Recovering Trust After Lies: "How Can I
By Susie and Otto Collins
no doubt about it, lies break connection and trust. When
you've been lied to in your love relationship or marriage,
it can feel difficult to believe what your partner says or
you might start to question your entire relationship.
lies has he or she told me in the past? Is our connection
completely built upon lies? Can I ever believe my partner
Especially if the lies told to you by your mate were used to
hide infidelity or another betrayal, you might find yourself
questioning the love that you thought you shared.
are trying to heal and recover after lies, there might come
a time when you decide to make a shift toward rebuilding
trust and eventually reconnecting.
Otherwise, you could choose to end your relationship. If you
decide to stay and not heal your pain, you and your partner
will undoubtedly be unhappy.
days Cindy takes anything her husband Paul says with a large
grain of salt. Ever since she discovered that he lied to her
about a trip he recently took with friends, Cindy is
questioning everything that Paul says, as well as their
felt hurt to the core when she found out that instead of
attending a church retreat, as he claimed, Paul traveled to
a nearby casino with friends and visited several strip
She still doesn't know the full story of his weekend
get-away with buddies-- there could very well be more that
he's not admitted to.
Cindy caught Paul in this colossal lie, she has refused to
share a bed-- or intimacies-- with him. She wants to know
the full truth and Paul claims that he's confessed it all.
Cindy is doubtful of that and doesn't know what her next
step should be.
will help you make a completion?
If you've been lied to by your partner and you're finding it
difficult to know what to believe, we advise you to take
some time and go within. First of all, acknowledge how you
are feeling. Allow yourself to have the emotions coming up
Perhaps you need to release your anger or sadness. If so,
find a way to release those feelings that won't cause
further harm to you, your mate, or anyone or thing. You
might write, go for a vigorous walk or run, paint, yell, or
have a deep cleansing cry.
are feeling relatively calm, ask yourself what will help you
make a completion about this whole situation. We're not
suggesting that any one action or statement from your
partner will automatically erase the lie that happened.
But feel within to determine what might help you start to
release the pain and upset you are experiencing.
completion is probably going to be most effective if it is
not dependent on your partner's actions or words.
See if there is a shift you are willing to make within your
own thinking and attitude that will help you point yourself
toward making a completion about the lying.
Rebuild trust one moment at a time.
Cindy decides that she doesn't want to end her marriage
at this time. She'd like to begin to rebuild trust with
Paul-- even after his lying. She has cried and yelled and
written in her journal.
Now Cindy is starting to feel like she can think about
forgiving Paul for the lying. She is still having a hard
time trusting him, but feels the tension between them
starting to ease a bit.
rebuild trust one moment at a time as you recover from the
lying. Train yourself to notice when your partner follows
through on what he or she says.
This might include seemingly insignificant acts. But when
your mate tells the truth, give him or her credit in your
appreciate the truth-telling that is going on and that you
feel sure about. This will help you acknowledge the strides
that your partner might be making. Again, make note of even
minor moments that help rebuild trust.
attention to all of the trustworthy experiences in your
life-- even beyond your mate and your relationship. When you
open your eyes and start to see the many people and things
about your life that you can indeed trust, you can begin to
feel more sure and confident about your life overall.
This can be extended to your relationship.
feels more and more trusting about her life overall, she is
better able to make note of the ways that Paul is trying to
demonstrate his trustworthiness to her.
One day, she feels like she can ask him again about that
weekend trip he lied to her about. She wants to better
understand what happened and why he felt so compelled to lie
that the two of them have is difficult and painful. But the
difference now is that Cindy feels like she can trust Paul's
words and feelings. In this environment of openness and
renewed trust, Cindy can truly hear Paul as he recounts the
incident and his regrets about it. She can also forgive him
almost always the case that lies damage and break bonds of
connection in a love relationship or marriage. But this
damage is not necessarily the end of the relationship.
A couple who takes the time to own how they are feeling and
make completions-- both individually and together-- can
actually rebuild trust and end up closer than before.