Dear Dave: I borrowed money from my parents and paid it back over time, but now the relationship has become very difficult and strained. How can I fix this?
If you paid them back, especially if it happened slowly or intermittently over time, there's really not a lot you can do if they choose to hold a grudge over the situation. Generally speaking, though, it just takes a little time to heal these kinds of things. My guess is they'll become more and more forgiving as time goes by now that they've been paid back.
I'm sorry you have to go through this, but I hope you've learned a valuable lesson in the process. Someone who lends money to a loved one has their heart-not their head-in the right place. It's okay to give money as a gift sometimes, but loaning money to or borrowing from someone you know will usually lead to broken hearts and broken wallets.
The borrower is always slave to the lender, Claudia. Besides, holiday dinners taste better when friends or relatives don't owe each other money. Eating with your master isn't nearly as much fun as eating with your family!