Whether or not an avoidant ex can trust you again if you lied depends how you talk about the incident; and if the lie is forgivable.
Attachment styles play a significant role in the types of behaviour that shape feelings of trust. Your ex’s attachment style also determines how long it will take your ex to trust you again; or if your ex will ever trust you again.
Some of the behaviours that may be different in how attachment style shapes feelings of trust include:
1. Your ex’s reaction to when they find out you lied
According to the findings on the study on the the role of attachment styles in communication patterns; and potential termination of romantic relationships following discovery of deception. Su Ahn Jang, Sandi W. Smith, and Timothy R. Levine found that:
Securely attachment style
People with a secure attachment style are more likely to talk directly about the issue when they find out that you lied. They are also unlikely to break-up or to end the relationship following the lie. By initiating talk about what happened and talking with their partners, secures deal with negative feelings constructively.
These findings reinforce a similar finding by Planalp and Honeycutt which showed that individuals who engage in communication after uncertainty increasing incidents; often enjoy positive relational outcomes.
How to make a securely attached ex trust you again
If a securely attached individual initiates a conversation about trust or trust-related event; talk openly and directly and deal with negative feelings constructively. Talking openly and directly about trust-related issues will help them not only feel positive about their feelings for you; but also feel that with time they can trust you again.
Anxious attachment style
Preoccupied and fearful avoidants leaning anxious are also able continue their relationships and not break-up. But they are more likely to report talking around and avoiding the issue. They avoid talking about the it altogether if they think that it will upset the partner.
In general individuals who score high on attachment anxiety (preoccupied and fearful avoidants) do not talk about issues in the relationship. This is because they have poor quality communication. There are two conflicting views on why individuals who score high on attachment anxiety have poor quality communication. Some studies suggest that this is because preoccupied and fearful avoidants argue with their partners more than securely attached or dismissive avoidants. Others studies suggest that preoccupied and fearful avoidants avoid talking about the specific event because they may not want to jeopardize their romantic relationships; though they continue to engage in general communication with their partners.
Keeping the lines of communication open even though they avoid taking about the issue helps someone with attachment anxiety trust you again and remain in the relationship.
How to make an anxious attached ex trust you again
Don’t try to force them to have conversations about trust if they are not comfortable doing so. Work on showing them you can be trusted. As research shows, for an ex on high on attachment anxiety to want to continue the relationship, it is not important that you talk about the specific trust-related event It is also important that you keep the lines of communication open.
Avoidant attachment style
Individuals with an avoidant attachment style not only avoid their partner after finding out about the lie; they also do not talk about it at all.
Highly avoidant individuals already have more doubts about their relationships. They fear intimacy and have difficulty completely trusting and depending on others. It’s no surprise that they avoid talking about anything linked with negative feelings or outcomes. They’d rather break-up, end the relationship or cut off contact.
How to make an avoidant ex trust you again
Individuals high on attachment avoidance may avoid talking about the trust-related incident; avoid you or not want contact all.
Do not try to force an avoidant to talk to you about why they don’t trust you; even if you know that communication matters and talking about whatever caused the loss of trust would help rebuild trust.
Undermining your ex’s perceptions of trust may reduce your ex’s attachment security. Reducing attachment security may make it hard for an avoidant to trust you again.
2) Your ex’s feelings being safe and confidence in the relationship
Studies show that while feeling confident about the relationship is the main goal for all the attachment styles, feeling secure was an additional goal for someone with attachment anxiety. Feeling in control was an additional goal of someone high on attachment avoidance.
To make someone with attachment anxiety trust you again, make them feel secure. The more secure they feel, the more likely that they will trust you again.
For an avoidant to trust you again; make them feel that they are in control of what happens on a day-to-day basis.
The importance of communication
Finding out that someone you love and care about lied makes one doubt the other person and the relationship. But it should not automatically lead to a break-up or end of a relationship. If couples talk about it directly and openly and deal with negative feelings constructively, they can move on from the lie.
Talking about the incident plays a big role in the other person staying in the relationship. Even talking around the issue and avoiding talking about it while still talking to each other help in moving on form the lie.
In a study McCornack and Levine, they found that the significant predictor of a break-up after the discovery of a lie was avoiding the person and not communicating. They concluded that communication matters and a lack of communication hurts romantic relational partners after the discovery of the lie.
This explains why avoidants initiate break-ups or end a relationships most often, as they tend to avoid the person after relational troubles.