What Causes Trust to Be Broken in a Relationship?

It is important to maintain trust in a relationship.
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When trust is fractured, it can tear a relationship apart in a way that is hard to rebuild. Even though you may not feel like you are doing anything wrong, some of your actions may cause potential harm to your partner’s trust in you. Little things can add up to a huge violation of trust, so it is important to identify behaviors that might threaten your relationship.

1 White Lies

Telling big lies is an obvious way to violate trust, but even white lies can hurt a relationship. Although you may lie with the best intentions -- to avoid insulting someone, for example, -- the outcome can be worse if the truth comes out, according to Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a psychology professor, in her Psychology Today.com blog. If you told your girlfriend that you liked her dress when you didn't, it may offend her that you didn't believe she could handle your opinion. Lying affects trust in a relationship. Even if the liar had good intentions, you lose faith in their ability to tell you the truth.

2 Shady Secrets

Relationships don’t require partners to know everything, says psychologist Suzanne B. Phillips in the blog post “Secrets, Lies and Relationships” on PsychCentral.com. Your boyfriend does not need to know all the people you spoke to in a day. But if he discovers that you secretly hang around with someone he doesn't like, it can cause him to doubt your loyalty. Even if you weren’t cheating, hiding something that can upset him can rupture trust.

3 Unfaithful Partners

Infidelity can shatter trust in a relationship. After discovering that you have cheated, your girlfriend will likely become more suspicious of your behavior. She will wonder why she was not enough for you. Not only that, but she may doubt your expressions of love for her, according to psychotherapist Joy Davidson’s article “After the Affair: Can You Ever Trust Again?” on Davidson's website.

4 Broken Promises

Resentment forms when one person questions the other person's ability to keep his or her word. Broken promises can happen unintentionally. Some people make promises that they don’t take seriously. They don't realize how this affects others. After many broken promises, you may start to lose trust in a person.

Sarah Casimong is a Vancouver-based writer with a Bachelor's degree in journalism from Kwantlen Polytechnic University. She writes articles on relationships, entertainment and health. Her work can be found in the "Vancouver Observer", "Her Campus" and "Cave Magazine".