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.