Forgiveness in Marriage

Hi Ladies, I came across this article, and thought I'd share. It is about forgiveness in marriage. Even though we all have our ideas on forgiveness and what not, I think it's a good read. I am working on forgiving DH for something that has come up in our relationship before, but is hard for me to deal with. Even if you know your DH loves you and did not mean to hurt you. Reading things like this can really help. Imagine a marriage you look up to. Just think about how much forgiveness may be in that marriage (even if you don't know about it).  Source can be found here


How Forgiveness In Marriage Builds Intimacy


Last week, my 91 year (and ten months) old neighbour, Trixie, asked if I would stand in for her to assist at the Marriage Course given at our local church. Her day was already fully committed and she just could not manage another thing. Trixie, a figure so slight a strong wind might blow her away, was widowed 2 years ago after a 70 year marriage. She implied that she had learnt something from the previous 3 sessions of the course.


Assisting involved helping to set up the room, hand out teas and coffees and clear up afterwards. Nothing to it. Have you ever found that you have been called to do something simple to help out, and been more than rewarded as a result?


Session 4 turned out to be on The Power of Forgiveness, a topic that fascinates me. How often do couples bury a hurt and let it rot the relationship over time? It can take courage to openly let your partner know when they have hurt you, so that you place yourself in the position to forgive them; for them to express their love and regret for the misunderstanding or incident. It should be easy with the one you love the most to be that caring and honest. But often, as was in my own case, it is not.


Very common is to hold on to the hurt, making them wrong for inflicting pain on you; to withdraw or withhold your love, or hold on to resentment that grows into bitterness, even hatred over time. What is it that makes forgiving so difficult? What makes forgiving possible?


A story was told of a couple who had been married for 30 years. On their wedding day, when the husband had turned to see his bride entering the church, he saw her scowling. He thought she was scowling at him, not feeling the joy of their wedding. He held on to that hurt for 30 years. When he finally came to tell her about it, she clarified that she had had a problem outside of the church door. Her apparent lack of pleasure at that moment had nothing to do with him.


To be tender, and vulnerable, with the one you love the most is to risk. What if by speaking up, you lose the approval of your loved one? What if by being true to yourself, you rock what is an otherwise comfortable boat? Is that "comfort", or is it really a comfort zone that is limiting your courage, individually and as a couple, for producing greater joy, loving and fulfilment?


"Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function
regardless of the temperature of the heart."

Corrie Ten Boom


Look at it another way. How can anyone behave differently towards you if you keep your hurts in the dark and do not give your loved one the opportunity to know what is true for you? How can you fully love someone else when you are holding on to the toxins of bitterness, sadness or regret? To be vulnerable has the meaning both to be wounded, but also importantly to be blessed.


This process that follows offers freedom and support for greater experiences of love in your close partnership, not to mention a better sex life.

1. Create and set aside Marriage Time


The purpose of this time is to clean and clear the air so that the loving between you flows more easily and generously; to honour the love that you share, and grow your respect for each other. Make sure you will not be interrupted, and set aside enough time to complete the process.


This time is for caring and healing the hurts, not to apportion blame and shame, nor make your loved one wrong.


2. Connect with your love


Bring to mind the depth of love you have for each other. You might recall your wedding vows; have photos from your wedding or other heartfelt and memorable occasions; what it is you most love about your partner, that brought you together in the first place or that you have noticed in the years you have been together.


3. Express the hurt


In this loving context, bring to mind any hurts that you are aware of causing your partner, or that they have caused you to feel. Know that we are each of us doing the best we can with what we know. That when we know better, we do better.


Give yourselves each time to express your awareness of the hurts that have happened between you. Choose maybe one or two for each Marriage Time you set up.


4. Be forgiving


Complete the following statements as appropriate:


Please forgive me for when I....


I forgive you for.....


I forgive myself for....


For example, the exercise could look like this, but not necessarily in this order:


Please forgive me for when I criticized you for not being on time.
I forgive you for shouting at me when I got back from work last night.
I forgive myself for wanting to be right and not listening to your point of view.

5. Express appreciation and acknowledgment


Speaking directly to your loved one, acknowledge them for the ways they give to you, and to the partnership. Let them know the qualities, strengths and attributes you most appreciate and love in them.


Forgiving from the heart offers the forgiver deep peace within, a peace beyond anything words can ever describe. It serves to strengthen the connection you share. Deep peace is the fertile ground for growing greater love, intimacy, trust and confidence - all qualities that can help to sustain us through challenging times. Set aside the shadows and let your love see the new light of day. You will be glad that you did.

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 9:57 am
Uhlease
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(7) Comments

IdoAgain20years
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In 20 years of marriage one thing I can say for certain is Mark and I can NEVER remember what we were upset about and that letting go is the reason we have lasted 20 years.


Am I perfect oh heck no. In fact I can recall a few things I have done that have caused him a lot of pain and there was one really big one that hurt me to no ends, but now those are so old that they don't even hurt to think about. I know it hurt me back then, but I know why those things happened and be both have worked to not repeat those mistakes.


I think the hardest aspect of our relationship has nothing really to do with him and myself as a couple, but those things that happen to us as children and learning to let go and forgive that pain allows for easier communication between us.


I am sure someone did something to each of us that causes us to question our relationships. If this is not you I am very happy to hear that. It is very true for Mark and I. Some of those hurts will never really be healed, but they no longer affect our relationship.


Here is the kicker. . . it took 15 years to get to a really healthy place for me. and I was still struggling up into a couple of years ago. It has only been the last couple of years and the passing of my grandparents that the real healing could begin.


Once I forgave myself for everything in my past I was able to be the person that Mark has always been able to see and now I can see her too.


I wish each of you the best

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 10:09 am
adamsapple
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Lovely advice, thank you :)

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 10:34 am
beccabride
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beccabride

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Love this, I am also going to put this in our Project Marriage group!  :)

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 2:40 pm
jmbuss9
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Thanks for sharing!

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 2:38 am
Uhlease
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Great idea, thank you Becca!

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 3:26 am
NicholeB
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This was a really good article Elise, and something I am struggling with as well.  I needed this today.


Thank you again!

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 3:27 am
MrsCaleYoung
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This is such a great article and very true! I really do practice all of these things with my hubby! 

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 5:20 am

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