Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 46: I Forgive You
It is much easier to ask for forgiveness than to forgive. However, anyone who desires a healthy relationship must learn not only how to ask forgiveness but also how to forgive.
Forgiveness is never a walk in the park. In fact, it is often painful especially when it involves someone that you are madly in love with. Saying “I forgive you” may seem like the right thing to do but it doesn’t count if you are still harboring anger, bitterness and resentment in your heart.
What does it mean to forgive?
Many of us mistakenly believe that it is not possible to truly forgive without forgetting. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Forgiving is not about forgetting but about choosing not to punish your spouse for the offense. It is about excusing the penalty for the offence and offering pardon.
Although most people mistakenly believe the phrase “forgive and forget” is from the bible, it is not. There are, however, many scriptures where God commands his people to forgive.
How to forgive your spouse
- Identify the real enemy
When we are wronged, we tend to get angry at the person who committed the offense and identify him or her as the enemy. Sadly, this attitude can destroy a healthy relationship. Learn to separate the mistake from the person.
Also, as a Christian couple, it is important to recognize that you are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against powers of darkness.
- Share your hurt with your partner
Most of us need to be heard before we can move on. This is why it is so important to discuss your feelings with your partner no matter how uncomfortable it makes you. However, refrain from pointing a finger at them during the talk; instead, just let him or her know how you are feeling.
- Make the choice to forgive
Forgiveness is a choice. After all is said and done, you must make the decision to forgive or continue to hold on to your anger and resentment. Do not wait until your feelings and emotions are in line with forgiveness before making the choice to forgive. Make the decision and your emotions will follow suit sooner or later.
- The way forward
Naturally, you will want to protect yourself from getting hurt again and the best way to do that is to discuss the way forward with your spouse. Talk about the changes you expect from your spouse and in your marriage going forward. Also, set realistic and manageable guidelines which you both agree on.
Forgiveness requires a lot of patience from both partners. It also requires both of you to make a conscious decision to have a healthy relationship at whatever cost. Follow these tips today to begin your journey to forgiveness.