How my family would make amends varies largely on the definition of Family. When I was married we used to use a virtual reset button.
Both my ex and I had short tempers. When we got upset with each other we would both say things we didn’t mean. That, in turn, could cause the silent treatment. Depending on what the disagreement was the length of not talking to each other could vary.
I began the idea of pushing the reset button. It was a way to reach out and nonverbally express love and a truce. Sadly it took a devastating illness for me to realize how irrational some of our disagreements. These worked both ways.
One, in particular, occurred shortly before she faced a life-threatening illness. On a warm summer night, we were having dinner outside on our patio. We grilled dinner but were boiling corn on the stove. I forgot to put the corn in the pot. She got extremely upset and was screaming at me. This was a common occurrence.
When she would become upset with me, she would scream, verbally abuse me and call me names. Some of those names included Hitler a moron and telling me I was like her father.
She didn’t often make amends to me through in-person apologize or do something nice to show me her love. If we use an unspoken apology as something that is done through something that is actually not said orally then did apologize to me through non-spoken words.
I would often receive an email the next day while she was at work apologizing and explaining why she acted the way she did. I remember the last night we ever spent together before her illness vividly.
I was going through some things in my personal life that were very difficult. I had a very down day. She had plans to go out with her mother and sister. I had to beg her to stay home. She went out with them anyways. I later found out her reason for leaving wasn’t what she initially told me.
When she returned home that night she crawled into bed after I was already there. She tried to seduce me. I was so upset she left that I pushed her away. She did eventually hold me in bed.
Some of the non-verbal ways I would try to make amends were by buying her flowers, chocolate or something else she would like from Trader Joe’s. Ultimately, it seemed like there were too many outside influences in our relationship that any amends were only temporary.
I could never compete with others in her life who should put on a much higher plane of importance than I was on. Her siblings, one sister in particular and friends ultimately were too much to overcome. Their dislike towards me and my family weighed down on her and caused us to split.