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Moving Beyond the Lies Toward Trust
By Susie and Otto Collins

How do you heal a relationship in which one or both of you lied and acted without integrity? Is it even possible to move beyond the lies and in the direction of a close, trusting connection?

When a betrayal has happened in your love relationship-- whether it was cheating or another
hurtful experience-- you might be asking yourself questions like these.

We acknowledge that there's nothing like a lie to quickly erode or even destroy the foundations upon which your relationship is built. At the same time, we believe that it is possible to turn trust around and move closer to one another-- even with a past that seemed filled with lies.

Learning to tell the truth is something that just about every child is taught. Of course, there are often strong lessons that discourage lying told to us by the adults in our lives.

But there are almost always also lessons we learned from our peers during our younger years. The pain of discovering that a best friend lied about us or to us can stick with those childhood memories and alter the course of friendships as well.

Now, as an adult, you probably hold beliefs about telling the truth and the damaging effects that lying can have on a relationship. As you try to pick up the pieces of your relationship after lying has occurred, those beliefs most certainly influence you and the healing process you are drawn to.

If you are the one in the relationship who has been lied to...
We encourage you to get to know and acknowledge the beliefs you have about truth-telling and lying. Just check in with yourself and recognize if there are any past relationship experiences-- even childhood occurrences-- that might be clouding how you are viewing this current

We are not in any way indicating that you should discount your current partner's lies and the way you might be feeling as a result. It is helpful, however, if you can ground yourself in this moment and situation.

When you react from the past, you truly cannot effect positive change in the present. Instead, you tend to attribute to your partner and yourself actions, words and motivations that just may not be accurate. And that can only compound the hurt and disconnection that you both may be feeling
right now.

When you choose to re-build trust with someone who has lied to you, you are choosing to make a leap of faith in some ways. This is probably uncomfortable for you and you may even feel vulnerable. After all, the last thing you want is to be lied to again!

However, you can take a reasonable and conscious risk each time you decide to trust what your partner is telling you.  This type of risk may also feel uncomfortable but it is not a naive or "blind" action.

As you are dealing with your current relationship grounded in the present moment, it can be easier for you to sort out the information you are receiving that seems reasonable and logical.

From this place of the presence, you can also listen more clearly to what your "gut" is telling you rather than what your fears and resentments rooted in the past might be indicating.

You can set boundaries as you open up to your partner and begin to trust again. While we don't recommend threats or ultimatums, we do encourage people to communicate to one another what their boundaries are. What is non-negotiable
to you?

It might be that you decide not to tolerate lying again. If so, be clear about your boundary and then follow through. You can set agreements with your partner that allow both of you to be part of the boundary-setting and trust-building that can happen.

If you are the one in the relationship who lied...
We suggest that you also bring yourself into this present situation and differentiate between the past and what's going on right now. Sometimes we fall into roles or habits that are familiar because they fit where we used to be.

Those past behaviors might have served us in some capacity at the time, but now are very limiting and damaging to ourselves and our relationships.

For example, perhaps a man or woman was labeled by his or her parents, teachers and classmates as a liar during childhood. There may have been a time in this person's early life when, for whatever reason, lying seemed to be easier than telling the truth.

This label and habit might become so ingrained, that the person can only see him or herself as a liar.

When you make the completions you need to make, forgive yourself and others for past mistakes and let go, you can often clear space for wonderful transformations. You might find that, as you ground yourself in the present and let go of the past, you don't feel the urge to "cover up" or be dishonest anymore.

You might start to realize that connecting with your partner with integrity has amazing benefits-- even if it's not always the most comfortable choice to make.

Expect what you want...not what you don't want.
Regardless of what happened to cause distrust in your relationship and regardless of which "role" you played, you can move toward healing and trust. And, if you choose, you can do this together and end up closer than before.

Sometimes it all comes down to your expectations. Do you mostly expect your partner-- or yourself-- to betray trust and lie? Are you often "on alert" or looking out for being lied to? Do you consider it a foregone conclusion that honesty just doesn't work for you?

Pay attention to what you expect in your relationship.

Ask yourself if those expectations keep you pointed toward the past and inevitable hurt and pain? Or, are there ways you could shift those expectations to reasonably and consciously move toward trust instead?

When you have positive expectations of yourself, your partner and your relationship, you are essentially mapping out a hopeful future. Perhaps the most important question of all is, what kind of future do you want? Whatever that is, trust in the process of life and in your ability to have it.







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Contact Info
Relationship Coaches Susie and Otto Collins
PO Box 14544, Columbus, OH 43214
Contact Susie or Otto about Relationship Coaching by calling 614-459-8121.
For all other inquiries, contact us by email

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