Annette Nay, PhD

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The Forgiving Marriage:
Overcoming Anger and Resentment, and Rediscovering Each Other
Michele B. Gamblin, MEd, LPC

It may seem confiding and against you better judgment to consider forgiving someone who has hurt you deeply. You believe that to forgive is to let the other person get away with something. Acts of betrayal seem to be among the most painful to experience. It seems bad enough when someone you hardly know takes advantage of you or makes a fool of you, but it can be shattering when you feel so betrayed by your spouse.

When your spouse betrays you, someone who know well your needs and weaknesses, makes a mockery of the trust in the relationship. For the offender who is seeking forgiveness, it can be a mistake to bring up the idea of forgiveness too soon; people feel misunderstood.

Forgiveness starts as a decision to act lovingly, even though you may feel justified to withhold your love. Often people must act on the decision to forgive, so they can begin to feel love again!

Guilt is the internal fire that burns within to frighten and condemn you. It can also be the light that guides you. It lets you know that you are doing something wrong something undignified, and makes it hard for you to pretend otherwise.

The reality of the situation is that no amount of talking, nor analysis of why the betrayal occurred, will completely do away with the hurt. No penalty can be handed down that will satisfactorily pay off the debt. It is vital to understand that the blocks to forgiveness are ultimately within you.

No matter how cruelly you've been treated, the power to forgive does not lie within the person who hurt you. It is a spark of Godliness which can only originate inside of you. The more you can forgive another, the more you can be forgiven yourself. The more you forgive, the easier it is to forgive again.

A person should look critically at forgiving the same person for the same trespass which continues to happen over and over again. Part of the forgiveness process is to not do the behavior again. No one deserves to be hurt continually. If the trespasser refuses to get help to stop the behavior then it may be time to end the relationship.

People can decide should be done by looking at the good and the bad in the relationship, make a decision, and then ask God if the decision is correct. If it is right there will be a good feeling. If it is wrong then the mind will become fuzzy and the thought will be hard to hold on to. In this way all people can make good decisions about their relationship and other issues/problems in life.


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