How to Reset a Broken Relationship

Relationship rifts are unpleasant, but new research shows how to push reset.


Relationships inevitably involve disappointment and mistakes. In a close relationship, it is highly likely that, at some point or another, one partner will inadvertently offend the other, creating a rift that may seem unfixable. Even small lapses from good harmony can throw things off.
Perhaps you asked your partner to comment on the new prescription sunglasses you just bought, which are, by definition, not returnable. Instead of giving you the rave reviews you were hoping for, your partner comes up with a mocking critique that is unhelpful and insulting to your general level of taste and fashion. Deflated, you walk out the door and try to find a way to cheer yourself up, but the comment penetrates too deeply.
Even in relationships that are not necessarily “close,” there can be disappointments and failures. A healthcare provider fails to address your questions with respect and courtesy, or the customer support representative at the other end of the phone line gives you a snappy comeback to your request for service. You need what you’re trying to get from them, so how can you get over your feelings of betrayal?
The Nature of a Broken Relationship
A newly-published study by University of Toulouse’s Lars Meyer-Waarden and University Jean Moulin Lyon’s William Sabadie (2023) on service breakdowns in the hospitality industry provides an excellent model for understanding what goes on when some type of failure threatens a relationship. In the case of this industry, you can only imagine how many relationships can verge on the brink of destruction. Food is overcooked at restaurants, airline computer systems break down, and hotel rooms are untidy, just to name a few possibilities. Indeed, the authors noted, “because of the ‘people factor,’ service failures in the hospitality sector are inevitable.”
Thinking now about a “people failure” you’ve experienced, what could the company have done to bring you back into the fold? According to the French authors, it all depends on relationship quality (RQ) and strength. On the one hand, you may be more forgiving when you’re basically loyal to a given company or brand. However, countering this may be the greater sense of betrayal when a company you’ve supported for years or decades fails to deliver.
Bringing this back into the sphere of close interpersonal relationships, you can see where there can be useful parallels. It can be helpful to know what to ask for when your partner lets you down; just as useful is knowing what you can do when you’re the one who’s failed.
Testing a Model of Relationship Reparation
In their investigation of reparation efforts by hospitality companies, Meyer-Waarden and Sabadie contrasted offers of refunds vs. vouchers and apologies/offers delivered by phone or in writing. RQ served as the other predictive factor. These effects were contrasted with their impact on customer responses through a sense of perceived justice.
Drawing on past theory and research, the French researchers proposed that this sense of justice would be at the heart of a dismayed consumer’s feelings after being let down; in their words: “perceived justice explains how people react when faced with conflict-laden situations.” You expect, then, that people will treat you fairly, whether it’s your close partner or a service agent on the other end of the phone line. If a relationship is going to be repaired, that sense of justice must be restored.
RQ, in turn, was defined in this study in ways that are perfectly consistent with theories of close relationships; namely, that a relationship’s quality is higher when those involved in it feel satisfied, can trust each other, are committed, expect the relationship to continue, and are willing to invest in it. Like close relationships, too, individuals seek to express their needs and become attached to certain brands.
The authors tested their model by presenting online participants with a scenario in which they received poor service from a restaurant serving them on an important occasion. At “Chez Toni’s,” they had to wait for a table despite having a reservation, received cold meals, and were not treated well by their server. The experimental conditions varied by the length of the relationship (how many times they were told they had eaten there before), the amount of reparation, and the nature of the contact in which the restaurant manager offered the reparation.
To measure perceived justice, the research team asked participants to rate whether the restaurant's response was just, balanced, and appropriate. Measures of RQ included ratings of satisfaction, trust, and loyalty intention.
The findings supported the study's overall framework in that high RQ predicted the extent to which reparation efforts on the part of the restaurant worked to restore loyalty. Customers who valued their relationship with the restaurant, in general, were more forgiving. However, to ensure complete restoration of loyalty, they also had to perceive that the restaurant manager was willing to go through considerable effort to win them back. As the authors concluded, “It is only when complainants are treated with courtesy and respect through personal phone calls that distributive justice has a positive effect on justice perceptions.”
What’s Needed for Relationship Reparation to Work
From the French study, it is clear the sense of justice is fundamental to a good relationship. When your partner insults your taste, this violates your belief that your partner will treat you respectfully. As the findings suggest, whether you can get over this sense of violation depends on what your partner does next and whether it rises to the level of sufficiently recognizing the harm that’s been done. The apology, in other words, needs to fit the crime both in amount and intensity.
In the case of the sunglasses example, this may seem like a small offense in the larger scheme of things, and your partner may not even be aware of how much it’s hurt you. As the aggrieved party, it would therefore be important for you to communicate your feelings. After doing so, you might want to prepare yourself to accept the reparation your partner offers.
All of this can be reversed, as you might imagine, in case you caused the relationship rift. Being willing to listen to your partner’s feelings of injustice and then offering a sincere apology can help pave the way back to harmony.
To sum up, relationship rifts are unpleasant and inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent. Knowing how to restore justice can help you leave those rifts behind and strengthen your relationship’s bonds of loyalty and commitment.

reference:
psycholory today

link:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/fulfillment-at-any-age/202304/how-to-reset-a-broken-relationship
68 replies
  1. Arefeh akbarpur
    Arefeh akbarpur says:

    Sincerely apologizing and accepting our own part in the mistake that happened, and not stating the mistake of the other party while apologizing and trying to have a correct understanding of the situation and the other party, can always be effective in repairing a broken relationship, because with this behavior, the person feels security and being understood by others

    Reply
  2. Monir Vakili
    Monir Vakili says:

    In my opinion, emotional problems in relationships are natural and undeniable thing, but it is important that we can solve these challenges with patience and understanding of the other partner. Emotional challenges always arise in difficult situations and both partners should try to solve challenges.

    Reply
  3. Bahar aghamiri
    Bahar aghamiri says:

    In my opinion, in order to have a good relationship, you should be properly educated before entering into that relationship. I wish these issues were taught to teenagers in school.

    Reply
  4. ساناز سعادتی
    ساناز سعادتی says:

    Overcoming it comes down to being aware of your steps and being aware of your partner’s needs. Know what things move in one direction and know when they get lost in different directions.

    Reply
  5. mohammad parsa younesi
    mohammad parsa younesi says:

    I think that we should search for the solution in the past. teaching how to have a good relationship should be done in a age that dealing with this is easier.

    Reply
  6. ghazal moulayi poor
    ghazal moulayi poor says:

    A relationship is too broken to be fixed as soon as the trust is gone. Trust is key, and if you don’t trust, it cannot work. It turns into a battle of jealousy and control.

    Reply
  7. مبینا محمدزاده
    مبینا محمدزاده says:

    Hi master it was very useful i believe that silence is not good and We should never judge our partner without knowledge I agree with justice in the relationship.

    Reply
  8. Mobina Mohammadinia
    Mobina Mohammadinia says:

    AMG Woman 💜:
    Hello, the lover is fragile and has a thin heart. He is sensitive and very sensitive to every behavior and speech of his lover
    If two lovers separated and left each other, they should raise their spirit of failure and take the path of forgiveness. Because a true lover never fails to forgive and never feels inferior

    Reply
  9. Fatemeh Ebrahimi
    Fatemeh Ebrahimi says:

    In my opinion, forgiveness is a difficult task, especially forgiving a person whom you love passionately, but in general, resetting a broken relationship is only possible under the supervision and with the help of a knowledgeable person such as a psychologist.

    Reply
  10. Fatemeh akbaripoor
    Fatemeh akbaripoor says:

    Forgiveness is one of the greatest blessings that makes the person who forgives at peace and helps to improve relationships a lot.

    Reply
  11. Rozhan Khajehvandi
    Rozhan Khajehvandi says:

    I don’t think rebuild a relationship that has been broken would be a good idea.
    Trying to forget about exes is the best thing that anyone can do.
    Still,Thanks for the best article ever.

    Reply
  12. Setayesh bolhari
    Setayesh bolhari says:

    no human being on earth can fully understand someone and behave the way . .When both parties have enough trust, commitment, love and loyalty to each other in the relationship, they complement each other and any unpleasant event that may cause problems in the relationship, both parties will try to improve the relationship and help each other. they forgive

    Reply
  13. parsa younesi
    parsa younesi says:

    love is first step after starting a relationship you should be commitment to their love beside respecting each other.

    Reply
  14. parsa younesi
    parsa younesi says:

    thank you for this functional topic. I havent thought about relationships in this way so far. definitely this will help me in my personal life and I learn so many things from this topic.

    Reply
  15. parsa
    parsa says:

    thank you for this functional topic. I havent thought about this topic in this way so far. it will help me and definitely I will use this topic in my personal life.

    Reply
  16. afsane.khosravi
    afsane.khosravi says:

    Adherence to certain principles is necessary to have a healthy relationship. Failure to comply with any of these principles can cause many problems in the relationship.

    Reply
  17. زهرا بابائی
    زهرا بابائی says:

    It is always said that the life of two people should be equal, like the bottom of the scale, so that both parties can enjoy life. Every little thing may have bad and negative effects. Being too self-sacrificing or too proud in a joint life will cause the relationship to be unbalanced and its consequences. that bad things happen

    Reply
  18. Fatemeh noorzadeh
    Fatemeh noorzadeh says:

    Hello Sir ,
    Well I think if you love someone and your are in a long relationship and your relationship is serious sometimes you should forgive. Sometimes you should fight and finally solve the problems.

    Reply
  19. Sevda_jafari
    Sevda_jafari says:

    Emotional relationships break down for various reasons. When you want to restart the broken relationship and you are looking for the best ways to return your love, you just remember that you said things that you regret now. In relationships that have failed or ended, one party feels neglected, but the other party does not realize this.

    Reply
  20. Zahra bahram
    Zahra bahram says:

    Breaking up has a very negative relationship for each party, and each person wants to be successful in their love life and has expectations from their partner, and when the partner acts against their expectations, it causes discomfort and harm to the person, which is restored to justice. . Relationship improves relationship

    Reply
  21. Alireza noche
    Alireza noche says:

    Respect is the first condition of a relationship, and if that respect is lost, the relationship will go away
    Our mistakes in the relationship cause problems that may be difficult to make amends
    To have a good relationship, we need to respect each other and avoid feelings that cause each other to upset.
    By identifying problems and solving them, we help maintain the relationship.

    Reply
  22. Atiyeh soleymanian memandi
    Atiyeh soleymanian memandi says:

    Identify what you feel are the main problems in the relationship. As you examine your role in the breakup, think about what problems there were in the relationship that were out of your control. Sometimes, you want to start a broken relationship again, but circumstances make it difficult to get your love back. It is important to think about these types of problems as well, problems like:work problems Location or distance problems Emotional or physical problems Financial Problems
    Sexual problems

    Reply
  23. Sahel nafary
    Sahel nafary says:

    In my opinion, no human being on earth can fully understand someone and behave the way he wants, in fact, it is the moral and behavioral differences between people in society and even in marital relationships that make the relationship and society last. .When both parties have enough trust, commitment, love and loyalty to each other in the relationship, they complement each other and any unpleasant event that may cause problems in the relationship, both parties will try to improve the relationship and help each other. they forgive

    Reply
  24. Razie nazari rad
    Razie nazari rad says:

    Being willing to listen to your partner’s feelings of injustice and then offering a sincere apology can help smooth the way back.and best pross is talk talk talk

    Reply
  25. Mohadeseh mohseni
    Mohadeseh mohseni says:

    to me Forgiveness is key to repairing a broken relationship. If people try to forgive each other it can be effective to

    Reply
  26. Mohadeseh mohseni
    Mohadeseh mohseni says:

    Forgiveness is key to repairing a broken relationship. If people try to forgive each other it can be effective to

    Reply
  27. Mohadeseh mohseni
    Mohadeseh mohseni says:

    in my opinion Before you can start to fix a broken relationship, you need to identify what went wrong. Take some time to reflect on what caused the rift between you and your partner.

    Reply
  28. Mobina Mokhtari
    Mobina Mokhtari says:

    Hello master,
    I agree with forgiving the person you’re in love with or you trust to him/her just like your example to a brand that you’ve supported for years. And as you mentioned, also the length of relationship is really important. And about repairing a relationship or about any other sides of relationship I completely agree with having the sense of justice. And generally apologizing is very very important, actually after you talked to your partner that you were hurt by him/her.

    Reply
  29. Mobina Mokhtari
    Mobina Mokhtari says:

    Hi master ,
    I agree with forgiving the person you’re in love with or you trust to him/her just like your example for a brand that you’ve supported for years. And as you mentioned, also the length of relationship is really important. And about repairing a relationship or about any other sides of relationship I completely agree with having the sense of justice. And generally apologizing is very very important, Actually after you talked to your partner that you were hurt by him/her.

    Reply
  30. Vafaii nasim
    Vafaii nasim says:

    When a relationship breaks down, it means that both sides of the relationship are involved in its breakdown, so it is not only one person’s fault that that one person can fix the relationship alone, but each of us can do our part in fixing the relationship. . If the other party does not make any effort, our efforts may not be fruitful. So, it is possible to build relationships that both people work hard for.

    Reply
  31. Afra samadiyan
    Afra samadiyan says:

    in my opinion,the important things in a relationship is paitnce.somtimes problems make you to do wrong thing and make it bad…but you have to try to make your relationship better and better.confidence is another thing that is very important….partner must have confidence too.

    Reply
  32. Hannaneh Ghalandari
    Hannaneh Ghalandari says:

    In my opinion, one of the reasons for the failure of a relationship is lack of communication, because communication is one of the most important parts of any successful relationship (and it is one of the most common reasons for a failed relationship). Numerous studies have cited communication as one of the main reasons couples go to therapy, as well as one of the biggest reasons they divorce or separate.

    How you communicate with your partner can be one of the biggest indicators of your life together. If you’re constantly treating each other with contempt, which is the opposite of respect, there’s probably something toxic in the relationship that’s destroying your connection.

    Reply
  33. Zahra Ahmadi
    Zahra Ahmadi says:

    It’s a little bit difficult to reset a relationship. But sometimes there are some reasons to reset a relationship. it is clear the sense of justice is fundamental to a good relationship. When your partner insults your taste, this violates your belief that your partner will treat you respectfully.

    Reply
  34. Mohadeseh khan mirzaie
    Mohadeseh khan mirzaie says:

    Hi
    in my idea The most important step to fixing a broken relationship is to acknowledge the issues that have caused the damage. This means having an open and honest conversation with your partner about what went wrong and taking responsibility for your role in the situation.

    By regard mohadeseh khan mirzaie from iranian uni

    Reply
  35. Davood galedari
    Davood galedari says:

    In my opinion, according to the mentioned content
    A relationship in which there is a feeling of satisfaction, commitment, and trust. In case of a challenge and a rift that can be compensated, the parties must inform each other and the gap can be repaired by paying compensation, which can be an apology, compensation, or appeasement. Obviously, a gap has been created. Until complete treatment, it will be more sensitive and vulnerable and sometimes irreversible

    Reply
  36. Mobina Abdollahi
    Mobina Abdollahi says:

    Fixing damaged relashionships is a daunting and time-consuming task that requires seeking help from psychologists.

    Reply
  37. Azadeh shokri
    Azadeh shokri says:

    Hello Master
    I think the failed relationship between each other and the soreness may be improved
    and be can see the other side of the other side

    Reply
  38. Marzieh Hezbi
    Marzieh Hezbi says:

    It is an interesting and efficient article, the topic of justice in romantic relationship and its non-observance is extremely important.

    Reply
  39. Marzieh Hezbi
    Marzieh Hezbi says:

    Justice in the relationship is really important! We should never judge our partner without knowledge, we should both try to maintain the relationship…

    Reply
  40. Marzieh Hezbi
    Marzieh Hezbi says:

    There is no point in depression and shedding tears, I wish we could start treating our souls sooner!

    Reply
  41. Marzieh Hezbi
    Marzieh Hezbi says:

    Hello, I am Marzieh Hezbi from Iranian University, dear professor, it is really unfortunate that in a broken relationship, one party is very sad and the other party does not care about him. I wish some people would realize the value of their existence…

    Reply
  42. Atena soleimani
    Atena soleimani says:

    I think this article was great, always a great relationship has mutual attention and respect.

    Reply
  43. fatemeh sarhadi
    fatemeh sarhadi says:

    It was great, professor. In my opinion, the condition of a good relationship is mutual attention and respect

    Reply
  44. chenarani
    chenarani says:

    It was an interesting article, but to understand it, you need to read it several times. Although it is a very common topic, it does not seem simple. I completely agree with the part that small mistakes can create a deep gap. In my opinion, the closer the person is, the more intimate the gap. It is created because we expect more from him, but in social relations, we get over this issue a little easier, because the widespread everyday problems have taken the patience and tolerance of many people, and we understand this, but we still expect a fair and respectful behavior.

    Reply
  45. chenarani
    chenarani says:

    It was an interesting article, but to understand it, you need to read it several times. Although it is a very common topic, it does not seem simple. I completely agree with the part that small mistakes can create a deep gap. In my opinion, the closer the person is, the more intimate the gap. It is created because we expect more from him, but in social relations, we get over this issue a little easier, because the widespread everyday problems have taken the patience and tolerance of many people, and we understand this, but we still expect a fair and respectful behavior.I always thought that iq is the most important indicator of human intelligence, but after reading this article, my opinion changed. I think that eq is an important tool for recognizing and controlling emotions and using them in the path of progress and success in mental health and improving the quality of life. and in today’s world where human and social relations are very important, it is a factor to achieve achievement and success.

    Reply
  46. Marzieh Hezbi
    Marzieh Hezbi says:

    unfortunately, some pepole have too much pride in their relationship, and despite their great interest in their partner, sometimes they are too proud, and this causes coldness and distance between them.

    Reply
    • Dorsa dehghani fard
      Dorsa dehghani fard says:

      Dorsa dehghani fard
      Disappointment and failure can exist in both close and non-close relationships.
      (Perceived justice describes how people react when confronted)
      If a relationship is to be restored, a sense of justice must return.
      The quality of the relationship is higher when the people involved feel satisfied and can trust each other and are patient and expect the relationship to continue and are willing to invest in it.
      A sense of fairness is fundamental to a good relationship.
      An apology should be proportionate both in terms of amount and offense and express the feelings of the injured party.
      In short, an emotional gap is not necessarily permanent and can be resolved and strengthen the bonds of loyalty and commitment in your relationship.

      Reply
  47. Marzieh Hezbi
    Marzieh Hezbi says:

    i am Marzieh Hezbi from iranian univesity.
    it was very interesting, i believe that silence is not good and everyone should express their opinions in the relationship, and of course we should not be right, it is good to understand him as well.

    Reply
  48. Sanaz Saadati
    Sanaz Saadati says:

    In troubled relationships, the trust and confidence that form the solid foundations of a relationship are lost. It takes time to repair these relationships.

    With the passage of time, the intensity of anger and excitement of both parties, especially the injured party, will decrease and he can make his decision. In these relationships, you can’t expect a quick end to the problem from an injury, and both parties must give time.

    Reply
  49. Fatemeh khorsand fard
    Fatemeh khorsand fard says:

    Hello teacher, good time
    The article was very meaningful. In fact, it is true that justice is the main foundation of relationships. But in my opinion, in order to have a strong and continuous relationship, you should have mutual respect and trust and avoid creating unpleasant feelings towards the other party in the long term.

    Reply
  50. Nazila Farajzade
    Nazila Farajzade says:

    hi
    i think when you are in relationship , the best thing you can do is express your feelings and talk about it together.it can help you to know each other very well.

    Reply
  51. Hasti Razzazchian
    Hasti Razzazchian says:

    It was such a great article.
    I do agree with the justice that was mentioned in the article as a base foundation of relationship, but I think what makes a relationship strong and continuous is mutual respect, care, resolving issue once arise and do not letting the bad feeling goes along the relationship and creating an inevitable bigger damage in future

    Reply
  52. leila asghari asl
    leila asghari asl says:

    Hi teacher, it was very useful. I used to keep silent when my heart was broken in my romantic relationship, and this caused a lot of damage to me and my relationship. And without tension, it is very effective for solving problems
    leila asghari asl.iranian university

    Reply
  53. Zahra choopanbishe
    Zahra choopanbishe says:

    Hi Professor
    My impression of this article was this
    If mutual respect, equality and justice are not implemented in a relationship, the collapse of that relationship is inevitable

    Reply
  54. Kobra bazdar
    Kobra bazdar says:

    in my idea, relationship is so complicated…we should try to understand it and think about how this word means.it is not a easy thing…. being in a relationship means that you must comprehend another person with different personality….we should understand it and being ready for everything in a relationship….and this article was so helpful for me because the meaning of relationship is so sensitive and many articles don’t talk about details and important things.

    Reply
  55. Fatemeh Ebrahimi
    Fatemeh Ebrahimi says:

    It was a very good article and I agree with justice in the relationship. In my opinion, the foundations of a healthy relationship are formed by respect for justice.

    Reply
  56. Maryam farajkhah
    Maryam farajkhah says:

    Hi professor respect is always the first word in any relationship especially in the relationship between couples respect is much more important even words need care the habit of speaking badly can be harmful if each of the couples is fair enough responsible and respects there right if they respect each other problems will be minimized

    Reply
  57. Marzieh
    Marzieh says:

    Thank you, there were insightful and practical points in this article, I particularly appreciated the emphasis on communication and the importance of confessing to one’s mistakes.

    Reply
  58. Shirin farrokh
    Shirin farrokh says:

    Words and sentences play a big role in marital relations. Some husbands and wives, regardless of the weight and size of the words they use, with their own hands drag their life together into the abyss of destruction. Pay attention to these sentences; “It’s always the same, you can never be right. you messed up The way you talk is embarrassing.” Are you not familiar with this sentence? Some of us use sentences without knowing it, which sometimes act more and sharper than a knife and cut the root of our relationship. Words and sentences that insult and disrespect our partner and destroy our spouse’s self-confidenc

    Reply
  59. Masoumeh Ashoury
    Masoumeh Ashoury says:

    In my opinion, problems sometimes arise in all relationships that make the relationship fail and discourage both parties. In such cases, we should give each other time, talk to each other, put ourselves in their spouse’s place. Let’s face it, both sides should give each other enough time to calm down and make a decision, take responsibility for our mistake, it is important to increase self-confidence to solve the problem. People who have high self-confidence and self-esteem can deal with problems better. Let’s forgive each other, if your relationship is facing problems, put away negative thoughts for an hour and review the past memories of your love. Pay deeply.

    Reply
  60. Masoumeh Ashoury
    Masoumeh Ashoury says:

    Hello. My take from this article is: “Relationship splits are unpleasant and inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent. According to French studies, what is needed to make amends in a relationship is a sense of justice. Being willing to listen to your partner’s sense of injustice and then sincerely apologizing can help pave the way back. Knowing how to restore justice can help you. Slow down to bridge these gaps and strengthen the bonds of loyalty and commitment in your relationship.

    Reply
  61. Masoumeh Ashoury
    Masoumeh Ashoury says:

    Hello. My take from this article is: “Relationship splits are unpleasant and inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent. According to French studies, what is needed to make amends in a relationship is a sense of justice. Being willing to listen to your partner’s sense of injustice and then sincerely apologizing can help pave the way back. Knowing how to restore justice can help you. slow to bridge these gaps and strengthen the bonds of loyalty and commitment in your relationship.”

    Reply
  62. Masoumeh Ashoury
    Masoumeh Ashoury says:

    Being willing to listen to your partner’s feelings of injustice and then offering a sincere apology can help smooth the way back.
    In short, relationship breaks are unpleasant and inevitable, but they don’t have to be permanent. Knowing how to restore justice can help you bridge these gaps and strengthen the bonds of loyalty and commitment in your relationship.

    Reply
  63. Farzaneh jornabian
    Farzaneh jornabian says:

    The first step in solving any problem we have is acceptance. This issue is twofold in solving our relationship problems. When we commit to love someone, it must be absolutely without exception

    Reply

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