Trust Is a Fragile Thing
How to mend the cracks before the glass shatters.
Trust is a fragile thing. There's no denying that. Think of a mirror carelessly dropped, depending on the frame to protect the glass. The owner thought they could defeat the inevitable until they flipped it over to reveal the spiderweb effect. They blow away the scattered shards. Still able to see their reflection, they ignore the damage, at least for now.
The mirror, without the fall, would've been just fine. It would've remained pristine in all its crystalline beauty, but the crash from another's hands left it cracked, with missing pieces. Still useful, but never whole.
In time, the imperfections bother the owner. I'm tired of looking at myself through a cracked mirror. This has to go. So, instead of accepting what was done, and learning to love it anyway, instead of attempting to replace the glass, which was broken, they toss out the entire mirror.
The mirror trusted the owner. The mirror is your loved one. The owner is you.
It's hard to accept that sometimes we are what causes pain to the people we care about. That through our actions, even if unintentional, we became the source of their dimming light. We made them not only question us and others around them, but themselves. This person who once greeted you with a smile, now hides their face. The laugh you loved so much is being suppressed by suffocating thoughts. The eyes you loved to look in are afraid to stare back, because they know in one look, they'll temporarily forget their world is falling apart, and that you, the one thing they hoped wouldn't break it, is exactly what ignited the fall.
We see this, and we fail to take responsibility for our part in what they feel. Rather, it's easy to tell them they're the problem, and to get over it. We get mean, we get distant, we get tired. Easy was breaking something worth having. Hard is fixing it. Anything worth keeping doesn't come easy. Love is not easy. It takes time, patience, commitment, courage. It takes everything that goes into rebuilding something damaged. Therefore, if we can love, we can rebuild trust.
Own Your Mistakes.
Words aren't enough, but they're a start. Your loved one needs to hear a heartfelt apology; without sarcasm, without resentment, without blame. None of that "I'm sorry I did this, but if you didn't..." no. It's not about anything they've done. You are responsible for what you did, no one else. Own that. Let them hear you are sincere, and willing to fix things so the healing process can begin.
Make Noticeable Changes.
Words weren't made for say, they were made to be meant, so mean them. Your loved ones pick up on the tiniest details whether it be a look, a touch, a word, a promise kept. Major changes aren't achievable overnight, so take baby steps if you have to, just make sure you're stepping forward in showing them that you're trying.
Keep Your Issues Private.
Seriously, unless it's life or death, no one needs to know your business. If you push your partner to open up to you about something they said repeatedly they don't want to talk about, and then they finally find the courage to tell you what's on their mind, it's because they trust you not to use it against them. If they didn't even want to tell you to begin with, they clearly don't want other people knowing, and by you writing off that fact and telling other people anyway, you're only showing they can't trust you with their emotions, or trust you to respect them. You're not going to fix any issues by dragging other people into them, you're honestly just making matters worse. The relationship is between you two, not you and everyone else. Therefore, issues need to be resolved between you two, not you and everyone else.
Mistakes are a curse of the mundane. We all make them. Shit happens. But if you're trying to gain someone's trust back, the last thing you should do is lie. Trust is broken through one person promising a specific thing to another and not following through with it, and that happens in many different ways, but the point is lack of honesty is what got you in this mess, lack of honesty isn't going to get you out of it.
Count in the Little Things.
Like I said, they pay attention to every detail. Putting your arm around them in public so people know you're together, preparing their morning coffee, keeping plans and commitments to them... these things may seem small, but they all add up, and make a world of difference.
Sorry to be harsh, but you're the one who put your relationship in this position, so you can't get mad during the moments your partner gets distant or pushes you away. That's when you need to comfort them the most. It's not their job to sing and dance to make you feel okay right now, it's your job to do that for them. Believe me, they still love you, and want to be together. If they didn't, they wouldn't be hanging around waiting for you to make things right. They'd rather take your worst days and moments than the best days and moments of someone else. Keep that in mind, but don't take it for granted. Remain patient and stay humble. They'll come around as long as you don't give up.