Whether it’s Pinocchio whose extending nose gave away his lies or the “lying eyes” of the lover in a popular Eagle’s song, it seems we are often on the lookout for signs of betrayal from those we love. In fables and songs, lies are just part of a story but nobody wants that kind of story in a love relationship.
People lie for many reasons and for most, it comes down to the best way they know of getting their needs met. Whether it’s a habit they learned early on or a new behavior, they somehow don’t think being honest will get them what they want, so they lie.
If your partner lied to you in the past, you might find yourself suspicious and wondering when he or she will betray you again. No matter the size the of the lie, when someone is dishonest with you, trust is weakened and you two move further apart.
If you see the person has a desire to change and you choose to stay in your relationship, in order to rebuild trust it is important to put the lies behind you and look to your present and future together.
This isn’t always as easy as it sounds! It could be your partner lied and had an affair. Or maybe he or she did not have an affair but was dishonest about enough little things that added up to a big-feeling betrayal.
Chances are, whether you discovered your partner’s lies or they were confessed to you, you probably experienced hurt, doubt and mistrust. After the possible upheaval, it is now time to heal, let go of the past and learn to rebuild trust , especially after an affair and if you find that your partner wants to rebuild the relationship with you.
Here are 4 ways to learn how to trust again after your partner’s lies…
Move toward forgiveness.
Forgiveness can be a process. Depending on the situation, it may take you awhile to fully forgive all involved with the lying. Start out by forgiving yourself if you feel any blame for “causing” your partner to lie or for judging yourself as “blind” to what was going on. Self-blame or judging will not help you heal and is a waste of time.
Next, consider forgiving your partner if you haven’t already. To forgive him or her doesn’t mean that you agree with the lying, but only that you are ready to move on and stop carrying around the pain of feeling betrayed. If forgiving seems too difficult right now, make it your intention to open up to forgiving as you are ready.
Meet doubts with clarification.
It is probable that you have doubts and suspicions at this time. You want to be wise and not be naïve to further lies but at the same time, you have decided to continue this relationship and want to enjoy renewed trust.
Suspicion and trust cannot co-exist in a love relationship. We suggest that you allow yourself to take a conscious and intelligent risk with your partner. This means that you stay tuned in to what you know to be true and do your best to open up to trusting him or her again.
If your partner tells you something and you feel suspicious, pay attention to how you are feeling. Go within and ask yourself why you might be feeling this way about what you were told. If, after inquiring within, you still have questions, ask your partner for clarification about what was said. Try not to make accusations or hold the past over his or her head. Instead, make a request for more information from your partner and then listen.
This can be tricky for everyone. Not only are you probably living a fast-paced life with many responsibilities to juggle, you also are dealing with past events that are painful and have stuck with you. Use deep breathing to help you stay present. Sometimes just sitting still for a few minutes and paying attention only to your breath moving into your body and out of your body can bring you back to the right here and now. This can be immensely helpful when you are trying to let the past stay in the past and live for today.
Learning to trust yourself is part of this process because you’re probably not feeling very confident in your judgment if you’ve been lied to in the past.
You’ll know your next step and trust in yourself to know that answer if you allow yourself to calm down and not let your emotions lead the way.
Look for trustable moments.
After finding out your partner lied to you, you have probably subconsciously been on the alert for any perceived signs of lying. Despite your best efforts, your dishonesty radar is possibly working overtime analyzing body signals and words spoken by your partner. If it is your intention to re-build trust, you need to shift your focus. As we said above, stay conscious of what’s going on; at the same time, make sure you are noticing those trustable moments.
Make a mental note of all the times he or she says something and then follows through exactly as promised. We absolutely don’t recommend you check up on your partner to see if he or she is telling the truth. Find other ways to look for times he or she is truthful with you. They can be seemingly small. But those can all add up to re-connection and renewed trust. You can enjoy an even closer connection and love with your partner. It requires letting go of the past, staying aware of trustable moments with your partner, noticing if your partner has changed even in small ways and focusing on the love.