You didn’t mean to, but you lied to the person you love the most. Maybe it was about how much you spent on a new outfit, where you went instead of “working late at the office,” or the fact that you’ve been in contact with your ex.
Either way, you lied and now it’s eating you up inside. Your partner may have found out already or you couldn’t take the guilt and you confessed. This is truly a frustrating and confusing place to be.
Feelings including embarrassment, shame, anger, resentment, justification, defensiveness, and more probably have you all stirred up inside, and if you’ve lied to this person in the past, you probably feel even worse. This is a habit you need to stop so you can stop destroying your relationship and they can learn to trust you again.
After the admission (or discovery), the outburst of hurt feelings and the apology, now what?
You’ve made a shift and now you need to focus on doing whatever you can to restore trust in your relationship. You need to make things right again so that the two of you can get back to loving and connecting with one another, but it seems to you that no matter how much you attempt to be completely honest, your partner just can’t get over the past.
What you probably already know is that you can’t MAKE anyone trust you again. This means that while you can’t make he/she release the past or forgive you for what happened, you CAN take responsibility for yourself. It’s time to truly focus your attention on becoming trustworthy again.
The string of decisions that led to you lying probably eroded your own sense of self-trust. It doesn’t matter whether you had an affair and lied to cover it up or you told lies about something more or less “serious” in your judgment, you did the deed, and in order to rebuild that sense of trust and connection, you have to make some changes.
Here are 4 ways to get started on the path to trustworthiness:
1. Learn to trust yourself again.
It’s vital that you learn to trust yourself again. This is for your benefit and also for the potential improvement of your relationship.
When you don’t believe yourself, it shows. Your body language will tell the world that you don’t see yourself as trustworthy. If you don’t trust yourself, why would anyone else trust you?
Even if you’ve done nothing wrong and you are being completely honest now, as you continue to hold onto the image of yourself as someone who can’t be trusted, your body language will communicate this despite the truth.
As you begin to forgive yourself and heal, your body language will reshape and send a different kind of message.
2. Become COMPLETELY transparent
While you do this important inner work learning to trust yourself again, you have to be completely transparent and open with your partner. Make it a point to regularly what you’ve been doing and who you’ve been with.
Do this with an intention to rebuild trust and establish a sense of openness, rather than from an “I have to” attitude.
You might want to think about being transparent as a way to share and reconnect about what you do when you’re apart.
Stay tuned in to yourself and to what you want and need in your relationship. Your desires to restore trust and move toward the relationship you want are valid — no matter what you did in the past. In fact, sometimes lying in a relationship occurs because one or both people are not clearly communicating their needs.
Get in touch with what you need from your relationship and constantly share that — and have your love do the same.
3. Follow through on your commitments.
It’s important that you follow through on the agreements you make — especially at this time. As you restore trust, make a commitment to yourself and to he/she, and KEEP it. Do whatever you can to keep your word.
Sometimes in a relationship people agree to something even if they are not 100% sure they want to follow through. It seems, at the time, easier to just say “yes” and move on – but that won’t help you rebuild trust. Instead only make agreements that you believe you can keep.
If you find that you’re unable to keep your word for whatever reason, it’s imperative that you immediately communicate what’s going on and talk about how you can fix the problem.
4. Notice your improvements and give yourself some credit
Don’t wait for anyone to verbally commend you on the improvements you’ve made — celebrate yourself by noting the things you are doing right. Notice and applaud your own strides as you make them one decision at a time.
As you do this, allow your partner some time to heal and forgive you at his or her own pace. Even though you think you might be doing a great job, it’ll probably take some time to earn trust back.