How to Build Trust After a Bad Relationship

The best thing you can do when you're in a bad relationship -- from one that causes you continual frustration to one that causes intense pain -- is to get out of it as quickly as possible. No one deserves to be hurt, whether that hurt comes in the form of neglect, emotional or physical abuse. Once you are out of the bad relationship, the healing process can begin and you can work on learning how to trust yourself and other potential partners again.

Couple talking intimately. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Step 1

Acknowledge your pain. Accepting what happened and allowing yourself to grieve is a vital part of learning to trust again, according to counselor and author David Bedrick. In HIS "Psychology Today" article, "Building & Repairing Trust: Keys to Sustainable Relationship," Bedrick warns that if you minimize your pain, the wounds will never heal, and you won't be able to trust again.

Step 2

Take a break. Don't jump right back into the dating pool and instead, get to know yourself again. Start a new hobby, go on a vacation with your best friend or just relax at home on the weekends for a few weeks. Allow your emotions to stabilize before making any new decisions about any new relationships.

Step 3

Take your time. When you do start dating again, go slowly. It will take a lot of repeated positive experiences before you are able to start trusting again, according to the "Psychology Today" article, "How Can You Learn to Trust Again?" by former president of the American Psychiatric Association, Daniel Borenstein.

Step 4

Be honest with yourself and with your partner. Share with him about your bad relationship, but don't expect things to go perfectly this time around either. You are likely to feel betrayed at some point in new relationship, as will your partner. The key to building a healthy relationship is to acknowledge this and work through minor betrayals.


If you find that, even with time, you are unable to trust yourself or any potential partners, a professional therapist can help you work through your feelings so that you can move forward in a healthy manner.

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