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Rebuilding Trust

Rebuild Trust by Changing Your Expectations
By Susie and Otto Collins

If you are attempting to rebuild trust in your love
relationship or marriage you might still be healing after a betrayal such as infidelity.

If so, you and your partner may each be working on staying open and honest with one another.

As you follow trust-restoring suggestions and advice such as that offered on this website, you are hopefully feeling better about your relationship and hopeful that you will one day enjoy the closeness and connection you want.

But there might still be a wariness deep within you. If your partner had an affair or broke trust in some other way, you might experience a hesitancy and a feeling of having to stay "on guard."

While you'd like to completely forgive and release about what happened, a part of you may be having a difficult time doing that.

If you were the one who cheated or betrayed trust, you might not have fully forgiven yourself. Perhaps trusting your own judgment and impulses is something you are working on.

You might feel stuck wanting your partner to own up to his or her role in the disconnection between the two of you.

These are all important areas which deserve your
attention. We urge you to keep exploring what's holding you back from enjoying the sense of trust and connection you desire with your partner.

One way to get a clearer look at what might be creating further distance between you and your mate is to examine your expectations.

Cailin and Hal made a commitment to rebuild trust in their relationship after they almost split up a year ago.

They found themselves very far apart at that time and when they each confessed to betraying their relationship, they realized it was time to either end it or attempt to rebuild trust and their connection.

Working with a relationship coach and making a conscious effort to make their relationship a priority has helped. But Hal notices that he still feels skeptical about certain things Cailin says.

Cailin realizes that she feels defended around Hal-- she knows that she still does not fully trust him.

What is your "default" expectation?
If it is your intention to rebuild trust with your partner and you aren't feeling the results you'd like, take a look at your expectations.

What is the "default" expectation you tend to have about yourself, your partner and your relationship?

Much like a computer has default settings upon which it relies time and time again, we humans also have usual thoughts, reactions and expectations that have been programmed within us-- usually by past experiences and beliefs.

Until you take a look at what your default expectations are, you can't make changes that will support you moving closer to your mate.

Cailin and Hal sit down together one evening and have a very honest talk about each of their expectations.

While both of them want to rebuild trust, they also both own up to their default expectations that are more in line with where their relationship used to be and not where they are trying to take it.

Hal shares that, deep down, he has an expectation that Cailin will lie to him about her true feelings. He almost expects her to just tell him what she thinks he wants to hear instead of what she really thinks and feels.

He acknowledges that this was more accurate in the past when she lied to cover her actions and feelings and doesn't seem to fit what's going on now.

Cailin also notices limiting expectations she has about Hal that are rooted in his infidelity. She has an expectation that Hal will use her deep and honest feelings "against" her somehow.

She also continues to harbor an expectation that Hal will cheat again even though she sees him
frequently demonstrating his trustability now.

Your default expectations might not make sense to you.  They may seem to defy the logic of your present moment.  Try not to figure out your expectations.

Instead, notice them and ask yourself if they are in line with rebuilding trust and connection.

Consciously change your expectations.
Now that you are more aware of what you tend to expect, you can make a choice. Are you willing to release that expectation and replace it with a new one?

Answer this question honestly within yourself. There might be completions that need to happen in order for you to truly release this expectation.

It could be that you are still feeling raw and unsettled about a particular issue.

If so, you can come up with a new expectation even as you address what's unresolved for you. Write down your new expectation and leave it out where you can read it often.

When you read this new expectation, try to breathe and allow the feelings that come up for you.

After their honest communication about each of their expectations, Hal and Cailin decide to each come up with new expectations.

They write them down and talk about how it feels to open up to these different ways of approaching one another.

They make an agreement to sit down together at least once a month to check in about their expectations. They also agree to pay attention to how it feels when they affirm the new expectation within their own minds.

Another agreement they make is to be patient with one another as these changes and shifts happen.

It can take time to reprogram yourself with new
expectations. Be clear about the direction you want your relationship to go.

When you realize that you are falling into your default mode again, congratulate yourself for the
noticing and then ask yourself if you are willing to make a shift toward the new, desired expectation.

You can also appreciate it when you notice your partner making changes. From this place of noticing, appreciation and conscious shifting, you two might also notice trust rebuilding and closeness increasing.







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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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