0045 – How to Learn to Forgive Your Partner

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We’re talking about how to forgive. How do you really let go of the past and move forward with a clean slate?

Teaser Bullets

by the end of this episode you’ll learn:

  • Why forgiveness is important
  • How to ask for forgiveness
  • How to forgive someone
  • Mistakes people make when forgiving their partner

Describe the problem

Listener Sergio

So you, your partner or a friend messed up. Apologies were handed out, things seem to be better…except every once in a while, you realize that maybe forgiveness wasn’t handed out as freely as you thought. Perhaps there are arguments over what happened in the past, or a partner still feels resentful. You want the relationship to progress, but what if you haven’t or your partner hasn’t REALLY forgiven? And how do you find a way to truly forgive so that you can move on?

Segment #1

  • Why forgiveness is important
    • PsychCentral | Why Forgiveness is a Major Part of Relationship Success
      • Increases relationship effort – Making an effort to improve a relationship and doing what it takes to have positive interactions is required for relationship longevity. Partners in a relationship must also be being willing to regulate their behavior in a way that benefits the long-term goals of the relationship. Focusing on the long-term consequences as opposed to the immediate urges we may want to react to can drastically change the way someone will respond and deal with a situation. Focusing on long-term goals can prevent further arguments and other offensive behavior that may lead to greater negativity.
    • Stephen Hedger | How important is forgiveness in a relationship?
      • Resentments are powerfully destructive in relationships and so communicating, understanding and forgiving each other is critical for relationship harmony. If a person in a relationship struggles to forgive their partner for the wrongs in their relationship, that person is actively blocking the repairing process. Blocking the repair process will be important to that person to create protection on some level, but the question is this, what if their desire to create protection blocks their ability to build a successful bond with those that are important to them?
  • Why is forgiveness so hard
    • Black and Married With Kids | When It Comes to Our Spouses, Why is Forgiveness So Hard
      • It seems like a lot of people’s definition of forgiveness looks more like “I’ll forgive you, but I won’t forget.” Which isn’t forgiveness. So why is it so hard for us to forgive?
      • we’re all going to have to learn how to forgive because one of the many things that’s guaranteed in marriage, is that our spouse WILL do something to us that they will need to be forgiven for.
      • Webster defines forgiveness as “to grant free pardon and to give up all claim on account of an offense or debt.” Did ya’ll get that? “To grant free pardon” and “to give up all claim of an offense or debt”. So basically, forgiveness is to wipe the slate clean like it never even happened. So, that means once we have truly forgiven someone, we shouldn’t be bringing up what they did 5 days, 5 months or 5 years later. And that’s not what a lot of us do when we say we “forgive” someone.
  • How to ask for forgiveness

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Segment #2

  • How to forgive someone
    • RelationshipsSociety | The 3 Barriers to Forgiveness after an Affair
      • Forgiveness is more about you as the victim than it is about the cheater. While it may make the cheater feel better to know that ‘all is forgiven,’ this does not mean that you will feel better.
      • There are also two ways of looking at forgiveness in terms of what it means to you. If you refuse to ever forgive your spouse, you may be signing on for long-term anger, resentment and bitterness. However, if you offer forgiveness, you may find yourself at peace with the world—and your spouse.
      • What about considering acceptance? This simply means that you find a different kind of peace: you accept the circumstances for what they are—a bad turn in life, but one that has happened and cannot be erased, it simply is.
  • 3 Barriers to Forgiveness
    • You’re Not Ready – Before you can decide whether you should forgive, or simply accept the affair, there is a progression of healing you need to go through. Remember those volatile emotions and negative thoughts I mentioned earlier? These must be dealt with first and foremost before you can even consider moving forward, whether it’s to consider forgiveness or if you should stay in your marriage.
    • Lack of Cheater Remorse – It’s difficult to forgive someone who shows absolutely no remorse. There are some cheaters who seem incapable of understanding the pain they’ve caused their spouses, and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. Or, your spouse may not have fully broken off the relationship with the paramour.
    • The Cheater has Not Apologized – A heartfelt apology is usually the prerequisite to forgiveness. The person who has caused injury may say, “I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused you. Can you ever forgive me?” The victim is much more inclined to give consideration to forgiveness when the cheater comes to them with a heartfelt plea such as that. And, piggybacking on barrier 2—when the cheater truly shows remorse and is doing everything they can to show that they’ve changed their cheating behavior.
  • Mistakes people make when forgiving their partner
    • Host ideas
      • Elijah
        • Don’t just say it if you don’t mean it
        • Forgive Biblically for the best chance at real peace
      • Sarah

You can also post your comments on our Twitter page at  www.twitter.com/haverelations.

Final Thoughts:


Show Close

In closing, on behalf of my fantastic co-host, Sarah J. Storer, author of “How to be Dumped: The Definitive Breakup Guide” I want to thank you for spending time with us today, now let’s continue the conversation at relationspodcast.com/45 and:


Final Question:

[Create a question based on the total show, or a quirky incident that happened during recording]?


Tell us about it in the comment section and let’s see if we can’t continue to relate to one another. We’ll talk soon.


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