“Human beings need to trust,” explains Steven Stosny, Ph.D. “In contrast, distrust is fraught with anxiety and resentment. No loneliness is lonelier than distrust.”
Trust is always a risk, and nothing hurts more than when someone you love lets you down. Medical professionals report that the most common forms of betrayal are harmful disclosures of confidential information, disloyalty, infidelity and dishonesty. According to Behaviour Research and Therapy, “They can be traumatic and cause considerable distress.”
Relationships can be complex but, depending on what happened, a betrayal does not always need to result in the end of the relationship. Sometimes, it can be worth an attempt to rebuild the trust that was once shared. Though it might take time and effort, there are some people in your life that belong there, despite the mistakes that have been made along the way.
Here are five signs the trust can be salvaged and it’s worth the effort to rebuild:
The incident was a mistake, not a reflection of the person’s character
Everyone makes mistakes; it’s just a fact of life! If a loved one lets you down, take the time to evaluate if the wrongdoing was representative of the whole person—their true inner self—or if what happened was a forgivable slip-up.
Communication has since improved
When the result is that communication increases between the parties, it could signal that the event was a growing experience, and now the relationship can be the very best version of itself.
Lessons were learned
If progress has been made since the trust was first broken, it can be much easier (and so much more worth it) to try to move forward with this individual.
The person takes full responsibility for the past
If the person who broke your trust is overly defensive of their actions, be wary that they might not take issue with their past behavior. AKA, you will probably be let down again if you choose to forgive.
You are confident in your own judgment
You know yourself and the situation better than anyone else. If you truly believe that this person is capable of change, trust your own judgment.
You may not forget what happened, but the pain attached to the memories will eventually diminish with time. Trust cannot be rebuilt overnight, but there is a way to move forward and emerge stronger than ever before.