Dating

10 Ways To Regain Her Trust After You’ve Broken It

Once you lose someone’s trust, it’s hard to get it back. Some relationships, however, can survive betrayal, but in order for that to happen, the person who messed up needs to walk a thin line and prove that they’re worthy of a second chance. If you’ve made that mistake, here’s what you can do to work on making things better:

  1. Assume that she wants the truth if she asks a question. The truth might hurt, but after you’ve shattered her trust in you, she’s going to expect that there’s more information you’re hiding from her, and she’ll assume it’s going to sting. Trying to keep her “safe” is just going to make it worse when she inevitably finds out that you were keeping something else from her.
  2. Take actual steps toward self-improvement. Saying that you’ll be better is great for about two seconds. After that, you have to make your actions back your words up. Work on being a better man: cut toxic people out of your life, get substance abuse counseling, or visit a doctor if you think your mental health isn’t where it should be. She’ll be a lot more likely to trust you again if she can see that you’re making a real effort to better yourself.
  3. Empathize with her. Saying that you “feel bad” for what you did is different than actually feeling bad for what you did. Put yourself in her shoes and reverse the roles in your mind. Imagine her betraying your trust the way you betrayed hers. Do you feel sick? Angry? Do you know if you’d be willing to stay with her if she did what you did? What would she need to do to make it up to you? Trying to get in her headspace and making yourself hurt the way she’s hurting will show her that you get what she’s going through, at least to some degree.
  4. Accept the blame. If you try to pin any fault on her, it shows that you haven’t truly understood the impact of your actions, which makes it more likely that you’ll break her trust again. If you got caught flirting with someone else, don’t tell your partner that her lack of attention drove you to it. Your actions are your own, and you need to set aside your pride and accept that if you want any chance of saving your relationship.
  5. Take the initiative to remove toxic external factors from your life. If you got trashed and made bad decisions at a party, stay away from the party scene for a while. If you were making inappropriate comments on other girls’ social media pages, deactivate your social media account until you’ve worked through your issues. She shouldn’t have to ask you to do these things — it’s your responsibility to know your triggers and deal with the surface-level problems right off the bat.
  6. Be patient when she’s skeptical. Her trust isn’t going to return overnight just because you made a few promises to her. She might spend a long time second-guessing you, and rather than getting angry with her, you need to understand where she’s coming from and that she has every reason to be giving you side-eye. That trust will hopefully come back (and if it doesn’t, you two need to reexamine your relationship), but for a while, you’ll need to deal with the consequences of your betrayal if you want her to stick around.
  7. Give her access to whatever “proof” she needs. Take your passwords off your phone and social media accounts, and be willing to show her conversations that would prove (or disprove) that what you’re telling her is true. It’ll probably feel like an invasion of privacy, but that’s the price you pay when you prove to your partner that you can’t be trusted 100 percent of the time.
  8. Work hard to improve the way you communicate. A lack of communication is a major factor in the betrayal of trust. If you examine why you messed up, you’ll probably find that a large part of it had to do with you not being open enough about your struggles or emotions. The more effort you make not only to listen to your partner, but to speak about your own feelings, the faster she’ll be able to believe that you’re not hiding anything else from her.
  9. Address the root of the problem. A screw-up like this is rarely just a surface-level issue. If you told your parents confidential information about your partner, it’s less likely that you just “can’t keep a secret” and more likely that you have issues establishing boundaries with your family. Treating the symptom of the problem will only lead to more betrayal in the future; you need to go deeper if you want to prove to your partner that this will not happen again.
  10. Treat this as your one and only second chance. Many relationships don’t even survive one instance of broken trust, so if she’s giving you another shot, don’t take it for granted. Your partner might be willing to work through one problem like this and call it a mistake, but if you repeat the same behavior, she’ll know for a fact that you can’t be trusted. Do everything you can to ensure that this is a one-off occurrence.