediately unless then there are signals that I can not or should not trust this person.

    When it is a person you trusted so much without question that you shared a bed with them, and then they betray that in your mind, really how can you rebuild that greatest betrayal, everyone needs a life partner. If someone has betrayed that you can not ever rebuild that.

    We humans are like pigeons in that we need a life partner. I think one day if we study pigeons closer we will understand ourselves more.

    I had a life expereience once was the saddest day of my life. I had been designated for the worst job to clean all the pigeon crap out of a coop above a secondary school. The school had had a problem that pigeons were cooping in the attic. My company didnt know anything about the original workers contracted to solve the problem. But the solution had been the most obvious – to block every hole to the coup.
    Obviously none of the contracters had bothered to actually climb in there and get all the pigeons out before blocking their coup.
    And as I am cleaning up the coup mess, all the pigeon crap and feathers, (it was about 300m2, I come across two dead pigeons, a male and female. And they had lay down next to each other, touching each other, and died – having been locked in a tomb.

    I will never forget that.

    You can not rebuild trust. There is one life. And if your partner levied it on risks, he;she was looking to leave you. Then they fail to find a replacement partner and then come running back begging you for forgiveness and a second chance – there is no second chance in love. You were lucky to have found it in the first place.

    There is such thing as rebuilding trust. People who write this crap are themselves trying to convince themselves that there is such a thing. I feel sorry for them. Cut and run. If a woman betrays you, throw her to the street. End of story.

  • Sharon says:

    to Nancy oops it finished before I did- I pray all of this in JESUS name amen I am praying for you and your husband— sharon

  • Sharon says:

    to Nancy I am sorry of your struggles but I like your ending about encouraging others on what to do. prayer — father God I pray for Nancy for her I pray for a restoration of trust again bless her and be with her I pray all of this in

  • Nancy says:

    It will take time and maybe not ever the trust is broken. Trust always in the Lord and whatever his will be done. My husband has had a lot of emotional affairs, one with a lady of 8 months. He stares, lusting at younger, slender ones, and I have taken enough. He changes not and he says, SO What. He is a perfection man, self centered. I didn’t know all of this when i dated him, he was hiding his bad traits. To sat beside a man and let him lust after young ladies in front of him, watching them walk, took me to the point of walking out no matter where I am. We had 60.00 tickets and he lusted after a young mother, asking her to sat with us. He refuse to allow her to sat behind him. After an hour of him fussing with this lady. I just walked out. I refuse to go with him to live shows, church is out of it, he is staring at ladies, blondes usually. A lady has so many emotions when she has been hurt and hurt again and again. Her trust is gone with the man she married. Don’t give up on your spouse but give her breathing room, date her again if she will let you. Give her gifts but most of all , give her your time, patience and love for Christ.

  • Chris says:

    mduduzi….sorry you are struggling…its true that trust can be easily broken in a relationship. as fallen creatures with sinful tendencies, its so easy for us to fall into a spiritual traps of temptation. that is why first and foremost we need to establish a relationship with the one who died to free us from our sinful nature, jesus christ. i invite you to log onto knowingjesuspersonallly.com or click talk to a mentor above to begin your relationship with christ today. only by being right with christ can we be right with others who also know him too. i pray jesus enlightens your undersanding and give you the knowledge of knowing and doing his will. if you already know jesus, continue to seek him for the right person he would have for you. Matthew 19. its his will and not ours that needs to be done on earth as it is in heaven. blessings!

  • MDUDUZI says:

    I realy need to be trusted by my girl friend and also regain her love.

    She has told me that she cant be in a relationship with me anymore.

  • Tom says:

    Brittany, I posted here last year and felt led to respond to your post. I had an emotional affair with a friend of my wife’s four years ago, thenMarch, then followed it with three years of being “checked out” on our marriage of almost 29 years. My wife finally had enough if my lack of input into our relationship and left last March, then followed it up with divorce papers in January. God has forgivin me, my wife hasn’t. I recommited my life to God and realize it’s all in His hands and there is NOTHING I can do but be obedient to Him, pray, and wait for restoration. That aside, your relationship with God is paramount right now and if you don’t have one, do it please! Satan is seeking to destroy families and he’s taken your husband captive to do his will–remember that! I would highly recommend Rejoice Marriage Ministries (https://www.rejoiceministries.org) and seek out God’s will for your marriage!

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