“Trust is not something that is proven or earned. It is inevitable when you look beyond your own fear and past your over-reactions, when you acknowledge the good in another and appreciate their strengths – those things they believe nobody else can see.” – Amy Larson
Loving, healthy relationships take effort and commitment. You deepen that bond through shared experiences, building a track record of honesty and care and all of the little things that add up to make you each value your partner and your commitment.
When you think about it, no relationship really starts with that deep amazing passion. It starts with hope and moves toward real love over time.
So what happens when the trust is broken?
It can feel like your entire world is falling apart. Like you’ve run yourself into a brick wall and there’s no way to move forward.
While it takes time to build a committed relationship, one breach of trust can derail it in the blink of an eye. It makes you question whether you can count on your partner in the future. Trust isn’t easy to mend.
Does that mean that any time trust is broken in a relationship the relationship needs to end?
No. We’re all human. Each of us makes mistakes. Sometimes when trust is broken, it’s really just a mistake. It may take time to rebuild, but often it’s a matter of learning how to honor each other and owning up to our mistakes. You might blow small mistakes out of proportion because you have a fear of being hurt, so it’s important to know the difference.
But sometimes it does go much deeper, and you’re looking for signs to know if you can fix the relationship or if it’s time to call it quits. If you have the right information up front, you won’t waste time trying to fix something that no longer serves you. When your relationship can be saved, you’ll be able to start rebuilding faster.
In this post, we’ll discuss what to do when trust is broken in a relationship. You’ll learn how to tell whether your relationship can survive the issue, the signs that the relationship is beyond repair, and the steps you need to take to repair the relationship.
Can a Relationship Survive When Trust Is Broken?
When trust is broken, it makes you question everything. Even in the small scenarios.
For instance, what if your partner doesn’t do what he says he’s going to do? What if he said he would call but he never did. And you were waiting for that phone call.
You might sweep it under the rug the first time. But it will stay there in your mind.
I can’t depend on him. He won’t be there when I need him.
There might be a good reason that he didn’t call. Maybe he had a family emergency or work went much later than he expected. Even if there is a good reason, you need to make it clear to him how you feel when he doesn’t honor what he says he’ll do.
I want to be really clear here – sometimes when trust is broken, it’s not fixable.
I advocate for healthy relationships and in many, many cases you can fix broken trust if both parties are honoring each other and committed to healthy communication. Trying to control another person is not only impossible, it’s also completely toxic.
If the broken trust has anything to do with cheating, betrayal, emotional or physical abuse, these aren’t things you can fix. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to know which scenario you’re in.
Small mistakes can loom large in our minds. You might jump to thinking that something isn’t fixable when really you can use healthy communication techniques to build an even stronger relationship.
By the same token, toxic situations don’t always present as extreme as they are. We slowly slide into some relationships and only realize later how negative the other person’s behavior is and how it impacts us.
That can get really confusing. How do you know whether to stay or go?
That brings me to five questions that will tell you if you want to stay in the relationship. Using this formula in an honest way will give you insight into the health of your relationship and whether you want to fix it.
5 Questions to Know if You Want to Stay in the Relationship
Love isn’t a feeling. We can have feelings of infatuation and feelings of love, but feelings ebb and flow. Love, real love, is a verb.
Love is a decision you make and the expression of the feelings you have. It’s an action. While telling someone you love them is nice to hear, the actions must align with the words.
If you look at your relationship as a bank account that the two of you share, is it equal in terms of the amount of energy you put in? Is it mostly your deposits or is your partner depositing the same amount? Are you sharing vulnerability and care in the same measure?
Sometimes it’s a one way relationship. The love flows one way, from you to him or vice versa. If you’re doing all the work and depositing all the energy, it’s time to flag yourself. Let the warning bell go off because when this happens, you’re investing in their potential. You’re hoping they become what you need.
If you’re over-investing, it’s time to think about ending the relationship. Or, at least, backing off some and waiting to see if they step up to the plate and invest as much as you do.
If you’re both highly invested, but you don’t know for sure if it’s the relationship for you, there are five questions you can ask yourself to find out for sure:
- Is it healthy to stay?
- Is he willing to work on it?
- Do you share a common vision?
- Have you left no stone unturned?
- Is this the end?
1 — Is it healthy to stay?
We briefly talked about this earlier: I never advocate for anyone to stay in an environment where there is addiction, abuse, or adultery. If he’s physically, verbally, mentally, or emotionally abusive, it’s a no go.
Sometimes these behaviors are so insidious that you don’t even recognize them. A real tell is: how do you feel about yourself when you’re with him? Does he make you feel like your best self? Does being around him fill you with positive energy?
If you’re feeling insecure, sad, controlled, or any other low energy, negative feeling, it’s a good sign that it’s not healthy to stay.
If you feel in any way that you’re not safe, I encourage you to remove yourself as quickly and safely as possible. You deserve to be loved and cherished. Do not ever settle for less than that.
2 — Is he willing to work on it?
If you’ve determined that it’s safe, the next question to ask is whether he’s willing to work on it with you.
Will he see a counselor or therapist with you? Is he willing to try new things to improve your relationship, like a coach, book, or mentor?
Here’s the deal. If you guys were able to improve it on your own, you probably wouldn’t be asking these questions. This question gives you the pause sign. I encourage you to take a few moments to consider how to move forward to a healthier relationship.
You might seek out a therapist, coach, or even books and resources you can use to improve communication and reach that level of commitment.
3 — Do you share a common vision?
If you know that the relationship is healthy and you’re both willing to work on it, the next question to ask is whether you share a common vision.
The second most common reason for divorce is incompatibility. Things like differences of religion, contrasting ideas about money and an inability to agree on lifestyle choices. This is where you ask questions about starting a family or the type of places you’d like to live.
To head off this common breakdown in committed relationships, you must make sure your visions align for the future. Ask the big questions: Do you want children? Where do you want to live? How close are you with your family? How comfortable are you being close to my family?
This is a two part process, because you must honor the answers. If your guy says he does not want children, don’t think that’s an answer you can change. In a healthy relationship, you both align on these major things because trying to MAKE someone compromise on these essential things would be a form of control and abuse in itself.
4 — Have you left no stone unturned?
If you’ve followed the first three steps and you know that you’re in alignment, the next thing you want to ask yourself is “Did I really give it my all?”
Have you tried everything while honoring your own standards and your partner’s? Are these other strategies or solutions that you haven’t tried? Is there something that might bring the relationship back to a place of love, peace and joy?
5 — Is this the end?
The last and hardest question. If you’ve gone through all four questions, the last thing you want to do is ask yourself sincerely if this is the end.
There is nothing wrong with ending a relationship that doesn’t serve you or your partner. This is always an option. But you have to realize that once you do end the relationship, it’s very hard to come back from that. Ending the relationship will damage your partner’s ability to trust your commitment if you decide you want to work it out later. So this isn’t a decision you want to make lightly.
If you think you might be at the end, ask yourself if you want to see him one more time? Most often, the answer is yes. You do want to see him at least one more time. That means that you know you want to give it some more effort.
There will come a moment when that answer is no. If it’s really the end, you won’t want to see him one more time. Then you know you’ve done everything in your power and the relationship has run its course.
When you come to that realization, you have peace of mind. You’re standing on the solid ground of your own decision-making. You can let go of the relationship with love and respect and know that you’re ready to call in something new.
How Do You Fix Broken Trust in a Relationship?
If you know that you want to stay, the next question is how do you fix broken trust. The five questions above gave you some clues to help you. I’ve talked before about how to trust after a painful breakup, and those tips can actually be used to help you fix broken trust, too!
Trust is strengthened through consistent commitment to the five key things that I laid out in that post. I’ll give you a quick overview here but I invite you to read the post to apply to your current situation if you’d like further resources.
Five Signs That You Can Trust the Person You’re Dating:
- They listen and respond to what you’re saying.
- They remember what’s important to you.
- They are being open and honest with you.
- They keep their agreements (and when they make a mistake they own it).
- They build you up (actually, you build each other up… you both want to bring out the best in each other).
As an extra, I covered the ten signs you can trust your man on my YouTube channel, and that will help you assess where you are in your relationship to diminish any lingering doubts you might have.
You fix broken trust in the same way that you build trust. There are no shortcuts but, if it’s a relationship that brings you joy, the work is really just a journey to fulfillment that you take together.
Can You Repair the Trust or Is it Time to Manifest a New Beginning?
Today we’ve talked about how to tell if your relationship can survive once trust is broken. You’ve gained resources to tell if the breach of trust was just a mistake or a red flag for something much more detrimental.
You’ve learned the five questions to ask to determine with certainty whether the relationship is saveable or if it’s time for you to move on with love and call in a new beginning. You’ve also gained some valuable resources to help you fix your relationship once there is broken trust.
If you’ve come to the conclusion that the relationship isn’t fixable, it’s time to heal and call in the relationship you truly deserve. If you’re still in the healing stage, I’d love to offer you my free Self-Love Activation Kit. This resource will empower you to reach new levels of confidence to give your highest form of love to the world and attract that love right back to you.
Once you’re ready to manifest that relationship you deserve, I invite you to consider investing in my Manifest Your Man coaching program. It’s an amazing way to stop wasting time on trial and error and really grow in your ability to generate the results you truly desire.
Apply for a free strategy session today to see if Manifest Your Man is right for you.
Think Bravely and Act Boldly!