9 Steps to Healing Broken Trust in a Relationship

Updated on July 25, 2018
Kaitlyn Lo profile image

Kaitlyn has a background in psychology and writes articles that teach you how to lean on your body, mind, heart, and on those around you.

By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons.
By freestocks.org. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

The people closest to you are supposed to be the people you can turn to when you need a shoulder to lean on. They’re supposed to be the ones who will accept and support you through thick or thin. This is especially the case when it comes to your romantic life partner.

So when you find out that the person you’ve chosen to become most intimate with has lied or betrayed you in some other way, it’s natural to feel angry, devastated and lost.

But with time, understanding, kindness, and strength, you can start to heal.

Poll: Types of Betrayal

In your opinion, what is the worst kind of betrayal?

See results
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons.
By Pixabay. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

How to Heal From Broken Trust

Here are 9 steps you can take to heal the pain and move on with your life.

1. Don’t play the blame game.

It’s easy to think that maybe it was your fault for being so naive, or that it’s their fault for deliberately deceiving you. But pointing fingers won’t help you heal. Perhaps they were in the wrong for deciding to betray you, but blaming them will only make you angry, and anger will fester into something more toxic. So the first step you need to take towards recovering from betrayal is to avoid falling into the finger-pointing trap. Accept that it’s happened, and move on to the next stage.

2. Learn to trust yourself again.

Before you can trust others again, remember how to trust yourself first. Fight through the fear of your instincts failing you again. Remember the times when your gut instincts have helped you and have been accurate in the past. Remember that one misjudgment does not mean that you have poor judgment in general.

3. Put yourself first.

As much as you want to wallow in sadness, anger, and resentment, you’re letting the act of betrayal win. You deserve to be happy so don’t let a negative event ruin your chances at happiness. So don’t dwell on the negative, shed it like dead skin, go out there to do the things that make you happy, and build the life you want. When you’re working towards your happiness and seeing your efforts come to fruition, confidence in yourself will come back on its own.

Recovering and moving on from a betrayal takes time, and you should never feel pressured to go faster than you’re comfortable.

4. Hold off on entering a new relationship.

If you’ve decided to leave the relationship after a betrayal, don’t jump straight into a new one. Even though you may think that a new start will help you get over your previous relationship, that may not be the best thing to do. The pain of betrayal, especially the loss of ending a relationship, is a type of grieving. You need to let yourself heal. Take some time for yourself. Rediscover who you are, reaffirm your priorities and goals before jumping into a new relationship.

5. Realize that not everyone's the same.

Understanding that not all people will betray you is key to moving on and recovering from a past betrayal. Just because one person lied to you doesn’t mean that all people are liars too. If you fall into a cynical mindset where everyone cannot be trusted, you’ll only isolate yourself and breed a toxic mindset that can cause you to feel even more misunderstood and lonely.

6. Set clear guidelines.

If you’ve decided to continue the relationship with a partner who has betrayed you, it can be helpful to set some clear expectations you may have for them from now on. You may feel more reassured when you have expressed your boundaries and expectations that need to be met for you to begin to trust them again. In doing so, you’re also presenting your partner opportunities to regain your trust, which leads us to the next point.

7. Give opportunities for them to prove themselves.

It’s normal, and often easier, for you to want to pull away completely from the person who betrayed you. But sometimes forgiveness and rebuilding trust can be a better option for you and those around you. So don’t let your fear of being betrayed again destroy your relationship. Resist the urge to build a fortress around your heart, and offer your partner opportunities to prove themselves to you. If allowing your partner back in again makes you feel a little too vulnerable, setting a limit to the opportunities you give may help you feel a little more in control of the situation.

Poll: Break up or fix?

When your significant other has lied and betrayed you, what would you do?

See results

8. Give yourself time.

Don’t let anyone or anything rush you towards trusting your partner again after a betrayal. Recovering and moving on from broken trust takes time and you should never feel pressured to go faster than you’re comfortable. Trust takes time to earn and will take even longer to regain when lost, so don’t let anyone set expectations on how long you should take to recover.

9. Forgive.

Finally, and most importantly, being able to forgive is the most powerful and effective way for you to move on. It doesn’t matter if an apology was never made, it doesn’t matter if you never find closure. Forgiveness will become that closure for you. Holding on to grudges and resentment for the person who hurt you will only fuel negativity and invite toxicity in your life. So forgive and forget at your soonest opportunity. You're too good for that kind of negativity to linger and pull your life down.

By Scott Webb. CC0 Creative Commons.
By Scott Webb. CC0 Creative Commons. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 KV Lo


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Kaitlyn Lo profile imageAUTHOR

      KV Lo 

      2 years ago

      @Sarah: Thank you for reading!

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      It's really hard to recover when a friend or family member betrays your trust. I agree with taking the time to put yourself first before getting back out there. A good read.

    • profile image

      Sarah (adventuresfromwhereyouwanttobe) 

      2 years ago

      This is great advice. It really hurts when people break your trust and Its hard to learn to trust again.

    • profile image

      Ania Travels 

      2 years ago

      This is great, sometimes trust can be broken in all sorts of relationships and it's so hard to gain that trust back again. These are great tips! I'm glad you included putting youself first, because thats what matters most and we forget about that in relationships.

    • profile image

      emma white 

      2 years ago

      some great tips here and sadly I know all too well the hurt you feel when your trust is broken by the one person who promised never to hurt you

    • profile image

      Arra Odeza 

      2 years ago

      It hurts to the core when someone you truly trust betrayed you. I have been in the situation when my ex-bf cheated on me. We tried to fix the relationship but just like the other says that a broken glass can never be fixed. We ended up in separate ways. I don't want that to happen again.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Nice post. It's hard to trust someone again, if they already lied or betrayed you. And yes, it will take time for you to trust again. But that's life :D

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      OMG i can totally relate to this topic and it is spot on. Regaining trust is one of the hardest things in a relationship, but its crucial if you want to make it work.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pairedlife.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)