how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

Broken Trust and Polyamory

Call it cheating. Call it breaking an agreement. Whatever words you’re using, broken trust is a serious problem in polyamorous relationships. 

It leads to anxiety. Worry. Stress. Constantly checking up on your partner. And no relationship can survive forever without trust.

So why does trust get broken, and how can you rebuild it if it’s gone?


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Josh 0:00
All right, everybody. So today we're gonna be talking about broken trust in polyamory, why trust is so important, how it gets broken, why it gets broken, and most importantly, how we can repair it once it is damaged. So stay tuned.

Cassie 0:34
Here at Touch of Flavor we teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:40
This podcast is about answering one question, how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box, even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you're in the right place.

Cassie 0:53
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 1:03
Alright, everybody, so I'm going to be chatting with you all today, Cassie is getting ready and taking care some paperwork and stuff for training trip we've got for this next month. Always looking to improve our skills and increase the level at which we're serving our clients so she's getting ready for that. But I had wanted to hop on with you all today. And I wanted to talk about a topic that I am having a lot of discussions with non monogamous people lately. And that is broken trust.

Josh 1:35
I want to talk about broken trust. Because you know non monogamy isn't unique. And that sometimes when we're not monogamous, sometimes trust gets broken. Sometimes trust gets broken, maybe at a point in our relationship before we're non monogamous if we've been monogamous first, or sometimes it gets broken after we're already have that established dynamic in our relationship. But however it happens, however it comes up. Broken trust is one of the just one of the most difficult things that we can deal with day to day, in our relationships.

Josh 2:17
You know, Cassie and I come on here a lot. And we talk about, you know, you'll hear us talk about our relationships and our partners and great experiences. And you know, the truth of the matter is obviously, along the way, we've had our share of struggles as well, you know, Cassie and I aren't, aren't coy about that when we're talking about our relationship, and how we got to where we're at, and how we got to doing what we're doing and helping other non monogamous people transform their lives. But one thing that you don't hear us do a lot is talk about really negative experiences that we've had with other partners. And that's because, you know, while we've certainly had our share of challenges in those relationships, like any, on the whole, we have had really good relationships with other people. Right on the on the balance on the balance, again, there's been challenges, there's been difficult things, but on the balance, the relationships have been great. Now, there is though one relationship, where you'll hear us talk about the bad relationship that we had, or the bad partner that we had. And this was many, many years ago, right. And it was the only relationship out of all of our relationships that looking back, the bad far outweighed the good. And one of the things or actually the single biggest thing that made that relationship so difficult, so challenging, so draining, so damaging, was that there wasn't trust in that relationship. Right.

Josh 3:54
And broken trust, by the way, and I'm going to dive into all this but broken trust, it doesn't have to necessarily come from your partner breaking trust with other people. It can be different things. Right. So in our case with this partner, she had a substance abuse problem that we found out after we got together. And there was a whole period where she was supposed to be changing, but we couldn't trust anything that she said. And you wind up in this place of the anxiety and the wandering and the never knowing if anybody's being accurate and the checking up behind them. And the you know, for us, like the marking the bottles, right or the trying to figure out where they're at and what's going on. And, you know, just the stress and the pain and the hurt and the challenge that broken trust causes day to day is immense. And as I said, you know, I know that from personal experience. And I've been talking to a lot of people lately, who again have been struggling with broken trust in their relationship and it is supremely harmful. It is incredibly difficult to be in a relationship where there is no trust because your relationships, right, more than anywhere else in your life, anywhere else in the world, should be the place that you can go, that you can trust your partners to speak their mind. That you can believe what they're saying to you. And when you hear them, and you get an answer from them, like you have the faith and you know that that's really what happened.

Josh 5:33
Because when you can't, you wind up in the spot of just anxiety and worry and wonder that never really goes away. Right? Because if, if you can't, and I'll just use this as an easy example. Right? You know, for some people it can be anxiety triggering enough if your partner has somebody else that they have feelings for or they're close to, you know, you have that jealousy, you have that anxiety, you have that worry come up you have that? Am I going to be replaced? Right? You have that sense of are they better than me at this? Are they better than me at that? Is my partner falling more for them? What's my partner doing? And you know, that can be difficult enough to deal with, but you can go, you can have those conversations with your partner, you know, about what's going on? What do you like about them? What do you like about me? What are your intentions for this relationship, you can get some grounding and some security on that. But if you're in a place where you can't trust anything that they're saying, then you never know.

Josh 6:30
I mean, is that person actually better than you? Is your partner doing stuff with them that they're telling you they're not. And now, you know, you can't make safe assured decisions about your health, and your safety, and the safety of your family, right, and you wind up in just this loop of anxiety, and worry, and just constantly being stuck in your head and feeling the need to check up and wondering if you ask things in the right way. And it becomes this endless, unescapable spiral. Because the only avenues that you could use to escape the anxiety and the worry would come from your partner telling you the truth, but you have no way to know if that's what's happening. Right. And it takes a toll on your health, it takes a toll on your mental well being it takes, I mean, that stress, it piles up, it comes out physically, it comes out in mental health stuff. And on top of that, it takes an enormous toll on the connection that you have with your partner.

Josh 7:25
Because if you can't trust them, that's the basis of anything else. If you can't trust them, then you can't communicate well, then you can't feel safe around them. Right? You can never trust when they say if they love you like it hits the connection, it hits, the closest to security, everything undermines the relationship. And like I said, it's enormously damaging. And so when you're in a spot where trust has been broken in your relationships, it's something that if you want your relationship to succeed, if you want to, to live a life with this person, you have to find a way to grow past. Because if you don't, eventually that relationship is going to cease to work. You can only live so long in a relationship where you can't trust anything that your partner says where you're worried all the time, where you're checking up on them, where you're wondering if they're going behind your back. Where you feel unsafe. Where you you know, in the spot that you should feel the safest in the world, you, you never have that trust that security. There's only so long anybody can do that. So in order to not just build a thriving relationship, but to move a relationship forward at all, to be together to stay together to continue whatever relationship, whatever life, whatever family you have, you have to figure out a way to repair the trust. So I want to dive into that.

Josh 8:45
But first, I want to talk about why trust gets broken in non monogamous relationships, because there's there's a number of ways that this can come about. And it's important to distinguish between some of these things. So how does trust get broken? In a non monogamous relationship? Well, first, I mean, trust gets broken, sometimes by just people not sticking to the agreements that they have. Right? By going outside of the agreements by breaking them by doing things that you've told your partner, you wouldn't do. Right? Or by doing something at all that you're supposed to communicate or something that your partner expects to be told and then hiding it. That's one way that trust gets broken. It's it's it's simple, right? It's the ways that we think of as cheating in monogamous relationships, like that can happen in monogamy. And that is one really obvious way that trust gets broken. It's of course, the one that first comes to mind when you're thinking about broken trust. Right? It's cheating. It's being dishonest. It's, you know, telling your partner your I don't know, going on a drive with your partner and checking into the hotel. Right. It's breaking the agreements that you had around intimacy. It's any of that stuff. Right? So that's the really obvious way. And that can certainly happen in non monogamous relationships. And sometimes as I said, sometimes it's something that maybe hasn't even happened in the non monogamous relationship. But if you've been together for a while, if you were together, and you were monogamous before you decided to open things up, then it could have happened then. So that's the obvious way.

Josh 10:24
But there's some other ways that trust can be broken. And I want to to address these because there are ways, and there are also reasons and I want to address these, because these are things that I think people don't think of as much. Right. So one way that trust can wind up getting broken is fuzzy agreements, we talk about to our clients all the time about the need for clear agreements, right. And fuzzy agreements are agreements that just quite simply aren't clear. Right? Either stuff hasn't been made explicit. Or, you know, we maybe just kind of beat around the bush about stuff and didn't actually really talk and nail things down. And you know, so one example that's super easy for this, but, and super obvious, but it's just a clear one is around sex. Right? If your agreements are, we don't have sex with other people. And that is as clear and explicit as you've gotten that is far too fuzzy. Because people define sex very differently. Just as an easy example, this was something Cassie and I ran into and had to navigate earlier on in our relationship. Cassie doesn't- when Cassie is saying the word sex in terms of an agreement or conversation, she doesn't mean anything besides like intercourse. Right? Oral, fingering, hand jobs like kissing, all that stuff falls outside of sex. So if we had an agreement, we can't have sex with anybody. And I'm thinking that means that she can't have any intimacy with anybody. I'm going to be really shocked when we debrief her date. So fuzzy agreements are one way and I use the really obvious example of sex. But this can be in anything, where people go on dates, how much time is supposed to be spent, what's supposed to be communicated, as far as what happened, this is a huge one. So many people expect to be told things, that there's never actually been an agreement that that stuff is supposed to be laid out when it happens, or if it happens, right. So fuzzy agreements are one way.

Josh 12:41
Another way, is people being in spot where they don't know how to modify agreements when they no longer suit. So you know, all agreements, agreements are usually good for a season. Agreements that we make now, like, as we go, as we grow, as our relationships evolve, most of the time, agreements, like that never change, become agreements that very quickly, don't fit the relationship and don't work for the people involved in it. So with agreements, we like to talk about this idea of creating living agreements. You have to be in a spot, where if you have an agreement that isn't working, there is the ability, like the ability in yourself, but also the ability in the relationship, to bring that to your partner. And to have that conversation of, hey, this is no longer working, and what needs to change, and not just being able to have that conversation, and modify your agreements as needed, but also to be in a place where you do that before stepping outside of the lines of your agreement.

Josh 13:51
Okay, so if you're in a place with your partner, where, let's just say, you know, I know some people, if they're, you know, especially maybe they're newer to non monogamy, maybe they have an agreement that's like, you can't say I love you to anyone else, not going to talk about whether that's a good agreement or not, I'm just going to use it as a good example, right? If that's something that you agreed to, and now you're in a place where you have those feelings for your partner, and you're feeling the need to say those words, then you need to go and renegotiate that agreement into something that works before you break it. Because renegotiating is fine. It's part of life, it's part of relationships. stepping over the line of that agreement, before you make a change is now breaking trust. And that's something that you're going to live with and carry the consequence of. So that's really important.

Josh 14:42
And when we work with our clients, you know, one thing that we we really focus on we spent a lot of time focused on agreements, both getting the agreements that people need, explicitly spelled out and set up and in place, but just as importantly, maybe more importantly, giving them the tools so that as they go into things and they do start realizing that their agreements do need to evolve, do need to grow along with them. They have, you know, both the courage and the tools to bring that back to the partner and renegotiate. So fuzzy agreements, number one, number two, like I said, not knowing how to change your agreements, okay?

Josh 15:20
And that's pretty tied also to bad communication. So often, and this is really kind of a why trust gets broken sometimes. Right? Actually, you know what, here's what to do. Let me stick I'm gonna I'm going to talk about the the couple of other how stuff gets broken, then I'll talk about a couple of whys. Okay. So other life stuff. One thing that I see quite a bit is everybody, as I said, goes to like cheating as like how trust gets broken. But sometimes it's not that. If there is just consistent problems, consistent untrustworthy things, in the day to day, it can damage trust just as much as going out and cheating on your partner can. Sometimes even more, right, so what am I talking about here, if you're in spot where you lie to your partner about day to day stuff, where you're at, what you're doing, stuff that maybe doesn't even involve other people. That takes a huge toll on your partner's trust.

Josh 16:38
But the other piece of this is being in a place where you're, you don't keep your word. And this is something that most people miss. So some of the people I talk to where the trust is most strained, it isn't about cheating at all. It's about my partner says they're gonna be there, and then they're not, they tell me they're gonna pick me up from work, but they don't. Right? They say they're going to, you know, clean the stuff. And so I go to work and with the expectations of it being taken care of, but then I get home, and they didn't do it. And I always know they're never going to do what they say.

Josh 17:12
It's important to realize that those little day to day things can take an enormous toll on trust. Because this, this so often is something that people miss. They're in a spot where they think well, okay, as long as I don't break trust, or you know, I keep my word about other partners, it's going to be fine. But that isn't worth very much to your partner, if they can't trust what you say moment to moment, if they can't trust that you're going to be there. If they can't trust that you're going to, like I said, pick the kids up when you sad, or, you know, be there for them when their car breaks down, or, you know, help them out that day that you were supposed to take care of this thing for this event that you two were working on together, like you know, at your house. If your partner can't trust you on those things, that takes a huge hit. Right.

Josh 17:58
And then the other piece, the other place that that stuff gets broken is just other life stuff. And I mentioned some of this, but this can be stuff like alcohol, right? And not I don't mean just your drinks. But you know, this can be stuff like like substance abuse problems. Whether it's alcohol, whether it's drugs, you know, when you're in the place where you have this piece of your life and the actions and the things that you are trying to hide from your partner. That can take a huge thing of trust. Like if you're in a place, like I was talking about with our past partner, if you're in a spot where you're sitting and you're looking at them, like are they fucked up? Or are they not fucked up? They take something, did they not? You're going you're like looking at like the stripes on the alcohol bottles and like you're realizing that they told you they didn't drink but they did. And you know, now they're supposed to be here meeting you, and then you pull stuff up, and they're like, at another place. Where you know what they're doing. That takes a huge toll. Right?

Josh 18:52
So all of that is a take on broken trust. And like I said, why? Well, I mentioned fuzzy agreements, I mentioned not being able to change agreements, but two other whys, two other reasons that we see people regularly wind up in broken trust. One is people who are in monogamous relationships, and they're not monogamous. And I'm not saying this to excuse it, by the way. You know, if you're in a monogamous relationship, you've made that choice. You've made that commitment, it's your responsibility to, as we've said, renegotiate that agreement, rather than just going out and breaking it like that is not at all fair to your partner, and it's incredibly hurtful, and it doesn't excuse it at all, but it is a reason that we see quite a bit. Is I'm non monogamous, maybe I knew that before I got into this relationship and thought I could put it down. Maybe I didn't know it. But I realized that I was not monogamous in the relationship. And instead of having that conversation with my partner, I just, I cheat. Maybe it's once, maybe it's a lot. And that's obviously enormously damaging. Right. And that is, again, the biggest way that people expect to break trust, and yet lots of people do it because they're uncomfortable having that discussion. They're uncomfortable opening things up, and moving into a space where they can be open and honest about who they really are and what they really need. And I have this conversation with people sometimes, and they're like, we're in a monogamous relationship. And I'm like, you haven't been in a monogamous relationship for the last 15 years. It's just that you're supposed to be in a monogamous relationship.

Josh 20:26
And if that's the spot that you're in, you really need to make a shift. Because the longer that you do that, the harder it is to ever move to a place of honesty, because that cost carries over. Like if you're in a spot where you have broken trust in the past, and now you're moving into non monogamy, you're going to carry that broken trust, that's going to be something that's going to make the non monogamy and moving into that honest ethical space that much harder. Right. And the last, why we see trust broken and ways people break trust, is when there's bad communication in the relationship, or fear. And these two are often pretty tied together. If we're in a spot, where I'm afraid to come to you, with my thoughts, with what's really going on with me, with what I want, and what I need. There's a very strong temptation to not speak up to not say the things, to break the trust. And sometimes this fear is a fear of, like I said, we're supposed to be monogamous, what is my partner going to do when they find this out? When I bring this to them? How are they going to react? Are they going to be willing to do this? Are they going to look to divorce me? Are they going to look to leave?

Josh 21:39
But sometimes that fear comes from the dynamics of the relationship. And what I mean by that, if you're in a spot where you can't communicate, if you're in a spot where when you you, you talk and you're honest about what you want in your need, your partner gets pissed off, you to argue the time gets ruined, that gets held over your head and thrown in your face.

Josh 22:06
Well, you're going to be a lot more reluctant to have an open, honest dialogue. And anytime you're reluctant to have an open, honest dialogue. The temptation becomes, the harder it is to be open and honest, the temptation becomes to hit the other end of that spectrum, and start hiding things and concealing things. And a lot of times that grows and grows. Right. So that's why trust gets broken, those are the biggest reasons that we see.

Josh 22:35
And I want to talk about just just a couple of myths, right? That we then see. So you're in the spot, you know, it's obviously bad to be in a place broken trust, you know how trust gets broken. But I want to talk about a couple of myths and a couple of things that we see kind of get thrown around that I just want to debunk real quick because it's really important. Number one is just this idea that well, let's say three things. Alright, let's I was going to do today, let's do three. Number one is this myth that trust can't be rebuilt. Trust can be rebuilt, it's hard. And it's difficult. And it's painful. And it takes creating, it takes being uncomfortable along the way to make that happen. And we'll talk about that in a minute. So a lot of people don't do it. Because of those reasons. They don't take the steps necessary to repair things. Because repairing things does require vulnerability and does require being uncomfortable. But it is entirely possible. That's just the first piece and we'll talk about how in a minute. Right?

Josh 23:38
The second myth that needs to be busted just this idea that it's better to be in a place of, of lying to our partners and of hiding things and a breaking trust than it is to have the hard conversations and be honest. Right? And the truth of that is it is easier in the very moment. If you're in a place where, let me think of an example here. Sex is always easy, right? If you're in a place where you have a partner, and you have the agreement that certain activities are off limits. So let's say you know you have you have one relationship, you have the agreement that in other relationships, let's say, let's say intercourse is off limits. And you know that your partner is going to have some feels, if you bring up to them, Hey, I would really like to be able to have intercourse with this other person. Like that would be really great. You know, that's going to cause feels. Sure. Yeah, like in the moment, it is going to be easier and less painful to not have that conversation.

Josh 24:48
If you're in a situation where you're realizing that you're non monogamous, you're in a monogamous relationship. In the short term, it's going to be easier not to have that conversation. That conversation is gonna be hard, it's going to be uncomfortable, which we just talked about. But it certainly isn't better. Because if you're in the place where you're feeling the need to do that with your partner, and you go, and you break your agreement, and you have sex with them in that way, and you're either bearing that or your partner finds out, clearly, that's going to cause a lot more harm than having the conversation would have in the first place.

Josh 25:26
If you're in a spot where you're in a monogamous relationship, and it's going to be so hard to have that conversation with your partner, but you realize that it's something that you won't need, then you're either gonna get to a place where that resentment builds up more and more and more, and your partner has no idea why because you haven't told them or where you cheat. And both of those things are going to hurt your partner way more and have much bigger consequences than having the conversation in the first place. The problem is, it takes a certain amount of courage to have that conversation and to be uncomfortable in the moment. But when you don't, you're just choosing to avoid a temporary discomfort for a much bigger problem down the road.

Josh 26:19
Okay, and then the last myth that I just really want to, I really want to hit here is that it kind of takes two forms, it's either you can't cheat in non monogamy, you can't break trust in non monogamy, or non monogamy will solve broken trust. And neither of those two things are true, right? You can absolutely break trust in non monogamy. Every non monogamous relationship is based on agreements. Every non monogamous relationship is based on agreements. And wherever there are agreements, there is the possibility the option where you can make the decision to break those and doing that breaks trust and being in a place where you know you've agreed not to, like I said, not to have sex with one partner, in whatever way, and you break that it's just as damaging, as if you were monogamous and now you went out and you cheated. It's it has the exact same impact on your partner- has the potential to have the exact same impact on your partner, because obviously everybody handles things differently. Right, you can absolutely cheat in a non monogamous relationship.

Josh 27:37
And for those of you who are in a spot where you're in a monogamous relationship, and there's been broken trust, and you feel like the idea is that well, if we just switch to non monogamy that's going to fix the problems, the answer is no, it won't. It won't. And what will happen is you will then be in a place, right where now you have a partner who you don't trust, who is exploring all these other things, who's meeting other people, right? And now you don't trust them, now you know they're with somebody, but you don't know what they're doing. You don't know if you can believe what they tell you. And that stress and anxiety is going to be enormous. You have to actually, and listen, I just want to be really clear here. If any of you who have watched our stuff, or probably even if you've just heard me talk in this conversation so far, you know, that if you're a non monogamous person, you find yourself in a monogamous relationship, you have to deal with that. You should I deal with that. But the point that I'm making is simply saying, Hey, we're gonna open things up isn't enough, right? That may be something you need to do. And it also doesn't repair the trust. Those are two separate issues. And, you know, while the answer may very well be that, yes, you do need to open things up so that you can be in a spot where your partner has the ability to have those conversations and has agreements and to be who they are without breaking Trust. Trust won't magically be repaired. And you have to rebuild it.

Josh 29:07
So let's talk about that. Because I told you that trust can be rebuilt. But I want to talk about, it's funny I because Cassie isn't here I'm standing. And I'm realizing that it's, it's making this so much more unstable. If I so much just touch my desk.

Josh 29:24
How do you rebuild trust? I think that's the important piece. And you know, this is something that we work a lot with our clients on a rebuilding trust is absolutely a process and hard and difficult, something that doesn't happen overnight. But I want to lay out for you just the skeleton of how you repair trust so that you can have that knowledge and just also again, understand that it is possible and what it does take Okay.

Josh 29:53
The first thing that it takes is a decision When we have people, and they want to work with us, and broken trust is a factor. We actually require this decision before we will even work with them. Because if the decision to move forward in honesty, isn't there, nothing else is going to work. And when I say a decision, what I mean is it takes a decision, you know, I'm just gonna use myself as an example, if I have broken trust in the past, maybe that's one time, maybe it's 100 times. If I have broken trust in the past, I have to make a decision that I am not willing to do that anymore. I am not willing to be that person anymore. It doesn't matter if it requires hard conversations. It doesn't matter if it's difficult. Like I understand how important integrity is in my relationships, I understand how damaging it is, to myself, to my partner to not have that. I understand that that's the foundation of any solid relationship that's happy and healthy and fulfilling. And I'm deciding that from here out, I'm going to move into honesty, because that is something that I want. And that is something that I am deciding, and I'm deciding that from here out, I will not break that trust. And that has to be the first step like that commitment, that decision to move from wherever you're at into a place of honesty and integrity with your partners has to come first. Because here's the thing, I said this before you can cheat in a non monogamous relationship. Right? There's plenty of people who are in non monogamy, they can have pretty much whatever they want. Right? And yet, they still break trust, whether it's because it's a thrill, whether it's because it's just easier than having the hard conversations, whether then it's whatever.

Josh 31:57
There's plenty of people who do it. So the absolute first thing has to be a decision. And no, obviously a decision isn't enough on its own. Right. You may have you may be sitting here like, well, I've made that decision before, but I've had no idea how to do it, I get that. But that decision has to come first, or nothing else works. So like I said a decision that I'm done, I'm done with this, I'm done hurting my partner. I'm done doing this to myself, I'm done doing this my relationship, I'm going to move into integrity. And I'm going to move into a place of honesty. And that requires a certain amount of courage to do. But that's the first piece. Right?

Josh 32:34
The second piece of it is removing the factors that are playing into the mistrust, because there are as I said, there's whys and there's hows, and ways that trust gets broken. So you have to after you make the decision to move into a place of trust. Right after you build up that courage, again, which is a part of that. You have to start removing the factors that are there. Right, that are contributing to the mistrust. What do I mean by that? Well, if you're in a monogamous relationship, and you're non monogamous, you need to start having those conversations and transitioning this relationship to something where you can be yourself ethically. If you're in a place where your agreements are fuzzy, you have to move into a place where they're clear. If your agreements are, you don't know how to change them, you have to get the tools and the skills to change those agreements when they're not working, rather than to just letting stuff build and build and build. If a part of the reason that you have fallen into mistrust is that you can't communicate with your partner. And when you have these conversations, you're afraid. You're afraid to bring the things you want and need and to say and to really be honest with what you want, what you need, what's really going on with you, you have to get to a spot where you can communicate with your partner. And you can do that with courage and passion, and they can hear what you have to say.

Josh 34:03
If what else, what's another example, if you're in a place where you are not reliable in those day to day things, contributing, the chores, the things that you told your partner, you're going to do, the commitments that you've made, then you have to move into a place of number one, evaluating your commitments and your agreements and making good ones there, right, but then also actually showing up and doing those things. You need to remove those other factors and get those factors out of the way. Whatever it is, and you know, we skim the surface, there can be 100 things there. 100 things, but you have to get those other factors out of the way if you want to move into a place of trust. And again, that doesn't happen overnight. That takes work, that takes diagnosing what those factors are, it takes gaining new skills, it takes growing into a stronger you in a lot of situations. But that has to happen if you want trust to be rebuilt.

Josh 34:59
Alright, After that, and this is where the courage really starts to come in. There has to be the opportunity for trust to be broken again. And this is one of the most difficult things for people to learn when we're working with them. But it's impossible for trust to be rebuilt, if you don't give your partner the chance to make the same mistakes. At the end of the day, trust comes from your partner having the chance to screw up in the way they did before and then not. So you have to be in a spot where you are willing, and you do give your partner the opportunity to mess up again.

Josh 35:44
This might look like letting them pick the kids up from school, even though you know, they never do when they say and you've gotten to the point where you just don't even have them do it anymore. Because you know, it's not gonna happen, right? This might mean letting your partner grow a relationship that you aren't comfortable growing, because in the past that's led to broken agreements. This might mean having your partner date again, if you've put things on hold, giving your partner the opportunity to connect with other people that way, you know, maybe you're in a spot where before, whenever your partner started dating other people, they start breaking agreements, you're going to have to start letting them date again.

Josh 36:32
It's going to be really dependent on your situation. But whatever the situation is, however, trust has been broken, you're going to have to give your partner the opportunity to make those mistakes again. And here's the thing that takes a lot of courage. And it is not easy to do. And when we have clients where trust has been broken, we spend a lot of time working with them on building up their courage on helping them believe that things can be different on letting them give their partners opportunities in an intelligent way. Giving them the support they need through that very difficult time and period. And the stressful situation of giving their partner the opportunity again. But you have to do that, you have to be in a spot where you give your partner the opportunity to make the same mistakes and from that place. It's about time and consistency. Right?

Josh 37:31
It's about being in a spot where your partner has those opportunities, they have the opportunities to break your trust again. And they don't. They make the right decisions. They choose you right, but more so they honor their agreements, they have the conversations that they're supposed to have. Right? They do that consistently. You know, like I said, it was picking the kids up from school, they pick the kids up from school, and they pick them up again. And they pick them again, they pick up, they pick them up again. Right? If it was they used to always cross the line too far with their partner, you know, they got with that person again and again and again, and they have the opportunity, and yet they don't break your trust.

Josh 38:20
If it was the conversations, and I'm not telling you things, you know, maybe just them not telling you. This is another place, by the way, slipped my mind earlier that we see, you know, trust does get broken is when you just can't trust what your partner says to you about what's going on with them, like, Oh, I'm fine with this, I'm fine with that. And then they're never they never are. And it you know, constantly go into things thinking that they're okay. And then they blow up. It comes from giving your partner the chance to be in a couple of situations and then tell you their feelings and to be open and honest with you. And then seeing things different. And at the end of the day, that's the only way that trust gets healed. Right. And I'm just going to sum that out for you. Again, it's making the decision, the absolute commitment, which is the first step and the thing that you can do with no help at all. Right, something you can just do is make that decision. It's removing whatever the factors are that are contributing to that environment of dishonesty because there's always factors there which again, is not an excuse, but they have to be removed.

Josh 39:27
It is having the opportunity to break trust and to mess up again. And then it is having that opportunity over time and yet consistently making a different choice. That is how trust gets rebuilt. So it can be done. And we see it happen all the time. And it is not easy, right because here's the problem with this and this is where the biggest place I see people fail in this beyond just giving up entirely. And just saying trust can't be rebuilt just giving up on relationships, when there's absolutely possibility move things forward, is they go into this alone, you know, this piece of making a decision to be trustworthy, that's absolutely something that you can do on your own. The remaining ones, these are very difficult, diagnosing the factors that are there, fixing those factors, because if they're there, if you don't know how to communicate, or you're uncomfortable, or your relationship needs to change from monogamous to non or you don't know how to make agreements, even once you diagnose those factors, there's a reason that they're there. And they're not magically gonna change being in a spot where you're comfortable enough and secure enough to give your partner the opportunity to hurt again, like that's something that very few people can do on their own without support, and the knowledge that there's a third party there to hold their partner accountable, right to make sure that things are migrating, if they need to migrate to make sure the conversations are being had and to help them build that strength and that courage to do that.

Josh 41:05
Like this is all incredibly hard. And the problem is, this is incredibly hard for people to navigate on their own. Any one of these steps can blow this up. And the challenge is what the biggest thing I see people fall into where they do, like stuff does become unrecoverable is that when you make this decision, and you get your partner's buy in to open themselves up to be vulnerable to give you another chance to mess things up and break their heart again. And then you mess things up and break their heart again, the chances of them being willing to do that, again, are incredibly low. And this is where so many people fail, right, because they get a partner. And most partners are willing to give more than one chance. But they get a partner. And they have somebody who's hurt and who's broken and who doesn't trust and who's in distrust, and then this anxiety. And that person gets to a point of being willing to give you a second or third or fourth or fifth whatever chance. And then the rest of this, the rest of these steps aren't handled well. And then you break their heart again, you prove that they can't trust you again. And your partner's faith just gets beaten down and beaten down and beaten down, beat down and eventually as to a point where they just don't believe in you, they don't believe that you can change, they may believe that relationships can be repaired, trust can be repaired, but that you can't do it , that you're not ever going to keep your word. And from that place, it's a very short path and a short road to the end of a relationship.

Josh 42:46
Because as I said, a relationship without trust, without any trust at all, is relationship that's miserable and stressful and full of anxiety, and difficulty and all of the bad things and none of the good. And no relationship can survive there for very long. So here's what I would want you to know, if you are in a spot where trust has been broken in your relationship. And you're looking to repair it like you know, you deserve more, you know, your partner deserves more, you know, you're not living the life that you have, and that the life that you want the life that you deserve, that they deserve, and you're ready to do something about it. That is the process.

Josh 43:26
But there's there's two things I absolutely want you to know, and take away from this. And the first is it is possible to repair the trust in your relationship, so long as you're in any place at all, where both of you're still willing to give that a chance and to work to repair it and to be open and vulnerable to make that happen. And to do the work. It can be done. And this is incredibly hazardous and you don't get very many shots. And sometimes you don't get more than one to do this the right way. And so I would encourage you, like if this is you, and this is where you're looking and you're looking to repair trust, like do not go that alone. Find an expert, find a mentor, find somebody to guide you through that process, to provide that outside support to provide the outside accountability, to help build the courage to help navigate the rough patches and the conversation to help you remove, identify and remove those places in the relationship that are standing in the way of trust. Because again, while while the decision is easy, the rest of the steps are not and this is not something that you get to try again and again and again. Right. So find somebody was amazing at helping people solve this problem and get help. And if you do that, trust absolutely can be repaired. Okay.

Josh 44:59
Now If you would like our help with that, you want to know how we do that for our clients or even maybe if you're even wondering like, if trust can be repaired in your relationship, I talk to a lot of people who aren't sure. And you're in a spot where you want, like an expert opinion on that. Feel free to reach out happy to chat happy to help like, This is who we are, this is what we do. And, you know, happy to support you in that way and figuring out what has to happen to turn things around. And if it can be, right.

Josh 45:26
So if you want to chat, just go to it will take you to our calendar page, pick a time, grab it up, it'll book you with me or Cassie or somebody on our team. Right? Go ahead, there's a little application give us an idea of what's going on in the relationship where trust has been broken, you know what the challenges are, and then we'll get on with you at the time that you picked. And we will go through and nail down like I said exactly what has been broken, what the impact is that it's having, you know, if people are willing to fix it, if it's possible, then what steps need to be taken to get back to a spot where there's love, where there's trust, where they're security, and then where there's the connection and the happiness that comes along with that. Okay, so absolutely here for you, like I said,, and we will 100% help you out with that and serve you. Alright, so Cassie should be on with me here the next time. So looking forward to chatting with you. And until then take care.

Josh 46:25
Thanks for tuning into today's show, we release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 46:32
If you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us. Here's what I want you to do next, head over to and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour. And we'll get you crystal clear on three things. What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like and a step by step plan to close the gap and save your family even if nothing has worked before.

Josh 46:59
We talk with hundreds of non monogamous folks like you every year. And here's the truth, building loving, thriving relationships that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you're building relationships outside the box, that's impossible to find and we get it. But that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world, save their families get the passion back and become best friends again.

Cassie 47:23
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to I'm Cassie.

Josh 47:31
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon