It is not the broken heart that kills, but broken pride, Monseigneur.
The smoldering ash is still hot to the touch.
Months ago, or maybe even years ago, you burned a bridge. You damaged a Relationship by saying something harsh at the moment. Your anger got the best of you, and now you regret how everything played out.
What do you do to mend it back?
One of the things I’ve learned after getting out the matches myself a few times and torching a good relationship in a moment of frustration is that you can build it back. People are amazingly forgiving, especially if you take all of the right steps.
And Here are a few ideas to mend a Broken relationship.
Take Ownership of the Repair
It was my mistake
It was her mistake
It was our mistake
Who will make the first move?
One of the after effects of any Broken Relationship is the emergence of ego which acts as a wedge in between stalling any progress in a positive direction.
An ego may have good and bad parts, but one thing’s for certain:
The ego is a projection of how we want people to see us. Sometimes, we go out of our way to protect this projection, but this costs us because we often don’t allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
When attempting reconciliation, both your egos are just additional obstacles both of you have to bore through to make meaningful communication between your pure selves.
Your goal should be to take ownership of the repair process, remove barriers (both your egos) so that communication can be reestablished again.
Don’t Barge in with Lock, Stock, and Barrel.
The relationship has ended on a bad note and you can’t fix it back in a jiffy. There is no quick fix in matters of life.
The first way to start the healing process is to take small steps; baby steps. You cannot barge back into their lives and expect them to be responsive. After all, you may have been mulling this over for months, but they have almost certainly moved past you.
So, take the smallest steps back in their direction. If you unfriended each other on Facebook, start there. If it’s a working relationship, try LinkedIn. If you see each other around, be friendly, even if they’re cold. You don’t have to make any grand gestures yet; you are simply preparing the groundwork.
If you get back into the mix too soon before you’ve both had a chance to cool off, you risk experiencing a repeat episode of the same argument.
Time is your ally, so wait a while.
Lay down Clear Guidelines
Once your relationship is on the way towards recovery, it is time to lay down guidelines and follow them.
This is now a new and fragile relationship, even though you may have known each other for many years. You cannot fall back into the same routine that resulted in a burned bridge.
And one of the worst things that can be done at this stage is enquiring about the past.
Why is a tiny three-letter word that can cause more damage than good. When asking “Why?” you’re pretty much pinning them in a corner and making them feel trapped.
It’s like saying, “Explain yourself; you’re guilty!” They’ll get defensive, shut down, or stay silent.
The best way to avoid this is to simply lay down a few rules for the way ahead. “We will no longer talk about x, y, and z” or “please talk to me the second you see a concern” is a simple way to establish some boundaries. Have regular checkups, and make sure everything is going along smoothly.
Remember You need to respect those barriers now. Be friendly, open, accessible, and if it’s in a work environment, be professional.
Avoid trying to force Reciprocity
If they’re the perpetrator, don’t feel entitled to an apology, and don’t fish for feedback.
Expecting something brings your ego back into play. It may cause unnecessary tension and create false expectations that can hinder any improvement. Accept the situation for what it is even if it doesn’t make any sense at the moment. No one’s perfect in this world, and the last thing you want to do is stir the proverbial pot when trying to fix your relationship.
If you are lucky enough to start a dialog (these initial attempts can often lead to being blanked), then you have the chance to find out their side of the story.
And when that happens, you climb a mountain and reach the next level.
The positive thing coming out of breaking and fixing a relationship is that both of you know each of your boundaries once you have crossed them.
And both of you will never dare to play with fire again.
And if Nothing works………
Let Sleeping dogs lie.
You at least tried and failed. That is good enough.
This whole idea of restoring a relationship — in the end, it is good for you. You become a better person when you at least attempt to rebuild. You let go of bitterness and anger. You start seeing the truth. You understand that life is all about restoration.
This is all about creating peace. However, if after all that you’ve done it does not come to fruition, don’t despair. Know in your heart that you’ve taken the initiative and freed yourself from guilt.
And move on……beyond the past……
As Mary Kay Andrews has rightly said.
The best way to heal a broken heart, it turns out, is to find a way to move past the hurt.
About the author-:
Ravi Rajan is a global IT program manager based out of Mumbai, India. He is also an avid blogger, Haiku poetry writer, archaeology enthusiast, and history maniac. Connect with Ravi on LinkedIn, Medium and Twitter.
How to Mend a Broken Relationship was originally published in The Ascent on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.