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
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
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
In order to truly rebuild trust, heal from the pain and to
move closer to your mate again, you need to stop playing the
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
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
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
Honor what you need right now. Is it space, sessions with a
coach or counselor, more communication with your partner or
Go within and find out what you need and then make that
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
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
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
responsibility for breaking trust.
According to where you stand, you might view what your
partner did as more significant and detrimental-- and maybe
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,
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
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.