Forgiveness is one thing; reconciliation another
Reconciliation with an offender is another matter. Restoring a broken relationship is dependent upon an offender’s acknowledgment of wrongdoing. When such an acknowledgment is made, if the relationship has been significantly violated, regaining trust and rebuilding relationship often take time.
An offender must demonstrate the sincerity of his confession by his attitudes and actions. If, after deeply betraying the relationship, he resents the need for time and demonstration, it may prove that his confession was not genuine. This kind of response will delay the process of restoration.
Sometimes an offender will try to manipulate the person he deeply offended by claiming that her hesitancy to “go back to things as normal” indicates her lack of forgiveness. This offender should be informed that he is confusing forgiveness with reconciliation. His manipulation must not be allowed to work. If the healing of a broken relationship is superficial, it will likely lead to another betrayal.
The depth and nature of a betrayal along with the response of the offender all effect the process and timing of reconciliation.