In his book. Lee: The Last Years, Charles Bracelen Flood reports that after the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a grand old tree in front of her house. There, she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire.
Look what the Yankees did to my tree.
the woman said despairingly, as she turned to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss.
After a brief silence, Lee, scanning the tree and the decimated landscape around it said,
Cut it down, my dear Madam, Cut it down and forget about it.
Probably not what she was hoping to hear from the General on that Kentucky afternoon. But Lee, war-wearied and just ready to get back to Virginia, had no interest in perpetuating 4 years of costly anger. Lee recognized in the woman what we should all recognize amid our own angry spells, especially those that reach into our intimate relationships.
Our inability to process the bad stuff and extend forgiveness in relationships to the one who offends us will eventually devour us. This refusal to forgive and let go merely means that you are not agreeing to resolve the conflict, move past the grudges, or heal the emotional wounds.
Our emotional construct often stops us from forgiving and letting go. It’s not the external factors in play during the process. Instead, it’s the internal self, the experiences in life, and the way of perception that tells us how to let go and forgive and helps us in getting over a betrayal.
A similar situation arises while trying to inculcate forgiveness in marriage. Remaining hostage to the poor behavior and refusal keeps us away from forgiveness in marriage and disrupts the peace.
Conflict is necessary
A healthy marriage is not a marriage that is free from conflict. Think about it, if there is no conflict in your marriage, it means there is no closeness, no “real” interaction. Healthy couples will have marital conflict from time to time; the key piece is how they process the conflict.
It’s humbling and at times exhausting to stand before those who’ve cut us deep to kindle a flame of reconnection. It means risks, sacrifice, trust, the potential that the one we are prepared to restore tothe relationship is not interested in restoration.
If you are struggling with forgiveness in marriage, here are 6 ways of practicing forgiveness in marriage. Learn the art of letting go of anger and resentment, forgiving, and moving on without grudges. Take note:
1. Be Receptive
Your willingness to listen to your partner is the first step towards forgiveness in marriage and making peace. So, be open to take in and absorb all they have to say. Help them lighten their heart before you judge them or make any kind of decision.
2. Stay Calm & Think
Don’t hop into judgment all of a sudden. Compose yourself and try letting go of the past hurt. Just like how you would not like to be showered with wrong notions of yourself, so will not your partner. So, keep yourself in a peaceful state before beginning an elaborate conversation.
How to forgive a cheater?
If your partner has cheated on you, try not to dwell on the incidents and past setbacks. This will help you see what’s ahead.
3. Trust Again
We often have a tendency to adopt a victim mindset during such incidents. However, trust yourself enough to know how to get over betrayal in a relationship. If you are emotionally strong, you should not allow one incident to break you apart.
Learn to trust again. Practice forgiveness in marriage and rebuilding trust by giving them a chance to prove themselves.
4. Appreciate Them
As much as it is important for them to move past their mistakes, it is equally important for you to help yourself take a step ahead. Forgiveness in marriage might not come easy. So, as you are forgiving your spouse, assure them that the relationship is safe. Reach out to them and appreciate them for the changes they are making to amend their mistakes.
And while you are willing to forgive and acknowledging their behavior, help them make those behavioral changes too. This will help you forgive and move on.
5. Set Boundaries
While you did not know what led to such a transgression, you need to communicate with your partner and mutually decide what will work for the relationship and what won’t. To keep the relationship smooth, stress-free, and less chaotic, it is important to understand what the partner likes and what won’t impress them.
The video below talks about boundaries that are essential in any relationship, like learning to say No. Know more below:
6. Start Over
Reflect on the happy memories and try to see all the good qualities your partner has. Think about why you fell in love with them in the first place. For allowing forgiveness in marriage, help each other heal irrespective of whose mistake it was.
Don’t hurry this process. Be patient in the relationship and pray for each other’s wisdom and strength.
Think about those times you were the recipient offorgiveness in your marriage or close friendship? What was it like when someone announced, “You hurt me, but I forgive you.” We reach a point in life in which we either embrace the prospect of forgiveness in marriage or we sink in the squalor of our unfinished anger.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.