How To!

How To Repair a Broken Relationship Before It’s Too Late

Can a written apology end a decades-long family rift?

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Episode Notes

It’s painful for Barbara to think back on her son Ethan’s childhood. For years Ethan was caught between feuding parents until, one day, Ethan went to live with his dad and never came back. Barbara regrets not fighting harder for her son or at least communicating better. Now she wants to ask for a second chance before it’s too late—but isn’t sure how to go about it. On this episode of How To!, the second in a two-part series, we continue with Amy Baker, a developmental psychologist who specializes in restoring family connections between parents and adult children. Amy helps Barbara recall specific memories as she writes a letter of amends, paragraph by paragraph, in an attempt to open Ethan’s heart.

If you liked this episode, check out “How To Reconnect with Your Kid After a Nasty Divorce,” the first in our two-part series.

Do you have a problem you can’t get out of your head? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might have you on the show. Subscribe for free on Apple, Spotify or wherever you listen.

Podcast production by Derek John, Rachael Allen, and Rosemary Belson.

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About the Show

What if Dear Abby were an investigative reporter? Each week, Amanda Ripley (bestselling author of High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out) takes on listeners’ toughest problems and, with the help of experts, finds the answers to questions you’ve always wanted to ask but couldn’t. Until now.

Do you have a problem that needs solving? Have you found the advice on our podcast helpful? Send us a note at howto@slate.com or leave us a voicemail at 646-495-4001 and we might play it on the air.

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