In his latest and most personal album, rapper Jay-Z apologizes to his superstar wife, Beyoncé, seeming to acknowledge some of the cheating allegations and other relationship shortcomings that have surfaced in the press over the course of their marriage.
Additionally, in a video titled “Footnotes to 4:44,” Jay-Z elaborates on his marriage: “We built this big, beautiful mansion of a relationship that wasn’t totally built on 100 percent truth, and it started cracking,” he says; adding that being “shot at” isn’t even as hard. “Nothing’s harder than this. By far, I’m telling you, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” he acknowledged.
Having a relationship is not a walk in the park. Relationships take work and that work might come in the form of rebuilding trust when one partner has broken it.
Five Steps To Rebuilding Trust With Your Partner
Losing trust is painful, but it is possible to get back to a loving and respectful place; perhaps an even stronger “mansion” than you built before.
1. Understand Each Other
You must see things from your partner’s point-of-view and acknowledge his or her feelings – no matter what “side” of the broken trust you’re on.
You must directly acknowledge your partner’s feelings and make him or her feel understood. You can do this by saying something like, “I understand you feel hurt and you have the right to feel that way.”
This first step is critical to rebuilding trust. If you can’t see the situation from your partner’s perspective and be compassionate to those feelings, then you likely won’t make any progress.
2. Genuinely Apologize
…Then, tell your partner that you are sorry, that what you did was wrong and leave it at that.
It can be tempting to want to “explain” yourself, but resist that urge unless your partner asks for an explanation.
Otherwise, it sounds like you’re making an excuse for your behavior and retracts the sincerity and impact of your apology.
3. Talk About What Happened…
… after you’ve made each other feel understood.
… after an apology was made.
… when your partner asks for an explanation
… without blaming your partner for being the one who caused whatever happened.
If you’re the one who did something to break your partner’s trust, focus on talking about your feelings leading up to your lie / infidelity / broken promise. Address what went wrong within yourself.
4. Establish Promises
The next step to rebuilding trust with your partner is to make a promise that is:
Mutually agreed upon
Relates to the situation that broke your trust
You and your partner need to be on the same page of working on trust.
That means, if you’re the one who was betrayed, don’t try to “get even” with your partner.
You can potentially help your partner not experience those same feelings that led to the situation that broke your trust by looking at what you might have done (or not done) that pushed him or her to feel that way.
5. Keep Those Promises
This is the point in rebuilding trust where the answer to whether trust can or cannot be reestablished with this person will be clear.
Breaking a promise at this stage might mean this person cannot ever keep his or her word.
But if you both continue to communicate openly, have compassion for one another and not let any bad feelings get bottled up, then that circle of trust you built again has the potential to be everlasting.
There will always be bumps on the road of life and love. Dealing with those bumps with trust and respect might be the hardest thing you ever do, but it’s that work that keeps a relationship thriving.