How Successful is Your Reconciliation? And Link Up

3 Signs of Reconciliation

There’s no easy answer to the question: What are the signs that reconciliation is not going to work? But …

I would like to offer you Leslie Vernick’s three essential ingredients to a thriving relationship as a guide for assessing how well your reconciliation {particularly in marriage} is going.

The first essential ingredient is …

Vernick defines mutuality as, “Both individuals contribute specific qualities essential for the care, maintenance, and repair of the relationship.”

So ask yourselves {you and your spouse} …
How well are we each being honest, caring, respectful, humble repentant and proactive to change in our relationship?

The second essential ingredient is …

This means both people give and both people receive in the relationship. “Power and responsibility are shared” according to Vernick.

Ask yourselves …

How balanced is the power and responsibility in our relationship? Is there one of us who is relegated to do all or most of what’s required to bring healing to the relationship? Or are we, for the most part, sharing responsibility as partners working toward the same goals?

The third and final essential ingredient is …

This means you’re allowed to “make choices, give input, and express your feelings without fearing you’ll be badgered, manipulated, and punished.” You can be yourself.

Ask yourselves …

How free do we feel to relate to one another as adults? If you feel more like a child or a parent with your spouse, then this area will need to be given further time and attention.

Remember that each of the questions above must also be asked with the help of your godly mentors/accountability partners. {Yes, accountability is essential to both parties in the reconciliation process and not just for the “boundary-buster!”}

Your accountability partners will help you to be courageous enough to address any troubling issues that remain, as well as, helping you to see past your feelings to the true condition of your reconciliation and relationship. *

When all is said and done, months and even years into a reconciliation process, you should be able to accurately assess the health of your relationship. If you still waver or are confused, then you probably need to recommit to further healing measures.

And prepare yourself for the possibility that your reconciliation effort may not work. This could be due to one partner never being fully invested in the process or both of you recognizing that the problems go too deep. Reconciliation is not for the faint of heart!

Whatever your outcome or decision, don’t grow weary in pursuing health and grounding your faith and life in Christ!


What are some important changes you want to see during the reconciliation process?


What’s made evaluation of the success of your reconciliation confusing or unclear, and how have you dealt with that?


I hope you’ll check out Leslie’s book, The Emotionally Destructive Marriage. It’s a great resource for understanding what a healthy and unhealthy marriage looks like, how to set boundaries with an emotionally destructive mate, and how to rely on God in the long hard struggle to forgive and potentially reconcile.

*You can read more about the role of accountability relationships in the previous post in this series, The Secret to Lasting Change.

Here’s a free printable – “Developing humility takes ...” from a previous post in this series, One Attitude Keeping Us from Reoffending.

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11 responses to “How Successful is Your Reconciliation? And Link Up”

  1. I’m glad I read this. These are truly good basis if the reconciliation really works!


  2. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser Avatar
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    There is one thing we need do for reconciliation to work, and that is best expressed by a description of the end of John Hersey’s novel “The War Lover”.

    The title character was a B-17 pilot stationed in WW2 England, who met his end in the Channel when his aeroplane, nicknamed “The Body”, was damaged and forced to land in the water.

    The crew escaped…but The War Lover, seeing his aeroplane sinking and having an almost Freudian connection with it, grabbed a propeller…and hung on for dear death.

    So often, we sabotage our reconciliations, by hanging onto some part of the conflict that excited us, animated us, and in its stress gave us a sense of meaning and purpose.

    What do we do when peace comes?

    Can we reconcile, or are we too addicted to the rush of the fight?


  3. […] Sharing With: Wedded Wednesday […]


  4. I believe openness and truth in each spouse must be visible. When this has happened, I believe reconciliation is imminent.


  5. Gaye @ CalmHealthySexy Avatar
    Gaye @ CalmHealthySexy

    Thanks Beth. Hope you’re having a good week.


  6. Ah, there it is again – the accountability factor! More great, practical applications here, Beth. Thank you!


  7. I believe that Leslie is a very wise woman. Knowing that accountability keeps us on the path to reconciliation will also remind us that this path ultimately leads us to God – our center. I am interested in hearing more about the freedom step that Leslie outlines. I imagine this could be a topic in and of itself. Blessings for a beautiful week, Beth!


  8. Thanks for the article. While I love my good relationship, having this spelled out can help me work on making my relationship better.


  9. Hi Beth, Hope you are well. Thank you for the link up and this great post. Healing and reconciliation and so powerful for families. It was great to see it first hand in April with my husband’s family.


  10. Thanks, dear friend, for sharing Leslie’s resources. She’s my go-to counselor for issues dealing with any kind of abuse. What an important difference she’s made … she delivers a huge wake-up call to churches and leaders who have turned a blind eye to emotional and verbal abuse. Appreciate your bringing her to the table!


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