YOUR RELATIONSHIP When your man has betrayed your trust
Forgiveness in a marriage is often about pressing the reset button and starting over
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.
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.