Trust is an essential component of a strong relationship, but it doesn’t happen quickly. And once it’s broken, it’s hard to rebuild.
When you think about circumstances that could lead you to lose trust in your partner, infidelity may come to mind right away. But cheating isn’t the only way to break trust in a relationship.
Other possibilities include:
a pattern of going back on your word or breaking promises
not being there for your partner in a time of need
withholding, or keeping something back
lying or manipulation
a pattern of not sharing feelings openly
What does trust really mean?
Before going over how to rebuild trust, it’s important to understand what trust is, exactly.
To start, it might be helpful to think of trust as a choice that someone has to make. You can’t make someone trust you. You might not choose to trust someone until they show that they’re worthy of it.
Signs of trust in a relationship
Trust can mean different things to different people. In a romantic relationship, trust might mean:
You feel committed to the relationship and to your partner.
You feel safe with your partner and know they’ll respect physical and emotional boundaries.
You know your partner listens when you communicate your needs and feelings.
You don’t feel the need to hide things from your partner.
You and your partner respect each other.
You can be vulnerable together.
You support each other.
It’s also important to understand what trust isn’t.
In a relationship, for example, trust doesn’t necessarily mean you tell your partner every single thing that crosses your mind. It’s totally normal to have personal thoughts you keep to yourself.
Trust also doesn’t mean giving each other access to:
bank accounts (unless it’s a shared one)
social media accounts
You may not mind sharing this information, especially in case of an emergency. But the presence of trust in a relationship generally means you don’t need to check up on your partner. You have faith in them and feel able to talk about any concerns you might have.
Rebuilding trust when you’ve been betrayed
Having someone break your trust can leave you feeling hurt, shocked, and even physically sick. It might prompt you to consider your relationship — and your partner — in a different way.
If you want to attempt to rebuild trust, here are some good starting points.
Consider the reason behind the lie or betrayal
When you’ve been lied to, you might not care much about the reasons behind it.
But people do sometimes lie when they simply don’t know what else to do. This doesn’t make their choice right, but it can help to consider how you might have reacted in their position.
Sure, your partner may have betrayed you to protect themselves, but they may have had a different motive. Were they trying to protect you from bad news? Make the best of a bad money situation? Help a family member?
Maybe the betrayal of trust resulted from a miscommunication or misunderstanding.
Whatever happened, it’s important to make it clear that what they did wasn’t OK. But knowing the reasons behind their actions may help you decide whether you’re able to begin rebuilding the trust you once shared.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
It might be painful or uncomfortable, but one of the biggest aspects of rebuilding trust after betrayal is talking to you partner about the situation.
Set aside some time to clearly tell them:
how you feel about the situation
why the betrayal of trust hurt you
what you need from them to start rebuilding trust
Give them a chance to talk, but pay attention to their sincerity. Do they apologize and seem truly regretful? Or are they defensive and unwilling to own up to their betrayal?
You may feel emotional or upset during this conversation. These feelings are completely valid. If you feel yourself getting too upset to continue communicating in a productive way, take a break and come back to the topic later.
Talking about what happened is just the beginning. It’s perfectly fine, and entirely normal, if you can’t work through everything in just a night or two.
If you want to repair a relationship after a betrayal, forgiveness is key. Not only will you need to forgive your partner, but you also may need to forgive yourself.
Blaming yourself in some way for what happened can keep you stuck in self-doubt. That can hurt the chances of your relationship’s recovery.
Depending on the betrayal, it might be hard to forgive your partner and move forward. But try to remember that forgiving your partner isn’t saying that what they did was OK.
Rather, you’re empowering yourself to come to terms with what happened and leave it in the past. You’re also giving your partner a chance to learn and grow from their mistakes.
Avoid dwelling on the past
Once you’ve fully discussed the betrayal, it’s generally best to put the issue to bed. This means you don’t want to bring it up in future arguments.
You’ll also want to go easy on constantly checking in on your partner to make sure they aren’t lying to you again.
This isn’t always easy, especially at first. You might have a hard time letting go of the betrayal and find it difficult to start trusting your partner, especially if you’re worried about another betrayal.
But when you decide to give the relationship a second chance, you’re also deciding to trust your partner again. Maybe you can’t completely trust them right away, but you’re implying you’ll give trust a chance to regrow.
If you can’t keep thinking about what happened or have misgivings about your partner’s future honesty or faithfulness, couples counseling can help. But these signs could also indicate you may not be ready to work on the relationship.
Rebuilding trust when you’ve hurt someone
You messed up. Maybe you lied and hurt your partner or withheld information you thought would hurt them.
No matter your reasons, you know you caused them pain, and you feel terrible. You may feel like you’d do anything to show them they can trust you again.
First, it’s important to understand that the broken trust may be beyond repair. But if you both wont to work on repairing the relationship, there are a few helpful steps you can take.
Consider why you did it
Before you embark on the process of rebuilding trust, you’ll first want to check in with yourself to understand why you did it.
Is it possible that you wanted to end the relationship but didn’t know how to? Or were there specific needs that weren’t being met by your partner? Or was it just a dumb mistake?
Understanding the motives behind your behavior can be difficult, but it’s a crucial part of rebuilding trust.
If you lied, cheated, or otherwise damaged your partner’s faith in you, a genuine apology is a good way to start making amends. It’s important to acknowledge you made a mistake.
Just remember that your apology isn’t the time to justify your actions or explain the situation. If some factors did influence your actions, you can always share these with your partner after apologizing and owning your part in the situation.
When you apologize, be specific to show you know what you did was wrong. Use “I” statements. Avoid putting blame on your partner.
For example, instead of “I’m sorry I hurt you,” try:
“I’m sorry I lied to you about where I was going. I know I should’ve told you the truth, and I regret causing you pain. I want you to know I’ll never do it again.”
Make sure to follow up by telling them how you intend to avoid making the same mistake again. If you aren’t sure what they need from you to work on the relationship, you can ask. Just make sure you’re ready and willing to actively listen to their answer.
Give your partner time
Even if you’re ready to apologize, talk about what happened, and begin working through things, your partner may not feel ready yet. It can take time to come to terms with a betrayal or broken trust.
People process things in different ways, too. Your partner might want to talk right away. But they also might need days or weeks before they can address the issue with you.
It’s important to avoid pressuring them to have a discussion before they’re ready. Apologize and let your partner know you’re ready when they are. If you’re struggling in the meantime, consider talking to a counselor who can offer unbiased and supportive guidance.
Let their needs guide you
Your partner may need space and time before they can discuss what happened. And often, this might involve physical space.
This might be difficult to face, but respecting your partner’s boundaries and needs can go a long way toward showing them they can depend on you again.
Your partner may want more transparency and communication from you in the future. This is common after a betrayal of trust. You may even willingly share your phone and computer with your partner to prove your honesty.
But if you’ve made some progress in repairing your relationship and your partner continues to monitor your activities and communications with others, talking to a couples counselor can help.
Commit to clear communication
In the immediate aftermath of broken trust, you’ll want to honestly answer your partner’s questions and commit to being completely open with them in the future.
To do this, you have to make sure you’re clear on the level of communication they need.
Let’s say you broke their trust by withholding some information you didn’t think was really important, and you didn’t understand why they felt so betrayed. This can indicate there’s a deeper issue with communication in your relationship.
If you want to repair your relationship and avoid hurting your partner again in the future, you need to reach a mutual understanding of what good communication looks like.
Miscommunications or misunderstandings can sometimes cause as much pain as intentional dishonesty.
What about the details of an affair?
Relationship counselors often recommend against providing specific details about a sexual encounter with someone else. If you’ve cheated, your partner may have a lot of questions about what exactly happened. And you might want to answer them in an effort to be transparent.
But talking about the details of an encounter can cause further pain that isn’t very productive. If your partner wants details, consider asking them to wait until you can see a therapist together.
The therapist can help you navigate the healthiest way to address these questions. In the meantime, you can still honestly answer their questions without giving explicit details.
How long will it take?
Being in a relationship with broken trust can be extremely uncomfortable. Both sides might be eager to get the whole rebuilding process over with as fast as possible. But realistically, this takes time.
How much time, exactly? It depends on a lot of factors, particularly the event that broke the trust.
Long-standing patterns of infidelity or dishonestly will take longer to resolve. A single lie grounded in a misunderstanding or desire to protect may be easier to address, especially when the partner who lied shows sincere regret and a renewed commitment to communication.
Have patience with yourself. Don’t let your partner rush you. A partner who truly regrets hurting you may be hurting, too, but if they truly care for you and want to fix things, they should also understand it isn’t helpful to rush right back into the way things were.
Is it worth it?
Rebuilding trust isn’t an easy task. It’s normal to question if it’s even worth it before you decide to commit to working on your relationship.
If your partner makes a mistake or two over the course of a long relationship and owns up to it, working on trust issues may be the right move.
As long as there’s still love and commitment between the two of you, working on trust issues will only make your relationship stronger.
But if you know you’ll never be able to completely trust your partner again, no matter what they do, it’s generally best to make this clear right away so you can both begin to move forward separately.
It’s also worth weighing your options if you’ve discovered years of infidelity, financial dishonesty, manipulation, or other major breaches of trust.
Other red flags that might signal it’s time to throw in the towel include:
continued deceit or manipulation
an insincere apology
behavior that doesn’t match up with their words
You don’t have to do it alone
Every relationship goes through a rough patch. There’s no shame in reaching out for help.
Couples counseling can be a great resource when dealing with trust issues, particularly those involving infidelity. A counselor can offer an unbiased view of you relationship and help both partners work through underlying issues.
Having tough conversations about betrayal and trust can also bring up painful emotions on both sides. Having a trusted counselor can also help you navigate the difficult feelings as they arise.
The bottom line
It’s possible to rebuild a relationship after a breach of trust. Whether it’s worth it depends on your relationship needs and whether you feel it’s possible to trust your partner again.
If you do decide to try repairing things, be prepared for things to take some time. If both sides are committed to the process of rebuilding trust, you might find that you both come out stronger than before — both as a couple and on your own.
15 Signs He Will Marry You Someday
Are you currently enjoying a great relationship with your boyfriend? However, the fear of the future could give you doubts, making you worry that he will leave you someday. Questions like, “Is he going to marry me?” and “Are we going to end up together?” are probably popping up from time to time.
So, what is the assurance that your partner is serious with you? And does he have a plan for your future together? You can observe how he treats you now and his current goals. Does he include the future in his priorities or not?
If you want to find out about your boyfriend’s real intentions, here are some signs that he will marry you someday:
How He Treats You Now
1. He Respects You as a Woman.
Is he a gentleman towards you? Does he respect the boundaries you have set in the relationship? And does he respect your principles, values, beliefs, and opinions? If he respects you as a person, it means he is careful not to hurt you in any way. He does not want to give you any reason to turn your back on him. That is one great sign that he hopes your relationship will last and end up in marriage.
2. He Serves You.
Another sign that he wants to marry you is service. Does he give you a foot massage, cook your food, and do your laundry? By treating you like a queen, he wants to prove that he can take good care of you. It is like giving you a glimpse of the life you would have if you choose to marry him.
3. He is Protective of You.
If a man loves you, he will be protective of you. Why? It is because he claims you to be his better half. For this reason, he will do everything to keep you safe and give you a secure life. He will always fight for your relationship and shield you from anything that can be emotionally or mentally destructive, such as gossip, doubts, and stress.
4. He Wants to be Involved in Your Daily Life.
One way to see how serious a guy is with you is his involvement in your life. If he makes an effort to visit you at home and help you with house chores, even if it is not his responsibility, that is it. Also, if he supports your career and even gives you a helping hand to create your presentations and other tasks, you are blessed.
5. He Involves You in His Life.
Aside from being involved in your routines, he also wants you to be part of his own world. He invites you to meet his family and friends. In addition, he introduces you to his colleagues at work and makes you his plus-one whenever their company has events.
6. He Bonds with Your Family.
Another sign that he is serious about your relationship is his effort to get the trust of your family. He understands that if he loves you, he has to love the people important to you as well. For this reason, he bonds with them, gives them gifts, and even serves them whenever he can. In short, he treats them as his own family.
Bringing It to a Spiritual Level
7. He Goes to Church with You Regularly.
Does he always encourage you to go to church with him regularly? If yes, it means he really wants your relationship to end up in marriage. As a responsible man, he knows that he must be the spiritual leader of his future family. For this reason, he wants to start by being a good influence on valuing the church.
8. He Establishes a Regular Devotion and Prayer Time with You.
What more if he also makes sure you have your regular devotion and prayer time. If he is a devoted Christian, it means he believes that God is the author of love. He should also be the center of every marriage and family. To develop a relationship that will lead to a Christ-centered marriage, he will do everything to strengthen his and your faith.
9. He Encourages You to Read the Bible and Share Your Reflections with Him.
In connection with no. 7, your boyfriend may as well remind you daily to have your Quiet Time with the Lord. Then, during your devotion and prayer time, he may ask you to share your own reflections with him.
10. He Asks Spiritual Leaders to be Accountable for Your Relationship.
A person who wants to secure his relationship understands that they need guidance from wiser people. Therefore, if your boyfriend asks guidance from your church pastors and leaders to make sure your relationship will be healthy, you are blessed with a good man.
11. He Wants You Both to Attend Marriage Counselling.
And what is the surest sign that he wants to marry you someday? His desire for the both of you to go through marriage counselling! It means he wants you to start preparing yourselves for the next chapter of your relationship. The good thing about attending marriage counselling first is you become mentally, emotionally, and spiritually ready for what is to come. Then, your expectations, plans, and priorities begin to shift in that direction.
12. He Works Hard to Have Financial Stability.
Of course, a man who wants marriage will also prepare financially aside from spiritual preparation. So, if your boyfriend is working diligently to have a secure job or source of income, it is a sign. It means he is mature enough to think ahead. That is why he will not be sidetracked.
13. He Starts Saving Money for the Future.
Next to securing the right source of income is the plan to save money. He understands that building a family is not cheap. So, if he wants to marry you, he will save enough money to give you the best wedding and start your family together.
14. He Asks You About Your Dream Wedding.
Another sure sign that he wants to marry you someday is his question about your dream wedding. It means he has a plan to make it come true. Since he loves you so much, he wants to ensure that you will be the happiest bride to walk down the aisle.
15. He Likes to Plan with You about Your Future Family.
Is he excited about your future family? Does he love planning about your future house and kids? Do you talk about where to live? If he is, he surely wants to marry you. You can tell that he is serious about your relationship and wants it to last.
Can You See Him in Your Future?
If most of these signs apply to your boyfriend, there is no doubt that he wants to marry you someday. The question now is, do you also want to marry him? Can you imagine waking up every morning next to him for the rest of your life?
Marriage is a serious matter, so it must not be taken lightly. Before deciding to get married, make sure that you have known each other well already. And see to it that you are willing to stay committed no matter what trials you go through as a couple in the future.
How Guys Test Their Girlfriends
Do you ever wonder if your new boyfriend is observing you? Well, if a guy is serious about having a long-lasting relationship, it is normal that he would want to make sure he has chosen the right girl. He will test his girlfriend in different ways to see her responses to situations. So, what are the ways in which guys test their girlfriends?
If you want to find out how your partner can be testing you, check out some of the ways he may do it:
How You Trust Him
1. He Intentionally Leaves His Phone Behind.
Does your boyfriend often leave his phone around you? Well, aside from being a good sign that he is not hiding any phone conversations from you, it can also be his way to know you more. You might not know it, but he is probably trying to catch you checking his phone. He wants to find out if you are one of those sneaky girlfriends who spy on their boyfriends’ phones and messaging apps.
2. He Talks about Other Girls.
What do you feel whenever your boyfriend talks about other girls? Do you feel jealous? Since your boyfriend wants to know if you truly trust him, it is possible that he will try to make you jealous of others. He knows that one way to do that is by letting you hear stories about the beautiful girls he has met.
3. He Introduces You to His Girl Friends.
Aside from talking about them, he may also introduce you to other girls to see if you get jealous easily. He knows that it is hard to be in a relationship with someone who will want him to get rid of his lady friends. Of course, men want to end up with women who trust them enough not to be jealous of their friends.
If He Can Trust You
4. He Asks to Borrow Your Phone.
Guys want to make sure they can trust their girlfriends too. For this reason, expect that your boyfriend will look for ways to prove you are trustworthy. For instance, has he ever borrowed your phone unexpectedly? If you let him borrow it without any hesitation, you are safe. Doubts would have only happened if you gave excuses not to let him have it.
5. He Will Ask About Your Past Relationships.
Has your partner shown interest in your previous relationships? Did he ask you how those failed? It is not only for sympathy and knowing what kind of a partner you are. He also wants to make sure you did not cause problems in those relationships. If you did, there is a chance you could do it this time. He just wants to be careful.
6. He Will Observe How You Hang Out with Your Friends, Especially Guys.
Has your boyfriend met your friends already? If he is making an effort to hang out with your friends, there is a possibility he is observing your social circle too. Just like how most girls would be uncomfortable around their boyfriends’ female friends at first, your partner could be checking if your guy friends are threats or not. You may not be aware of it, but he could be observing how you treat and act around them.
How Your Character Is
7. He Suddenly Cancels a Planned Date.
Your boyfriend wants to see how flexible you are too. That is why it would not be a surprise if he tests your patience from time to time. For instance, has he ever canceled a date at the last minute? How did you react to it? After a while, did he tell you it was only a prank?
8. He Tells You He is Broke.
Any man does not like to be loved for the material things he can provide. Your boyfriend feels the same. For this reason, he might let you know that he does not have much money to see if your behavior towards him would change. He wants to find out if you are willing to stay with him even if he is not rich.
9. He Lets You Spend Time with His Family.
Has he invited you to stay for at least a few days with him and his family? One of the reasons he would do this is his desire to know more about your character. He wants to see how you would treat his family or the people around him.
10. He Pretends to Forget Your Monthsary.
How thoughtful is your boyfriend? Has he ever pranked you that he forgot your monthsary? Probably, it was not a mere prank. He could be checking your reaction too, just like in no. 7. Being his new girlfriend, your man wants to know if you are sensitive or not. He also likes to find out how mature you are in dealing with disappointing situations.
If You’re a Homemaker Material
11. He Surprises You with a Visit to Your Place.
Does your boyfriend like sudden visits? Maybe it is not just because he misses you. He probably wants to see how your place looks whenever there are no expected visitors. If you are to be his future wife, he wants to see if you can manage house chores. Of course, he hopes to marry a woman who can be a homemaker for him and his future children.
12. He Challenges You to Cook His Favorite Food.
Aside from observing how clean your place is, your boyfriend probably wants to know if you can cook too. Therefore, do not be surprised if he teases you about your cooking skill. His main purpose is probably to challenge you to cook for him. It is also possible that he will ask you to cook him his favorite dish.
How Guys Test Their Girlfriends
13. He Observes How You Deal with Kids.
Any man who wants to settle down and have kids would choose a woman who can be an excellent mother. Has your boyfriend let you meet his little nephews and nieces? Or did he ask you to help him babysit them for a day? He is probably observing how you act around kids and if you can take care of them.
14. He Lets You Handle Money
Some couples decide to have joint savings even if they are not married yet. If your boyfriend lets you manage your savings and regular budgets together, he can be testing how you handle money matters. Of course, he wants to make sure his future wife can be depended on in managing the family finances.
It is Okay
So, what if your boyfriend is really testing you? It is not something you should feel bad about. It is advisable that you do the same thing to secure your relationship. Find ways to test his faithfulness, character, and reliability as a future husband and father.
Love is not enough to keep a relationship long-lasting. There are individual factors that must be considered and adjusted too. If conflicting behaviors are settled early in the relationship, there is a higher chance that your love story will have a happy ending.
Should I Date Someone with Sickle Cell?
I’ve been getting alot of questions regarding this lately, I guess because it’s the season of love and new relationships. To respond to this question, you have to remember that people with sickle cell are people first. This means that just because we have a chronic medical condition doesn’t mean that we sprout wings and fly around the place. We are not abnormal creatures, we are people, just like you. We have emotions, feelings, dreams, hopes and desires. We want to be in a a good relationship with someone that loves us and treats us well. This applies to every human, and just because we have sickle cell does not exclude one from this paradigm.
I will acknowledge that dating and being in a relationship with someone that has a complex medical condition can be challenging, but it is DOABLE. Many people with sickle cell have the most loving and beautiful relationships that I have ever seen. The greatest advice that I can give you is to educate yourself on sickle cell as much as you can before you tie yourself to a sickle cell warrior. This way, you have a general idea of what you are stepping into before one gets too involved.
In addition, know your phenotype. You can get tested at your doctor’s office, and know what your phenotype is. If you are AA, then you have no chance of passing on the sickle cell disease if you do have a child with someone that has sickle cell disease. Your offspring will have the trait however, and must be properly educated on how to avoid passing the disease on to your grandchildren.
However, if you are AS, then more deliberation is needed. This means that you are a carrier of the trait of sickle cell, and that you have the potential to pass the full blown disease on to your children if you mate with a sickle cell warrior (SS). There is a 50% chance with EVERY pregnancy that you can pass the disease on. So you have to be more cautious, prayerful and knowledgeable about this condition if this is the case.
I know many people with sickle cell that have children that do not have sickle cell disease. And I know many people with sickle cell that have children with sickle cell disease. So the chances can be either way, and if you are serious about being in a relationship with this person, then you have to be aware of the chances.
Another issue is that due to the chronicity of the condition, people with sickle cell do have emotional upheavals. I recently was hospitalized for 9 days, and when I got discharged, I was an emotional wreck, and nothing like myself. It took about 2 weeks to feel emotionally ‘normal’ again, and this has the potential to happen often. There is also an element of depression that might exist, and unexplained anger. It can be an emotional rollercoaster, and not everyone is up to the challenge.
You might have to take on the responsibilities of the household when the sickle cell warrior is ill, and may have to shoulder majority of the burdens at times. You might have to assume the caregiver role, as well as being a bulwark of support and patient advocate. You might have to be the trailblazer searching for new treatment methods, or nagging your loved one to take their meds. You might have to pack an extra sweater just in case, or suffer through heat because your loved one is cold.
I will always maintain that it takes a very special person to be able to love and adore a sickle cell warrior irrespective of that condition. To me, it just means that when you find the right person, nothing can shake that love. And that is really what everyone is searching for.