A broken bone, set well, will repair stronger than before it broke.
A broken bone, set incorrectly, will be weaker and more likely to break again.
Sometimes, in relationships, no matter how long ago an event has happened, there's hurt, and in the aftermath of it, people repair. The repair happens to each person and to the relationship itself. But it's often the case that we don't know how to reset what was broken. We do what we think is best, and we mend. It heals, but it's off. It looks right, but with the right movement, we're aware again of the pain. It never repaired as it should.
A doctor will look at it and, without hesitating, will break it again, set the bone right, and then let it heal.
How do you do that in a relationship? Harder question: how do you do that in a years-old relationship?
Everyone copes with hurt in their own way. We set about doing what we think is the right thing to do. Sometimes we think of the other person. Sometimes we think of ourselves. But we proceed as seems best after a hurtful incident. It's hard to tell when what was broken has been reset correctly. X-rays of the body tell the tale explicitly. Relationships have no x-rays available to them. Only the wince of familiar pain later can show the evidence of what has been poorly set, and it's sometimes hard to recognize this for what it is.
It hurts to reset a bone. You start over, really. It starts with the admission that it wasn't done right. That requires honesty. It is what it is, and if it's broken, it's broken.
And then the re-alignment. More honesty. There's nothing mamby pamby about taking the broken ends and lining them straight and then setting them against each other. The effort is strenuous and painful. It's raw. But it's the only way to do it.
I don't know that when it comes to old hurts healed improperly that it takes both people to address it, but it does at least take one. The other person might notice that things don't line up like they once did, and that will feel weird, but at least someone is being honest and working for the right connection.
Straight vision with straight talk produces straight bones. Set well, they'll repair stronger than they were.
And that? That's called "health."