You’ve betrayed and broken your girlfriend’s trust. Trust is the foundation of any relationship and it is imperative for a good, healthy relationship. Regaining trust is not easy and it takes time, patience and dedication. However, there are steps you can take to help gain back your girlfriend’s trust.
Start With Yourself
Gaining your partner’s trust again starts with you. In order to re-establish trust, you have to ask yourself hard questions and figure out what you were hoping to gain from the behavior, says Michael J. Salas, a Dallas therapist and author of “How to Get Your Partner to Trust you Again” on PsychCentral.com. For example, if you cheated, you need to know why you did it and what you were hoping to gain. Were you feeling neglected, insecure or not getting your physical needs met? Once you know the reason behind the behavior, you can take measures to prevent it from happening again.
Take responsibility for your actions. A better understanding of your behavior makes it easier to accept responsibility, Salas says. Do not place blame or make excuses for your behavior. The ability to show your feelings of remorse, guilt or fear of losing your girlfriend without blame or ending the conversation helps to prove you are someone who is worthy of trust again,” says Dr. Joshua Coleman, a psychologist in the San Francisco Bay area and author of “Surviving Betrayal” on Greater Good. (Reference 1) Apologize and make clear that the behavior will not happen again. Realize that your girlfriend may not forgive you and if she does, she is opening herself up to the possibility of getting hurt again. Your girlfriend will have to decide if the gamble is worth it. She probably will have questions that she wants answered. Answer them truthfully and willingly.
If you say you are going to be somewhere, be there. If you say you are going to do something, follow through. Your girlfriend may ask to see your phone or email if you cheated. The less defensive you are, the faster you will rebuild trust in your relationship, says Dr. Coleman. (Reference 1) Show your girlfriend through your actions that you are worthy of her trust again.
Meeting Your Girlfriend's Needs
Ask what you can do to help your girlfriend get over your betrayal. Do what you can to alleviate her fear of the behavior happening again. She may need emotional reassurance that it won’t happen again. She may need space to sort through her thoughts and feelings. Regaining trust means that you must demonstrate that you understand how your partner felt, show her that you’re sorry, are prepared to change and will work to earn her trust back, says Sheri Meyes, a marriage and family therapist, and author of “For the Betrayer: 8 Things You Must Know and Do to Rebuild Trust After an Affair” on HuffingtonPost.com.
Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.
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