Let’s face it – no one is perfect. This is why forgiveness is such a key element to make any relationship healthy and successful. Couples who believe their soul mates will fit their future lives and expectations like a glove are in for a major disappointment. Down the line, they will realise that both partners are inevitably bound to make mistakes and hurt the other. So does that mean we give up on them? If you want to enjoy a lasting marriage with someone you love and value, then inculcating and growing in our ability to forgive is important. Bear in mind that love and forgiveness go hand in hand.
Before we present how we can actually practice forgiveness in a relationship or marriage, let’s look at some of the effects of holding a grudge.
- Adds bitterness and anger to the relationship
- Hinders in our ability to enjoy and live in the moment
- Adds to our anxiety and depression levels
- Disconnects us from the other
“If you don’t practice forgiveness, you might be the one who pays most dearly”
Although, we may know all this and also believe that it is vital to forgive and let go, it may never be that easy. Most people, even those who are willing to forgive and forget, are clueless about how to do it. Does that mean that one must keep forgetting, sit back and withstand abuse? Of course not! Here are some ways and proven methods that will help you let go and forgive.
- Look for the positive
Sometimes, it’s all about the perspectives. Even though it may be the last thing you may want to do, especially in cases where you feel you have been deeply wronged, dwell on some of the positive outcomes of that episode. What valuable takeaway did it have for you? When you change your own perspective and use that experience to gather important lessons for yourself, then forgiving will become easier.
- Empathize with the other
Try and put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Try to understand what they went through, or why they may have done so. Analyse if you’ve ever made a similar mistake in the past. Try your best to think of their positive qualities; all this could help you understand that it was not their intention to cause you pain. Perhaps, they are dealing with their own issues which has nothing to do with you. Do not listen to your over-critical inner voice; try and empathize as best as you can.
- Talk to get help
If the offending act of a partner were extremely hurtful, like in the case of cheating, then letting go and continuing the relationship becomes very hard. In such cases, it’s best to talk to someone close to you or get professional help to better navigate your feelings. This way you will be able to get the support you deserve to help yourself through the process.
When you’ve been hurt, all you want to do is scream or cry. Trying to forgive may be the last thing on your mind. But give yourself time and you will know why it is important to release the stress of the past, let go and forgive – all for your own good. Try these strategies and see how they help you grow as a person.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.