Forgiveness in Relationships and Marriages

Wrongs, perceived wrongs, done to us can become painful memories that just don’t go away. Mistakenly, we think we can get rid of these painful memories by giving pain back measure-for-measure. Some call this retribution. We are wrong. Pains received and pains given are all rocks in our backpack of memories. We carry them around every day unless we cut the painful memory away with forgiveness.

Yes, forgiveness is the magic Delete button, maybe even the Control-Alternate-Delete command that allows us to remove the pains we carry and move us to closure. Anger, self-pity, and rage can fuel us, but in reality, all they do is continually grind the scab off and open the wound again. Healing never occurs.

When one or both partners in a relationship fail to forgive, the marriage suffers. Often a partner might constantly relive fights, or remind the other of problems from the past. This becomes a drag on the marriage and reduces trust and actually increases the chances for future fights. Marriage counselors often state that forgiveness is critical in a strong healthy relationship.

Some experts think forgiveness is more difficult if the offender does not show signs of remorse. Waiting for signs of remorse leaves us victims again. Throw away the heavy burden of victimhood and adopt a new mantra. Forgiveness is and isn’t really part of the day-by-day business of living, but it can be. Other people simply do or don’t say or act in certain ways. Our reactions to those do’s and don’ts are based on our belief systems. Every day and every way strive to have the sense of peace to accept the things you cannot change. Every day and every way strive to have the courage to change the things you can, such as a forgiving attitude, and strive to have the wisdom to know the difference.

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