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5 Ways to Rebuild Trust After It’s Broken

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5 Ways to Rebuild Trust After It’s Broken

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Laurie and Frank were high school sweethearts. They married young because Laurie became pregnant and, being Catholic, any other choice was out of the question, so he decided to do the right thing. It wasn’t that he didn’t love her—he did, but as with all things high school and unfinished, over time, Frank longed for his lost youth. You can see where this is going and it’s not good. Laurie worked full-time to put Frank through college and law school. He worked long hours and she stayed home with the kids. As his success rose, they began to lead separate lives. He and his buddies would routinely frequent strip clubs after work and occasionally bust out for a Vegas trip which inevitably did not stay in there. One night after Frank arrived home drunk and passed out on the sofa, Laurie came across text messages from one of the girls wanting to hook up and that was the start of their particular fandango.

At first, he denied it, and then he became indignant, and finally contrite, sad and terrified that he would lose her. Frank realized what she meant to him, but Laurie worried incessantly every time he went out and would give him the third and fourth degree when he arrived home. Inevitably, a huge row would ensue, only to end in an icy standoff that would last for days. Laurie’s trust in Frank was shattered, and there was no turning back. They were lost in a sea of suspicion and secrecy.

Trust is the bedrock of what makes relationships work. It is the fundamental process of love and intimacy. When trust goes, what goes with it are safety, security, respect, love and friendship, replaced by anger, insecurity, anxiety, fear; the aggrieved person becomes like the police, the FBI, and/or the CIA. Distrust causes spouses to look through cell phones, check emails, and ask endless questions about “Where have you been and who were you talking to?” Life becomes laced with arguments, large and small, about what is really going on, rather than taking what is said at face value. In the intervening thirty or so years of doing therapy, there is not a thornier issue than the loss of trust, in whatever form it may take.

Trust can be lost through lies, rage, violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and, most prominently, sexual infidelity. Once it’s lost, there is usually a Humpty Dumpty effect: hard to put it back together again. Usually the behaviors that created the distrust are difficult to change, because they are complex and convoluted. These little critters skip and jump through our system like ciphers popping up in unexpected places, while giving our mind the best of reasons to be doing whatever it is that our bodies are pushing for.

The body certainly does vote, and when it comes to sex, nothing is more powerful. I have seen very wealthy and powerful people literally spending millions of dollars on sex, drugs, and rock and roll—all the while being in the midst of a marriage with children. The level of guilt is staggering enough to kill a herd of horses, but it generally does not stop the offender. The reasons why men or women cheat are multifaceted. They can range from loneliness, poor self-esteem, cultural entitlement, arrogance and/or sexual issues within the marriage or relationship. Our society is also rife with willing males and females who know full well that a roll in the hay will quintuple what they could otherwise earn, not to mention shoes, jewelry, apartments and cars. It says something about our world and the steady decline of moral imperatives. That being said, it’s trust that is the biggest loser.

Once trust has been lost, what can we do to get it back—if anything?

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Dr. Bill Cloke

Dr. Bill Cloke has worked with individuals and couples for 30 years. He received a master’s degree in education from the University of Southern California and holds a PhD in psychology from California Graduate Institute. A frequent talk-radio and TV psychologist, he is also a contributor to PsychologyToday.com and other popular websites and has lectured at UCLA. Bill Cloke lives with his wife in Los Angeles. To learn more about Bill Cloke, and for more resources on creating healthy, happy relationships, visit happytogetherbook.com.

265 comments

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4:50AM PDT on Mar 21, 2015

HOW TO GET AN EX BACK

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3:23PM PDT on Mar 17, 2015

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5:21PM PST on Jan 8, 2015

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2:21AM PST on Jan 8, 2015

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6:27AM PST on Jan 7, 2015

The sad thing is, this is the second time I've gone through & flagged these ...

6:24AM PST on Jan 7, 2015

This comment section seems lost to us who would like to comment on the actual article

8:20PM PST on Dec 28, 2014

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1:07AM PDT on Oct 18, 2014

Hello
I am ROBERTSON ANGELIA from CALIFORNIA, When I eventually found testimonies about this spell caster DR.IYAYI, how he helped many people to get their lovers and broken homes back, i contacted him through his email address driyayilovespellhome@gmail.com because I was absolutely desperate to get my husband back. Life without my husband was a real mess for me and my two kids. i wanted a dramatic change and I thought magic could be the solution. i believe he is the best spell caster i can count on when it comes to all kinds of spell, I was floored that his spells worked, if you need help, contact him via email: driyayilovespellhome@gmail.com, or contact him through his website address: http://driyayilovespellhome.webs.com
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6:22PM PDT on Sep 8, 2014

HELLO,I am out here to spreed this good news to the entire world on how I
got my ex love back.I was going crazy when my love left me for another girl
last month, But when i met the Prophet Suleman the great messenger to the
oracle that he serve,I narrated my problem to Prophet Suleman about how my
ex love left me and also how i needed to get a job in a very big company.He
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4:39AM PDT on Aug 7, 2014

HOW I GOT MY HUSBAND BACK!!! i want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to Dr Lawrence for bringing back my husband who left i and the kids for almost two months. i am very much grateful to Dr Lawrence . I pray God almighty give you the strength and wisdom to help more people having similar problem like mine. for help you can reach him on his email address:drlawrencespelltemple@hotmail.com or call his mobile +2348143988536

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