Dating Tips

Significance of Forgiveness in a Relationship

When we are in a long term relationship there always are going to be challenges that arise at some point in time. Whether these are minor infractions, disagreements or more serious issues there will be times when the relationship will be tested. As humans, it is only natural to disagree on issues and have differences of opinion at some time or the other. Generally when couples are faced with difficult issues the standard way of resolving them is through discussion like mature adults.

Sitting down and talking about each other’s concerns is one of the easiest ways to conflict resolution. If the matter is resolved amicably then the couple can patch up things and move on. However, one area that can be challenging is that of forgiveness. When we are deeply in love with someone and they hurt our feelings, it can be extremely difficult at times to forgive the erring partner.

Whether it is because of infidelity or being disappointed with something they might have done, the sense of being let down by someone you love can create bitterness and resentment towards them. When you have to forgive them it begins to feel like you have condoned their actions in some manner and this can be painful.  

At times it becomes easier to foster the resentment and negativity you may feel towards your partner, by acting indifferent with them as a form of punishment for their actions. Again it is human nature to act in this manner, but the fact is we have to work through these emotions and take the higher ground. Being petty and holding on to resentment will not be good emotionally as well as can affect the relationship. However, forgiving your partner for any wrong they did is the best decision. By putting their transgressions behind and moving with the relationship is a step in the right direction.

Reasons to forgive

Since childhood, we are taught about forgiveness and taking the higher ground. However, when we are faced with situations where we have been let down by a partner it can actually be very difficult to be able to forgive easily. When we forgive it makes us feel a sense of vulnerability. When we forgive anyone we cast aside our anger, which can be difficult especially if we have been deeply hurt by the actions of the person that has done wrong. At times we ourselves might have contributed unwittingly to the situations by our own actions. It is always easy to rest the blame squarely on another person, but in some situations, it can be both sides are to blame.

It is a known fact that retaining resentment is harmful to the person that carries the negative emotion. Forgiving your partner will not just benefit the relationship but will also benefit the person that forgives i.e. the forgiver. It’s well-known that harboring anger and resentment leads to stress and anxiety the root cause of various ailments. Over time this pent up anger and frustration will affect your general attitude towards relationships and create a feeling of distrust in others. When you forgive it is a win-win situation for both the wronged and the wrongdoer as well!

Communication is the key

The very first thing on the path of forgiveness is comprehension. When a partner has erred and hurt your sentiments, you need to be clear in your communication with them. This needs to be done in a calm and objective manner where you convey your feelings about being hurt and upset. You need to clarify what actions upset you and why you have been hurt.  

One way to make the discussion more productive is to emphasize on your emotions and feelings and not play the blame game where you apportion all the blame directly on the other person. It will help to share the responsibility for the issue, without your partner feeling that you are squarely laying the blame on them only. When your partner begins to explain their side of the story listen patiently and do not interrupt them midway. Try to look at things from their point of view to better understand the situation.

Regaining the trust that was lost and the pain that comes with it takes time, which is only to be accepted as a part of life. As humans not robots we cannot immediately forgive and forget instantaneously. The crux is to move in the right direction of looking and understanding situations objectively and the emotions and the feelings of your partner as well.

Fostering forgiveness

As with most things in life developing the trait of forgiveness is like a skill that we need to develop over time. When we are in any relationship especially a romantic relationship fostering the feeling of forgiveness is extremely vital. The best way to begin is to cast aside the trivial mistakes of our partners, which will build the platform to bond and strengthen the relationship over time. This will also make it easier to forgive serious mistakes (if they do occur later at any stage of the relationship). 

At the same time, each partner needs to have their individual self-respect and not be taken for granted at any time. At the end of the day, forgiveness and compromise by both partners are what make successful relationships tick!