Forgiveness in Marriage

One of the qualities in a healthy marriage is forgiveness.

Partners hurt each other, but successful spouses learn to forgive and forget. Forgiveness is an important virtue in a marriage because no one is perfect. Each partner should give the other partner some room to make mistakes. When one person makes a mistake, he or she should act quickly to apologize. Doing so will help to encourage forgiveness and strengthen the marriage.

Forgiveness is good for both the grantor and the grantee.

Over time, refusal to forgive can lead to mental anguish and even physical suffering.

Over time, refusal to forgive can lead to mental anguish and even physical suffering.

Forgiving those who have hurt is something people know they should probably do, but few are eager to put into practice. When someone has robbed another of something precious, refusing to forgive someone can seem like a way to get retribution. There is something extremely gratifying in knowing that forgiveness can be withheld.

Forgiveness is a gift to the giver as well as the recipient – a gift that provides considerable physical and psychological benefits to the giver. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you,” said Lewis B. Smedes, a renowned Christian author, ethicist, and theologian.

Clutching resentments close to the heart, replaying the injustices over and over, can be satisfying, yet often the offending party remains impervious to the anger or underestimates the full extent of it. Meanwhile, people become fixated with the wrongs done them and retreat to the dark corners of the heart to lick our wounds. The constant rehashing of these wrongs in our minds results in our own torment, but does nothing to punish the injuring party.

Over time, refusal to forgive can lead to mental anguish and even physical suffering. According to the Mayo Clinic, forgiveness lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and hostility, lessens symptoms of depression, anxiety and chronic pain, lowers risk of alcohol and substance abuse, increases psychological and spiritual well-being, and makes for healthier relationships.

Holding on to old resentments is not only unhealthy; it also hampers the couple’s ability to have a successful relationship, and bitterness towards a spouse often seeps into other relationships.

In a marriage, forgiveness repairs the erosion of daily living.

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