“Rupture/Repair”

This past week I read the book pictured above and learned something that challenged most of my approaches to interpersonal conflict. I am “conflict averse” as in I hate disagreements between me and those close to me. I have developed lots of ways to avoid arguments, believing that nothing good could come from them. Somehow in my mind I carried the idea that two people, whether spouses, friends or adult child and parent should always be in tune with each other and that failure to do that was a sign of trouble.

Ed Tronick, the researcher author of the book(helped greatly by the easy prose of his co-author Claudia Gold) put the lie to all that. Many years of study of mothers and infants, couples, and parents and children have demonstrated conclusively that we grow from the times we are out of tune with each other. However–and this is a big however– that only happens if after the rupture(falling out) in the relationship, the connection is repaired. When two people can successfully get through the mess of disconnection(rupture) back to the harmony of connection(repair) the relationship grows.

Clearly I had lacked experiences of repair when I was growing up, as do many people. Often the “my way or the highway” style of parenting or unresolved fighting of parents suggests that ruptures cannot be repaired. Who would want to experience ruptures with no hope of repair? Not me, that’s for sure.

Now with this new and encouraging understanding, I am most intrigued to try out this new behavior. I am in safe relationships, and I can practice trusting that ruptures can be repaired. For any readers who share my challenge with disagreements, I wholeheartedly recommend the book.

22 thoughts on ““Rupture/Repair”

  1. When my parents stopped geting on, my dad moved out, and remarried.
    On two occasions, I followed his example, preumably thinking that as what you had to do.
    Now in my third marriage, I have learned to overcome adversity and tolerate differences of opinion by compromising. But I still understand that’s not something everyone can do.
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  2. I would like to read this book. I have believed this about the benefits of conflict because my husband encourages it, but I still struggle with my fears of being misunderstood, disliked and rejected, though I have experienced some good resolutions and know it adds a richness to the relationship. Thanks for sharing about this book.

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  3. I’ve found that conflicts caused by misunderstanding what you or the other person said or meant can usually be resolved by talking it over (assuming maturity and a willingness to do so by both parties). Unfortunately, maturity seems to be in short supply in many relationships — and by maturity, I don’t mean just young people. Too many of us never ‘grow up’ (exhibit #1, the guy in the White House).

    Sadly it’s always been that way, and probably always will be.

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  4. Yes, “we grow from the times we are out of tune with each other. However–and this is a big however– that only happens if after the rupture(falling out) in the relationship, the connection is repaired”…..very true. I have worked with one or two people in the past who gave me good counsel, and later on in my working career I was told I was wise….I do try to look at situations from both sides, and to be reasonable. Tricky if one side isn’t willing to talk things through, and I totally agree with mistermuses point about exhibit #1

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  5. This looks like a very interesting book. While I am the same way, it seems how I got there was quite the opposite. I grew up with no conflict. Zero. After I left the nest, I was always upset by any fighting or arguing among others. I became the peacemaker, feeling it was my duty to settle the waters. That really doesn’t work.

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  6. I remembered a preaching by a teacher in my school days, when I read this. She said, any relationship is like a thread. If it breaks, then you can join it again by making a knot. Now few people say that the relationship will not be that smooth again, because of that knot, while others say that the thread is smaller and that relation is closer now. I like to believe in the latter though.
    Would love to read the book. Thanks for sharing.

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