Jennifer Thomas is a bestselling author, psychologist, speaker, consultant & apology critic

Fruit from Our Book

A fan just gave me permission to post her letter about improving her bond with her adult son.  Enjoy!

“A few years ago, I was flying home from Colorado.  My flight was delayed and I thought I’d pick up a book at the airport:  Would you believe? “The Five Languages of Apology.”  As I began getting into it, I thought: this would be great for the “forgiveness service” for the Marriage Encounter weekend.   The more I read I began to think:  hey, this is good stuff- maybe we can present it to the “Marriage: God’s Love Made Visible” Committee for a topic to present. When I read the section on “Apologizing to your adult children,”   tears came flowing down my face.  Now, I know why God allowed me to pick up this book – IT WAS FOR ME!  It was for me to apologize to our son. I couldn’t wait to get home and share this with my husband about what I felt led to do. You see, we had to ask our son to leave our home at the age 19, because of his very rebellious & disrespectful behavior.  It was the most difficult thing we ever did.  We don’t think our son understood, at the time, how much we loved him, but couldn’t allow him to go on in these destructive behaviors.  Our son moved across country.  There was a “tension” in our relationship.  This went on for years. After reading the book, I now realized that I had to take responsibility for my part as his Mom. I realized that many times I overreacted and did not act in unity with Rich (my husband) and caused more division.   So I called our son – he is now 35 years old – and sincerely apologized to him.  I let him how hard it must have been for him in those years, trying to be independent and figure out what HE wanted.  He was having a most difficult time in his senior year with a soccer coach that constantly berated him.  I asked our son if he would please forgive me for any pain that I caused him.   He said, “yeh, but I really messed up.”  I said, yeh, but I was the parent.  He was very receptive.  Then he said “but Mom, didn’t I turn out well!?”   You surely did, I said, and then we both laughed.  It was a most healing experience for me!  We now have a very loving relationship.  The apology had a huge impact! P.S.  After my husband read the book, he wrote a letter of apology to our son, which was well received.  My husband also sincerely apologized to me for not being there for us when we needed him.”

Have you seen a phone call or letter make a difference in a relationship?


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