Trust in a relationship is a fragile thing at the best of times. It takes a long time to truly establish itself. Yet it can disappear in a heartbeat. If it has vanished from your relationship, you know you are in trouble. Your partnership can not survive without it. The good news is, you CAN usually get it back. The not-so-good news is, it is going to take time, some effort and patience.

Do you really want to patch things up with your mate? Perhaps you have already separated or divorced, perhaps not. In any case, you must decide first whether you really, REALLY want your lover back, and if you will actually work toward this goal. If you are not willing to concentrate and focus on this objective, maybe it would be better for both of you to forget the whole thing, and move on with your lives. At least this way, you save yourself any additional pain.

WHY is it that trust in a relationship is sometimes lost? There are some clear reasons, such as one of you cheated. But there are also less serious and less dramatic causes. Do you often criticize your mate? Do you put her down or ridule her in front of others? Perhaps you are simply inattentive to her needs and desires. This last one is more serious than you might think. It can lead to breaking the bond of love, closeness and trust between you.

OK, so you have decided to try and get the trust and connection back in your relationship. And you have zeroed in on why it is in the dumpster right now. The next step is to find out just why you acted the way you did. Why, exactly, did you cheat, put her down, ignore her, etc.? You are supposed to love and cherish her above all others. If you are or were married, you did promise to do that, right? You are not supposed to hurt him or her. So what made you do it?

Deep down, do you secretly resent your mate? Are you unhappy in the relationship? Is it a character flaw in you? Before you go any further to rebuild trust in a relationship, you must clearly identify the problem and fix it. You must be absolutely sure that it will never happen again, or it will probably end your relationship forever, right there.

Now, finally, you are ready to talk to your lover or ex. Explain the steps you have gone through, the thinking you have done, and the realizations and conclusions you have come to. You have fixed your problems. You would like another chance. Your partner will probably not give you an outright Yes, or forgive you absolutely. They may well take you back, but you will be on trial, on probation, for a good while.

You will have to live with this honesty. You must accept that it is very hard for your mate to immediately open her heart completely to you, the way she did before. You will have to prove, every single day, that you have changed, that you are a loving, devoted mate now, and that you will not repeat the mistakes of the past. Only the passage of time can slowly, brick by individual brick, rebuild the connection between you.

Be patient, and let the weeks and months roll by. Men have a tendency to want a quick fix to a problem, then you move on to the next thing. In relationships, that simply does not happen. Keep your eyes and ears wide open. Watch what you say and do, to ensure it is not mean or hurtful. Observe your mate closely. You should know very well what their likes, dislikes, reactions and moods are.

If you both do this, you will surely find that you will be much happier together. Your lives will function like two gears that run smoothly with each other, that mesh easily. But do not forget to oil those gears constantly with small gestures of love and attentiveness, and a smile. Your relationship is like a tea bag. You never know how strong it is, until it is in hot water. With a little effort, you can survive your current problems, and restore your loving relationship, even stronger than it was before!