“Love means never having to say you're sorry.”
- Erich Segal. Love Story
We are sorry, but that's a really stupid movie line. SORRY is a profound word, a necessary ingredient in a healthy and loving marriage. It means, I care that something I have done, or neglected to do by accident, or on purpose affected you negatively. "Sorry" gives the hurting person an opportunity to have their pain or frustration collide with compassion and a level of understanding. Intimacy is often increased. Being sorry is not equal to saying you were wrong. Sometimes you are at fault and sometimes you are not. Even if your spouse's sensitivity is uncalled for, or inaccurate, you can still care.
We were grudge holders in the early days of our marriage. We were so busy trying to "win," that we found ourselves defending our positions on many issues. Which, at times, led to unforgiveness. Eventually, we had to learn to communicate more lovingly and find a way to offer each other forgiveness.
It's often hard to move on when the other has royally screwed up. How do you leave behind what is behind...and move on?
: stop feeling anger toward
: give up resentment of or claim
: stop blaming (someone)
: stop requiring payment
"Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast." ~Marlene Dietrich
If you are the one that has been hurt, you're allowed to be frustrated and sad, but don't manipulate or punish your spouse. Punishment and natural consequences are NOT the same thing. Consequences are part of life; punishment is a form of control.
Healthy married life can involve small and profound moments of forgiveness and deep undeserved grace.
We love the Lyrics to this Matthew West song:
There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame
What happened yesterday has disappeared
The dirt has washed away And now it's clear
There's only grace
There's only love
There's only mercy
And believe me it's enough
We are human. No one should be a doormat. We have had BIG things to forgive...and small things. But either way, talk it out. FORGIVE and let it go. This isn't always easy. Often couples need to have someone walk them through sorting through hurt feelings, dishonesty, or even betrayal. For more thoughts on this click on the link below.
"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers." ~Ruth Bell Graham
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