High- and Low-Cost Behaviors: How to Rebuild Trust When their has been a betrayal in your relationship it takes concerted behavioral changes to begin the healing process. BY DR. PAUL DEPOMPO
It will take time and action to rebuild trust after a betrayal.
“ In order to turn this crisis into an opportunity for a better marriage, actions must speak louder than words!”
Infidelity in a relationship is the ultimate betrayal. It’s the end of innocence and the beginning of a rough road to rebuild trust. You want to do everything possible to restore the bond that once was. You can go to couples counseling, talk about the affair, learn communication techniques, and understand the reason why the betrayal happened. Though these are good steps, they won’t rebuild trust by themselves.
In order to turn this crisis into an opportunity for a better marriage, actions must speak louder than words! The following are two of the most important ways to rebuild trust after a betrayal, creating a stronger bond and a more resilient relationship.
The partner who committed the betrayal needs to do "high cost" behaviors in order to regain trust. They must prove their commitment to the relationship by engaging in specific actions to show they’re "100% in it." It’s high-cost because these actions will likely be difficult, yet meaningful to the partner who was betrayed. Though these high-cost behaviors can be challenging, they must be done with a good attitude or else it’s counterproductive.
Examples of High-Cost "trust-building" behavior are the following:
* Transfer specific assets into the betrayed partner’s name * Make e-mail, phone, and account passwords available * Do not delete texts/e-mails * Trust "we can discuss with respect" * Answer all questions about the betrayal * Find another job * Give up drugs/alcohol * Pay for the betrayed partner to obtain more education/training.
Though nobody can "make" someone be unfaithful, in order to restore a healthy balance in the relationship, both partners need to engage in low-cost behaviors. Both partners engaging in low-cost behaviors build trust by showing care and commitment, restoring more of what the couple needs from each other to feel safe. Couples grow together or apart. Low-cost behaviors reset the small things that partners need from each other to feel loved. They could be loving gestures you both once did but have stopped, or things you still do, but not enough of. These small adjustments can lead to bigger improvements in connection, intimacy, flexibility, and overall collaboration in the partnership.
Examples of Low-Cost "trust-building" behavior are the following:
* Complimenting your spouse * Texting during the day * Giving affection outside of the bedroom * Reassuring when the other is upset * Planning alone time * Sharing how you feel * Putting your phone down and really being present * Showing that you feel happy when your spouse returns home.
Building trust after a betrayal is simple, but not easy. Committing daily to these high and low-cost behaviors will give your marriage the best chance to go from wrecked to resilient. Once you identify and put this plan into place, remember to focus on when your partner is engaging in these behaviors. This will help you adjust your frames from disgust to trust.