For Better or Worse

Forgiveness in Your Marriage


Being able to forgive and to let go of past hurts is a critical tool for a marriage relationship. Additionally, being able to forgive is a way to keep yourself healthy both emotionally and physically. In fact, forgiving and letting go may be one of the most important ways to keep your marriage going strong.

Lack of forgiveness can wear you down. Additionally, being unforgiving is not good for either your physical and emotional health. As resentment gains momentum it chips away at the foundation of your relationship.

Marriage Needs Forgiveness

Marriage, like other close relationships, needs forgiveness to thrive. Remember that everyone makes mistakes. We all have bad days. Many people say things they do not mean. Everyone needs to forgive and to be forgiven. This is especially true if the person who hurt you is attempting to make amends and seek forgiveness.

No relationship, especially a marriage, can be sustained over a long period of time without forgiveness. Even though you may find it find it difficult to forgive, being able to do so is crucial in a marriage.

Think of these tips the next time you need to ask for forgiveness, or when someone asks you for forgiveness:

How to Forgive
  • Be open to forgiveness.
  • Make a conscious decision to forgive your spouse.
  • When images of the betrayal or hurt flash in your mind, distract yourself from dwelling on those thoughts.
  • Do not throw a mistake back in your spouse's face at a later date.
  • Do not seek revenge or retribution.
  • Accept that you may never know the reason for mistake.
  • Remember that forgiveness does not mean you condone the hurtful behavior.
  • Be patient with yourself. Being able to forgive your spouse takes time.
  • If you continue to be unable to forgive, or you find yourself dwelling on the betrayal or hurt, it would be wise to work with a counselor.
How to Ask for Forgiveness
  • Show remorse for the pain that you've caused.
  • Be willing to make a commitment to not hurt your spouse again by repeating the behavior.
  • Accept the consequences of the action that created the hurt.
  • Be open to making amends.
  • Be patient with your spouse. Being able to forgive you often takes time.
  • Make a heartfelt and verbal apology. This includes a plan of action to make things right.