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Rebuilding Trust

Who Broke the Trust in Our Relationship? She did...
By Susie and Otto Collins

Who broke the trust in your love relationship or marriage?

If you're at a point where you and your partner are trying to save your relationship and rebuild trust, you might be asking yourself this question.

And, if your mate is-- from your perspective-- the one who betrayed you and your relationship agreements, you might not even have to think about the answer... it was her or it was him.

It could be that your partner had an affair or lied to you. If so, it might seem obvious to you that the person who cheated or lied is the one who broke trust.

But, in reality, it's not always as clear-cut as this.

It's understandable that, when you feel hurt because your partner betrayed you in some way, you would hold him or her primarily (or even completely) responsible for the mess that your relationship is at this point.

If you are choosing to stay in this relationship and turn trust around, however, it's important for you to open up and consider this...

It's highly likely that both your partner AND you were responsible for breaking trust.

This is probably difficult for you to hear considering what might have happened. We aren't saying that affairs and lying are okay and healthy for a relationship. They're certainly not.

In order to truly rebuild trust, heal from the pain and to move closer to your mate again, you need to stop playing the blame game.

Geoff knows all about the blame game. He can't seem to stop holding his wife, Carolyn, completely responsible for the disconnected and tense place where their relationship is today.

Even thought Geoff knows that he needs to widen his perspective of their relationship in order for them to be close again, he can't seem to stop thinking that it was Carolyn who broke trust when she had the affair a year ago.

Shift your focus.
Instead of continuing to ask yourself-- or declare to yourself-- who broke the trust, re-direct your attention and thoughts.

Do you want to stay in this relationship? If so, what seems to be the next logical step in order to rebuild trust? What are you willing to do? What agreements would you like to create with your

All of these questions can help you get unstuck from the blame game, return to the present moment and move on.

We aren't asking you to ignore any anger, grief or other emotions that you might be feeling related to what happened.

It's really important for you to acknowledge how you are feeling.

Honor what you need right now. Is it space, sessions with a coach or counselor, more communication with your partner or something else?

Go within and find out what you need and then make that happen. 

When you are recognizing and really listening to how you feel and what you need, it can be easier to move more quickly through the pain and the hurt.

Geoff has been practicing shifting his focus when he notices himself feeling like a victim to Carolyn's cheating and lying.

He has begun to pause and stop what he's doing when his thoughts drift to such statements as:

"Carolyn has a lot that she still has to answer for..." or "What will Carolyn do to fix the trust in our relationship, since she is the one who broke it?..."

When Geoff notices that he's thinking blame game thoughts, he take a deep breath and acknowledges the feelings behind these thoughts.

Soon, he feels a little less upset and stirred up and he can re-direct his attention to what's going on in his relationship right now.

Own your share.
As he makes a shift, Geoff can more easily see that he also contributed to breaking trust in their relationship.

No, he did not have an affair. But there were plenty of ways that he contributed to the distance and disconnection that grew between he and Carolyn.

When you stop playing the blame game-- or at least put it on pause-- you can more clearly see that both you and your mate possibly shared
responsibility for breaking trust.

According to where you stand, you might view what your partner did as more significant and detrimental-- and maybe it was.

Until you can own up to the possible ways that you also contributed to the breaking of trust, you will probably stay stuck in the pain and you and your mate will most likely remain distant from one

Yes, of course, if your mate had an affair, you need to eventually believe that he or she is trustable.

But you can also look at your own habits and tendencies when it comes to such things as communication, intimacy, emotional sharing,
financial issues, parenting decisions, kindness and more.

In which of these (or other) areas did you and do you close down to your partner, push him or her away or create distance?

When you own your share of breaking trust, you aren't discounting the fact that your partner cheated and lied.

This is something that he or she is undoubtedly grappling with and that the two of you can
create agreements about in order to rebuild trust.

Be willing to honestly look at your role in the disconnection that is now between you two and then take steps to make changes.



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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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