• Bretta Durham

Repairing Relationships-Recognition


Recognition sometimes requires us to look beyond the surface. This is not just a plant with red flowers, it is an herb (sage) which flowers in early fall that migrating hummingbirds recognize and feed on.


We all can miss things, especially at first glance, sometimes we do not readily recognize something. Mistakes in relationships also happen. Also, all of us have mistreated someone. There are times in our lives and in our relationships we also have failed unintentionally (but even sometimes intentionally) to see how our words and actions have affected others,


We can’t erase the past. We can learn from mistakes, recognize different, and we (personally) may also need to do more.


Yet, doing more does not necessarily mean we can just claim we messed up and all will be forgiven and forgotten. Mistakes and poor choices are exactly what those words mean.


Doing more may be better accomplished by owning mistakes and apologizing when opportunities arise. We can also attempt to “make amends” through transparency and recognition of someone else’s thoughts and feelings.


The phrase time heals all things may have some truth to it, but healing is still individually determined. When we hurt someone, through our words or by our actions, we do not get to “check the box” and decide when they should just get over it and move on.


Also, when someone has been hurt, acknowledging a wrong may initially be all we can do. People may forgive eventually and they also “heal” individually.


Apologizing, sometimes more than once, is a way to recognize hurt and mistakes that need to be worked through. We can also be sensitive toward someone who has been hurt.


Recognizing hurt by acknowledging wrongful behavior, often more than once, can also help others who are reconciling. We talk about things and through things so healing “together” can become a better reality.


In the course Loving others there is an exercise called Reconciling toward “normal”. This particular exercise gives couples the opportunity to recognize the past while working toward the future by:


Looking for truth

Seeing good

Understanding choices

Acknowledging feelings

Giving grace

Valuing the relationship


Recognizing various parts of reconciliation brings about more opportunities to heal together. Reconciliation happens over time and through continued efforts to work toward and reach a new normal.


Just because we “do well”, in regards to how we treat others, in a moment or even a short time period also does not mean everything in and about a relationship is good again.


"This is Us", humans who make mistakes, broken and healed can be good. No two relationships are the same. Recognizing hurt further shows our efforts of growing in love, striving to be better together.


The self-guided course book mentioned above, Loving Others, is available. Opening and reopening communication, evaluating priorities, learning how to love one another better, establishing or reestablishing who you are as a couple, and planning toward a better future together can be possible when two people are committed.


To learn more visit the website http://www.RealLifeRelationships.org on the site you can also find more information about the book Love Forever and the self-guided course books Loving Others, Loving Yourself, and Reconciling Through Love.