Are you settled in and ready? I’m sorry I can’t see all of you, so I hope you’ll let me know you’re out there. And here’s the first question for those of you who are willing to participate.

When was a time that you experienced reconciliation with someone – a friend, family member, co-worker, member of your worship family, person in your book study group, someone you bumped into on the street, or whoever I’ve missed?  If you are willing to describe the entire circumstance, that would be most welcome. If you’d rather keep that part secret, a report of what went down with the reconciliation and how you felt about it would be most welcome.

I’ll start out with Hallie and me and our adjacent back yards – a friendship that began when we were at the tricycle stage, or maybe even earlier. It ended when she died at the age of 70. We fought a lot – of course – usually ending with one or the other leaving the yard in anger, often determined never to have anything to do with each other ever again. As you might guess, we couldn’t sustain that for long, and one of us would break down first, shouting from our own yard, “C’mon over and play.” And that was that.

Most examples aren’t that simple. But how did it feel to me? It felt right! That awful sense of grief and tight anger was gone. Life was normal again.

So, what other kinds of answers might one get – more grown-up things?

I called my friend to say I was sorry, but she hung up on me. I tried several times until she decided to talk to me. We talked a lot. Finally, it was like we were back to normal.

Or: She continued to hang up on me. I felt sad to lose her, but relieved that I had done what seemed like the right thing.

I really wanted to tell him off! Better yet, I wanted to tell everybody else how awful he was, but my grandmother had taught my mother who taught me, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” I felt better about myself for avoiding doing the wrong thing, but still unhappy. So I sent him an e-mail asking him to apologize. He didn’t. So I got really mad and sent him one back telling him how awful he was. That didn’t help much. He just got even madder. We never did reconcile, and I never did feel good when we ran into each other.

My boss infuriated me, but she had the power, so I kept my mouth shut – well, sort of – I couldn’t help telling my friends and co-workers how awful she had been. Some of them sided with her. Some sided with me. There was no reconciliation and I finally left the job, because I couldn’t stand it.

When we were divorced, we were both so angry we even argued in front of people at the grocery store. Our friends didn’t know what to do – whom to stay with and whom to abandon. I finally decided to remember what I had loved about him, and to start telling stories of when the relationship was good. I don’t know how much good it did in influencing friends, but I felt a lot better about myself.

Or maybe:  It reached the point where we both started doing the same thing and our friends got more comfortable around us – even with the new spouses we eventually acquired.

Get the idea? Please share your story to help get the seminar off the ground.

(Of course, knowing me, you can expect I’ll be carrying on even if you don’t)







Posted January 5, 2019 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized

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  1. I wish there was evem a hope of reconciliation for me and a few family members. I came across this post and was anxious to read the stories of others and maybe find some healing and inspiration.

    • Maybe people will offer more stories if I stay on top of the project. In the meantime, the best I can offer you in stories is my “When to Forgive.” I think there are a few copies still available on Or there’s “Forgiving One Page at a Time.” Sadly, there are too many times when reconciliation cannot mean a coming together of the people involved — not when the “others” are firm in holding on to their anger or resentment or hurt, or whatever.

      • I hope that you do stay with the project and that there will be some participation. Thank you for sharing your insight! I will look for your books. 😊

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