It’s been said that in forgiving others we give ourselves permission to move forward with our own lives, and there’s some truth to that. Hitting the same road block, going back emotionally to the same thing over and over, puts a huge strain on us physically and stunts our relationships with ourselves and others. It damages our hearts and our bodies to carry such stress around each day. Forgiving your partner, when you choose to, has many benefits.
Whether the harm was intentional or not, it takes both people in the relationship or marriage working together to move to a place of forgiveness. If you were the one who “messed up,” for example, you will need to hear your partner’s deepest feelings, work with them on what they need to forgive, and accept boundaries that make them feel safe enough to trust again. You will also need to explain your position and the “why” of it all. If you are the partner who wants to forgive, you will have to be very vulnerable and put into words the reasons why you are stuck at this point and can’t move forward. You’ll have to really hear and understand your partner’s position. You’ll both need to be prepared to work with your therapist and try the skills and tools they present.
We mention therapists here because the art of forgiveness between couples is further complicated by other baggage we carry—childhood traumas and the subsequent protective walls we put up, our inability to communicate, our fear and confusion, our mistrust of the situation and our partners. Typically, if someone is really struggling to forgive, even though they want to forgive, there are deeper elements at play in the relationship and a specialist can help you both navigate the situation in a healthy and productive manner.
The Silver Lining
Whatever caused your unique need for forgiveness (we all know it’s not always infidelity that creates rifts between couples) it is possible to forgive and move forward again.
A truly inspiring element of the human condition is that as we work through these issues in healthy ways, we come out on the other side closer, more loving, and with a real understanding and compassion that we often lacked before. This can be so beneficial for a couple.
To get started, reach out to our intake coordinator Melinda. She’ll make sure you get placed with a skilled therapist that deeply cares about saving your situation.