YOUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP When your man has be­trayed your trust

For­give­ness in a mar­riage is of­ten about press­ing the re­set but­ton and start­ing over

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Mo and Phindi Groot­boom

WHEN it comes to mar­riage, we ex­pect to be­gin only once. Many young cou­ples plan the wed­ding for many months, care­fully se­lect­ing the venue, dresses, rings and the de­signer cake. How­ever, as the months and years pass by in mar­riage, many wish that their re­la­tion­ship came with a do-over or re­set but­ton.

START­ING OVER

Hav­ing a re­set but­ton helps to clear the un­healthy mem­ory or ex­pe­ri­ences in mar­riage and causes the re­la­tion­ship to re­boot forcibly.

Do­ing it forcibly ef­fec­tively im­plies that start­ing afresh is an un­nat­u­ral process.

It’s an act of your will, rather than emo­tions. You do it, not be­cause you feel like do­ing it or even that com­mon logic sug­gests you do it.

For­give­ness is when you, the hurt in­di­vid­ual, will­fuly lifts a heavy bur­den off your­self by ab­solv­ing your spouse of the wrong­do­ing they have com­mit­ted against you.

It’s about you and the need to re­lease your­self from the shack­les of anger and bit­ter­ness.

When con­tem­plat­ing press­ing the re­set but­ton of for­give­ness, we’d like to of­fer the fol­low­ing points for your con­sid­er­a­tion:

YOU CAN’T CON­TROL OTHER PEO­PLE’S BE­HAV­IOUR

FOR­GIVE­NESS IS NOT UNCONDITIONAL

One of the most ab­surd teach­ings we’ve heard about for­give­ness is that it’s unconditional, some­thing not even God does as it makes a mock­ery of the process of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and restora­tion of the re­la­tion­ship.

For­give­ness, in or­der to ac­com­plish its pur­pose in the per­son be­ing for­given, has to in­clude a de­mand for change in con­duct. It is not a free pass to be­have as you please or con­tinue do­ing the same thing. The process of for­give­ness ul­ti­mately seeks to re­store a frac­tured re­la­tion­ship and that can­not be ac­com­plished with­out re-eval­u­at­ing the of­fend­ing part­ner’s be­hav­iour for fu­ture sus­tain­abil­ity of the re­la­tion­ship. It is freely of­fered in a com­pas­sion­ate act of grace, but it has to carry a clearly com­mu­ni­cated and mu­tu­ally agreed upon ex­pec­ta­tion of re­pen­tance and be­havioural change. Oth­er­wise the process of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion would be im­pos­si­ble.

FOR­GIVE­NESS DOESN'T MEAN AP­PROVAL OF WRONG­DO­ING

For­give­ness doesn’t mean you are let­ting your spouse off the hook, but it de­nies them the op­por­tu­nity to de­stroy your heart through the hurt­ful act they’ve com­mit­ted.

It means you’re let­ting your­self off the hook. If your spouse has wronged you, they need to walk their own path about what they did. That’s their busi­ness. How­ever, your path is your busi­ness. You can’t con­trol what hap­pened or other peo­ple’s be­hav­iour, but you can con­trol how you meet your own ex­pe­ri­ence. You can also take com­fort in the fact that per­sis­tent wrong­do­ing that’s not re­pented will even­tu­ally get what’s com­ing to it at some point, whether now or later. This is be­cause for­give­ness does not nec­es­sar­ily mean a can­cel­la­tion of the con­se­quences.

FOR­GIVE­NESS CAN STRENGTHEN YOUR RE­LA­TION­SHIP

The power of for­give­ness is such that it can turn a bit­ter and toxic re­la­tion­ship into a re­stored bliss char­ac­terised by com­mit­ment, which can even deepen and thrive, not in spite of what hap­pened in the past, but be­cause of it. The act of for­giv­ing strength­ens your com­mit­ment to a healthy re­la­tion­ship. And you be­come more com­mit­ted to not al­low­ing di­vi­sive and hurt­ful con­flicts to oc­cur in the fu­ture.

In mar­riage, if you’re go­ing to hap­pily live to­gether for any length of time, you have to be will­ing to for­give. And given that Jan­uary is sta­tis­ti­cally the most fa­mous month for di­vorce, there is no bet­ter time to press the re­set but­ton.

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