Ruptures are inevitable in relationships, and we should learn the skills used to repair them. You first need an agreement that each person matters and an openness to communication and doing things differently. According to Psychology Today connection, belonging, and the art of repair are sorely needed in our increasingly isolation and addiction-prone world.
All meaningful relationships have their hiccups. Understanding how to effectively navigate relationships when they feel challenging can significantly deepen our sense of connection in this cold world that can sometimes leave us feeling lonely. A rupture in a relationship is an opportunity for repair. In a new relationship, such a decision may or may not be of consequence, but if the relationship is meaningful severing ties can be severely damaging and destructive to one or both parties.
The process of repair is an art and skill through which one may develop deeper, more resilient, and/or more trusting relationships. Both parties must agree that the other person matters, that the bond between them matters even if the dynamics of the relationship need to change. A healthy relationship is an evolving relationship. Repair does not mean reverting to a former, outgrown way of relating.
Repair requires willingness to communicate openly, sometimes emotionally, sometimes in a way that looks and feels messy, revealing the vulnerabilities that we try so hard to avoid. The repair process may take more than one conversation. Ideally, with each conversation there is an increased capacity to hear the other person, to truly register their complaint. Repair requires the capacity to empathize with the other party as well as the capacity to acknowledge when one has behaved unkindly and unskillfully.
These may seem simple at face value, but each represents a potentially insurmountable obstacle to repair. For one's own personal growth and healing as well as for a stronger, healthier social fabric, it may be time to rethink our approach to challenging relationships.