We use the term repairs to talk about attempts to restore harmony and connection in a relationship when their has been some kind of rupture. Repairs include apologies and other gestures which indicate the attempt to move out of and soften things when a relarionship has got stuck in an attack-defend-stonewall pattern. To allow for a shift at least one partner needs to make a repair attempt and equally important is that this attempt is accepted by the other partner. John Gottman’s research has indicated that couples in relationships that work for the long term are not free of conflict, but one important resilience factor for them is that they are able to offer and receive repair attempts.

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