Restoring Trust After Lies:
"What will it take for my partner to believe me again?"
By Susie and Otto Collins
If you are the one who lied in your relationship, you might
be in a frustrating and confusing place.
Perhaps you have admitted to your lying and any other
betrayal of trust that may have happened. And you have
probably also expressed your regret as you apologized for
hurting your mate.
You might have made a shift and are now focused on doing
whatever you can to restore trust in your relationship.
But it seems to you that, no matter how honest you try to
be, your partner just can't get over the past.
You may be worried that he or she will never believe what
you say or do again!
What you might already know is that you cannot make your
partner trust you again. Your power lies in your own
actions, words and comportment.
This means that while you can't cause your mate to release
the past or forgive you for what happened, you can take
responsibility for your own self.
Focus most of your attention on becoming trustable-- not
only to your partner, but also to yourself.
The string of decisions that led to you lying probably
eroded your own sense of self-trust.
It doesn't matter whether you had an affair and lied to
cover it up or you told lies about something more or less
"serious" in your judgment.
The fact of matter is, you lied and now you are trying to
rebuild a sense of trust and connection both with your
partner and within yourself.
As you work from within to heal your own wounds and
pain-filled emotions, you can slowly begin to re-connect
with your mate.
Learn to trust yourself
It is vital that you learn to trust yourself again. This is
for your benefit and also for the potential improvement in
When you don't believe yourself, it shows. Your
comportment-- or body language-- will tell the world that
you don't find yourself to be trustworthy.
Even if you have done nothing wrong and you are being
completely honest, as you continue to hold onto the image of
yourself as someone who cannot be trusted, your body
language will communicate this image more than what might
really be the truth.
But as you begin to forgive yourself and heal, your
comportment will start to transmit a different message to
your partner and others.
Your growing confidence in your own trustworthiness will
come through and, consequently, you will appear more
trustworthy to others-- your body language will be a better
match to the improvements you're making.
Be transparent and open
While you do this important inner work learning to trust
yourself again, continue to be transparent and open with
Make it a point to regularly share with him or her what
you've been doing and who you've been with.
Do this with an intention to rebuild trust and establish a
sense of openness rather than from an "I have to" attitude.
You might think about being transparent as a way to share
and re-connect about what you do when you're apart. Listen
and engage with the information your partner shares with you
Stay tuned in to yourself and to what you want and need in
Your desires to restore trust and move toward the
relationship you want are valid-- no matter what you did in
In fact, sometimes lying in a relationship occurs because
one or both people are not aware of or clearly communicating
Follow through on everything
It is also vital that you follow through on the agreements
you make-- especially at this time.
As you restore trust, make a commitment to yourself and to
your partner that you will not make an agreement that you
are not willing or able to keep.
And then do whatever you can to keep your word.
Sometimes in a relationship people agree to something even
if they are not 100% sure they want to follow through.
It seems, at the time, easier to just say "yes" and move on.
This won't help you rebuild trust!
Instead, feel into yourself and only make agreements that
you feel like you can and will keep.
Make it clear to your mate that you are changing your habit
of just saying "yes" to anything in order to ensure follow
through. You can also ask him or her to do the same with
If you find that you are unable to keep an agreement
for whatever reason, it is imperative that you immediately
communicate what's going on with your partner and request a
Celebrate your growing trustability
Don't wait for your mate to verbally commend you for the
improvements you've made. Celebrate your own growing
Notice and applaud your own strides as you make them one
decision at a time.
Allow your partner to heal and forgive you at his or her own
pace. And, at the same time, give yourself credit for the
changes you are making.