Restoring Trust In a Relationship
It takes years to build. It takes a lot of work but it can be gone in an instant. Trust. It is such a rare commodity. Restoring trust in a relationship is not as easy as some say especially in a marriage relationship…and by marriage I mean between man and woman. (got to clarify that these days. Anyway, here is why it is not easy.
A marriage relationship is one of the most intimate situations anyone can find themselves in. Intimacy, as Professor Dick Day used to say, is “into-me-see”. You get to see the very depth of another person’s soul. Things that no other person knows. And that is what grows the intimacy, the love, the closeness. It is exclusive.
When that trust is broken, either through an affair with another man or woman, or illicit spending habits and on and on the list goes, the offended spouse will usually close the access that was previously open. And that is understandable. The impact of the deception is deep and real, there is no reason to continue being deceived, lied to, shamed, hurt…
The offending spouse has got very little to show that they can still be trusted and cannot ask or even demand that they are still worthy of trust. So it comes down to the two things that will be of some help
1. Life Change.
They have to demonstrate that their life has changed. This is a lot more harder than said. However, if trust has to be restored, the offending spouse has to commit to this. Usually, this takes the help of a trusted third party for accountability purposes. And genuine change should be rooted in Jesus Christ…yes I am preaching again.
2. Sustained Actions That Show Character Change
They also have to show actions that give evidence of the character change. The catch is, these have to be sustained. Too many times the offending party comes back begging to be let in only based on their word. However, true change will be sustained over time. That is not to say there won’t be slip ups, but at least you have got to have less of those and more of the positive indicators.
Even after these have been demonstrated, the offended spouse reserves the right of admission to trust. Whether they should or not is another story for another day but I am simply outlining what the offending party have to look forward to.
With all this said, the question the offending spouse has to answer is if all this is worth it especially when there are no favourable indicators or progress from the offended spouse. This can be a hard road to travel. This is a journey where the guarantees are either non existent or very, very fragile.
So restoring trust is not easy, but definitely possible. Next I will be looking at the offended party and what they have to face.