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Deepness's avatar

Trust: Can it be regained once it's lost?

Asked by Deepness (1145points) July 11th, 2009

If a couple loses trust for one another, can the trust come back?

I realize they can forgive each other for whatever the issue is. Is it possible to truly ever forget?

Once a relationship heads down this road, is it worth fixing?

These questions are based on a bf/gf who don’t have any children and don’t live together who have known each other 11 years and have been a couple for 4 years.

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30 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

Sure, but it’s important to remember that there was a reason why it was lost in the fist place.

Dog's avatar

Yes trust can be built back but the party that broke the trust has to prove over time by actions that they are worthy of the trust of the partner.

It is hard work and depending on what the loss of trust was
about the relationship may not be able to be salvaged.

whatthefluther's avatar

It’s possible but will take time based on the issue or situation. For example, cheating would be much more difficult and would require more repair time than perhaps not divulging some information, like an innocent lunch with an ex or something similar. See ya… (my initials)

Kiev749's avatar

it takes a long time. but yes. it can.

Phobia's avatar

Trust can be regained, but like @cheebdragon said, it’s important to remember why it was lost. Mistakes should be learned from and not simply forgotten.

If its something serious, like cheating, it may be forgiven, but it will never be forgotten. It may always be at the back of their mind, but that doesn’t change the fact that trust can be regained.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

This is one of those issues where having multigenerational friends can be a help. You would be amazed at how many people in their 60’s and older have salvaged relationships where trust was violated.

The key is commitment. How committed are both parties are you to making the relationship work? It would be much easier to toss the relationship and move on if you are not married and don’t have children. Relationships take a lot of work, and have ups and downs.

juwhite1's avatar

I think that some mistakes aren’t worth the effort of trying to rebuild trust (abuse, for example). That said, if your relationship has a strong foundation, and both partners are committed to wanting to be more open and honest with one another and get back to having a trusting relationship, I do believe this is possible. As others have said, it is a lot of work. I think I’d consider whether the work is worth it based on how long the trust has been missing, how severe the reasons for the lost trust were, and how much capacity each has to truly forgive the other and move forward.

JLeslie's avatar

If this is about cheating, the thing to know is some people cheat after years in a relationship, because things have gotten off track and instead of working it through with their significant other they fall for the attentions of another and cheat. When these people are caught, they either want to keep the primary relationship, in which case they will be very remorseful and want to talk and work things through, I think you can gain trust back in this case; or, they were looking for a way to end things, and this might be the beginning of the end. Then, there is the cheater who cheats just because he will always cheat (I use he here, but there are women like this too). If he just did it and has no complaints about your relationship, thinks there is nothing to work on, that is a really bad sign, he is probably not trust worthy. You will never gain the trust back if the cheating party will not answer your questions and do whatever you need to trust him again.

If this is about lying, lying is REALLY BAD. This many times is coupled with cheating.

If this is about physical abuse, be really careful, is this the first time he has physically abused you? Is he very controlling in general? Very possessive? All very bad signs, you should not be with someone with these characteristics.

If this is about him not being there for you when you needed him, if you both are very young, this might be a learning process, and if he understands where he let you down, you could definetly gain the trust back.

So many possibilities.

Blondesjon's avatar

If the party(s) responsible for the mistrust are sincere in their efforts than it is simply a matter of time.

When someone is emotionally hurt it leaves a wound as raw as any physical injury. It takes time to heal and sometimes we tend to pick at the scab.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Going through this now..I think it’s definitely back on good track, I’m starting to trust again…to me, our marriage was worth it, worth a leap of faith

flameboi's avatar

Short answer? No! That couple really needs to move on…

Bobbilynn's avatar

I think, some people can some people can’t!
Weather it be a simple lie or a fuck in my bed, I can never take what that person says or does as 100% face value!

But that’s just me, I guess I have trust issuses!

DrBill's avatar

Once trust is lost, it can be earned back, over time, but it will never be as strong as it was the first time.

jeanna's avatar

Trust is a huge thing to win back and I’m not sure there is really a way to “win” it back. The person may be able to become trusted a bit again, but you never lose those doubts. You will always second-guess what they do/say. In my life, the people that have lost my trust have not gained it back and won’t. There is only so many chances for people to make the same mistake over and over. Stop making those mistakes and I’ll eventually be ablt to look at you again, but you won’t ever have my complete trust back.

jamielynn2328's avatar

It depends on what kind of effort they are willing to put into the relationship. It takes work to stay together, and when trust is lost, it takes a huge effort on both sides to regain it back. I agree with @jeanna, if I love my trust in someone, they could never fully earn it back. I would always have that small little part of me that questions their sincerity and honesty.

Deepness's avatar

Thank you everyone for confirming what I already knew.

Bobbilynn's avatar

Isn’t trust something you do or you don’t? I can’t just trust someone a little, can I?

Dog's avatar

@Bobbilynn In my experience trust is something easily given but once broken difficult to restore.

EntitY's avatar

Trust is basically a personal decision, so yes one can conclude and even change that conclusion…

Aethelwine's avatar

Trust can be regained once it’s lost, but it takes two strong, willing, loving and forgiving individuals to make it happen. It is almost impossible to forget, but if you are committed to your relationship you can get past the “past” and move forward. Communication is the secret to a happy relationship.

CMaz's avatar

Yes it can, but it will either be stronger. Due to misunderstanding.
Or, it will be a different trust. Due to infidelity.
But it will never be the same trust.

Sariperana's avatar

Yes, but it brings a little friend called ‘doubt’

Malcrony's avatar

@Sariperana And that friend stays for quite awhile…

definitive's avatar

Mmmhhh interesting response from @jeanna…which is usually the way I would feel if somebody had broken my trust. Historically I have broken ties with somebody who has broken my trust because I’m unable to get over not being able to trust that person again.

As I’m getting older…and maybe more mellow I’m trying to alter my outlook and understand that people make mistakes and will try to forgive them. However I don’t think I will go so far as to say that there will never be an element of doubt there.

But that again is dependent upon the trust issue that was broken and how the relationship and communication is between both parties on whether the relationship can continue.

The breaking of trust also impacts upon our own personal values and may highlight the vast differences between expectations within the relationship.

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Neizvestnaya's avatar

I had an in-law who was a drug user and alcoholic, he and his wife split up for a time while he partied and then decided to stop drinking and drugging. They were able to get back together, forgive what went on during that hard time and they seem to be a wonderful couple 20 some years later. Every time I feel tried in my own love, I think about that particular couple and wonder if I can be that or if my partner is willing to be that alongside me. It’s sad to say but I don’t know any other irl people who’ve been successful regaining trust.

snowberry's avatar

I wouldn’t ever try to forget.

The problem with broken trust is that you started out with full credit in the integrity department. They had never given you any reason NOT to trust them. Then something happened, integrity and trust was broken, your integrity and trust credit is now at zero. It takes soooo much to re-build. You cannot make anyone do the work involved in re-building trust. It takes a great deal of honesty, humility, time, and patience, (and of course) integrity for the person who broke your trust to rebuild it.

If trust is re-built to the point that there is so much evidence, integrity, and TIME pointing to the fact that they are now trustworthy, you won’t need to remember.

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