Loss of trust in a relationship is devastating. Not only to the person who has been deceived, but oftentimes also to the person who did the deceiving.
Some common relationship slips that are often overlooked include issues like speaking or acting disrespectfully to your partner, or not following through on agreements or promises. These are all issues that damage trust. If we are having a tense discussion and you roll your eyes at me, or call me a name, I will no longer trust you as my partner who is supposed to protect me and care for me. Further, if we agree you are going to take care of certain things in the family or in the household, and I am going to take care of certain things, and you don’t do your part, I can no longer trust you to hold up your end of an agreement.
Many of these issues occur over the course of months or years and we don’t realize the impact they can have on us as individuals and as a couple. We apologize, we feel badly for our behavior, we say we will let it go, then it happens again and again. Small instances of breaking trust are equally damaging as large instances like financial deception or infidelity.
Moving forward from an infidelity, lie, secrets, or disrespect can be very challenging and takes some work. But it is possible if you are diligent, patient, and understanding.
Here are 6 guidelines to help you start repairing your relationship:
- Stop making the mistake. Obviously, this is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. If you speak to your partner disrespectfully, stop it. Lying? Stop it. If you are not following through on things you agreed to do, get up and get it done. If you are cheating, STOP IT!
- Communicate better. This is the absolute most important component of a relationship. There are a lot of ways to learn to communicate better, but start with being a better listener. 93% of communication is non-verbal. That means you are listening, you make eye contact, you aren’t fidgeting or being distracted, and you are engaged in what your partner is saying.
- Be clear about your expectations and needs. You are valuable in your relationship. But if you do not value yourself enough to advocate your needs, then how do you expect someone else to value you? It is our responsibility as people to communicate clearly what we need and what is acceptable, and unacceptable, for us in a relationship. Our partners do not have a crystal ball, it is unfair to expect them to read our minds. SPEAK UP!
- Be consistent. This is so important at any stage of building and maintaining a relationship. We are partners, a team. If I cannot depend on you to do what you say, be where you say you are going to be, go to the store when you say you are going, call when you say you will, then how are we a team? Consistency and dependability are extremely important character traits. It underscores your reliability and trustworthiness.
- Resolve your issues, always. Sometimes this is challenging. And sometimes it takes a long time. But if you don’t resolve your issues, they turn into bigger issues. Those small cracks in your foundation will, over time, cause your foundation to collapse. Learning to communicate and resolve issues is not difficult, but it has to be taught. These aren’t things we are born knowing. So take some time, call your coach, learn some skills, and make your relationship better.
- Fight Fair. I know, you hear me talk about this CONSTANTLY…that’s because it is incredibly important! Again, these aren’t skills we are born with, we need to learn. But many of the concepts are easy and with a little practice it becomes second-nature. You can link to my article called the 8 Simple Rules to Fight Fair here.
Everyone has the ability to learn, change, and grow. Many couples overcome extremely difficult situations and, with some hard work, can come back better than ever. Remember, don’t spend your time pointing your finger at your partner and blaming them for all the mistakes. It takes two to tango. Even if you are not the partner in the hot seat in this moment, we all play a role in damaging our relationships. It is never one person’s fault. Be open to looking at your part and seeing where you can improve your own skills. Not only to rebuild your relationship, but to be the best person you can be.
Call your coach! 877.976.4196