Rebuilding trust requires the involvement of both participants in the relationship.

Initially, the person who shattered the trust will need to work hard to build the trust back. Showing remorse, being consistent, and understanding their partner's pain are all very important in building trust. The unfaithful participant will need to teach their partner that they can be a trustworthy and an emotionally safe person.

The partner who was deceived, on the other hand, will also need to do some work to build the trust. These simple steps will help this participant to begin rebuilding the shattered foundation of the relationship.

1. Notice when the "radar" is on. The person who was “cheated on” can often have heightened anxiety and may obsessively look and watch for untrustworthy behaviors. For example: a man and woman are out to dinner, and the woman knows the exact location of every beautiful woman. She then may watch his eyes, and wait to catch him when his gaze wanders. This behavior is very common and can be very toxic.

2. Don't be unrealistic. If you expect your partner to be available at every minute, you are putting him/her up for failure. They cannot be expected to stop their life, but they can make a more concerted effort to keep you involved in their life. Don’t expect that every time your partner doesn’t answer their phone that they are doing something wrong.

3. Keep your mind on track. Since the trust was broken, insecurity and worry about the relationship may set in. When your thoughts go down the ‘what is my partner doing right now’ path, redirect your thoughts and provide yourself with assurance. These ongoing thoughts can create a cycle of anxiety, all of which can prevent the re-growth of the relationship.

4. Choose your lens. People see the world through different lenses. Don’t let your lens be a ‘lens of mistrust.’ You have a choice of how you want to see the world.

5. Tell your partner what you need. You may need some concrete evidence that your partner is sincere with their words. Let your partner know what you need for comfort, but ensure all requests are realistic and unobtrusive. Your partner can’t read your mind, so make your needs as clear as possible.

6. Avoid hinting. Hinting is not an effective means of communication and often causes more problems at a time of distress. Your partner might not get the hint as quickly as you would like, and their lack of understanding might put them up for failure. Be clear and to the point.

7. Get professional help. If you can’t seem to stop thinking about the affair and constantly feel like you are walking on egg shells, see a professional therapist. Therapists are trained to help couples get back on track after relationship trauma.

If you have a history of trust broken in your life, these steps might not be sufficient for recovery. The past can impact your current relationships, and prevent you from fully trusting. If you have a history of broken trust, seek professional help.
Jennine E. Estes, M.A., Marriage and Family Therapist MFC#47653. Visit

Author's Bio: 

Jennine E. Estes is a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFC#47653) with a practice working mostly with couples and helping people learn more effective ways to communicate and connect with one another. She helps couples build trust, learn how to recover from infidelity, and help them get back on track. For more information, please visit