Have you ever felt like your relationship suffered due to a betrayal or lie that you told? Maybe it was a small fib or it could have been something much bigger that you felt like you’d never recover from.
Whether it was one lie, a slew of them or an affair, the concept of dishonesty is present in all relationships, so know you are not alone!
I know how difficult it can be for a relationship to bounce back after a lie has been discovered. Your partner may struggle with how to go back to what life was like before feeling betrayed because the idea of what the relationship was, or their idea of you, is damaged and it takes work and time in order to recover. There is also a grief that comes along with it knowing that the relationship will not be the same.
The good news is that experiencing the downfall of a lie doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship is totally doomed forever!
I’m here to help explain how things can get back on track and how you both can survive the hardship when there is deceit within the relationship.
So, you are probably wondering how your relationship can bounce back. The overall concept is the same regardless of the size of the betrayal. If the injured party sees the person who lied putting in the work, keeping the betrayal in mind and trying to make amends, it can lead to a more genuine relationship.
In turn, the relationship may involve less lying in general and a more upfront ownership of lies when/if they slip out in the future.
It can also provide better trust than the relationship once had. Think about how nice it will feel for your loved one to see you putting in great effort to fix your mistakes. It shows you are sincere and committed at the highest level. This in turn can make your partner’s trust within the relationship even stronger than what they had originally when it was blindly given away.
With all that being said, let’s dive into some tips on how you can improve your relationship once your partner has felt deceived.
Below are 5 tips that generally help with earning trust back and building a stronger relationship in the wake of a lie or betrayal:
1) Be Proactive – Bringing up the lie or betrayal without being prompted from the injured party shows them that you are not trying to ignore it.
A lot of times the reason something like this lingers is because it is not processed or resolved, and the injured party feels like it is their responsibility to make sure it is not forgotten.
If the person who lied is actively bringing it up, they take that responsibility away from the injured party, which leaves more mental space for healing.
Being proactive also includes being completely honest about the initial lie, as well as trying to not lie anymore in the future.
2) Follow Through – Keeping to promises and things that you agreed to is a relatively painless way to show reliability, something that is lost in a betrayal.
This could be anything from taking out the trash when expected, to offering proof that you are where you are expected to be or maybe it’s something as simple as letting your partner know who you were on the phone with to ease their mind.
A lot of people don’t like to make their schedule an open book or to feel as though their partner is Big Brother, but I tell them that this is not forever but it is a necessary step in earning trust back that was broken with a lie.
3) Listen Without Judgment – Your partner is hurt. You are the perfect person to talk to!
They may need you to help validate their feelings now more than ever before. Go to them and offer the support and reassurances needed.
It’s also important to be open to the conversations needed so they can process the hurt and begin moving on within their own terms. There is no set timeline for your partner to get over the situation that occurred, so be open and communicate with one another.
4) Apologize – While apologizing for the lie or betrayal will not take it back, it is still important for the injured party to hear. A genuine apology has the power to repair some harm, soothe wounds and begin the process to heal a broken heart.
It operates the same way as being proactive by showing that you are thinking about the pain caused to the other person and that the situation has not been forgotten. You may need to apologize more than once to show how sincere you truly are so don’t be afraid to admit fault and find different ways in which to express it.
5) Reflect on Why the Lie/Betrayal Happened – This is important for your own understanding and helps to avoid the same circumstances that led to the lie in the first place.
In order to become a better person, not only for yourself but also for your partner, you need to understand why you made the mistake in the first place and think through how you would do things differently if presented with the same situation in the future.
If it is not something that is obvious at first, I recommend counseling to better understand your thoughts both now and when it happened. Therapy can also help you learn coping strategies which are incredibly important in processing what went wrong.
So, now that we’ve discussed some tips on earning trust back and building a stronger relationship, try exploring these recommendations the next time your relationship is suffering from a lie.
It’s also important to remember that relationships are not all rainbows and butterflies and that it is normal to experience some kind of conflict every once in a while. You are not alone in your struggles and lots of couples have repaired the damage and come back better than ever before. The real test is how you work together to overcome the problems to become a better team!
Bouncing back from betrayal can be incredibly difficult, but it doesn’t mean the relationship is doomed forever. Putting in the hard work to show your partner that you are committed now more than ever can make a tremendous difference for your future together.