How To Forgive Your Spouse For Past Mistakes

This article is all about how to forgive your spouse for past mistakes. 

Sometimes everyday life and daily contact lead to facing thorny issues. For this reason, despite the good intentions and the disposition of mind, couples experience conflict. It is clear that forgiveness becomes necessary. It appears as an essential element of feeling good about oneself and in relationships with others.

Our love cannot exist outside the dynamic of forgiveness because everyone can make mistakes in a relationship, and no one is free from mistakes. This article will guide you on how to forgive your spouse for past mistakes.

forgive your spouse

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Let’s think, for example, of those who offend their partners without asking for forgiveness, convinced that they are in the right, without realizing that they are hurting them; little by little, this attitude of them will end up distancing them more and more, creating a distance that could end up producing a break. Therefore, asking for forgiveness is to recognize that you have made a mistake and from here to start again to repair the marital relationship.

The four main causes of breakage

There are four factors that usually put a couple in crisis:

1) After the phase of falling in love, there is a sort of disillusionment and disappointment in discovering that the relationship is not as you had imagined it and that the other person has defects that you had not grasped.

2) Breaking of the implicit pact. Each couple bases their relationship on some conditions that are clearly spelled out while others remain “unspoken” but taken for granted for the good continuation of the story. 

3) Life events that go beyond the threshold of tolerability or are experienced as unexpected, such as the birth of a child with special needs.

4) The evolutionary growth of a single partner. If one of the two partners changes in order to distance the other due to a growth in awareness or maturity, the other no longer recognizes them.

why forgive?

Being able to forgive can help let go

When you are hurt by someone whom you love or trust, whether it’s a lie, rejection, or insult, it can be extremely difficult to overcome the offense. Instead, the right premise is that forgiving does not mean denying the responsibility of the person who hurt us or justifying his misconduct. You can forgive the person without excusing his behavior. Forgiveness is, above all, a gesture of love that takes place towards oneself as it allows you to let go of dysfunctional thoughts and feelings to focus on more positive and constructive aspects.

From misunderstanding to tenderness

Forgiveness becomes very important along a path made up of small or large misunderstandings. The experiences of laceration, conflict, and the crisis of the couple are a sign of the frailty of man, and therefore forgiveness becomes that “typically human” reality that gives the possibility to build bridges over the abyss, to retrace roads that seemed definitively interrupted. This becomes possible only when we educate ourselves to “be” understanding.

Tenderness is opposed to two widely shared and often correlated attitudes: hardness of heart understood as total closure to the reasons of the other, and withdrawal from oneself as egocentrism, which manifests itself in the refusal to confront and to listen to others. On the other hand, tenderness is flexibility, permeability, openness of heart, and readiness for change.

Looking towards faith or spirituality

Therefore, forgiveness and tenderness are captured in each other, as in a game of mirrors; one is mirrored in the other, and one does not live without the other. Forgiveness without tenderness would be emptied of its effective dynamism. Tenderness without forgiveness would risk being reduced to an episode of an emotional or superficial nature only. 

To live this experience in-depth, couples may turn to faith or spirituality for assistance, guidance, and strength. Forgiveness, therefore, becomes a practice of unconditional love.  

Courage and determination

The wounded partner must know that forgiveness does not trivialize love but renews it by purifying within us the tendency to throw the responsibility of the quarrel only on the spouse. Like any process, forgiveness also requires courage, determination, and effort. Since venturing to reach the other, to imagine the world with her eyes, is like a kind of creative work; who needs their own truths to discover a new world.

The victory of love

forgiveness in marriage

So it is clear that forgiveness becomes an essential element of feeling good about oneself in life and with others. Love is life, and if life is not nurtured, it dies. Love is what gives you the fullness of value to life and to the history of every moment. Just think about what were the empty moments of your life. Most people will refer to a past or present emotional relationship that is not fulfilling, to a lack of love, or in any case, to elements that have to do with this feeling; because love belongs so intensely to the structure of the person that it is unifying and synthesizing element of life. 

Feeling loved is what gives bond and continuity to one’s story. Below are some of the advantages of forgiving your spouse for past mistakes:

1. Love will make you aware that error is human

We all make mistakes in our lives, and these can be suitable life lessons. Furthermore, we must realize that a human being is not perfect and that the person who has let you down is perhaps living with the regret that pollutes his mind.

2. Anger can be painful

Keeping anger deep in your heart is not good for your health. Reduce the sadness and animosity that devour you and try to evolve towards more noble feelings; you will feel lighter. These resentments instill negative and debilitating energy that will slow you down and demotivate you in the long run. Free yourself to let peace reign in your heart.

3. You will be reduced to negativity

Try to ignore negative experiences and move on to a more positive state without looking back. Don’t let those experiences confuse your mind and your present moment. Whether they did you good or bad, some people were meant to be part of your life for your journey. Leave the past behind, move on, and you will progress.

4. You will be happy with the simple things in life

It is important to focus on the positive and pleasant things in life and discard situations that generate sadness, annoyance, and anger to move forward. The dark times you have been through, the diseases, the abuse, and the betrayals have broken your dreams and your heart. Embrace these experiences, accept them and express gratitude for what you have and look to your future with greater serenity.

5. You are responsible for your happiness

Yes, because despite the painful events that overwhelm you, you must understand that you are solely responsible for your life and what you decide to focus on. You have the ability to make your life cheerful, joyful, and positive, just as you have the gift of making it sad and gloomy. It depends on how optimistic and positive you are and how you decide to spend the rest of your life. So be responsible for your happiness. Every human being deserves to be happy, so reconcile with yourself.

6. Send love

Instead of judging, resenting, and criticizing, fall in love. When you give love to the person who hurt you the most, you will feel such inner satisfaction that life will stop being hostile to you.

Give forgiveness, replace hate with love, darkness with light. Don’t let your ego interfere with your heart so that you can access the fullness of life.

stop an old relationship from ruining your marriage

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind if you or your partner have been in hurtful relationships in the past.

Learn from your mistakes

Unless your spouse is a serial cheat that no therapy can cure, you need to take responsibility for what happened. Don’t get us wrong. We don’t mean that you have to blame yourself for what happened. Instead, admit that marriage is a two-person job and that maybe there was something you did or didn’t do that caused your spouse to go astray.

Maybe you didn’t appreciate your partner as much as you should have. Maybe you were distracted and focused on something else besides your relationship. Perhaps the passionate spark between the two of you has faded, and you have done nothing to rekindle it. Maybe you weren’t giving your loved one enough emotional support.

No matter the reason, you should take some time and try to pinpoint the moment when you realize that things have changed for the worse. Once you can understand this, you will both be able to learn from the mistakes made and hopefully never repeat them. 

Don't drag the past along if you can help it

While the guilty party should rightfully feel awful about what happened, you need to understand that the build-up of guilt won’t help save your marriage. Be sincere in your promise and make an effort to bite your tongue whenever you need to.

Many couples choose to enlist the help of a mediator like a marriage counselor to talk about what happened as soon as they want, but get it all out of their system and move forward, together. Get the closure you need and close the case once you do.

Make an effort

Getting over a heartbreaking incident like finding out your spouse has been in a relationship isn’t easy. Sure, it can be easy to leave, but many choose to stay for multiple reasons, which include children, financial difficulties, or simply because they love their spouse and want to try it.

Regardless of the reasons you stayed, you need to realize that it will take some effort, especially on your part. You may not have been straying, but you still have to work hard to make the marriage work. Whether it’s simply being civil to your spouse on a bad day or making the conscious effort not to burn all of her clothes, it takes a lot of effort if you want to stay married.

You probably think your cheating spouse doesn’t deserve the respect you are offering them, but you have the choice to be a great person in this terrible scenario. They may not like to hear it, but they already feel pretty bad the way it is. It is not necessary to continue to suffer from the mistakes they have made because sooner or later, they will no longer be able to talk about it and may end up being the ones who leave the relationship.

Don't compare

This advice applies to all aspects of your life. Once you have chosen to stay in your marriage even after a cheating scandal, you must always remember never to make comparisons.

Don’t compare what life was like before the incident. Don’t compare yourself to the person your spouse cheated on you with. Don’t compare your expectations with reality. Don’t compare anything from your idyllic pre-infidelity life to the way things are right now. Sure, comparing the past with the present is a great way to improve and learn from mistakes, but comparing every little thing will no doubt make you focus too much on how hard it will be to put things right.

Practice forgiveness

This is perhaps the hardest piece of advice to take. You may never be able to forget what happened, but you can certainly learn to forgive. Without forgiveness, your marriage will never survive. No matter how long, hard, and bumpy the journey to forgiveness may be, you need to do it for the sake of your relationship. If you really find that you are unable to let go of what happened, then it may be safer to say that you should walk away from your marriage. Nothing, not even a marriage of steel, can withstand the pressure and weight of infidelity if forgiveness isn’t part of the picture.

There is no single way to clear the stain of infidelity in every marriage. But with the help of trained couples therapy, a genuine effort to make things right, and some time to allow yourself to heal, you can reduce the bane of betrayal to another bump on the road to a happy marriage for life. 

In conclusion, regardless of whether you or your spouse have been tempted and misled, rebounding from a relationship will scare even the bravest soldiers in relationships. Nothing is worse than having to go through the pain of realizing that the person you care about most in the world was cruel enough to violate the life you built together.

If you have been betrayed and somehow found the strength to forgive your spouse for the transgressions and pain you went through, you need to put some rules in place to prevent what happened from ruining your marriage.

This post was all about how to practice forgiveness in your marriage.

 

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