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Repairing Broken Relationships

Updated on June 12, 2015

Repairing Broken Relationships

Relationships are fragile and can be broken over trivial and minor issues if care isn't taken to protect them. And once broken, they can be very difficult to mend. The reasons can be many and varied.

To resolve an issue, understanding the reasons is important. Without knowing the root cause, reconciliation can't occur. We must analyze each stage of a relationship and find out what went wrong. Once the reasons are realized, a solution may be found.

Most issues can be resolved through communication. It is frequently a small misunderstanding at the root of a problem. Communication means conveying the facts truthfully and offering support where needed. Being able to forgive will become a key factor in repairing a broken relationship. Communication should be creative rather than critical.

Mending a Broken Relationship

One of the most difficult things in life is breaking a relationship with someone, especially if the parties involved were close. Once a relationship ends it can be hard to restore it to its former status. The closer you are with someone, the more intense the pain will be in a breakup. The good news is, relationships can be restored if those involved are willing to participate in the process of healing, although it may take time.

Obstacles to Overcome

Before repairing a relationship can begin, we need to consider what keeps reconciliation from happening in the first place. Most therapists agree the most common obstacle is pride. Many find taking responsibility for their actions hard because of their pride. Pride is usually at the center of a problem and is what keeps people apart. Our foolish pride keeps us from humbling ourselves and admitting we are partly or fully responsible. And most find the longer they wait, the harder it is to resolve the situation.

Another problem hindering the healing process is listening to perhaps well-meaning, but misinformed, friends and others giving bad advice. When listening to others we should take their advice with a grain of salt and use discernment. Along this line of reasoning, we should be aware some relationships aren't healthy to begin with and should be ended.

We should also realize, although we might be willing to restore a relationship, the other party might not be. In this case we should be patient and give them time to reconsider their decision.

Repairing Relationships

It's surprising how many don't recognize a broken relationship. Often there is an overlooked common denominator. Those who continually tend to have relationship problems, should take a close look at themselves to see if they might possibly be the source of the problem.

In these instances, humility is a must if a relationship is to be restored. It takes courage and humility for someone to admit they are wrong. The rewards, however, are much greater if they do. Even if they aren't responsible, steps must still be taken in order to reconcile. It's important not to wait on others to admit they were wrong.

It's been said, patience, is a virtue. Relationships usually don't end overnight, so they shouldn't be expected to be restored overnight. Time must be taken for each to think things through and begin the healing process. Patience is especially necessary if others fail to participate. Pushing them will only serve to drive them further away. Give them room to figure things out on their own.

Honesty is also an important and necessary aspect to healing. We should expect for each to place blame on others, it's part of human nature. However, it's uncommon when only one is at fault. Usually both parties are to blame. We must be completely open and honest. Genuinely seeking forgiveness and a hope to solve the issues are what bring healing. Don't let yourself get side tracked by non-issues or allow bitterness take root.

As humans we are prone to making mistakes, and should forgive others as we want to be forgiven. It should be noted, forgiveness isn't the same as forgetting. It's impossible to completely forget something happened. We may choose not to dwell on certain thoughts, but they are still there simmering in the background.

To truly forgive means we must restore the bonds of love and communion. Sin destroys our relationship with God and others. When these bonds are broken we tend to categorize others in terms of their transgression against us. The longer we hold on to our anger, the more deeply it becomes rooted in our heart. Resentment will destroy us without forgiveness.

Forgiveness means overlooking sins and transgressions, laying aside our judgments of others, and accepting them for who they are.


If we truly forgive someone, we need to be open to reconciliation. Reconciliation is forgiveness in action. But it's important to remember forgiveness is only consummated in reconciliation. God forgives us, therefore we must forgive each other. There is a sacred bond of love in friendship, therefore, we must strive to preserve that bond. Forgiveness is hard because it makes us examine ourselves and our judgments of others.

Many of us carry old wounds, even those caused during childhood. For example, we tend to project our issues with our parents onto those we develop relationships with. When we transfer these unresolved issues onto others, they can destroy our current relationships.

If someone we know constantly irritates us, it's as much our problem as there’s The other person may be accountable for their sins, but we are responsible for ours. We have to let go of our resentments toward others, especially those closest to us. If we admit our own shortcomings, how can we judge others for their faults?

How do we cultivate a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation? We can cultivate a spirit of forgiveness by “never allowing the sun to go down on our anger.” If we allow resentments to take root, it's our sin.

We might refuse to forgive because we feel justified in our resentment and bitterness. We blame and criticize others, blinding ourselves to our own faults. Harboring bitterness is unadulterated pride and conceit.

However, sometimes people might refuse to receive our forgiveness. This is nothing more than pride and conceit. If someone doesn't want to be forgiven it's usually because they can't forgive themselves. We cannot accept love when we hate ourselves.

Humility doesn't mean kowtowing to others. Rather, it is being starkly honest with oneself and others. We must speak the truth in love. We can address offenses, but if there is no sincerity in our speech and attitude, there is no truth. Lack of forgiveness is at the core of most of our battles.

Real reconciliation means complete acceptance of one another, despite sins, and transgressions. There will always be sins and offenses, but we must not allow ourselves to criticize and judge one another.


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