Forgiveness means having compassion and understanding for others – most importantly, for your partner. If there is an incident that you are having trouble letting go of, check in with yourself and see if there has ever been a time when you behaved in a similar way. You may realize that you have some things to work on yourself, and that your partner’s behaviour is highlighting an aspect about yourself you don’t like. Look at your character and how you contribute to the dynamic of the reoccurring problematic incident. What do you know about your partner that would help you make sense of his/her behaviour?
When we feel wronged, our go-to reaction is anger, but underneath that is hurt. You feel as though your moral contract with your partner has been broken in some way. It is hard to forgive someone when they have caused you pain. Our brains are wired to protect ourselves against anyone who makes us physically or emotionally unsafe, so there is a stronger message to not let it go. However, when you forgive, you are letting go of anger and resentment, which are very toxic to hold onto. You are forgiving another person for yourself. You are not saying you agree with your partner or that you think it’s ok that he/she caused you pain. You are deciding that you no longer want to be holding onto feelings that require so much energy that it’s not worth it – it’s getting in the way of your own happiness and well-being. It is also important to say goodbye to your own behaviour that contributes to the problematic dynamic. You gain more gifts in forgiveness, than if you hold onto the grudge.
Everyone makes mistakes, even you. To be forgiven and be given another chance to connect and repair is such a blessing. The golden rule can apply here – treat your partner as you would like to be treated.