Someone close to you, who should love you, hurt you instead. This person might be a parent, a sibling, a child, a friend, a partner, or a spouse. Whoever it is; where you once had trust, you now have fear. You were attracted; now, you are apprehensive. You had love, but now you have loathing. You don’t know what to do. Should you stay, or should you go? Put up with it, or give it right back to him? Retaliate or bury your feelings? If neither choice seems good, it’s because neither choice is good. You wish there was another way. Some way that affirmed your experience as a victim but didn’t leave you weak and vulnerable. A way that facilitated change and showed mercy, without opening you up to more disappointment. Some way to be firm, but not rigid.
Luckily, there’s a way. The road out of here can be a long, long road, often not well marked, the choices are confusing, but there’s a way.
You’ve done something wrong. You hurt someone you love, someone who deserves better from you. This person might be a parent, a sibling, a child, a friend, a partner, or a spouse. Whoever it is; where you were once trusted, you’re now under suspicion. You were close, but now you’re distant. Loved, but now there’s disgust. You want to do better, but you don’t know how. You’ve apologized, maybe a hundred times, but can’t get past it. You know your action, even though it was wrong, was not the whole story. There were precipitating factors. It’s complicated, you’d like to explain, but you can’t talk about it without sounding like you’re making excuses. You wish there were another way between groveling and pride. You’d like to learn from your mistakes without losing your dignity and voice.
There’s a way for you, too; a way to repair what was damaged.
You’ve been caught in a cycle of injury and reprisal so long you don’t remember how it started. It was once a loving relationship with a parent, with a sibling, with a child, a friend, a partner, or a spouse. Now you don’t know what it is anymore. It’s a bait you must take, a trap you can’t escape. You’ve gone to years of therapy, dozens of marriage counselors, and read a shelf full of self-help books, but you can’t change. You’d like to, but it takes two and you both can’t seem to get it together at the same time. You wish there was another way, a way that was simple, clear, and direct.
I wish there was another way, too; but there’s not. There is no simple way. There’s not a way without some pitfalls, temptations, blind alleys, and complications. The road to reconciliation is not easy, but it’s easier than the way you’ve been going.
The Road to Reconciliation is a path towards healing and forgiveness for anyone in a relationship affected by selfishness, violence, abuse, addiction, or betrayal. It guides you on how to assess the damage done and recognize how you are blocking your own way to peace. It gives pragmatic advice on how to find safety, assert needs, apologize, make amends, and promote change. Take this path and you can grow old together with a bond made stronger by everything that happened and what you did about it.