“Your actions speak so loudly, I cannot hear what you say”- Source Unknown
Once trust has been broken in a relationship, it is very difficult to restore. It takes time and a consistent show of certain behaviors to rebuild trust. It is a process that has no quick fix. Trust can be broken in relationships due to infidelity, addictions or due to other lies and deception. Whatever the reason, once trust has been broken, the relationship is in a state of crisis.
One aspect of rebuilding trust is to stop listening to the words spoken and watch for consistent behaviors over time. Listening and believing words spoken by a person who has been proven to be an unreliable source only creates additional anxiety and can be crazy making in itself. An addict often lies to protect the addiction, an unfaithful spouse lies to protect the secret relationship, and some people lie to avoid true intimacy in a relationship. Sometimes, there are so many lies told that it is impossible to sort out what is true and what is not.
Do not spend time engaged in head games. Attention should be paid to observable behaviors. If the unreliable person is actually in recovery, then the behaviors that back that up would be seeing them reading recovery materials, attending groups, participating in therapy and utilizing new coping skills. If the not so truthful person has engaged in infidelity, then the behaviors that may support an end to the illicit relationship could be complete transparency with phone and email accounts, the end to unexplained absences, and show of empathy and regret for the pain they have caused.
Broken trust produces pain, fear and anxiety. There is no quick fix to this issue. Often people will report that their intuition had been telling them all along what the truth is; however, often this was ignored in place of believing the words spoken by the deceiver. If finding out that a person has broken trust, believe behaviors, focus on your own well-being and allow time to provide all the answers that you need.
Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, NCC, therapist at McKinney Counseling and Recovery, specializes in helping individuals and couples heal from sex addiction, infidelity, intimacy anorexia, and intimacy deprivation. McKinney Counseling & Recovery serves the McKinney, Plano, Allen, Frisco, Dallas and Sherman area.
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist