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Is It Possible to Rebuild a Burnt Bridge?

In a perfect world, every relationship that you had would thrive, and everyone would get along. However, that does not always happen. You may have heard a popular saying, “Don’t burn bridges.” Regardless of status within your life, you may have been faced with a burnt bridge or two. Don’t fret; you can rebuild a burnt bridge.

Restoring the bridge takes time and consistency. You have to believe that the burnt bridge is worth repairing and also take into consideration that the other person involved may not feel the same way as you. In this article, you will learn several helpful tips on how to rebuild burnt bridges through individual therapy and healthy coping skills.

What Is a Burnt Bridge?

Burnt bridges are referred to as the act of completing an action that forces you not to be able to return to a previous situation or relationship. Many people within recovery struggle with the idea of burnt bridges due to actions committed during active addiction. For example, you may have stolen money from someone or a relative. Perhaps guilt overwhelms you and prevents you from acknowledging their birthday or holidays.

Acknowledge Your Expectations

Exploring what you expect from trying to repair a burnt bridge is essential for understanding reconciliation. It is easy to practice forgiveness as it only takes one person. Reconciliation takes two people to agree on the same goal mutually. You may want to process your ideas as to what this burnt bridge will look like once it is repaired. Ask yourself if your expectations are realistic.

One thing that you do not want to do is set yourself up for failure with unrealistic expectations. Sometimes you may need to engage in talk therapy to explore your thought processes and aid in healthy expectations.

Don’t Let This Bridge Smolder

You cannot allow this to fester one second longer. If you have just burnt a bridge, try repairing immediately. You have to patch this bridge up before the crack gets larger. The longer you leave the burning bridge, the harder it is to repair. Sometimes, to repair what was damaged, you will be uncomfortable in identifying your vulnerabilities. This space can be uncomfortable; however, it is important for you to acknowledge your growth within the relationship.

Take Baby Steps to the Bridge

You have to remember to take small steps to the bridge of healing. This takes different amounts of time for different people. You cannot rush the healing process. Exploring the emotions and feelings that caused the burnt bridge is just as important as your expectations.

In this space, you are laying the groundwork to start the repair. For example, you may see this person at a family gathering. You could smile in their direction or hold the door. Don’t go above and beyond; let them know that you are around and being kind.

Be Sincere With Making the First Move

Making the first move can be difficult and awkward. You burnt the bridge, so it is your job to make the first move with sincerity. Understand that you need to put your pride down and acknowledge the person or practice a kind gesture. Remember to be sincere in your actions.

Don’t Assign Blame

Working through a burnt bridge is hard enough; do not assign blame to it. When you give blame a home, the relationship can be difficult to restore. No one likes to be blamed, even more so when you are repairing a burnt bridge. You cannot point the finger at someone else when you are in a state of repair. Sometimes you have to eat a piece of humble pie.

Say Your Sorry to Rebuild a Burnt Bridge

Apologize and mean it. When it comes to a burnt bridge, sorry can go miles and miles long. A simple word can mean so much. Using the word “sorry” acknowledges that you have done something wrong and are taking responsibility for your actions. The other person will appreciate it because you meant it.

Set Boundaries

There cannot be a repeat of what happened before. To eliminate the possibility, you need to set boundaries. The best way to do this is simple. Sit down and write out what your expectations are within this relationship. Discuss regular check-ins within where you are in the relationship and how you can improve.

Be Grateful for Burnt Bridges

In all things, be grateful. Having an attitude of gratitude can be life-changing. Remember that no one owes you anything when re-establishing burnt bridges. Consider this a brand-new relationship.  Even though you have known each other for many years, this is a new relationship. Be careful with this repair, as if the cement is not mixed with consistency, it will crack. And it may not be able to be repaired again.

Coming into a place where you know that you have burnt a bridge and want to attempt to repair it is a humbling place to be. Recognizing that you have struggled in the past and continuing to stay humble is an achievement. Showing others the growth and change within your recovery is evident while making amends. You have been waiting to repair several burnt bridges at the right time or in the right space. Now is the time. Do not wait another second before you fix the burnt bridges. At The Guest House, we value you and your vulnerability. Call us today at (855) 483-7800, so we can help guide you to build strong bridges.