How To Make Promises When Rebuilding Trust

couple signing contractAfter feelings have been shared, apologies given, and explanations offered the next step when rebuilding trust involves making promises.

People who have violated their partners’ trust need to make explicit promises about their future behavior. These promises need to be:

  • mutually agreed upon – both parties must be satisfied with the promises offered
  • reasonable – promises need to involve things that one can actually live up to (broken promises are one of the worse things that could happen when trying to rebuild trust)
  • explicitly clear – both parties should double check their understanding of the promises being made
  • related to the betrayal that occurred – promises about future behavior need to be related to how trust was violated

For example, a husband who has been caught lying to his wife to play golf with his buddies on the weekend might have to promise to spend every Saturday morning for the next month doing things with the family.

While not all of the fine details of the promise need to be discussed—the basics (how, when, where, what) need to be understood, agreed upon, and worked out.