“It takes years to build up trust, and just seconds to destroy it.”- Unknown.
I am not the best person when it comes to forgiving someone after they’ve betrayed and lied to me and I tend to make that very clear before I start any relationship.
For most people, trust is one of the hardest things to get back. After someone lies to you or betrays you, their words become harder to believe. At this point in your relationship, you have to decide, is this relationship worth saving?
A lot of couples can recover from lies and build a stronger and closer relationship. Several factors influence how successful couples will be at saving a relationship: the tone and quality of the relationship prior to the disloyal action, the commitment of BOTH partners to make the relationship work and effective communication skills are critical to the recovery process.
First ask yourself this, is your relationship worth saving? A lot of people bail out on relationships at the first sign of trouble. We all have to understand NO relationship is perfect. And it takes continuous work. People WILL mess up…but it is up to decide if the lie, infidelity or whatever is worth losing your partner over. Please understand, once you make you decision stick to it. Some people have a tendency of walking away and then wanting that person back and SOMETIMES it IS too late at that point. They may have already moved on and met someone else or their feelings just aren’t there for you in that way anymore.
If you have trouble answering that question, make a list…pro and cons. Sometimes you need to see it on paper to really see where you stand with a person. Think of all the people you would want to spend the day with, is this person one of them?? Do you have the same morals & goals? Do you express a lot of affection towards each other, or is there a lot off negativity? Do you feel comfortable sharing your innermost thoughts with your partner?? How easy is it for you to talk to your partner?
These are just some questions you can ask yourself to get your mind going on if your relationship is worth saving.
If you decide your relationship is not worth saving, then let go and move on with your life and there is no need to read any further. But if you say, yes my relationship is worth saving, you will go through some stages. The trauma of the discovery, the assessment of how both partners want to go about resolving the problem, and finally repairing and restoring the trust.
I know when I’ve lost trust in a person I am with the first thing I think about is, How could you do this? I always wonder, how could you be happy in a relationship if you can lie to me? How can you say you love me and lie to me?
Romantic relationships are built on positive, romantic illusions. A romantic attachment is a deep emotional bond to another individual. The attachments we form are designed to keep people together. Discovery of a lie shatters those illusions. It creates a lot of uncertainty and raises questions, like the ones above.
Once you start asking these questions you can find yourself consumed with anger, and obsessive thoughts, dwelling on the incident. The best way to deal with these feelings is just to discuss your feelings in a non-judgmental environment, where someone will simply listen…Don’t look for advice, just vent. At this point advice is useless…you are way too emotionally agitated to even think clearly and digest advice. Sharing your feelings with someone who cares, your feelings will become less intense.
After the initial shock has died down (which will not happen overnight), it helps to make some assessments of how you and your partner want to resolve the problem. To save a relationship after the loss of trust requires two people working towards the same goal. A commitment to the relationship works best when it is based on mutual desire. Forcing your partner to make a commitment to the relationship doesn’t carry the same weight as a commitment which has been give freely.
After both parties have decided to move forward and save their relationship the next stage is the MOST difficult.
People often lack insight into their own behavior and if they do understand why they lied or cheated, they often do not want to admit this information with their partner, thinking that if they do it would cause more problems, which is a common misconception. The truth is if the real issues are not identified they are less likely to get resolved. By approaching a problem as a couple it can entrust the person who has been lied to, by providing them with a sense of control. Working together can bring back a sense of confidence and security, which is crucial when trying to rebuild trust.
In addition to identifying the vital motivation of the lie, it is essential to frankly discuss the details of what happened. Again DO NOT try and conceal details, it often leads to lingering questions, which if not addressed, they are unlikely to go away…and if questions are lingering, it is impossible for your partner to not dwell on the incident. Telling the truth can be painful, but is necessary when trying to move forward.
Doing these two things (identifying the motivation factors of the lie and the discussing of the details) are the MOST difficult for most couples to manage. They require loss of insight and communication skills. If not handled productively, it can lead to further problems, resentment and frustration.
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