How To Restore Emotional Intimacy When Trust Has Been Broken

How to build trust and intimacy in your relationships

Spending time, effort, and energy connecting with your partner is key at any stage of a relationship, whether you’ve been together three months, three years, or three decades.

How to build trust and intimacy in your relationships



When you’re transparent enough in a relationship to share your thoughts and feelings, it can strengthen your bond. Emotional intimacy is when you can reveal your true self to your partner. 

It’s a feeling of trust and connection that helps keep your relationship going. Think of having a “no-filter” kind of authenticity, where someone sees all of you and accepts it.

If you’re feeling distant or just want to get to know your partner on a deeper level, taking the time to talk, actively listen, and build intimacy can make your relationship stronger.

What does emotional intimacy look like?

We often define relationships as being high in emotional intimacy when there’s trust, good communication, and closeness

How to build trust and intimacy in your relationships

Building trust can take time, unfortunately, emotional intimacy can also be lost.

This can feel devastating and sometimes intensely painful. However, there may be a path toward rebuilding what you lost, if the other person is willing.
  • Take accountability. Own up to what you did, however painful it might be.
  • Apologize (sincerely). It’s important that you really are sorry for what you did; it’s not enough to only say the words. Whether they accept your apology is up to them.
  • Be patient. To rebuild trust, it’s important to give the other person the time and space they need to heal and process.
  • Accept that the relationship will be different now. Although it may be painful, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to return to the relationship as it once was; be prepared to start over from square one, or somewhere close to it.
  • Commit to changing problematic behaviors. You can’t expect to get different results if you keep acting the same way. It’s going to take effort — and maybe professional help — but it’s worth it if you really care about maintaining the relationship.
  • Respect their wishes. The ball is now in their court. You can try your best to rebuild that emotional bond, but if they’re not comfortable trusting you, you have to let them go.


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