There are various ways to violate trust, including lying, stealing, angry and violent outbursts, substance abuse, and infidelity. These betrayals lead to anger, which can lead to increased conflict and suspicion, according to psychologist Bill Cloke in “5 Ways to Rebuild Trust After It’s Broken” for Care2. Regaining trust is possible but it takes time and consistently proving that you will not repeat the offense again.
Acknowledgement and Remorse
Acknowledge what you have done to betray the girl’s trust, expressing remorse for your actions, advise family therapists Linda and Charlie Bloom in “Betrayal: It’s Not Just About Infidelity” for Psychology Today. Express remorse and answer her questions, which could include explaining why you betrayed her trust. Take full responsibility for your actions by resisting the impulse to blame her for even a small part of the offense, such by as saying “If you hadn’t made me so mad” or “I just couldn’t help it.”
Listen and Validate
Listen to her feelings and validate them, advise the Blooms. She may vent for a while -- for weeks or even months -- to get beyond what you have done. Be patient and allow her to get it out. You can help by repeating back some of what you hear in an apology, such as “I hear that you are angry and frustrated with me. You aren’t sure if you can trust me again and I’m very sorry for that. I shouldn’t have betrayed you like I did.”
Restitution and Accountability
Ask your girl what you can do to make things up to her and find a way to follow through, suggests marriage and family therapist Sheri Meyers in “For the Betrayer: 8 Things You Must Know and Do to Rebuild Trust” for the Huffington Post. Don’t promise to do anything you won’t honestly do. Realize that, before she believes you again, you may have to consistently prove that you are not lying to her about even small things or that you are where you say you will be. Be accountable through openness, so she can see that you are keeping your word.
Turn Over a New Leaf
Demonstrate to her that you are a new guy. Commit to doing what you have to do to meet her needs. One way to do that is to give her affection, attention and appreciation on a daily basis, suggests Meyers. Let her know how valuable she is to you. Hug her or speak loving words if she will accept them. If she can’t forgive and trust you again, let her go with your blessing and learn from the lesson so you won’t repeat the offense again with anyone else.
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