Reassembling a broken relationship is a learned skill.
It is not something that comes naturally to most people. If it did, there would be far fewer broken relationships in the world.
Most of us were never taught how to do this. Many of us have never seen it modeled. We have all seen meaningful relationships that were damaged or destroyed over things that could be described as nothing short of ridiculous.
Most of us could tell stories about years of a relationship that we lost or we have seen lost over such petty things. If and when things finally do get resolved, we wonder secretly, if not aloud, why did it take so long?
Often, the reason these issues are allowed to linger is we wait on the other person to fix things, rather than taking the initiative to do our part to repair the relationship.
There is a reason we should take the initiative. We usually perceive ourselves as the better person in the relationship. You can tell you are the better person by listening to the way you tell the story about what happened to damage the relationship in the first place. If it is always their fault and never your fault, then you must be the better person.
Relational tensions are highly volatile because they are so emotional. We are afraid of how the other person will respond. We are uncertain how things might look or feel going forward. The situation sometimes seems helpless and hopeless. It is out of our control.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a situation where both people are committed to working things out, reconciliation can still be so difficult. But think about those situations where one or the other is unwilling to make this kind of commitment.
When it comes to fixing the relationship, we are often afraid to even go there because we don’t know where there is. As a result, we sometimes make excuses and stay in some sad and unfortunate places. What if the goal for a broken relationship is not reconciliation but instead no regret?
We cannot control if or when reconciliation will occur. That is not up to us. That requires the involvement and cooperation of another person. But I can make sure I will live with no regret when it comes to broken or strained relationships.
Make no mistake about it, we can and should work toward reconciliation. But what if we changed our perspective and focused on living with no regret in regard to these important relationships?