46 Must-Dos to Rebuild & Regain Trust After Cheating or Lying in a Relationship

Learning how to rebuild trust after a betrayal is difficult and takes time. But, in the end, it’s possible to have a stronger relationship for it. 

regain rebuid trust in relationship

If you ask a person what they would do if their partner cheated on them, most would say they would leave. However, when it actually happens to you, it’s possible that you’ll feel differently.

Cheating is heartbreaking and devastating, but it doesn’t have to be a full stop if both of you are willing to work at learning how to rebuild trust.

Just don’t expect it to be easy. [Read: To cheat or not to cheat? A guide to make up your mind]

Though many couples choose to end a relationship or even marriage because of an affair, there are still many who trudge on and end up with a relationship that’s stronger than ever.

What doesn’t kill your relationship can make it stronger, after all. It’s entirely possible to learn how to regain trust, but it’s certainly not easy.

While we sincerely hope you never have to deal with such a situation, for those who do, these tips on rebuilding trust after cheating and lying will give you some hope that you can get back to the good days, or even better to come. [Read: What is cheating in a relationship? The truth most people ignore]

Why do people lie in relationships, and can the relationship survive?

Who do people cheat and lie? Perhaps the only people who know are the ones who do it. But, what we do know is that sometimes it happens with instant regret immediately afterward.

That doesn’t mean it’s excusable, but it happens.

Sometimes people cheat because they’re feeling unappreciated and unloved. Maybe the relationship has broken down and they’re struggling to cope – they have one too many drinks and the betrayal happens.

What is more clear is that with communication, time, and plenty of effort, the relationship can survive. But it’s important to remember that the person who was betrayed and cheated on has to be the one to call the shots here. If they’re not on board with making it work, it’s time to give up.

Can the relationship go back to normal after cheating? It will never be the same again in some ways. There will always be a scar, but it’s entirely possible that the relationship will be stronger in the end. [Read: How to get over trust issues in your relationship]

How long does it take to trust someone after they’ve cheated?

How long is a piece of string? There is no answer to this, it varies from person to person. However, it isn’t the fastest process in the world.

Learning how to regain trust doesn’t happen overnight and you should never pressure your partner into feeling like they need to hurry the process up. It’s important to grieve the betrayal and the loss of trust in the relationship.

Then, the slow process of rebuilding the trust begins. Emphasis on the word “slow.”

Signs of lack of trust in a relationship

It’s very normal for a person to have lingering trust issues after a betrayal, which can flare up even after you think the issue has been overcome.

If you’re still dealing with the fallout of a betrayal and you want to learn how to regain trust, here are some signs that your partner doesn’t really trust you.

1. They check up on you

If they’re constantly checking up on you and trying to find out where you are and what you’re doing, that’s a very clear sign of trust issues. [Read: My boyfriend doesn’t trust me – reasons he has trust issues]

2. They accuse you of being unfaithful

Without evidence, they accuse you of cheating on them. Basically, their fears are blinding their mind and they’re terrified the worst is going to come true.

Until you can both overcome this issue, learning how to regain trust simply won’t work.

3. They withdraw from you emotionally and physically

When someone withdraws from their relationship emotionally, that’s a pretty clear sign that something is wrong.

But when that is combined with physical withdrawal, it’s usually down to trust problems. [Read: The lack of sex in a relationship – why it happens and what it means]

4. They refuse to communicate openly and honestly

They’re so wrapped up in their fears about being cheated on that it stops them from communicating properly. This is damaging on many levels because relationships always require honest communication.

5. They have unclear expectations

They might demand you are home within 30 minutes of finishing work, or that you always answer your phone whenever they call, with no exceptions at all.

These unclear expectations are because they fear that you’re doing something you shouldn’t be when you’re away from them. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in love we want to believe but shouldn’t]

6. They need to be in control

They feel that if they can control everything, they can stop a betrayal from happening. Rather than simply letting things be and understanding that they can’t control someone’s actions, they force everything to be the way they want it to be.

7. Lack of forgiveness for small mistakes

Tiny mistakes are often met with huge overreactions. Maybe you didn’t answer your phone when they called and rather than accepting your explanation of it charging in the other room, they don’t speak to you for the whole day.

Basically, they don’t believe you and they don’t trust you. [Read: How to forgive and forget]

8. Inability to maintain eye contact

They can’t look you in the eye because of the storm of emotions going on inside of them. They’re worried that their eyes will give them away and you’ll understand that they’re struggling with trust.

How to know when rebuilding trust is even possible

After a betrayal, a relationship can go one of two ways – after some time, there is a chance to understand how to rebuild trust and start over. Or, the relationship ends.

So, how can you learn which way it’s going to go? How do you know if learning how to regain trust is even possible?

There are some details that mean perhaps your relationship can make it through the trauma. [Read: Breakup to makeup – ways to give love a second chance]

1. The injured partner is given the time to make a choice

You need to give your partner time to process what has happened and come to an informed choice about whether they can learn how to rebuild trust and keep going with the relationship. Pushing or pressuring won’t end well.

2. The injured partner makes a conscious decision to forgive

Without forgiveness, the rest is a waste of time. The injured partner needs to have time to think and then come to their own decision to forgive. That doesn’t mean it’s forgotten and there’s still work to be done, but there is hope. [Read: Give him a second chance? How to know if he’s sorry and won’t hurt you]

3. They’re able to avoid falling into a destructive process of interrogation and defensiveness

After a conscious decision to forgive, the injured partner must be emotionally strong enough to avoid falling into a destructive process of interrogating their partner all the time and becoming defensive.

If this is possible, the relationship can slowly repair and heal. With time.

Know that you have to take responsibility

The most important thing to remember is that you cheated and you betrayed your partner. That means the road ahead is going to be bumpy, full of uncertainty, and you cannot be sure whether the relationship will survive or not. [Read: How to forgive yourself for cheating and not telling]

In order to have a chance of figuring out how to rebuild trust after cheating and lying, you have to admit fault. You did this. You put your partner through this pain.

Accept responsibility and know that to give them a chance of ever trusting you again, you need to allow them to work through the pain. At times, you’re going to feel terrible, but quite frankly, what did you expect? [Read: Affairs in a relationship and the big role ego plays in it]

Understand that your partner is feeling worse. It’s easy to become annoyed or frustrated that they won’t just simply accept your apologies and move on, but would you be able to do that if the tables were turned? Probably not.

It’s going to take time and you’re going to need to be strong enough to take full responsibility for everything that happens from this point on. If you can do that, you may be able to learn how to regain trust successfully. [Read: Why do people in happy relationships still cheat?]

How to rebuild trust after cheating on your partner

If you want to build trust back into the relationship, here are the main things you should prepare yourself for. It’ll take time and determination, but anything worth holding on to is definitely worth the effort.

1. End the affair completely and prove it to your partner

No, don’t set up a date with you, the person you cheated with, and your partner. That’s just asking for trouble! Instead, do it via phone, text, social media, or email.

Just make sure the person you cheated with gets the message that you want to end things and all contact as well, and you can provide proof to your significant other.

This may be the hardest and most awkwardly heart-wrenching hurdle. But, ensuring your partner knows how you ended it will help calm their mind in case there are still lingering doubts that the affair is still happening. [Read: How to end an affair and get over it completely even if you still love them]

2. Clearly admit your mistake

Don’t blame it on the third party and definitely don’t blame it on your partner! Infidelity is a conscious decision that you chose to get involved in. After you’ve apologized to your *possibly unreceptive* partner, tell them about why you chose to have an affair in the first place.

Try your best not to blame external influences such as alcohol or goading from your friends. Instead, let your partner in on what was going through your mind to commit such an act of betrayal. [Read: The right way to confess to cheating on your lover]

3. Let your partner vent

When you’re looking at how to regain trust after cheating, you need to remember that your partner has every right to be angry.

But when they let out the frustration, the anger, the tears, and the accusation, try your best to be patient. Know that this is a consequence of your actions and you simply have to take it because you betrayed them.

4. Answer any questions openly and honestly

Give honest answers to your significant other’s questions, no matter how ashamed you are of what you did. You’ve kept your partner in the dark during your affair, so it may be their way of shedding light on the times when you lied about your whereabouts.

The more your partner knows about the sordid details, the less his or her imagination takes over to fill in the blanks and make things seem worse than they actually are. [Read: What you should tell and what you should hide *for now* when you’re talking about your affair]

5. Shower your beau with attention and affection

The thing about cheating is that your partner is hurt by you lavishing your attention on another person when it should have been exclusive between the two of you.

Chances are, during the affair, your partner was deprived of your affection. This is the perfect moment to make it up.

Go the extra mile, woo them with flowers, or win them over with breakfast in bed. Remember, you’re learning how to rebuild trust after cheating and lying, but affection is also important. [Read: The 25 sweetest romantic gestures you can use in your everyday life]

6. Be open about your whereabouts

This may seem like something you’d get from a clingy partner. But you’re both working on rebuilding a relationship of shattered trust.

Letting your sweetheart know where you are lets them to keep an eye on you and feel reassured. For sure, it’s going to be a little annoying and you might feel like you’re under surveillance. But again, it’s a consequence.

Learning how to regain trust after cheating and lying requires sacrifice on your part. But, you should have thought of that before you cheated, right? [Read: Emotional affairs and really bad things it can do to your life]

7. If they need space, give it to them

Many elements of learning how to regain trust are difficult. It could be that your partner simply needs a little space to go through everything in their mind. If that’s the case, you simply have to give it to them.

You will probably want to stick by their side to make sure that they’re not about to leave you, but that’s not going to work. You have to let them figure things out by themselves and be there when they need you. [Read: How to give space in a relationship without drifting apart]

8. Slowly try to rebuild your emotional and physical relationship

Imagine you’re starting from scratch and you’re wooing your partner to fall in love with you again. The mere fact that they are willing to work things out says that the love is there, though the trust may need some work.

And as with the beginning of your relationship, affection, proof of your sincerity and love can lead to trust, even if it’s the second time around.

Do the little things that won them over at the start like long talks, surprise visits, or just overall thoughtfulness. Make your partner laugh and use your skills at cooking to woo them again.

Then, if your partner is getting comfortable with you again, move on to the more physical stuff. [Confession: I cheated on my boyfriend and felt good about it!]

9. Avoid the old patterns that led you to the affair

Whatever it is that led you down the road of cheating *being surrounded by hotties at the bar, friends who encourage you, or just being too friendly with people,* do your best to avoid it.

When it comes to learning how to regain trust, you need to look within and identify patterns and behaviors that led to the issue. [Read: Who cheats more? Men, women & their specific needs to cheat]

10. Be patient with your partner

Ending the affair is just the start of a long road toward rebuilding your partner’s trust in you. After that, there will be some lingering accusations, occasional paranoid behavior, and blaming you on the side.

Take it all in, but don’t let it crumble your resolve. This is all part of the process.

There’s no definite timeline for this, and all couples marred by infidelity go through it at different paces. But one day, with enough time and consistent effort, your partner may slowly start to put down their defenses and learn to gradually trust you again. [Read: Why are affairs so darn hard to end even when we know it’s wrong?]

11. Consider seeking therapy

Despite your best efforts, it’s still possible for the reconciliation process to not work out as planned. This is what couples’ therapy is for.

It’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, you should be proud that you’re willing to invest in professional means of patching up your relationship. It’s one of the best ways to learn how to regain trust. [Read: Relationship therapy and 25 clues to know if it will help your romance]

12. Figure out if you actually can rebuild it

This has everything to do with discussing if both parties want to work things out. When it comes to knowing how to rebuild trust, you need to realize that if one person is going to put forth all their effort, the other has to be willing to do the same.

If one person has already given up, there’s no hope for rebuilding. The problem that caused the trust to break in the first place might not be forgivable, either. It’s up to the two of you to sit down and figure that out.

13. Voice your expectations

Rebuilding trust is a tedious process. You both have to be willing to meet certain expectations you may have never had to do before. If there was cheating involved, one person might request that the other call them here and there.

You both have to understand that things will have to be different for a while so the trust can be built back up. And that means meeting the expectations needed in order to make that happen. [Read: How to manage your expectations in a relationship]

14. Communicate regularly

If you truly want to know how to rebuild trust, you have to talk about how you’re feeling. If you’re upset about something your partner did that made you not want to trust them, tell them about it. Discuss it deeply so there’s a strong understanding of why the trust is gone.

This way, you’ll both be able to understand what the other needs and also what’s hurting them the most. When you know these things, it’s much easier to heal and move toward a place of trust again.

15. You both have to say what you’re going to do

Now is not the time for empty promises. Don’t tell your partner you’re going to take them on an incredible date only to stroll in the door two hours late without an explanation and ditch your plans for the night.

That will keep the trust far, far away. Stick to your word. When your significant other can rely on your word, they’ll start to have faith in you and trust you again. [Read: How to regain your partner’s trust after you’ve lied]

16. Work on developing the emotional side of your relationship

When you lose some trust, you grow apart. You’re not at the same emotional level as you were before and that’s toxic for your relationship.

Work on growing closer together. This might be difficult due to a lack of trust but you can do it if you make an effort. Have deep, intense conversations. Bond more and you’ll find trust will come back. That’s how to regain trust.

17. Maintain a healthy intimate life

This isn’t just sexually, either. You have to work on allowing yourselves to be vulnerable with each other. That’s how trust is formed and that’s how you’ll rebuild it.

Open up and talk about your fears and wants and desires. Being intimate in this way helps you both realize you can trust the other with your secrets. [Read: Easy ways to keep intimacy alive in a relationship]

18. Avoid triggers

There are certain things that set your partner off and upset them. If you’ve lost trust in the relationship, you have to be especially aware of those things so you can avoid them.

Don’t be out late at night and not text your partner back if you know that makes them really mad and suspicious of you. Check-in with them and communicate.

Avoiding triggers will help smooth things over so you’re not reopening old wounds you’ve spent so long healing. [Read: Emotional stability and factors that control life’s highs and lows]

19. Pay attention

It’s a really simple concept that many people just don’t do enough. Focus on your partner and pay attention to their wants and needs. You might not think this will help with trust, but it will.

You’ll be more aware of how they’re feeling and the ways they’re reacting to different things. This is a fantastic thing because you’ll see when they’re upset and can talk to them about it if they have a hard time opening up. [Read: Ways to be a better listener in your relationship]

20. Prepare to be seen as the villain for a while

Your partner won’t be giving you their trust so easily after you lied, nor will they be loving and affectionate towards you for a while. You made a mistake, and you have to deal with the consequences, so be prepared to be seen as the villain until you’ve made it right.

Take it as a lesson learned. That should be enough incentive to make you never want to make the same mistake twice.

It won’t feel good to be given the cold shoulder, but if you know you were wrong, you’ll know that you deserve their reaction. [Read: Signs of emotional infidelity that can lead you to a real affair]

21. Be reliable

When you are reliable, this shows that you are a person of your word. Being dependable and available when your partner needs you will help build back the trust that was lost. Consider this a part of the bargain when you start making amends. [Read: Unique traits of a trustworthy person]

22. Respect your partner’s needs

If your partner asks for space or time to themself, respect their decision. Don’t abandon ship or beg them to forgive you, but rather let them know that you are there for them when they come around.

Make sure they know that you will make whatever changes necessary to prove that you won’t hurt them that way again and that you are committed to working it out.

23. Show genuine remorse

Remind your partner that you are doing everything you can to build the trust back, and you will stop at nothing to make sure they never have to feel betrayed again.

Don’t be overly flattering or affectionate, as it might look like you’re just sucking up. You need to come across as someone who knows they’ve done wrong and feels horrible about it. That’s how to regain trust slowly. [Read: How to deal with guilt and drop the baggage weighing you down]

24. Make your actions speak the loudest

Words can spark the process of forgiveness and healing, but your actions have to really prove that you are trying. Put all of the above plans and promises into action, and don’t stop when you assume you have been forgiven.

Your partner has to notice all of the changes in you and make it clear that they are ready to move past the lies and start fresh. Until then, you aren’t off the hook.

25. But also understand that you’re human and you’re born to make mistakes

Don’t degrade yourself, even though you might feel really horrible. Human beings make mistakes, and if you want to be better, make the necessary changes.

Start acting like the person you want to be, which should be an honest person with integrity. Cowards tell lies, so, be the type of person who isn’t afraid to speak the truth. [Read: 25 ways to let go of resentment, stop feeling bitter, and start living]

26. Let your partner be heard

Allow your partner to tell you how much it hurt when you lied, and how they feel throughout the process of trying to learn to trust you again. Pay careful attention to what they need from you, and why it’s important to them.

Helping your partner heal and forgive you is easier when they know they are being heard.

Be a shoulder to cry on, or prepare for them to find comfort in someone else. Even though you might not want to rehash the events of your stupid mistake repeatedly, it is important for both of you to talk about it so that it doesn’t form resentment. [Read: Ways to be a better listener in your relationship]

27. Accept reality

The reality is that no matter how much time you spend regaining trust after cheating, there are no guarantees. You have to come to terms with that. Trust is part of human relationships.

28. Allow your partner to take baby steps

They may move at a snail’s pace, but you need to accept their right to do that and allow them to move through the process at their own speed. [Read: How to conquer your dating anxiety and get back out there]

29. Don’t just try and ignore what happened

It’s easy to try and ignore the issue and hope that it goes away. The problem is, broken trust will make itself known in the end. It will seep into your relationship and break it from the inside out.

It’s important that both of you address what has happened and don’t succumb to the easy option of brushing it all under the carpet. You have to face it head-on – both of you.

30. Don’t expect them to feel sorry for you

You’re probably feeling a little wounded too. You may feel terrible and you’re beating yourself up, but don’t expect your partner to feel sorry for you at any point. Even if you cheated because of a problem with the relationship that wasn’t entirely your fault, you don’t deserve sympathy right now.

Focus your attention on them and push aside any “woe is me” thoughts. [Read: How to forgive someone who hurt you and release the negativity inside]

31. Create new memories

When someone cheats, a section of the relationship dies. It will never be entirely the same again.

As your partner starts to open up to you again and you sense some of the intimacy returning, focus on making new memories together. These will help you to make a new start and bring you closer together.

32. Focus on the future

It’s hard to avoid looking back when something has hurt you, but it’s important that you both keep your eyes forward and look to the future. It can be much better than the past if you allow it to be.

If your partner has decided to forgive you and you’re slowly working together to rebuild trust, focusing on what is to come will help you out. [Read: Life questions to help you visualize your future]

33. Write letters of gratitude to each other

Part of the healing process involves trying to find common ground and your love for one another once more. It may never have left, but sometimes we need to be reminded that we’re loved.

Writing letters of gratitude can help you both remember why you’re together and what is so wonderful about your relationship.

34. Schedule weekly date nights

Learning how to regain trust is about rebuilding your relationship from scratch and that means you need to focus on one another with no distractions. Schedule weekly date nights where you only focus on each other.

Put away your phones, never cancel, and always do something fun that can create a new memory. It will feel like you’re dating again. [Read: 33 awesome date ideas every couple should try]

35. Create a plan to avoid future breaches of trust

What are you going to do to make sure that the past doesn’t repeat itself? Create a plan that you both agree with and stick to it.

It might be making a pact to speak when you’re not happy about something, rather than letting it fester and causing one of you to act rashly. Whatever the plan is, make sure you’re both in agreement with it. [Read: Should you trust your gut? How to choose to listen or ignore it]

Cheating doesn’t have to be the end, but it will be a new chapter

When learning how to regain trust, most people assume that in the end, they’ll return to the same relationship they had before the betrayal. In so many ways, that’s not possible.

Rather than returning to the same relationship, you’ll have a new relationship. But that’s not a bad thing, because it may be an improved relationship.

Perhaps the near miss of losing each other will push you both to do more to retain that close bond. Whatever happens, you need to remember that trust is fragile and if it is broken, the future will always be slightly different in some way.

[Read: Subtle signs of a loveless romance that could lead to one partner straying]

Learning how to regain trust is hard but if you use these steps, you can gradually rebuild the trust you thought you’d lost. Good luck!

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life. And while you’re at it, check out MIRL, a cool new social networking app that connects experts and seekers!

Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...