This article is written by me – Kim Debron – it is owned by me. If you copy it, please give the credit to me, otherwise you are committing an act of plagiarism – you are stealing my work.
How to restore Trust once it has been broken.
Trust is one of the cornerstones or building blocks of any relationship, but in an M/s or D/s dynamic it is absolutely essential to trust the one you are with. Along with trust comes honesty and good communication and if you have all three of those, you have a great basis for a successful relationship.
Rebuilding damaged or broken trust is one of the greatest challenges a relationship can face. When we trust someone, we're not afraid, we can share hopes and fears and dreams, and ultimately, it is trust that allows us to give and receive love and in our world, to engage in a power exchange dynamic.
i found an article on WikiHow, which is titled "how to regain trust in someone" and though it is not specifically talking about an M/s or D/s dynamic, it is relevant. It talks about 3 steps to regaining trust –
1. Helping yourself first
2. Taking stock of what's left
3. Slowly rebuilding the trust
Step 1 - Helping yourself first:
Take some time away from the other person - in order to regain trust, you need to heal yourself first - you've been hurt - in our world that could mean physically as well as emotionally, and in order to turn this around you need to take time for yourself.
Try not to think about it at first, Do something different, go away, go and visit someone, cuddle a baby, - do anything that might make you forget what happened, just for a short time. Emotions can cloud judgement, it is hard to think straight when you are upset - you could end up saying something you regret. Your feelings are important, but stepping away can give you a clearer line of thought.
Don't make yourself into a victim - you are a victim of the circumstances, but do not become "the victim" - the difference is this:
The victim of circumstance understands that the betrayal of trust was one incident, whereas "the victim" feels as if the entire relationship - all the good as well as the bad - is now affected.
The victim of circumstance wants to get over it and move forward, "the victim" wants to wallow in the pain that the other person caused them - if you remain as "the victim" you put up a wall in the way of regaining the trust that has been lost.
Remind yourself of good things in your life - after a breaking of trust, it is easy to feel like your world has been turned upside down. Look at what you have - friends, family, health, remember how good it is to have these.
Look at the positives - you have learned something about both of you - you can put that learning to good use.
Do not do anything rash - when we are hurt by someone important, the gut reaction of most people is to try and punish that person – acting in that way is just another stumbling block in the way of regaining trust.
Do not be a hermit! After some time to yourself, get out and about again, be social, and let your friends comfort you because THEY might need to do that, and you can get different perspectives on what happened, which can give you a more rounded view of things.
Step 2 - Taking stock of what's left:
Evaluate the relationship - think about what it was like before this happened - did you have fun, were you happy, did you laugh a lot, or were you always sad?
Was there good communication? Were you listened to? Could you rely on him or her? Was this out of character - were there extenuating circumstances, or is there a pattern of behaviour?
Ask yourself why you were in this particular relationship, and do you want it back?
Try and identify 3 or 4 things that you value in a relationship and then determine if that person was meeting those needs.
Think about whether this breaking of trust was just a one off thing - examine what happened.
Was it calculated and done with the knowledge that it would hurt you? Was it an accident? Are there particular circumstances that would cause the person to behave differently? Has there been an apology?
3. Slowly rebuilding the trust
Focus on the positives, one of the best ways to let go of resentment and anger, is to remind yourself of the good things about the person.
Try and put yourself in their shoes. Empathy (not pity) and understanding can be a good olive branch.
Talk about what happened - this comes back to good communication in my opinion. -
Be clear about your feelings and listen to the other person as well. Discuss what happened, and explain why you were hurt, but do not accuse.
Talk about expectations and how you see the relationship progressing, make sure you are both on the same page.
Try really hard to be positive, if you do not believe the trust can be rebuilt then it probably can't.
If you are the person who has broken the trust, then i believe that honesty and consistency is the way to rebuild and earn the trust of the other person. Mean what you say, say what you mean and stick to it. BE consistent in your actions to match the words.
Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and that forgiveness is a gift.
© kim debron 2014