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The X-Factors in Rebuilding Trust with a Loved One

“Busted, disgusted and couldn’t be trusted,” is the way most of us come into recovery. We learn, we grow up, make proper decisions and become the people we are always meant to be. Isn’t that nice? I want family members to hear this – sometimes you, as the family member, might have been busted, disgusted and couldn’t be trusted too. So I don’t want this to always be the only person that has lost trust in the family system is the person using drugs and alcohol. Because life is a little deeper than that.


There have been times in your life that unfortunately your trust has been violated, and here we talk about 2 crucial factors that are necessary for building long-term trust.

1. Patience is the X-Factor

Why is patience the X factor? Why is it the sneaky X factor is because the world lacks patience. There’s a reason why for thousands of years humankind has been saying patience is a virtue is because it’s not too common, very rare. We always want something to happen yesterday. If someone is not trusting you we want them to regain trust yesterday, if not at least today. I don’t know about that tomorrow thing or let alone the next year thing. What do you mean, you’re not going to trust me for a year?

The formula for rebuilding trust is the following:

Committed and consistent actions over time.

Committed and consistent actions over time, and the time part is very subjective. Someone might heal and forgive in three months, someone might not heal and forgive in three years. Does that mean that I stopped taking committed and consistent actions because their timeline doesn’t match mine? You can, if you want to let your pride and ego take place. If you want your pride and ego to take over, say “you know what, I took committed and consistent actions for the past year, you still don’t trust me, so you know what, I’m no longer taking those actions.” Who does that serve? It doesn’t serve you and trust me, it doesn’t serve that relationship. So when you understand the power of patience and understand the power that the rebuilding trust process is subjective and the time component for all parties is different then you might realize that this ain’t just about this moment, this is about the way I live my life. And something frees up. So patience, patience, patience, it is a virtue and I hope that you’re able to practice it, not just in the rebuilding trust part, but in all areas of your life. If you do, your life’s going to get significantly easier over time.

2. Show Empathy

Empathy is a really beautiful human characteristic and trait and it’s pretty much something that a lot of individuals that struggle with drugs and alcohol have a hard time in the early stages of their recovery, really being able to grasp and retain and here’s the reason why. Because if you suppress your emotions, if you suppress your sadness, your fear, your anger, through the use of substances, it’s very hard to tap into somebody else’s emotions of fear, sadness and anger. Because if you’re numb here, you’re going to feel numb there. So that’s why in the early stages of recovery people say they start to feel their feelings again, they start to feel what it’s like to have emotions, because they’re not numbing them, but it’s overwhelming. 


It’s tough but when you’re trying to rebuild trust with someone, this is a very important key, even if you don’t identify with the feelings that they have as a result of the breach of trust. It is important and vital and necessary and crucial to have empathy for that person and the emotional experience that they’re having. If they are feeling extreme sadness or extreme fear and you’re not feeling that you must be able to say, “I can accept and understand that you’re feeling really sad as a result of what I’ve done. I can accept and understand that you’re feeling terrified as a result of what I’ve done.” See, I don’t have to have that feeling myself but I must acknowledge that feeling in someone else and that’s empathy. 


A lot of times people say, “well they’re just over exaggerating, they’re taking it, they’re just being dramatic, they’re full of drama, they’re really not that sad, or they’re not that scared.” How do you know? Just because you’re not, so what does that mean? The whole world’s gonna have the same emotions you got? Is the world a mirror of your emotions? No, every human being is entitled to their emotions. When something happens in life they are entitled to have their emotions regarding that situation, and your emotions in Arizona have to match, and when it doesn’t match you must practice empathy. If you ever minimize the feelings and emotions of another human being because you don’t have them in that moment you said “I don’t care about rebuilding trust. Get over it, figure it out, move on, it’s not that big of a deal.” Really, maybe for you it isn’t, but what if it is for them? We’re not mind readers, man. When someone tells you they’re feeling something all we can do is just say “I can accept and understand that’s what you’re feeling. I’m sorry for my part,” in a sincere and genuine and heartfelt way. And then we do everything that I’m teaching today to get the ball going on the actions.

Call Buckeye Recovery Today!

Are you in recovery but not making progress? Recovery is not only possible but attainable, and it all begins with reaching out for assistance. By addressing both addiction and mental health issues, individuals can break free from the cycle of despair and embark on a path to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Contact Buckeye Recovery Network today and initiate your journey to recovery and improved mental health. Our dedicated team of professionals is here to guide and support you every step of the way.

Today is going to be the best day of your life.

Kelsey Gearhart

Director of Business Development

Kelsey carries multiple years of experience working in the substance abuse and mental health treatment field. Her passion for this field comes from her personally knowing recovery from addiction.

Prior to Buckeye she held titles of Recovery Coach, Operations Director, and Admissions Director. Kelsey was brought on at Buckeye Recovery as the Director of Business Development. She has a passion for ensuring every individual gets the help that they need, and does so by developing relationships with other providers.

Kelsey also oversees our women’s sober living environments – The Chadwick House for Women. She is committed to creating a safe, nurturing, and conducive environment for all women that walk through the doors of Chadwick.