Can normalcy be restored in relationships especially romantic ones where we have treated people badly or where we have been treated badly? Can time or prayers heal the cracked relationships completely or should we consider a divine purpose behind those bitterness and leave things as they are?
—Rusha Verma, UK
Yes — normalcy can be restored, but the journey may not be easy. At the heart of any relationship is the past karma (good or bad) and the current spiritual maturity of the two individuals. We have seen relationships and marriages healed by prayer and right action.
I was intrigued years ago to read about a marriage counselor who had noted success helping couples on the verge of divorce. She said that healing was possible if both of the individuals were able to say, “I am truly sorry” for whatever was their part of the problem. Her sessions were designed to help the couple feel safe enough to do that. Most people find it very difficult to make a sincere apology, from the heart. Instead they may feel a need to say, ‘Well — I am sorry, but…” and the apology turns into a defense of their actions in some way or another…
Similarly, another famous marriage counselor, John Gottman, made an interesting discovery about healing severely distressed marriages. He would ask such couples to tell the story of how they met, and if each partner could tell the story of their meeting, and courtship, with a recollection of the love that had started then, the marriage could be healed, for original spark was still there, though hidden. But if one or both partners had begun to “rewrite history” even of the courtship phase with negativity, he said that was the final death blow.
So, if a couple can see each other with empathy and understanding, and if both resolve to heal and improve the marriage, there is hope. Healing prayers can be very helpful in healing any family relationship.
If you feel you have injured the other person, please do what you can to make amends, for that will heal some of the pain you have caused, but please know the partner may not want you back, if the injury was severe. Respect that.
Only you know what is at stake in the relationship you are asking about. Sometimes people hurt those who are most precious to their souls, and deep prayer should be used to heal those relationships.
These prayers and resources can be helpful to you now:
- Love Perfected, Life Divine: A Novel, by Swami Kriyananda (not yet published — save for future reference).