Expect an emotional reaction from the other person. Admitting that you betrayed someone is not going to make things easier immediately. On the contrary, you can expect an emotional outburst—yelling, crying, and so on—from the other person when she hears you admit your betrayal. But remember, the best way to move on is by putting it all into the open.
Apologize. This one should be obvious, but unfortunately, sometimes it gets overlooked. How you approach saying your apology will influence whether or not the apology is accepted and you both can move on.
Forgive yourself. When you violate someone’s trust, you may feel so regretful that you have a hard time forgiving yourself for the violation. While a repentant heart is an essential part of making up with the person you betrayed, you also need to accept and learn to forgive yourself after you put the effort into making amends.
Make your life transparent for the other person. Everybody wants to control personal information. But, for a little while, you may need to forfeit a portion of your privacy for the sake of the person trying to trust you again. By making your life transparent, the other person will be able to confirm with their own eyes that you are not in the midst of another betrayal.
Let the other person vent. Hard feelings are natural after any betrayal. The person who feels betrayed will need to vent their emotions and thoughts to heal. It might be unpleasant for you, but it is essential for the other person.
Keep your word going forward. Actions speak louder than words. Trust between two people means that you have to be dependable and consistent over a long period of time. You should make a promise to do better, but a promise or apology alone with only restore trust short-term. If you can’t be honest in the future, or cannot do all that you promise to do, the person you betrayed will be unable to accept that you have changed or that you are worthy of being trusted again.
Assess the situation. Before you can rebuild trust in someone after they betrayed you, you should first ask yourself if the relationship is one you want to salvage. Ask yourself:
Consider the person’s reaction to the situation. Do they seem genuinely sorry for hurting you, or sorry that they got caught? Are they willing to listen to you and make an effort to do better next time? Are they willing to accept blame?
Express your feelings. Let the person who betrayed you know just how deeply you were hurt by their actions. Most importantly, tell your betrayer exactly what it was that hurt you. Tell them what you need so that you will start trusting that person again.
Try to let go of your anger. Once you let out your anger, let it go. After you have discussed the betrayal, you need to let it stay in the past. Even if you feel sad or angry now, you won’t feel this way forever. Don’t bring it up in future arguments, especially if the other person has shown an effort to make amends for the action.
Adjust your expectations. Even if someone never wants to hurt you, no one will be able to give you exactly what you need, 100 percent of the time. Once you understand that you should not expect perfection, you can get a better idea of how much trust you actually can put in the other person.
Give and receive love. You need to be willing to accept and love the person who betrayed you, and you also need to accept the love that person gives you in return. When your betrayer tries to express affection, accept that the acts of affection are the real thing. Try to accept an action that seems honest.