Tuesday, November 14, 2006


How to Regain Your Partner’s Trust?

In our Love by design book, (www.lovebydesignbook.com) we talk about trust as being one of the foundations for a relationship. Although we did not discuss trust anywhere else in the book, it can also be categorized as what we call a Great Divider of Love. Great Dividers of Love are built up emotions in a relationship that can cause a separation of love. These emotions are caused by the accumulation of experiences such as revenge or judgment resulting in closed, numb and frozen hearts, that make it harder and harder to love and relate with your partner whether your compatible or not.

Trust is a hard thing to be regained, at any level whether it is because one of the partners cheated on the other or even if one partner did not live up to the other person’s values and visions. The second example is what happened to a man who we will call Wes.

Wes was a client who came to see us because his girlfriend had left him due to his wild partying lifestyle that included drugs and alcohol. This type of lifestyle was not what his girlfriend had planned for her life and vision. She had repeatedly told him what she wanted and what she didn’t want. Wes didn’t listen and she eventually left him.

He then got the message loud and clear. He dropped alcohol cold turkey and has been alcohol free for 2 months. The girlfriend reluctantly started to see him again, but she didn’t trust him. Whenever she got together with him, she would be cold and distant and unaffectionate and did not want to have sex.

Wes was confused because he did what she wanted and he was being very nice to her but she wasn’t giving anything back whether that was affection, sex or even the time of day for that matter.

We explained to him that this was because she had lost trust in him. Wes wanted to know how to regain her trust.

The following are some suggestions that we gave him.

1) TIME AND PATIENCE IS YOUR FRIEND: The reality is loss of trust is hard to recover from and a person can not just be forced to forget it or get over it. Therefore the best thing you can do, along with the other steps that we will discuss is to be patient, let your partner have their space and let time do its job.

2) DISCOVER WHY AND HOW THEY LOST TRUST IN YOU: If it isn’t obvious or your partner hasn’t directly told you how or why they lost trust in you, you will then need to find out what it is. Often people have values and visions that they are unaware of or that they believe is obvious or that they expect their partner to already know even though they haven’t directly told them.

So you will have to ask you partner.

You can say something like: Because different people may have different interpretations of the same thing, just to make sure I understand, what is it that you expected of me that I did not live up to?

3) FIND OUT WHAT YOUR PARTNER WANTS AND HONESTLY EVALUATE WHETHER YOU CAN GIVE IT TO THEM: Now since you understand and are aware of how you lost their trust, you need to find out what they want now, in the present. You can ask them what their vision for their ideal life is.

After they tell you, take some time away from them to evaluate whether you can authentically give them what they want.

Ask yourself questions like:

· Why did I betray their trust? Was it because I didn’t know? Was it because I didn’t want to do or be what they wanted me to be? Was it because I am not capable of doing what they ask?
· Ask: I am I willing to do what they want now because I honestly and authentically want to do or be what they want or I am just doing it to keep them and save the relationship?
· Do I feel good about doing or being what they want me to be? Will I be able to authentically do or be what they want for the entirety of the relationship and not just until I am sure that the relationship is secure again?

If you discover after you have asked yourself these questions, that you are being authentic, then carry on to the next question.

However, if you are just doing what your partner wants you to do in order to keep your partner in your life; you may have to think twice. This is what your partner is looking for in their life, they may be up to negotiating certain aspects of the relationship, or may change their vision over time, but the reality is, this is what they want and it is not going to be going away.

At our Centre, we believe that they world is an abundant place and there is the highest and best relationship out there for you, where your partner will love you just the way you are, you do not have to pretend to be something you are not in fear that you will lose the best relationship of your life or that you will never by able to replace your partner again.

4) TELL THEM YOU ARE SORRY AND THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR BEHAVIOR: If you have discovered that you truly can give your partner what they want in the way they want it, it is time to reassure them with the following script:

1) Apologize: Apologize to them for losing their trust.
2) Tell them you are concerned about how they feel. Say: I am sincerely concerned about how you feel and what you have experienced.
3) Next say: It must have been hurtful and disappointing (or which ever you feel is the right description) for you that I betrayed your trust.
4) Then say: I understand the extent of the damage I have caused to you and the relationship including that you can no longer trust me and are hesitant to open yourself up emotionally to me.
5) Lastly, say: I would like to make an agreement with you that I will not do ____ again. I understand that this is a deal breaker for you and if I do this action again you have the right the break off the relationship.

A deal breaker is any requirement in a relationship that is so important that if the other partner doesn’t align with it, the relationship would be over.

All of the steps of the script is important in order for your partner to feel emotionally validated and understood as well as letting them know that you are sorry and are aware of what you have done and what you need to do.

In Wes’s case, he would tell his girlfriend that he would not drink alcohol anymore, as well as finding what else what she wants, using the previous steps. There may be more lifestyle changes that she wants from him and it will be his job to find out what they are and discover whether it is lifestyle changes that he can authentically make.

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