I have been pondering this question for a couple of weeks after I had a conversation with a friend about her boyfriend that cheated on her. I’m not sure I have a great answer today. There are a lot of variables to consider.
We all trust in different ways. Some of us start trusting another person the moment we meet them. I am one of these people. I will take you at face value and trust you until you do something to violate my trust. Others are very cautious and you have to prove yourself to be trustworthy. It is only over time that you can earn your trust through your words and actions.
When trust is broken, it is because someone has done something that has violated our rules, expectations, promises made, etc. There can be varying degrees of broken trust. It can be as simple as being late for dinner after promising to be on time or it can be much more serious such as cheating on your mate.
How do you regain trust? It is not easy and trust may never be regained depending on the seriousness of the issue. Regaining trust after being late for dinner can usually be accomplished in a short period of time by being where you promise to be at the specified time. However, regaining trust after cheating on your mate is much more serious and will take significantly more time to recover, if at all.
When a serious breach of trust has occurred, it may be impossible to fully regain the original level of trust. It may take years to regain a reasonable amount of trust. If you have violated someone’s trust, you need to expect to be “watched” for an indefinite amount of time. You will need to prove yourself worthy of being trusted again over and over and over. And for some, once their trust has been violated, you will never be able to regain it!
From a relationship standpoint, if your trust is violated, are you willing to forgive or is it time to move on?
If you violate someone’s trust, do you deserve to be trusted again and what are you willing to do to become trustworthy again?
I can only speak for myself on this issue. There are times that I have forgiven too quickly and had my trust violated again. At other times, I have not forgiven quickly enough or been too judgmental and lost what were once good friendships. It is a fine line either way. Being overly trusting can bring undue hurt. Not trusting enough can restrict or even prevent extraordinary relationships from even happening.
How do you handle trust issues? Let us hear from you.