When lying has breached the trust in a relationship, many people find the relationship in jeopardy of failing. When the decision is made to salvage the relationship, a significant amount of work must go into repairing it. To regain trust after lying, both parties involved must be open to the possibility of it being able to occur.
Come to an understanding. The first step when attempting to regain trust should be to understand your partner’s feelings. Being lied to is an extremely hurtful experience, and the natural reaction is for the partner to want to understand how hurt she is. Often when confronted about lying, a first reaction can be to offer excuses or apologize, and quite often the reaction is to withdraw and not deal with the guilt associated with being found out. Another reaction to being confronted about the lying is to attack back, or throw blame back. Instead, when confronted about lying, listen and take in how this makes your partner feel. Creating an understanding will make your partner more likely to continue the conversation and get your version of what took place and why it was occurring.
Apologize sincerely at the right time. This may seem like a given, but many people don’t give or may not know how to give a tactful apology. When caught in a lie, offering up an apology right off the bat may come across as insincere, or appear that you are sorry that you got caught more so than you are sorry for the act. This can be seen as simply appeasing your partner. Give some honest thought to your apology, and what it means to you and your relationship that you allowed this to occur. Do not follow your apology with an excuse. Your apology should be sincere and without anything attached to it. Offer an explanation for your actions only when asked for it. Your explanation should be focused on your feelings revolving around the reasoning for your lying. Try not to blame your partner in your explanation, as this will put up his defenses.
Make and keep promises. In order to begin repairing the trust that has been damaged, make mutually agreed-upon promises. When doing so, keep realistic expectations in mind. Make certain these promises are not open for interpretation for either party, and that they address the issue of the initial lie. Ensure these promises are kept without any wavering. If the trust is to ever be built again, you must prove that you are serious about your word.
Give it time. The rebuilding of a bond is not and cannot be a rapid process. After trust has been broken, it will take time to begin to repair the bond once held between the two parties. Setting a deadline for results is not only unrealistic, but also can be more damaging to the relationship. There is no time limit that states how long a person will take to regain the trust of someone close to him after it has been lost. The time that it takes is often comparable to the seriousness of the lie, with lesser lies often being more readily forgivable. Do not pressure or become angry when the healing process is not coming along quickly.
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