Unforgiveness is one of the killers of marriage. It’s like acid – corroding everything in its path. A marriage where unforgiveness exists is like a house of cards which can collapse at any time.
Unforgiveness usually is a result of hurt inflicted which the partner at the receiving end has not being able to get over or get past. Sometimes, the offender can’t seem to understand why the hurt party is still hurt because (they feel) they have done everything humanly possible to deserve forgiveness.
The truth, however, is that, there are so many reasons why a hurt person may withhold unforgiveness from the other. Let’s look at 3 of these reasons.
- One reason is that they feel as if forgiving the erring partner absolves them of their misdeed. That it makes them feel like what they did wasn’t so bad or that it may give them the license to do the same thing again.
- Another reason people find it difficult to forgive is that, they feel like forgiving the person trivializes the magnitude of the sin. Makes it small. Makes it seem like it didn’t hurt them enough
- A third reason for unforgiveness is that the hurt party is too pained, too wounded to go past it, especially if they also feel like the erring partner hasn’t done much to help them past the pain.
What usually happens when a couple is faced with issues of unforgiveness is that, the offender apologizes and hopes that the apology is enough to get them back in the good graces of the other partner. You hear them say things like “But I have apologized. Why are you still holding on to this grudge?”
They forget that, apologies alone aren’t always enough.
They also must give the other person the time to process the hurt and find themselves again.
It’s like a stab in the back with blood oozing out. Apologies don’t have the capacity to take away the pain and mend the wound.
But tending the cut lovingly and giving it time will lead to healing.
You can’t rush the process. You can’t will it or shout it into being.
The offending party needs to know that, they have a BIG PART to play in helping the other party come to a place of forgiveness.
Allow your partner deal with the pain in their own way, support them as they try. Be there for there. Commit to the process as you reassure them that it wouldn’t happen again. Mean it and stay true to your promise!
For the hurting partner who is asking “How can I forgive my partner for hurting me”? you need to recognize exactly how you are feeling. Access the emotion and come to terms with it. Communicate your feeling. Find someone who will listen without judging and pour yourself all out. Free up the rushing water flooding your soul and let it flow.
If you can’t find someone to talk to – WRITE DOWN YOUR THOUGHTS.
Just find a way to bring those emotions out to free up your mind and give you some form of clarity of mind.
Know that you need to process what has happened and deal with it.
Give yourself time. Don’t rush yourself.
Remind yourself of the consequences of harboring negative emotions like unforgiveness. Consequences like heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure etc.
Love yourself enough to protect yourself from these harmful diseases. Tell yourself that you will let it go, not because it doesn’t hurt, not because it’s small, not because the person apologized, but because you love yourself enough to rid your body of toxins and toxicity (Unforgiveness is actually a toxin)
When you look at it from an angle of self-preservation, you are more likely to let go.
But don’t forget, take your time.
Don’t rush it. Take it one day at a time.
Wounds take time to heal.
Just commit to doing one thing every day that will get you closer to forgiving
And then go ahead and forgive. So that that person and that hurtful event, will lose their hold over you.