If you have violated the boundaries of your relationship by doing something harmful like lying, being unfaithful, spending money you had agreed not to spend, keeping a secret that affected your partner in a negative way, telling a secret that embarrassed or betrayed your partner there are steps you can take to begin restoring trust and integrity back into to your relationship.
- First thing first. Acknowledge that you messed up. Take 100% accountability. You could do this in writing or face-to-face. If you do it in writing make sure you follow it up with a face to face talk. Make sure you don’t blame anyone else or offer excuses or reasons that let you off the hook in terms of responsibility. Just describe what you did. This is not the time for reasons and extenuating circumstances. Leave that to another time. Only discuss the facts of the situation and skip the commentary which may be difficult to do. We often get caught up in the commentary which doesn’t help the situation.
- Apologize! Apologize! Apologize!!!! Offer an apology and ask your partner if there is anything you can do to rectify things. If possible, make amends in the way they requests. Note exactly what they tell you. Do not negotiate. Accept fully what they are telling you. You may find it helpful to write it down in a contract format with a time frame where you will handle what you need to.
- Begin assuring your partner that you won’t betray them in the future. Then make sure you follow through with all the actions you have promised to complete. Be honorable about your future behavior. Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked.
- If you feel you may be unable to follow through, be honest and let your partner know before the problem grows or reappears.