Break-ups create suspicion and mistrust even in relationships that did not have trust issues before the break-up. Exes put up emotional barriers and blocks to protect themselves from getting hurt (again). As long as there is a sense that they might get hurt, the barriers will stay up. So how do you get your ex to trust you again? Regain the level of trust you had before the break-up and make your relationship stronger?
Too many people trying to attract back their ex go straight into “let’s get back together”. They pour their heart’s content in texts, emails or a letter to their ex. Their thinking that if only they can show their ex how sorry they are; how much they are still in love; and how much they want another chance; their ex will want to take them back. It doesn’t work.
The only way your ex’s emotional walls can come down is by rebuilding trust or felt security
How soon you can get your ex to trust you again depends on why your ex does not trust you. How long trust has been an issue in the relationship. Your and your ex’s communication pattern, and of course your ex’s attachment style.
To get your ex to trust you again and regain the level of trust you had before the break-up:
1. Show up if you want your ex to trust you
Communication is the primary way we build trust in relationships. We can if someone can be trusted by what they say, how they say it and when they say it.
When you avoid contact and avoid talking about issues or avoid your ex; you deny your ex the opportunities to evaluate if you can be trusted.
To get your ex to trust you again, you must be available and accessible. If they have questions or concerns about your trustworthiness, you are available to answer them.
2. Own up to what you are responsible for
It’s a human tendency to want to explain, defend oneself and set the record straight. We somehow believe that by “clarifying” things, we can get the other person to see things our way. May be even understand why we did what we did and give the relationship another chance.
In a perfect world and in some instances, explanations have an impact. But in the real world of break-ups when emotions are still high, explanations come across as excuses and accusations. It doesn’t communicate emotional safety and doesn’t rebuild trust. In fact, it often makes things worse.
I am not saying you shouldn’t apologize or take responsibility for your role in the break-up, I am saying all the lengthy explanations of why you did what you did, psychoanalyzing your ex’s problems or labelling them “an avoidant” “unavailable”, “a commitment phobe” or “damaged” is the worst way to try and rebuild trust.
To show your ex that they can trust you, you must be willing and able to show up and own up to your words and actions. No reasonable person in their right mind trusts someone who does not want to be accountable or held responsible for what they say or do.
3) Prove to your ex that you can be trusted
When someone trusts you and that trust is abused or lost; you can’t tell them to blindly trust you again. Telling your ex that they can trust you again without giving them reason to trust you again is the same as telling them to not trust you. Just think about it, how many times have you been told “trust me” and you immediately become suspicious of the person asking for your trust. Trust is not given, trust is earned.
To get your ex to trust you again, you have to give them reason to trust you again. If your ex lost trust in you because you told a lie and they found out about it; they need you to prove you can be trusted. They need you to be truthful about everything and all the time. If you lost your ex’s trust because of infidelity, you must prove that you can be trusted by doing whatever you can to show that it will not happen again. You must earn their trust.
4) Speak words that show trust
Nothing questions your trustworthiness more than contradictions, half-truths and words and actions that just don’t add up. When we can’t tell what is what, it makes us wonder what else is someone lying about, and how can we trust them when they say one thing and a few minutes/hours/days later say something else? The more times it happens, the less we trust them.
To show your ex that they can trust you again, try as much as is possible be open and transparent. Be honest in what you say and do and show up authentically day after day, week after week, month after month, however long it takes to earn back your ex’s trust.
5) Walk the walk of someone who can be trusted
Being trustworthy is not just about what you say or do, it’s about who you are. It is up yo you to prove to your ex that your actions will not be harm or hurt them. Your ex needs to know that they can reasonably predict how you will react or respond to whatever situation that might come up, especially those situations that involve trust when things don’t go your way. And how you do that is by creating an environment that makes your ex feel safe to let their guard down and allow you in again
If you find yourself lying to your ex, playing mind games, saying and doing things for attention (drama), or making promises you can not follow through, you are undermining your own trustworthiness.
Remember, once trust has been lost, rebuilding it takes time and a lot of work
Don’t assume that you can re-establish trust by simply exchanging a few friendly texts, e-mails or phone chats. It may take several weeks and even months before your ex feels safe to let their guard down again.
Your ex’s attachment style plays a role in how long it will take your ex to trust you again; or if your ex will ever trust you again.
Show up, own up, prove it, speak it, and walk it consistently. Consistency builds trust. Consistency builds credibility. Sometimes consistency can erase mistakes.
Like all of us, you may not always say or do all the right things (you are human!), but being consistent says that your heart is the right place, and you can be trusted.
RELATED: How to Make An Avoidant Trust You Again If You Lied?
Thanks Yangki, your advice worked. We met for the first time in 5 months, and I think it went well because he asked to see me again. I will book another session with you because I need help creating momentum. You are an amazing coach and very compassionate human being. Thank you very much.
Thank you for this great site. I am a 50yo man and your advice makes sense to me. As of right now she’s leaving everything to if or not she likes the new me. I am doing everything to show her I have changed my ways and putting myself out there knowing I might get hurt again, but that’s a chance I am willing to take for this wonderful woman. My question to you is, in your experience, has anyone got back their ex a year after a breakup? We did not cease contact and remained in each other’s lives because we care about each other very much. She always said she wants me to get my act together and I guess i was too stubborn and only started seeing a therapist 4 months ago. She says she sees I am changing but needs to see more.
Yes. A lot depends on what happens in that one year when you are broken up.
The good thing going for you is that you stayed in each other’s lives, proof of maturity on both sides (you’re 50, I would be shocked it if were otherwise… :))
The other good thing going for you is that she’s open to the possibility of the two of you getting back together.
Now it’s up to you to make her not only see the new you, but like him and fall in love with him!
My ex and I met online and dated for 5 months. Her feelings for me were stronger than my feelings for her and I just didn’t think it was fair to her, so I ended it. She wasn’t upset or at least did not show but instead asked if we could stay in contact, and out of guilt I said yes. In the two months we’ve been broken up I think that my feelings for her have grown stronger. It’s probably because all my other breakups ended with no contact and this is the first time I’ve stayed in contact with an ex. My question is: Should I tell her how I feel about her? I can’t stop thinking about her and I just want to know if we have a chance.
Sounds like you have a keeper there!
I definitely think you should let her know how you feel, but before you do it make sure you’re ready to stay, and won’t break her heart again. People can only be hurt so many times.
I also think that before you tell her, try it out with one or two romantic gestures — something that you think will really impress her and see how she responds. In other words, work you way towards “the talk”. This might end up being your “get back together talk”.
This is my second attempt at getting my ex back. He and I were together for 2 years 3 months. I was insecure and needy and ran him away. We didn’t talk for 7 weeks until we ran into each other at a party and one thing lead to another and we got back together. Just a month later we were back into the same old problems and broke up again. We didn’t do NC but LC. We’ve started hanging out again and it just feels more relaxed this time but we’ll see how things go.
Good for you… things should feel and BE different, that’s how you know you are not doing the old relationship again.
Keep in mind that contact, hanging out etc, is not what is going to get you back together long term. It’s making sure you’ve worked on why you are insecure and needy. THAT is why you broke -up, why you may not get back together, and why you may get back together and break-up again.
I really like this site. I’ve been in too many online offering advice on getting back your ex but it seems that very few really want help, they just wanted to vent. It makes the whole situation seem hopeless and stuck. Not helpful at all. I want to improve the relationship with my ex and this is really helping.
I pity all the people here pining for their exes. It’s over for a reason. Going back to your ex is like throwing out an old sofa and then digging in the dumpster to retrieve it. If you do, you deserve everything you get.
So true if you have a habit of buying cheap worthless sofas that you have to throw in the dumpster. Says more about your taste and choices than it says about the sofa or dumpster diving.
Fortunately, some people have a taste for the finer things in life. If it’s that one-of-a-kind, and for one reason or another you gave it away and then realized what a fool you are, I say, do everything within your power to get that one-of-a-kind sofa back.