We’ve all passed along well intentioned advise suggesting that if someone really loves you, they won’t hurt you. Unfortunately, that wisdom is only partially true. It is better said, a person who loves you won’t purposefully wound you. Reality is, anyone who loves you will inevitability hurt you…because, we’re all human and we all screw up sometimes. Unfortunately, the deeper the love the greater the possibility for damage. Great news, there is a remedy for the inevitable pain that comes with every marriage. It is forgiveness.
What is Forgiveness?
Forgiveness in the simplest terms is addressing the problem and letting it go. It is a choice to refuse hurt the opportunity to interfere with your relationship. Simply put, “Get over it and keep it moving.”
What About Forgetting?
I don’t believe in forgetting. I’m strongly opposed to it because every experience that requires forgiveness carries a lesson that is too important to forget. Letting go IS NOT allowing hurtful patterns and behaviors to persist or excusing bad behavior. It’s the exact opposite. Forgiveness requires us to deal with problems, make adjustments and move forward without holding a grudge.
The Bottom of the Sea…
We have a special place for missteps….”The bottom of the sea.” It works like this, handle the problem, understand it and resolve it and NEVER address it again. Period. Why? You can’t change it. Once the lesson is learned there is no productive reason to harp on the past.
If you are living in a Lazarus Marriage, forgiving yourself is absolutely necessary. It isn’t always easy to be kind to yourself. I was stuck for years in a cycle of self-abuse for my mistakes and forgiving myself was even harder than forgiving my husband. My inability to release my mistakes interfered with my ability to forgive him. Once I learned to be gentle with myself, then I could recognize he was only human and things began to get better.
Are You Ready to Forgive?
If you believe forgiveness is for saps, I get it. I’ve had those days too. There are plenty of people who ignore serious circumstances in the name of forgiveness. There are also times where it is best to forgive and end the relationship. In both cases, I wish you well.
Paul and I discovered that forgiveness is essential to restoring a Lazarus Marriage. We hope that you are willing to make an effort to forgive your spouse…and yourself. We know from experience that if you both take this step, your marriage will take a giant step forward.
See the Sofa Talk
If you’re willing to make it better, let it go and move forward, join us for our Sofa Talk on forgiveness where we share how we learned to forgive and the difference it made in our marriage. You’ll also enjoy our other Sofa Talks, especially the “Decide”, “Perspective,” and “Renew” episodes, where we discuss the four steps that transformed our marriage. We believe it can do the same for you.