As relationship therapists we are privileged to witness up close the makings of healthy and loving relationships. A main component of such healthy couples is reparation, our capacity to repair with one another. When our needs are being met our ability to recognize and give thanks acknowledges our partner efforts. When an injury takes place, we need our partner to acknowledge that hurt, take responsibility for their part in our pain and ask for forgiveness and make amends. This requires the partner to acknowledge their impact on us and express genuine regret.
Often when the injury is traumatic such as trust violations the process of reparation takes time and repetition. The partner will need to tolerate hearing the pain they have caused as part of the process of rebuilding trust, making amends and healing the hurt. reparation includes an honest warm receptiveness of the other after all part of being human is to make mistakes and even in the best of relationships we all make mistakes and hurt our loved ones. when healing from injuries of trust the warm receptiveness has gone cold and anger will need to be heard before we can grow close again. there are many barriers for reparation and theses can be explored in therapy and worked through.
When couple's struggle to accept reparation, rejection takes place and distance and disconnection becomes the norm. Forgiveness cannot be demanded, when it becomes a demand or an obligation deprived of free choice it becomes empty of meaning, a feeling that is clear and felt immediately and damaging.
True forgiveness comes from a place of love for self and others while the fake -obligatory forgiveness creates fear and hurt. When we find ourselves forgiving and forgiven and we express out thanks and gratitude our relationship grows. The path to forgiveness and reparation goes through direct voicing of needs without guilt and blame, a skill you can begin mastering in therapy with the help of your relationship therapist.