Rupture and Repair

woman in distress

“Rupture and repair.” Bloody, messy, takes-you-by-surprise trauma. A burst blood vessel, a tire blowout on a super highway or a fractured relationship – they all need to be fixed with an urgent plan of action or risk irreparable harm.

I’ve been told that experiencing “rupture and repair” is a sure-fire way to grow a relationship and form a stronger, closer bond. But to be honest, it terrifies me. What do you do if you haven’t had the good fortune of growing up in a home skilled in productive disagreements? If you haven’t spent your formative years living and breathing it? How do you master resolving conflict with your own children?

Some relationships seem to feed on its rupture; constant head-butting, arguing, and pointing fingers. Tensions are high; resolution, unsatisfactory or nonexistent. Other relationships don’t make waves; have no disagreements, no dissonance. No repair is necessary because on the surface, everything seems to be ok. Could these relationships lack the courage to go deeper, to be more honest and vulnerable?

Parents (and dare I say, humans), will always make mistakes. This, we know. But thinking about a possible unraveling makes me dizzy with distress. Childhood memories of cousins not showing up to a grandfather’s funeral, a life-changing Mother’s Day argument, a choke hold that extinguished trust. Added to that mix is the natural separation we face with our emerging adult children. Ripe with possibilities; tempered with nervousness. Learning how to “reset” each time we hit a snag can feel like a monumental challenge.

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