How Forgiveness Strengthens Your Relationship
Many individuals think forgiveness is saying “I forgive you” but forgiveness is the choice or decision to let go of resentment and seek vengeance against people who hurt you whether they deserve it or not. However, it does not mean you forget or approve of the action against you or let go of your boundaries and be taken for granted. Before forgiveness can be extended, it must be communicated and understood how the offense has hurt you and suggestions for how to prevent the hurt in the future.
While some minor offenses against you can be forgiven and easy to move forward, some are forgiven but not forgotten and may be unrecoverable. Some of the major hurts that are difficult for relationships to recover from are infidelity, abuse, and broken trust. The following outcomes are a result of choosing to forgive in your relationship.
- As we already know, forgiveness releases us from the weight of the burden that eventually leads to resentment. Forgiveness must be extended to move forward and maintain harmony in your relationship. Resentment leads to anger and anger affects your attitude and behavior toward your partner. This creates the hamster wheel effect of blame which can lead to the downfall of the relationship.
- Forgiveness can strengthen love and vulnerability in your relationship. Your partner has the potential to hurt you most because they are the closest to you and know your hot buttons. Forgiveness humbles us and is a decision to sacrificially love your spouse despite their faults. It is important to remember that we are not perfect just as much as our partner is imperfect and grace must be extended if you want it back. The key is to identify your deal breakers and decide that all other acts are forgivable when the forgiveness is not taken for granted and the action continues.
- Forgiveness increases longevity and improves relational satisfaction and is a tool used in conflict resolution. Partners often claim they are each other’s “best friend” but when you think about your relationship with your friends, do you forgive your partner as easily and quickly as you do your friends, or do you keep a tab of his or her wrongdoings.
Forgiving demonstrates love in godly ways. Remember that forgiveness is a process without a predictable amount of time to get there. All actions can be forgivable but not always forgettable or have the ability to move forward in the relationship. You have to communicate boundaries in your relationship for what is acceptable and unacceptable. Choosing to forgive starts with giving yourself grace, time, and space to move through the process. Having the support of your partner, who hurt you, can decrease the recovery time.